Digital Value - what is it? Skip to main content

What is Digital Value?

Dom Graveson

In the first in a series of articles focusing on digital value, Netcel's Director of Strategy & Experience, Dom Graveson explores the importance of having an effective framework to measure and prove the value of digital initiatives.

Digital value – it is uniquely yours, but takes a partnership to build it

One thing struck me during a conversation with a partner the other day: Why is it, in more than 25 years of responding to major RFPs, have I rarely seen ones that openly request a view on measurement of value? Alongside the feature lists, desired technology capabilities, and ambitions of the experience that often are the basis of the process of 'going out to market' for a client, we don’t often see the inclusion of what I believe is one of the most important elements of a successful digital investment – an effective framework for measuring and proving value of what is being invested.

RFP's themselves can be, in my view, a fairly limiting method to kicking off a successful relationship with a digital partner. It focuses minds on a short-term question of meeting a certain ‘shopping list’ of requirements, and then often due to perhaps lack of a better longer term strategic view of value and ROI, you win or lose based on price. This hints at an approach to planning and budgeting at some organizations that is fixed term, output rather than outcome focused, and doesn’t allow for learning and adjustment as the digital product evolves and responds to user, market and economic change. What we need as a foundation for high performing partnerships are outcomes, ambitions to aim for, results that can be measured, rather than lists of features and outputs. Having worked on both client and agency/partner side, I fully appreciate it’s difficult to select the right digital partner with confidence on the basis of a shopping list, but that’s the starting baseline of many relationships. 

There is an alternative. If we are taking a long term committed approach to digital experience and process optimisation as a core part of our strategies for a digital future, a key part of a successful engagement for client and partner is to help a client discover and drive value based on their specific ambitions and outcomes, not on generic ‘digital analytics’. From here we can help them communicate that as a compelling story that inspires, galvanizes and sustains stakeholder and colleague support for the digital cause over the long term – delivering sustainable meaningful benefits for audiences, customers and colleagues. The first step of that can be to work together during the process of getting to know one another as partner and client, on clarifying what these outcomes are, and what successful manifestation of them would look like for both the organisation's audiences (jobs to be done, reduced effort/friction to engage), and business objectives (revenue, costs savings, loyalty, etc). Technology, and Optimizely in particular, has an important empowering role across delivering on both of these.

If you want to explore how to measure the impact and value of your digital initiatives - get in touch, we'd love to hear from you.

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Read the next article in this series, 'A digital value framework that works for you', to discover how to define digital value across the fundamentals of revenue growth, cost savings and organisational capability.

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