In the digital world, developers play an increasingly important role in the success of a business. The problem lies in the fact that the relationship developers have with other departments hasn’t always been the most efficient . For example, according to a recent survey, a mere 47 percent of digital designers report having a positive relationship with their company’s marketing teams.
This may be due to the fact that coders and related digital experience specialists operate on a schedule that’s very different from that of other employees. When developers are working on a project, they need to focus on the task at hand. Too often, this isn’t the case and developers feel strained and pulled in multiple directions.
Here’s a solution: major organizations are turning to digital creative agencies for certain tech projects. That way, in-house developers can focus on their day-to-day responsibilities, while a third party can work more closely with departments throughout the company to coordinate on a digital product management strategy. The following case studies prove why this approach works:
A digital experience to bring online shoppers in-store
Home Depot is a unique company. While many retailers have shifted their priorities to ecommerce, Home Depot sells the kinds of products customers aren’t always likely to purchase online. That’s why the company recruited YML to improve their omnichannel shopping options.
YML faced an interesting challenge with this project: Home Depot’s main goal was to ensure both the online and in-store shopping experience were seamlessly connected. What was needed in this case was a digital transformation strategy that could overhaul the current online process in order to integrate the offline conversion goal.
Our team of digital designers and developers achieved this goal by introducing useful features that primarily served to make Home Depot’s services more convenient for shoppers. For example, we developed a feature that allowed online shoppers to navigate a 3D map of their local Home Depot.
With this map, they not only learned where a particular item was in the store, but also whether it was in stock. This ensured that customers would be more likely to actually visit their local store to make a purchase. It also increased brand loyalty, as shoppers appreciated the convenience the new feature offered.
More than 25,000 customers gave the app a five-star review. It would have been difficult to create a product like this solely with the help of in-house developers, who must focus on maintaining and improving the company’s existing digital products. Instead, partnering with a digital experience agency like YML allowed their developers to focus on what they do best, while someone else took the reigns on product development and strategy.
Moving payments from online to real life with the right digital transformation strategy
Paypal is another major organization that benefited from partnering with YML.
Similar to the Home Depot project, this collaboration involved bridging the gap between online and real-world product use. The goal was to create a “digital wallet” that allowed users to easily pay for goods and services at local businesses via Paypal. Before YML took the reigns on digital experience management and released the new product, Paypal customers generally used the service at home to deposit, transfer, or accept funds.
We worked with their in-house team on a digital transformation strategy and developed key features that set the new product apart. For instance, customers who wanted to use Paypal to make a transaction at a local shop or restaurant could order ahead from their phone. At the time, Paypal was the only major vendor to offer this feature.
In other words, it was a fairly untested concept. It wouldn’t have made sense for in-house developers to work on a project that might not have yielded rewards, distracting them from their more essential duties.
By hiring an outside digital creative agency, Paypal created and released a product that generated upwards of $20 billion worth of transactions in 2013 alone.
The bottom line:
Experts point out that managers and “makers” (aka developers) do operate on different types of schedules. Managers tend to block out their days into hour-long chunks, allowing them to schedule meetings easily.
Makers, on the other hand, can’t work effectively when they’re being interrupted by meetings and other tasks that only require an hour or so of work. They need to be able to focus on tasks for long periods of time.
That’s why it often makes sense to hire digital project management specialists from third-parties when developing new products or features. Outside digital strategy agencies can work solely on one project.
Instead of stretching a team too thin, organizations working with a professional digital experience agency can let their in-house developers focus on the kinds of tasks they must perform on a daily basis, while an outside team focuses on a new concept or idea. As the case studies above illustrate, taking this approach can be very beneficial.