Achieving digital success by being responsive to end-user needs

It may sound obvious for companies to focus on end users, and many of them mention it routinely today. But for Ottoboni, it is very much a reality and an important part of the work process.

The Nordic Morning Group acquired Ottoboni in March 2015 as part of its strategy to strengthen within the areas of customer experience, creative technology, and service design.

Being a part of the group creates new business opportunities, says Robert McAllister, Project Manager and Business Developer at Ottoboni’s Stockholm office.

“It’s a great improvement that will allow us to focus much more on our core business,” he says. “We see great potential in cooperation with our sister agencies – especially with Sitrus in content strategy, and Klikki in data insights and digital marketing. Previously, we tried to do everything, and then it can be difficult to deliver on top all the time.”

Formed in 2001, Ottoboni has helped numerous companies and brands find their place in the digital world. As well as internet and intranet sites, the company has assisted clients with apps and digital campaigns. Above all else, though, its greatest success has come from providing knowledge on how businesses can best interact with their customers.

“It’s getting increasingly important to understand how users are acting and enterprises’ ability to develop their business plans accordingly,” McAllister says. “Generally, we can say many companies spend too little time gaining good insights about their customers. This is something that start-ups are very good at, and larger companies have much to learn from them.”

According to McAllister, a well-designed website is still important for both customers and end users.

“But we’ve moved away from creating large projects and extensive launches,” he says. “Our goal is instead to break them down into smaller deliveries, which has real value for end users, and develop the service on that basis.”

Sophia Widman Båge, Business Developer at Ottoboni, says the company is increasingly moving toward an idea-based process based on end-user needs.

“At the same time, we’re targeting solutions that we can get quickly out onto the market and that can be tested in real-life situations,” she says. “This enables us to obtain important data and measure its value in real time.”

Widman Båge describes Ottoboni’s work as being in two parts: one includes service design, helping customers plan their services to make the interaction with the end user as good as possible; the second involves identifying and developing new services, from concept to technical performance. She says technology has increasingly become the enabler that drives our needs, behaviors, and expectations – both in private and at work.

McAllister highlights two sources that are important for strategic work in digital channels: data and people.

“We had a period when a lot was centered on the brand and emotions – and one period when it was all data based,” he says. “Now, we see that both these sources are becoming increasingly important to develop good services: people, because they can tell us why something happens; and the data to prove that it happens.”

Widman Båge says that, to become successful in the digital world, companies have to constantly try new ways to interact with their clients.

“You have to be responsive and ready to adapt, alter, define, and sometimes reject and start again,” she says. “And it’s far less risky if you haven’t put all your money into one huge project. The result is a learning process, enabling better products and more satisfied customers.”

Ottoboni’s four key tips for digital success:

1. Identify what the end user appreciates and use this to develop services.

2. Prioritize getting something out onto the market relatively quickly, and then test and evaluate it.

3. Create close cooperation between the agency, the client, and the end users.

4. Be clear about who has the mandate to make decisions. Designate a product owner.


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