4 development pitfalls to avoid with an agile growth strategy
Al Harnisch is the Vice President of Growth at Prolific Interactive. Throughout his career, Al has focused on helping companies develop and execute digital strategies to grow their business and stay ahead of the curve. He and his team have worked with brands such as Walmart, HBO, Verizon Wireless, Climate Corp, SoulCycle, Glamsquad, and others who are looking to modernize their approach to building a loyal, profitable, mobile audience.
Developing a mobile product is a daunting task. Delays are inevitable, fires likely, and roadblocks are always imminent. With all of the potential for things to go wrong, why wouldn’t you take every opportunity to head off a problem before it arises?
In conversations with partners about their growth stack, we often hear, “Let’s worry about that once everything else is done.” And this…isn’t great. If you wait to think about your growth initiatives until the last two to three sprints, you’re opening yourself up to even more risk. It may seem faster to setup an all-in-one, traditional enterprise suite but this approach will only lead to short-term results and a host of potential problems down the road.
The new wave of data and marketing tools is based on open API’s rather than a closed ecosystem, which allows the tools in your stack to work together. This Growth process is ongoing and ever-evolving, requiring your team to continuously iterate. But making this investment early in the process will provide a solid framework to sustain and scale your growth strategy into the future.
Here are just a few of the issues you can bypass when you implement growth strategies from the beginning:
1. Last Minute Architecture Changes
If you wait until days before an app launches to implement your growth stack, engineers may need to re-develop the technology and/or take shortcuts to properly pass data back into the different elements of the stack. This can lead to a delayed launch or, potentially worse, releasing your product without a proper stack integration. The additional workload that you find amended to the end of the development cycle could have been avoided entirely with proper planning.
While it may not seem like the most feasible or operationally efficient approach for some businesses, the benefits of implementing your growth stack during the product buildout go far beyond saving time. It’s there to be a guide and a tool that helps your team strategically plan and prioritize your product roadmap to ensure your tracking successfully towards both short and long term goals.
2. Little Focus on Actual Use Cases
When there’s no liaison between product, marketing, and data teams, a data blueprint can become more focused on event coverage rather than solving use cases. But we’ve seen that having a detailed, technical plan that clearly defines and addresses both product and marketing goals is a game-changer.
We identify desired use cases before we integrate so that we can ensure we’re efficiently tracking and prioritizing the most relevant events. Otherwise, we find ourselves tracking everything which can be overkill and yet still leads to missing key data points required for the best use cases. Aligning engineering, marketing, and product teams from the start is essential for building a data blueprint that solves relevant use cases and powers growth.
3. Poor Data Integrity
Implementing a growth stack in one fell swoop at the eleventh hour leads to major data integrity issues. With little time and capacity left, 100% of the QA has to happen all at once for each iteration, and your team is not going to have time to ensure clean data across all tools. Disparate data sources offer an incomplete view of the user and will limit marketing tactics.
Customers are engaging with brands in physical stores, websites, mobile apps, and social media– and they expect a consistent, seamless experience throughout. By collecting cross-channel, trustworthy data, you can meet these expectations plus deliver personalized experiences that are relevant and valuable to them. Ensuring each tool in the growth stack is implemented properly and QAing the data it’s producing from the beginning of a product build is essential to powering your growth strategy forward from day one.
4. Piecemeal Integration
The reality is, issues will arise when integrating multiple tools alongside regular development. We find it common that brands launch mobile products with only bits and pieces of a stack integrated, leaving a massive gap in their data analysis and retention capabilities during arguably the most important time – launch.
In order to sustain and scale your growth and product strategy into the future, you need to arm your team with a fully integrated growth stack from day one. This approach empowers product and marketing teams to play offense with respect to immediate retention and optimization opportunities.
Building a mobile product is a major undertaking. And in order to build a successful native experience that drives value for your brand, growth tactics have to be top-of-mind from day one. Rather than scrambling to patch holes and fit things in at the end of the process, Prolific’s Growth team can do it alongside your product buildout so each step of the process is as effective and efficient as it can be.
Prolific Interactive partners with brands to create premium mobile products and help maximize the value of existing apps. Prolific’s offerings include native mobile app strategy, design and development, growth marketing services, strategy consulting, and our proprietary App Management System (AMS).