Friday 4th March, 2016

At Dando, we love Fridays.

And not because– as was keenly observed by the greatest thinker of our time, Rebecca Black– it means that tomorrow is Saturday, but because Fridays are for Dando Day. On the first Friday of every month, we all gather into the Humanarium (the big glass box that is our boardroom), and we work on ourselves as an innovative and creative agency. 

But Dando Day isn’t really about Dando; it’s about you. You, and a cheetah named InnovationIn the digital world, innovation moves so fast, that she’s not just a cheetah– she’s a cheetah with a jet pack.

This begs the question, what really is innovation?

This Dando Day, innovation took three different forms: the first was improved reporting, followed by developing knowledge sharing. Our final innovation of the day involved online conversions.


Innovation #1: Reporting

As an agency, we pride ourselves on transparency–even literally, hence the glass office front, and the glass boardroom/Humanarium). We want clients to know how their digital solutions are being implemented, and –most importantly– how they’re driving their business towards profit. So naturally, we invest a great deal in reporting back to our clients. In the good old days, you’d wait weeks to receive a letter or telegram. Months, even. Then came airmail, then came email, then came instant messaging. We realised most of our client reporting was living around the monthly email level, or maybe at the instant messaging level. We saw our own capabilities as able to go far beyond that. We wanted continuous communication and clarity in our reporting process, so we started working on the ideas of reporting dashboards. For clients, this would mean that they were able to log in at any time of day or night and see just how Dando was working for them, effectively collapsing monthly reporting into 24/7 accessibility.


Innovation #2: Knowledge Sharing

The next major outcome followed the same thread of transparency. This Dando Day, we put our new Tech Updates initiative into motion. We will deliver Tech Updates through the Dando Blog to help anyone who visits it understand what’s going on in the digital world and how they can turn these changes into profit i.e. where this darn cheetah-with-a-jet-pack is going, and how you can get on board with this skyrocketing trajectory. One stereotype we hope to destroy with this publication is that of the non-communicative computer boffin, who hoards the secrets of the internet like a magpie with a keyboard. We’re a creative digital agency, not just a digital agency: some of us are programmers and developers, and some of us are writers and marketeers, and some of us are bizarre and beautiful hybrids. We’re not just focused on delivering solutions that benefit you, we’re focused on delivering innovative solutions that you understand and that drive your profit. Innovative solutions that we can demonstrate to you on the spot, and innovative solutions that you can understand.


Innovation #3: Online Conversions

When we talk about innovative solutions, we are often working within the realms of imagination. Our final outcome of the day started with just that…

“Oh, if only I had a dollar for every click I got on my website…”

It would be awesome if you could have a dollar for every visitor, but you know what would be even better? Turning those visitors into loyal customers.

We’re talking about conversions: the number of people who actually do what you want them to do when they visit your website. Maybe you want them to book in for an appointment, or buy your product, or give you their email address. Ok, so the bad news is that nobody as yet has created a method to generate 100% conversion. But as that’s still our goal, we thought we’d better keep researching.

This Dando Day, we discussed Google’s new Accelerated Mobile Pages, (AMP for short), and how they can deliver faster loading speeds to mobile browsers through a series of innovations in page structural standardisation and cloud caching. This impacts on conversion rates, as it means mobile users can view much the same website at much the same rate as their desktop user counterparts. This spikes puts conversions because, as specialist research confirms, 58% of mobile users will switch off if the page load time nears ten seconds. We’re looking at how to implement similar strategies for Dando clients, and how they might help us reach that coveted 100%….


The very fact that we managed to squeeze all of that (plus a screening of a long-lost Steve Jobs interview over Grill’d burgers) left us all brimming with optimism about the future of Dando. March is going to be a month of serious innovation, and there truly has never been a better time to be a part the Dando family. We don’t know about you, but we’re really, really excited for the next Friday.