Despite their recent subscriber blip, Netflix remain a titan of business growth – more than doubling their value in the past year alone.
Since their genesis, their approach has been clear. Listen to what the audience wants (using data), and give it to them (using algorithms).
How did they do it? Continuous integration and delivery.
In software engineering, continuous integration and continuous delivery refer to a specific way of doing things that is aimed at bringing the consumer (the people who will be directly interacting with the code being written) to the forefront of the programming process.
In practise, this process essentially involves drip-feeding iterative improvements into code to gain real-time user feedback on the changes. In doing so, developers afford themselves the opportunity to optimise and tweak each element of code to ensure it is as good as it can be for the audience it is built for.
This digital process underpinned the growth strategy that made Netflix Netflix. Keeping them in tune with the what the world wanted and allowing them to swiftly make it a reality.
It’s now easier than ever before to keep your audience at the heart of everything you do online. Optimising your website and digital strategy to suit every want, need and motivation of the people who matter most to your business.
They key to this process is listening to and measuring your audience with qualitative and quantitative methods that give you a clear picture of who they are, what they want from your brand, and how you can best deliver it.
Whether through data or direct feedback, if you can create a direct-line between you business and your audience you can learn what will make them happy and iteratively improve your products, services, web experience or digital strategy to deliver the best experience and generate the best results.
Whether it’s the user experience across your website, or the details of your overarching digital strategy, there are amazing benefits in continuous, iterative integration.
It can be easy for a business to drift away from the zeitgeist, spearheading towards a once-visualised now-predetermined endpoint. But this is how businesses fail. Especially today.
Being open to the changes and whims of the market, as well as the ever-evolving demands of your audience, requires flexibility and agility. Without these traits, a business can quickly lose touch with core audiences.
In adopting a continuous process of iterative improvements (based on real-time insights from audience feedback, KPIs, website metrics, etc.) you allow yourself to be reactive to every change that comes your way, leaving you ahead of the pack as the wind turns in new directions.
Continuous integration will quickly lead to enhanced performance in all areas of your digital approach. This means improved speed, higher quality content, more effective user journeys and workflows, higher conversion rates, and increased revenue.
It’s simply a matter of tweaking as you go. Keeping what works and testing and changing what isn’t. Over time, this process can have exponential impact on growth.
Netflix are the perfect example of the transformational power behind continuous, iterative improvements.
As they grew, they implemented new code, new features, new changes pretty much every day, tracking and recording to see what worked and what didn’t.
This is the magic of big data. Used in the right way, it can give you clear answers on ways to improve your service in line with what will resonate with your audience. If Netflix were rigid in their approach, they wouldn’t have revolutionised the way the world consumes entertainment.
This is the power of understanding what your audience wants using data. If you can be the first to give it to them, your business will transform for the better.
Crucially, understanding isn’t a one-time act. Staying open and flexible to change – and adopting a process that allows you to deliver on-going changes quickly and effectively – will set you up as a frontrunner and a fan favourite for decades to come. Now’s really not the time to be stuck in your ways.
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