What Do Digital Product Innovation Consultants Do?
Digital product innovation consultants help companies explore digital opportunities and use new product development (NPD) principles to identify, validate, and pursue viable ideas. Working closely with internal cross-functional teams, they introduce principles like lean product development and validated learning to help companies leapfrog the innovation chasm and deliver stellar digital products to market.
Digital product innovation consultants also help companies link innovation processes, resources, and governance to strategic business model choices. This linkage helps create new capabilities and operating models that deliver innovative products faster and more effectively. Digital product innovation experts also play a significant role in developing RTM and GTM strategies for new digital products.
Most In-Demand Services of Digital Product Innovation Consultants
Why Hire Digital Product Innovation Consultants?
Hiring digital product innovation consultants helps a company inject innovation expertise into its product development cycle. These experts have a customer-centric lens that proves useful in identifying, understanding, and capitalizing on digital product opportunities. Companies that work with digital product innovation specialists achieve higher innovation results with lower risk related to time, budget, and product effectiveness.
Also, digital product innovation consultants bring crucial support in the following areas:
Streamline Decision Making
Digital product innovation specialists bring structure and cohesion into the innovation decision-making process. They help ensure budgetary, time, and human resource tradeoffs balance with overall company goals. Through their insights and input, they ensure a company makes clear decisions throughout the innovation process. This role is essential because innovation often must compete with other products and product lines that have already established markets.
Integrate Innovation Structures
Digital product innovation experts introduce innovation structures like innovation hubs and innovation boot camps to a company. Through these structures, they help a company integrate innovation into its core structures and processes, which assists to surface organic ideas and initiatives from within the company. With well-defined innovation structures in place, digital product innovation consultants help companies adopt sustainable and profitable innovation practices.
Develop Innovation Stage-Gates
Innovative digital products must move through various stages of development before launch. Digital product innovation consultants help define and orchestrate these stages, including ideation, prototyping, minimum viable product (MVP) development, soft launches, and UAT. They also help establish a new product’s unique value proposition (UVP), a critical step in understanding the product/market fit of a product before investing significant resources.
Outline Success Metrics
Digital product innovation consultants help define and outline the metrics that will determine the success of a new product. They define success metrics at every stage-gate of the innovation process through a validated learning model. Undertaking innovation this way, they help a company qualify and disqualify initiatives before they get too far down the development path, an approach that saves time, resources, and the opportunity cost of pursuing the wrong initiatives.
Secure Relevant Resources
Innovation initiatives often must compete for resources with other product lines. Bringing in a digital product innovation consultant can help bring balance to this equation. By offering insights into how the new product can be funded, what resources are needed, and how the product will generate ROI, they help a company prioritize resources accordingly. Companies that work with digital product innovation consultants achieve better innovation results while spending fewer resources.
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Tips on How to Hire Digital Product Innovation Consultants
Hiring digital product innovation consultants is a step in the right direction towards achieving effective and profitable digital products. However, the process of hiring such an expert must align with the company’s innovation agenda and requirements. Therefore, companies seeking to hire digital product innovation specialists must perform due diligence in analyzing the specialist’s hard and soft skills, experience, and other competencies. Picking the right expert from your panel for your project will help ensure you achieve a faster project run time and maximize the qualitative and quantitative results you achieve.
In your digital product innovation consultants’ panel, consider filtering your options based on the specific skills and capabilities outlined below:
Founded Research and Data Analysis Skills
Data-driven innovation is the gold standard of innovation today. The best digital product innovation consultants ensure you capitalize on this trend and capture valuable insights from the data you collect. They achieve this by collecting, collating, and analyzing data to isolate patterns that can be useful in identifying possible innovation opportunities. The information they collect can be related to markets, manufacturing, R&D, or product use-cases. They also have first-hand data collection skills that help them secure data from partners, vendors, distributors, and suppliers.
The best digital product innovation consultants use conceptual thinking to see underlying patterns and connections and zoom into the underlying issues. Such thinking is especially useful in identifying customer needs before they manifest, a key component of forward-thinking innovation. Working with digital product innovation specialists with this mindset helps a company stay one step ahead of the competition by connecting and combining disparate ideas and data sets to realize novel digital products. Hiring a digital product innovation specialist with conceptual thinking will also ensure a holistic perspective that considers possible pitfalls on the path to innovation.
Digital product innovation consultants help companies identify and ride digital trends through timely digital products. They bring in-depth insights into digital trends like machine learning, Ai, the blockchain, robotics, and the on-demand economy, helping companies unlock possible synergies with these trends. Companies that work with digital product innovation consultants respond better and faster to these disruptive trends, going on to create blockbuster products that, in some cases, overshadow legacy products. In this way, working with an innovation specialist helps a company future-proof its business through timely and relevant new digital products.
The best digital product innovation consultants bring technical competence in their specified field of practice. For instance, specialists focused on fintech innovations bring deep insights and technical expertise in technologies like cybersecurity, chatbots, and customer experience Ai, and the financial blockchain. Companies in this field, therefore, benefit greatly from the knowledge that may not be available within current employee ranks. Leveraging these skills, digital product innovation consultants introduce new systems, technologies, and processes into a company that enables it to advance its innovation agenda effectively.
Digital product innovations often must compete for resources, buy-in, and goodwill against established products. The best digital product innovation consultants understand this and act as innovation advocates within your company, creating a fertile ground upon which innovations can flourish. They use advocacy to onboard management, secure funding for feature development, and carve a route-to-market path for new digital products. Companies that rely on digital product innovation consultants reduce innovation bottlenecks, secure innovation resources faster, and deploy more-effective products to market.
Collaborative Team Player
The best digital product innovation consultants bring a collaborative team spirit into the innovation process. They use these skills to bring together cross-functional teams from engineering, design, sales and marketing, and manufacturing. With these teams working cohesively, the digital product innovation consultant can lead successful product development initiatives that enjoy broad internal support. By fostering a collaborative environment, they also encourage team members to think outside the box and propose ideas that they believe can help propel the new digital product to success.