global tech company gamer platform

Incubating design teams

Staffing agencies look at business problems strictly to staff contractors. High-powered consultancies don’t scale well. My role as Digital Practice Director allowed me to bring the scale of a staffing agency with the strategy of a consultancy to incubate a design team at a multi-billion-dollar worldwide technology company.

Understand the problem

CUSTOMER DRIVERS

Customers – youthful PC gamers – want to associate with other gamers and gaming technologies that represent shared interests and incentivize them to participate in live events.

BUSINESS DRIVERS

The business knew that they needed to pivot from a traditionally transactional model to one that could deeply and relevantly engage with gamers.

TALENT GAP

The business wanted to build a community competency inside their four walls rather than completely outsource the effort. Consultancies would be too expensive, but internal hiring would take too long.

OPPORTUNITY

I developed a partnership model whereby my company would incubate the talent model while designing, building, and launching a gamer platform for their growing business.

Build a Winning Team

By leveraging a contingent labor model, I worked alongside a recruiting team to vet top candidates based on experience in design, online community development, and PC-based gaming.

Imperatives

  • Embed my team into the fabric of the client’s team
  • Ensure proper daily and weekly oversight at the product and project levels with in-house, non-billable talent
  • Align myself strategically with client leadership to make sure team was not only aligned but prepared to take on new work further down the roadmap

define a delivery strategy

We deployed the team inside the four walls of our client as if they were part of their existing full-time team. 

This model increased accountability and decreased silos during the project.

Shared outcomes

We mapped out key outcomes that would be shared between my team and their business.

 

  • Research: perform a survey of existing gamer customers to understand motivations, intent, and behaviors
  • Journey: map the gamer personas back to intentional interaction “moments” designed to engage gamers with our client, and with one another
  • Ecosystem: analyze multiple SaaS-based platforms and make recommendations back to our client to select a system that would not only serve the needs of the gamer audience but also scale to other segments in the future
  • Design: design the gamer system based on user needs and platform capabilities
  • Content management: curate content from outside gamer channels (e.g. Twitch, YouTube), create internal content (e.g. live gaming events), and moderate discussion, and manage promotional events
  • Develop and deploy: create an agile process for an MVP launch, then rapidly deliver iterative releases, being nimble and flexible with the backlog as requirements flex.

As the contractor team aligned to the shared outcomes, they worked alongside the client’s full time team.  The image above shows the team engaging in a design thinking workshop to define key journey moments.

Results

The co-managed talent model led to successful deployment of the gamer platform in just two months and was presented at CES 2020.  The team continues to design new experiences and deliver rapidly.

  • Proven Organic Marketing Activities & Messaging: We recorded more than 14,000 unique visitors in the first two months.
  • High Engagement: We saw an impressive 56-minute average time on site per user per day, reflecting the high content value we provided to the platform.
  • ROI Maximization: We identified, trained, and promoted three volunteer moderators from the gamer platform.
  • Direction Validation: Following initial launch, we validated features, functions, and user needs. We completed a survey with over 4,000 participants to understand how we could evolve the community, demonstrating our lasting partnership with the client.

Say Hello!

I love taking on new projects and speaking engagements.  Please let me know what you’re working on and how I can be a fit for you.

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Copyright Eric E. Ellis. All Rights Reserved.