Most Contagious 2015

Written by
Andreea Nastase

Last year we waved 2015 goodbye by attending Most Contagious, the ‘piece de resistance’ end of year event run by our friends at Contagious.

We’re big fans of their ever-evolving conferences: a while ago we did a round up of Now/Next/Why for those who can remember. We didn’t do Most Contagious justice in a post at the time but it turns out the value of a conference is felt long after the event has ended.

There are two big topics that Most Contagious touched on that we still see and hear loud and clear in our day-to-day work. As a result, we figured we would blend a thought post with a bit of an event review.

Digital transformation is really hard.

Dennis Maloney, Domino’s Chief Digital Officer and Andrew Lincoln from CP+B, Domino’s agency of record, went on stage to talk about the pizza giant’s digital transformation and all the (digital) products, services and communications that emerged from its programme.

Domino’s blew us away because it was refreshingly honest about how hard digital transformation is to plan and implement. Many people use the term lightly. It took seven whole years to turn Domino’s from a pizza company into a ‘technology company’ that happens to sell pizza. It took seven years for them to understand and simplify the customer journey to the point where you can now tweet a pizza emoji to order your favourite saved order in the system. Looks like a gimmick, but once you see what's behind you realise it's not. It took a lot of brutal honesty and transparency both inside the organisaton -- to admit that the product tasted like cardboard -- and outside of it, to publicly admit this failure. Now that is how you do digital transformation.

And as our Head of Strategy argued... 

"Next time you think about digital transformation and your only thought is what percentage of your TV budget you need to now allocate to digital, know that you have already failed at being digital first."

Micro copy (for micro moments)

Anna Pickard (Slack’s Head of Editorial) went on stage to talk about how every bit of copy Slack writes - from welcome messages all the way to release updates - is carefully considered. This might seem like a very specific point to labour, but in a world where so many apps and services demand our attention we can only give a vast majority of them very small chunks of time – micro-moments that require microcopy.

We like it because it’s in line with one of our design experience principle: to build digital products with warmth and empathy. To us that also includes carefully crafting every word that a brand puts into digital channels. If microcopy can make a dramatic impact to things like basket abandonment or onboarding, then is it not worth baking into the strategy and UX process instead of outsourcing to some ‘website copy writer’ hired by the hour?

At Poke we fuse smart strategy and smart creative to bring a brand’s values to life in a digital experience, and we’ve talked extensively about how to create digital experiences in an era of ubiquitous internet (i.e. when internet is a layer permeating every interaction, not a separate afterthought). So while microcopy might be a bit too much to dive straight into, words in digital do matter. Look after them.