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How the COVID-19 Environment Impacts the Way We Create Digital Products

How the COVID-19 Environment Impacts the Way We Create Digital Products

  • Leadership /
  • Podcast /
  • Product Strategy /

NTT TechConnect Interviews Emerge CEO, Jonathon Hensley, about the impact of COVID-19 on the Digital Product Space

COVID-19 is affecting all walks of life, and as we get acclimatized to this new normal in the physical world, the digital space is also being impacted. Jonathon joins the hosts of NTT TechConnect to discuss the changes the digital space is seeing since the pandemic has introduced a new way of life.


How do you build a digital strategy in the age of COVID-19 and moving forward?

“One thing is that strategy has never been more important. And in the conversations that I’ve had over 20 years of doing this, but especially in the last two months in witnessing what’s going on, it just reinforces that belief.

There are a couple of key things that keep coming up when I engage in these conversations. There is this shift that has to take place, where there’s often confusion between what strategy is versus planning. And it’s really important that people understand they need to not skip strategy. They need to go and and do that work–it’s some of the most important, valuable work they can do in their organization. And to not confuse that with planning, which is focused on tactics and resources. They should really focus on why they’re doing it, what the value is for the end customer, the value to the business, understand the impact of the problem they’re solving. Those types of things are really essential and they need to be able to go after those things and if they have a pre-existing product they need to do reevaluation and maybe consider pivots or how to adapt that.

They’ve got a really look at their their product backlog and decide: were these things nice to have or were these things that we thought are important? Have we engaged our client or our market to really help us understand these things, and are they still valid going forward?”


Designing for crisis is now critical

“When we think about our audiences, we think of people in their ideal situation, right? We talk about it even in our business terminology: the ideal customer or the ideal target customer or the ideal persona. And this situation pointed a spotlight on that there is no such thing as ideal in the same way that we thought about it before.

We have to be considering what is our ideal client dealing with when they’re in a crisis and how do we approach that thinking differently? You know the old persona of ‘I want a family that’s highly active‘? Well, that’s a pretty poor descriptor of people today, when we’re having everyone stay at home.

So we have to go deeper. We have to get past demographics. We have to go towards understanding empathy and behaviors. I think to really connect and design better products that has to be core to a really good strategy as we pivot and go forward.”



BONUS: Jonathon with Erik Qualman on the Super U Podcast

Joining the ranks of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, Jonathon recently connected with Erik Qualman’s on his Super U podcast about how success is defined differently for everyone and every organization. Jonathon and Erik discuss their definitions of success and how to become a world-class business leader.




Forward. Digital. Thinking.

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