The Metrics that Count for New User Adoption within your Route to Market channel

In a previous blog post we discussed the strategies and tactics for ensuring success when deploying new technology or projects within your Route to Market channel. Sure, it can be daunting but by taking a holistic and milestone based approach, the light at the end of the tunnel should be brighter.

Change management plays an important role in successfully outlining the implementation plan and aligning with specific resources. Whether using ADKAR change management framework, 3 C’s of Change Leadership or taking pointers from our lessons learnt, fully understanding the project outcomes should include a budget, goals, timelines, resources, and communication strategies.

In basic terms, user adoption, or sometimes called onboarding, is the process by which new users become acclimated to an application, product or service and decide to keep using it. This article takes a deeper look into what user adoption is, typical frameworks that can assist with deployments and how to adequately track performance. For the simplicity of the article, the term ‘user’ could be interchangeable with employee or customer.

What is User Adoption?

Since the explosion of digital technology there is new terminology and lingo. Not to be confused with User Acquisition, User Adoption is a vital component to ensuring users are using your application after they have been onboarded.

  • User Acquisition: refers to the process of acquiring new users for an application. It involves marketing, sales, user onboarding, and any process that helps transform prospects into loyal users.
  • User adoption: defined as the process new users go through when they start working with your application. In this journey, they leave behind an old product or process and adapt your product for the long run (only because your product is better suited to their needs and is more effective).

Improving user adoption can help you fight churn, bring in good customer loyalty at the end of the customer journey and easier upsell opportunities. But what are the benefits to an organization focusing on adoption rates?

Benefits of User Adoption Rates

User adoption rates are important because they tell a company or business how many users like the new application or version and how many don’t like it or do not try it. Most often, a higher adoption rate means a customer finds both value and ease in using the new application or version. Conversely, if a customer finds it requires too much effort to use or doesn’t add value, they may abandon the application altogether or stay with an older version.

But more importantly to the business, the benefits of high user adoption rates can lead to profit and growth through:

  •  – Increased retention of customers
  •  – Better marketing return on investment (ROI)
  •  – Higher customer lifetime value (CLV)
  •  – Less cost per acquisition (CPA)
  •  – Lower customer marketing and retention costs

User Adoption Frameworks

There are plenty of reasons to implement a user adoption strategy. Each differs based on experience and specific focus. But, perhaps one of the simplest frameworks can be found for Microsoft’s Office 365. Breaking the process down into three distinct phases — startup, experiment, and enable — helps streamline adoption for everyone.

  •  – Start: In this first phase, you’ll put together a small group of super users as it were to try out the application. This approach will increase your technical familiarity with the app and help you to build the skills necessary to successfully complete subsequent phases.
  •  – Experiment: In this phase of controlled growth, you’ll bring your internal champions and early adopters onboard. You’ll speak with your users to identify scenarios that would immediately benefit from the features and benefits the app provides. You’ll gather feedback that will inform your broad-scale adoption phase.
  •  – Scale: This is the broad-scale deployment phase in which you’ll open on the app capabilities for all your user base. In this phase, the size of your organization will determine whether this is a “go big” project that will go live across all users simultaneously or if you’ll approach this by region, business unit, or other method of segmenting your user population.

Based on the experience gained across our 7500 users across 16 countries within Sub Saharan Africa we recommend you measure the success of a user adoption strategy. Following these six steps:

1. Narrow down your goal

Define what user adoption means to you, the business or the application. Collaborate with various stakeholders, conduct research and user studies to focus attention on the best goals for success.

2. Choose what changes influence the goal

Brainstorm and research what the application needs to change to drive user adoption and meet the goal. Are there factors preventing a user from seeing value in the application or does it inadvertently convey that it takes a lot of effort to use?

3. Pick measurement metrics

Once you determine your goal and how the application can achieve it, choose which measurement metrics you want to use to rate your user adoption strategy. Be sure to capture a baseline metric first to serve as a starting point when comparing metrics to see the impact of adoption changes.

4. Determine a tracking method

Setting up a tracking method and deciding which metrics or events to track can help you understand how the implementation is going or if there are any issues to resolve that can influence user adoption during implementation. Consider giving thought to:

  • – What timeline to create for important project milestones and events
  • – Which events or milestones to track, like launch day, sale promotions or revenue totals
  • – How often to track metrics, like daily, weekly or monthly
  • – Which tracking tool or system to use

5. Implement adoption changes

After establishing timelines and tracking tools, create a launch date to implement application changes and promotional advertising and marketing. Depending on your application, you might release all changes at once, which can increase adoption rates, or you can use A/B testing to determine which changes create the highest impact from a user perspective.

6. Review the metrics

When your project timeline and tracking have come to a close and all metrics get gathered, review your results and the KPIs you initially selected as measurements of success. A good sign of successful implementation and user adoption is when users are more engaged.

Metrics for User Adoption

While overall application adoption is an extremely useful metric to track, it is a business rather than experience metric. Focusing purely on creates a myopic approach, often dooming overall success to failure. Incorporating some aspects of engagement helps link performance as an indicator of true adoption success.

There are several metrics you can use to track user adoption:

  •  – Application adoption: Application adoption is the number of people that sign to use your application. You can calculate this by dividing the number of total signups you have by the number of new users.
  •  – Time to first action: This metric helps you track how long it takes for a user to interact with your application. It can tell you how many people purchase your product after engaging with your company or products.
  •  – Active users: You can track how many active users you have on a particular day or in a time period. This shows you how many adopters you have interacting with your application.
  •  – Time spent: This metric shows how long customers use your application. You can calculate the duration they spend using the application to see if it matches your expectations.
  •  – Net promoter score: Net promoter score shows you how likely customers are to recommend your app to others.

Now let’s look at some scenarios or use cases that you may be experiencing and some of the metrics you could or should be monitoring.

Moving from Adoption to Loyalty

Knowing how to track and measure your user adoption strategy, and incorporating change management improvement is going to be a continuous process. But the results are well worth the effort. Increased user retention and revenue expansion will help you grow your business with dedicated users that won’t quit you.

Getting the initial trial or first use is only part of the challenge. Once the user has been successfully onboarded, the next challenge is keeping them engaged and consuming your application. Making use of some form of B2B loyalty program can help entice trial and reward specific new behaviours within the adoption process.

The continued use or stickiness of the app remains rooted in (a) how relevant you are, (b) how keep your promise and (c) how value is continuously added. In our next blog post within this series we unpack the formula to stickiness.

The Solution

MACmobile’s approach to B2B Loyalty is to encourage adoption, drive specific behaviours and foster true loyalty.

FIELDLoyalty is a platform that enables CPG manufacturers to deploy B2B Loyalty & Rewards within their route to market value chain to change specific behaviours to drive sales and meet target.

With FIELDLoyalty installed within distribution you can effectively:

  •  – Assist with user onboarding
  •  – Reward adoption
  •  – Drive process best practice
  •  – Encourage application stickiness

Once the project is well entrenched, FIELDLoyalty can then be utilized to further drive volume and availability KPIs; ensure promotion and compliance; and encourage engagement across the channel.

If you are looking at deploying new RTM technology or adding additional touchpoints to your channel, get in touch and we can arrange a deep dive into our best practices and unpack our learned experience.


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