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25 Feb 21 Events

What can Start-Ups learn from the Tech Giants?

 4min read

 

In the latest instalment of our Becoming Data-Driven series organised by our Data Team, Product Growth Lead Ted Truscott took us through some of the tools and methods used by the tech giants, of using analytics and user-centric thinking to create more sustainable, compounding growth cultures in your own team.

Catch up on the full talk below or read on for a write up of all the advice and insight shared!

 

 

 

When we build products, we present users with choices all the time. Big tech growth teams will gravitate towards any moment where a user makes a choice, as this is an opportunity in which we are able to influence the user’s behaviour and have an outside impact.

 

These days, with so much accessible to us at the touch of a button, people expect seamless experiences in both the B2C and B2B worlds. As Developers and Product Managers, we want the same thing. So how can we seamlessly guide our users to make the decisions we want them to, resulting in a positive experience for them and a win for us?

 

Choice architecture describes how the decisions we make are affected by the layout, sequencing, and range of choices that are available. 

 

Reducing choices:

- Make things as simple as possible and get the user to do exactly what you want them to do by offering them less options.

- Remove any friction and don’t confuse users so it’s clear for them to get to where you want them to go.

 

 

Equipped with a ‘Press for Champagne’ button at every table, Bob Bob Ricard is famous for pouring more champagne than any other restaurant in the United Kingdom - by simply presenting the preferred choice in the form of a button too tempting not to push!

 

Reframing:

This is the idea that we can take something that already exists and reposition it in a slightly different way, so that people respond more positively and perhaps see the benefits that they wouldn’t necessarily have done before. You can read more about the concept here - Rory Sutherland - Alchemy: The Surprising Power of Ideas That Don't Make Sense

A popular technique is gamification. Google Maps gamified their review process by encouraging people to become local guides, triggering an increase in responses.

A key takeaway here is to make it as easy as possible for someone to come through your product and make a positive action, by ensuring the entry points are clear and simple for people to find.

 

 

Reset defaults:

When you’re scaling, it’s essential to revisit any internal defaults that may no longer be optimising your products performance and could actually be having the opposite effect by harming the product. For example, if you have an internal machine learning threshold that is set at 90%, but no one actually knows why it’s set at 90%... This is the perfect opportunity to revisit, test and reset the threshold.

 

Hard coding:

Very often these defaults are embedded in the product and can be harming it, so it’s always worth revisiting them and testing them to see if they can be improved.

 

User facing defaults:

Ted took us through one of his proudest career achievements from his time at JustGiving to explain the potential impact of amending user facing defaults. By simply giving users the option to donate £30 as opposed to £25, and highlighting £30 as the default amount, the business was able to raise millions more for charity. It just goes to show that as you’re scaling, these small changes can have a huge impact on the business.

 

 

 

 

Even when you don’t actually give users a choice, you’re often making assumptions on how they interact with the product. By interrupting that journey and adding a choice, it forces the user to make a choice within your choice architecture.

 

Look into - What are your users not choosing, what questions do you need to ask them?

Can you influence users to make a choice about your product that they might not otherwise have done? A technique invented, tried and tested by the tech giants is the use of notifications to bring people back into your product at the right time.

 

On the flip side, when is it appropriate to slow people down from making choices? Instagram and Facebook have introduced impactful intervention techniques to try and prevent users from posting bullying or harassment comments online.

 

 

Building up a data-driven team

Make sure everyone on the team understands the fundamentals and that data is a real part of the culture. This will ensure people are making decisions in a much more rigorous way.

 

Embedding data in product teams works a lot better than having a centralised data pool sitting outside of the teams. Data works best when people know the product really well, and this also means that you’re not so reliant on Engineers and adding on to their workload with additional tasks.

 

You want to get to the point where you are so data driven that each team knows its metrics and another team knows your metrics and how they’re affecting it. 

 

Having a Growth person in your team helps with:

-Product analytics

-Consistent prioritisation and roadmapping

-Helping to come up with quantifiable goals

 

The best teams are constantly going back to their goals, looking back at OKRs every week and tracking progress towards their goals in team meetings.

 

Focus on impact over effort - Introduce the idea of OKRs – Objectives & Key Results - in some form or another. The end goal is to get to a repeatable, scalable process and to get teams into a position where they can run themselves.

 

 

Velocity = speed + direction

The most successful teams aren’t just moving fast, they’re moving purposefully in a certain direction and know exactly why they’re heading that way. This makes it easier to measure progress and spot any deviations which can be communicated to the team. This way a team can change direction if needed, but get their velocity back more easily.

 

Strong testing culture:

This is very common in the larger tech giants as you often need a lot of people to get good power behind your test, as this gives more confidence that it’s a true effect.

 

 

 

An Oxford Graduate, Ted has worked for the likes of Merrill Lynch, Qubit and Just Giving, before moving to Facebook where he spent 4 years and operated within a leadership role around Product Growth within one of the community integrity teams. Ted is now developing the supplier side of the B2B Marketplace at Tradeshift, a Danish unicorn in the supply chain innovation space.

 

 

BECCA ROSE
COMMUNITY LEAD

BECCA@BURNSSHEEHAN.CO.UK

 

 

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