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Development and CX agency, BBT, recently launched their evolved brand and refined proposition. With a core focus on creating performance-centric digital solutions, Founder and CEO Mike Taylor sat down with StopPress to discuss what performance-centricity really means (and why it’s not just about performance marketing).
Kia ora Mike, can you tell us a little about the new performance-centric proposition at BBT?
The digital landscape is constantly changing, keeping us on our toes and with an eye out for what’s next. So when thinking about the next chapter at BBT, we took a ground-up look at our business, what we stood for and what we are proud of. We realised that no matter the role, be it our developers, designers or digital specialists, we strive to create meaningful impact and solutions that move the needle, or sometimes mountains, for our clients.
Our refreshed positioning puts performance-centricity at its core. We don’t shy away from percentages or numbers, as these are the results of our client’s bold ambitions combined with BBT’s digital strategy and execution. It represents the change we co-created, the growth we shared, and delivering on what we promised.
When you say performance-centric digital, is that the same as performance marketing?
No – we’re not a performance marketing agency. What we mean by performance-centric is that the projects we undertake for our clients are focused on delivering an outcome. Whether that is improving your customers’ experience or delivering better, streamlined and digitised processes internally. We have to have business performance in mind.
Performance-centric means there are no smoke and mirrors. We don’t obsess over vanity metrics or shiny gimmicks. Instead, we ask ourselves and our clients if the digital solution will help the business achieve its goals. It is about working with our clients collaboratively and holistically, understanding their objectives and roadblocks, and then putting together a high-performance team that delivers.
We have all heard of and seen first-hand technology projects, systems integrations or automation projects that have taken longer than expected. Budgets and timeframes blow out, and the delivery of the project ultimately not delivering the solution to the needs of the business. That’s not performance-centric.
Example of questions we ask our clients:
But isn’t everything digital supposed to make an impact?
Yes, but ‘impact’ can mean all manner of things. Performance to us means improvement and achieving outcomes. For example, you might have a visually impactful app, but if it’s not converting well or customers are not engaging in the way you had hoped, it often means it’s not performing.
It’s not always about the bright shiny things. It’s about making sure the solution consistently delivers, and this is by creating a seamless process that considers the business and its customers as a whole. Using one of our clients, Acme, as an example, we created a simple but hyper-functional website specifically designed for their customers’ needs (B2B buyers). We didn’t focus on trying to win any design awards, but using existing insight and designing something specific to the needs of their customers; it created a 150 percent growth in online transactions and 16.5 percent in online accounts over the first year in going live. Of course, our teams do award-worthy work like the redesigned Neurological Foundation digital platform, but we don’t push that on all of our clients if that’s not what they need.
The world is now very different since BBT started; how does performance centricity play into it?
The world is a lot more dynamic now, both online and off. It’s funny thinking back to when I first started BBT, we would have to convince our clients why a mobile website was important, and now that’s a given. Businesses are under unprecedented pressure, from consumer expectations increasing, increased online competition, and increased cyber security risks. It’s not easy to manage all these changing environments, and whilst most of the pandemic restrictions are lifted globally, the effects will last for years to come. If the last ten years were about moving online, the next ten years would be about delivering online and consistently learning and improving, never sitting still.
The digital environment will continue to evolve quickly (hello, metaverse), but problem-solving fundamentals won’t. We now have advanced tools and integrations to deliver value and provide tangible benefits. Businesses that harness these tools whilst being pragmatic and focused on short- and long-term ROI will outperform their competitors.
Looking ahead, what are you the most excited about?
Our ambitious clients and partners. We’ve been busy working on a range of projects, with quite a few launching next year, redefining customer expectations and business models.
At BBT, our big hairy audacious goal is to get our products into 10 percent of the world’s population in 10 years. Of course, we still have a long way to go, but by working collaboratively with our clients and bringing their ambitions to life, we are steadily progressing toward this goal.