Customer experience, Featured

Why Quick Wins will be the death of you

Almost as sure as the sun rises each day, I’ve been witness to the mandatory inclusion of comprehensive heuristic reviews and best practice reports as part of any digital transformation programme. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying these activities are idea killers but as a marriage they bear the inevitable offspring that is a long list of things to do or certainly consider. They are the right thing to understand what a brand is doing today vs. everyone else. And at some levels it’s the best place to start.

These features can be evidenced, business cases created and prioritised. It’s all very sensible. Too sensible. 

Because these things provide some value and are often feasible to do. Step right up Quick Wins. So why am I saying this not right? I’m certainly not criticising things I’ve seen over the last couple of years… I have the easy job of just executing a brief and not dealing with the painful dance of corporate politics. But there is room to stop with the some of management consulting overused buzzwords and start making really interesting work.

It doesn’t deliver anything that anyone will notice. These Quick Win features are just too small. Think about the outcomes we want to achieve:

  • To be considered for additional purchases
  • To not switch to a competitor
  • To be recommended to family and friends.

Big things enable these. Stand for something, be useful, understand what matters to the customers. 


Keeps the team in the redline

Just another sprint I hear you say, go on, one more. And much like a race car, keep it in the red line too long and bang it goes. Yes, that’s the sound of your people leaving.


Steals time from things that can make a difference

By overly focusing on Quick Wins it takes all the time and physically stops the team from thinking about the bigger things. Sometimes this is when businesses recruit external people or use an agency. This work is seen as the cool stuff. So your team stays on the tactical grind and someone else gets to do what they really wanted to. It couldn’t be less motivating for the team.


Quick Wins are ultimately like an addiction. They deliver outcomes. It’s a great story to promote up to the leadership. Look how we increased conversion, look how we decreased bounce, look how we blah blah blah. But as with any addictive substance we want more and will keep doing it. Getting on to the big things, the hard thing just seems like an action on the backlog… it’ll happen, sometime, but we don’t have to commit to it whilst we’re getting our Quick Wins done.


So is this short term thinking really bad then?

Your customers are not loyal. They’re loyal to better experiences. So whilst your lovely Quick Wins are helping you out, they’re doing very little for the customer. That’s where the competition step in – from any angle. By not thinking and executing on the mid to long term you are effectively giving the business a death by a thousand cuts… a thousand quick win death cuts. 


What to do about it

When generating and prioritising the backlog, look for which idea will first nail as many customer goals as possible, second fit with the brand organising idea and lastly be useful and different to everything else that’s going on. The most important thing is to get on this at the same time as starting those Quick Wins. Yes, it will be harder. Yes, it will require more time and budget.

Use your brand organising idea to select the most true, emotional and differentiating idea. And maybe this will be the thing you will be known for. The question is whether you will be brave enough to stand up and start developing a big idea now. Will you?

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