Ellie Sharkey
Sales & Marketing Executive

If your business didn’t have a digital-first strategy going into 2020, chances are you’ve spent the last few months trying to figure out how to accelerate your digital transformation to meet the new needs of an increasingly online customer base. The good news is that, although complete digital transformation can take a long time, you don’t need to finish the process before you start seeing results.  


Our recent webinar with HomeServe explored how the multinational home emergency repairs and improvements business is rapidly rolling out a transformation project to make digital their primary acquisition channel. The session featured input from HomeServe’s director of marketing communications, Kristy McCready, and ORM’s experience design director, Martin Bui, and included invaluable advice for any organisation aiming to accelerate their digital transformation. If you can’t make the time to watch the full video, we’ve extracted seven memorable quotes to highlight the session’s key points.  



“We chose a programme of delivery that allowed us to change the tyres while the car was on the track” 


HomeServe was originally built on a direct mail model and their website was outdated, wasn’t focussed on customer journeys and wasn’t converting visitors. This project’s single ambition is to redefine the online experience to double baseline conversions. The team had worked on long-term projects before but found that the market moves on before you finish, so they made a choice to engage in a programme that allowed them to quickly change the things that would have the biggest commercial impact, while continuing to iterate in the background.     


“It’s much easier to do a 3-point turn in a mini than in a bus”


If you only discover problems or identify things that need to be changed after you’ve built your whole digital product, then making those changes will require another time consuming and costly exercise. Big projects can also be overwhelming and take a long time to complete. Breaking a digital transformation project up into smaller products makes it easier to work on elements and roll them out individually. Developing a product mindset also means sharing a minimum viable product which is then improved iteratively through testing and feedback rather than aiming for perfection before release.  


“Everyone wants a shiny new thing” 


If you’re working in an agile way, it’s important to be clear about your approach from the outset so that stakeholders understand that there’s not going to a “big bang” release where everything changes at once. The reality is that the departments or business units that get their products delivered first are always going to be happiest, while those that have to wait longer will find the plan less appealing. That’s why it’s important to communicate with stakeholders regularly and to be flexible if new information comes to light. 


“If anyone had told me a year ago that I would ask a team that I had never met in person to develop my most important asset I would have said ‘that is madness’” 


To date, the HomeServe project has been conducted entirely over Zoom and without a single face-to-face conversation between the client and ORM. To work in a fast and flexible way you need to trust your agency, allow them to challenge your way of thinking and be accountable for what you’re trying to achieve. This can be especially difficult if you’ve never met – which highlights the importance of due diligence when selecting a digital partner.     


“You need the right people on the pitch” 


Choosing the right team members to be part of your internal team is just as important as choosing the right digital agency. Ideally, this team should be kept as small as possible and only include people that can play an active part in moving the project towards your goals.       


“Keep it fun.  Keep it focussed” 


Accelerated digital transformation projects like this one demand a single-minded focus on the business objective; teams need to avoid being distracted or delayed by things that don’t directly influence this goal. But, because agile delivery means that the client and agency collaborate throughout the project, it’s also important to keep extended discovery and brainstorming sessions light, pacey and engaging – especially if people are participating online.


“The most powerful weapon you’ll ever have in your armoury is customer insights” 


Buying decisions today are based on customer experience rather than brand loyalty, which makes information about your customers and how they interact with your products invaluable. If you use data from testing, behavioural mapping and customer feedback to guide your decisions, you’ll always be on the right track.   


For more tips to help you design better, faster, watch the full webinar here or get in touch with our team.