Brands face big challenges today. Data overload, hyper-connected customers and technology that’s changing faster than ever before. We apply a customer-centric, insight driven methodology to design as a means to empower organizations to meet their business needs.

Over the years we’ve refined a three-part process that is straightforward and effective: insight, strategy and action. To kick off 2013, we wanted to share a three-part series to introduce you further to each of these three stages and the critical role they play in successfully defining the digital strategy and customer experience.

I’m Amy Sullivan and I head our insight practice here at Delvinia.  I work closely with the practice heads and team leads to deliver actionable insights. The following post outlines my focus, and the importance of insights in the work that we do.

What Do We Mean by Insights?

Generating insights is about shedding light on relationships, uncovering motivations, and solving problems. To do this, our team conducts all manner of qualitative and quantitative audience research, web analytics analysis, competitive intelligence research, social media monitoring, persona development and user testing. But a research objective is only as strong as the business objective that drives it, so we always start there.

By way of example, in working with our client, a leading insurance company, we sought to discover ways that digital technology could be leveraged to capture efficiencies and increase revenues related to the sale of insurance plans for a new market. To do this, we needed to understand the advisor experience. In the relationship between the leading insurance company and the advisors, the advisors are the customers. What would motivate them to sell more of the company’s product?

To deepen our understanding of their experience, we engaged in a series of individual and group interviews with advisors and brokerage firms. These interviews shed light on the unique challenges of selling a complex product with low margins, yet at high volumes. We illuminated many of the pain points advisors experience in the journey from referral to sale.

With this knowledge we were able to define the underlying principles that should animate the organization’s digital strategy going forward. These principles stated that an effective strategy would be one that works for the advisor and that achieves speed and simplicity. In this way, the insights phase laid the ground for a customer-centric approach. Part Two of this blog series will expand on how these principles were applied to the development of the digital strategy.

As I noted earlier, there are many research approaches to establishing customer-centricity. With this leading insurance company, we were working in a B2B context, but the approaches apply equally well in a B2C context. For example, Delvinia is working with a large national retailer to identify ways that digital can be used to increase revenues by growing the membership and deepening their participation in their loyalty program.  In this case, we decided that personas of members with different degrees of digital savvy would help to illustrate the types of experiences the program could deliver in ways that are relevant to all stakeholders. Again, we used these insights to define the principles of a successful future-state strategy, and we realized them in our designs for the clients (more on that in Part Three).

Indeed, the value of insights comes through translating them effectively into digital strategy and user experience, and using them to inform your design so that it really speaks to your customer. In this way, insights set the stage, and this is why we are so dedicated to our insights-drive process.

In tomorrow’s post, Rosalina Lin-Allen, our Head of Strategy, will talk about how and why we tackle digital strategy on behalf of our clients.