The Frictionless Pivot

"Disruptive technology should be framed as a marketing challenge, not a technological one"
- Clayton M. Christensen, The Innovator's Dilemma

As I have said elsewhere digital transformation is all about change.

Changing behaviours. At the individual level, at the enterprise level and at the market level

The challenge is identifying and constructing the social and personal triggers that initiate these shifts in behaviour

Three key ideas that have emerged over the past decade to address this commercial reality are Product/Market Fit, Growth Hacking and Gamification

These ideas are best understood as a formula: Product Market Fit = Growth Hacking + Gamification

We can express this equation as a boston box

In the grand scheme of things the product design team create the game (Think: customer experience)

While the role of marketing/growth hacker is to pose and answer the question: Why you should play the game?

Now let's put the matrix to work by comparing the product market fit of two publicly listed Australian Fintechs

The Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) Afterpay Touch and the Customer Rewards program operator CashRewards

The value proposition for Afterpay is very simple

Just like the plastic fantastic (credit card) of the mid-20th Century it offers an emerging generation of consumers the dopamine rush of the impulse buy without the hassle of having to save the money in advance

The message is the ever popular... You can have it all! Now! So Why Wait?

CashRewards is a cash back program. It offers users the incentive to obtain cash back on their purchases.

Its value proposition can be (loosely) summed up as Pay Now... Cash Out Later

One offers instant gratification. The other offers delayed gratification

At the time of writing one is growing exponentially. The other less so...

Let's use the Product Market Fit matrix to find out why

Now we could spend time examining the details. Working through the finer points.

But that is not the insight to be found when employing the PMF matrix as a strategic planning tool

The creative insight is this...

The gamification dimension can be pivoted

Mainstream thinking demands the strategic objective for the CX designer is to create a Frictionless Customer Journey


Experience will teach you...

Adding friction to the game play can incentivise the user and improve market perception of the value of playing the game

The message to the market being: Sure this is a challenge. But if you invest the time, and play the game more/better, you can win/score more

The best example of this being the rise of the social influencer movement on social media

The simple, low friction game of likes and shares (Circa 2010) has pivoted into the power game of follower counts and social influencer advertising (Circa 2020)

It all comes down to how you market (Position) the value of the scorecard

The golden rule being: Everbody can play for free... It's just that a lucky few are better at playing the game than most

The key being - moving forward - the outliers (i.e. the Pros) embody the dream that inspires others to (pay) to play game

The rule of thumb when designing these systems/games? Frictionless is the Hook. Friction is what makes the experience sticky

Further Reading:

Change the story and you change the game

Originally Published Summer 2020. What are we talking about today? Follow us on Twitter

Copyright Digital Partners Pty Limited 2010-2020