Sociocultural Environment (Tutorial)

Boom Bust & Echo

Demographics explains “two-thirds of everything”. - Foote, Boom Bust & Echo

Last spring, I worked alongside the mobile engineering team of one of the world’s wealthiest banks. The goal was to build the mobile banking app of the future.

After interviewing a number of industry thought leaders - from Serverless Software Engineers to Design Sprint Masters - I realized that everyone from Google to Square was creating the Fourth Industrial Bank.

77 percent of users never use an app again 72 hours after installing. - Android Authority

When I discovered that Millennials were the largest demographic group in North America as of June 2016, I sprung into action.

When I worked alongside the mobile engineering team of one of the world’s wealthiest banks, it was the opportunity of a lifetime. Their goal was to build the mobile banking app of the future.

The core team was comprised of some of the most intelligent people I’d ever met. Everyone had their specific areas of expertise: serverless backend engineering, user experience, etc.

Me? I earned a seat at the table by identifying, actionable, million-dollar ideas in quick succession using Professor Richardson’s Six-Environment Theory. It was the first time I’d apply my Headhunting knowledge, skills, and abilities towards the task of Enterprise Mobile Product Development.

In order to create the mobile banking app of the future, we needed to create a captivating User Experience (UX) that users would be extremely likely to recommend to their friends. Specifically, I wanted to customize our user experience towards the specific group of people that were the most likely to use, receive benefit from, and RECOMMEND a mobile banking app to their friends.

By recognizing the Power of the Sociocultural Environment, the decision of which Target Market to focus our mobile banking app’s user experience was DEAD SIMPLE.

Boom Bust & Echo taught me to focus on the on the largest demographic group in the country. My rationale for choosing Milennials as the juiciest, most profitable target market for our mobile banking app of the future, went like this:

  • if Word-of-Mouth advertising leads to Product Trial and Product Purchase…
  • and If 18-34 year old Millennials are the number one user of mobile apps…
  • and Millennials tell their parents what apps to download…
  • if Millennials downloaded and received a massive amount of value from our app…
  • they’d tell their parents - Generation X & Baby Boomers - to test our mobile banking app, eventually leading to Product Purchase!

In other words, by focusing on the Problems Worth Solving & Jobs To Be Done of a single demographic group, I believed we’d eventually get the rest of the market.

We made our pitch for a Millennial-centric UI/UX and waited to hear back.

Unfortunately, I was too late. Just months later, they integrated with Apple & Google Pay. Venmo is now on track to process to process over $20 billion worth of transactions per year.

What will Apple & Google do now that they have an unlimited supply of Millennial purchasing data? Invent their own bank, of course. They are, after all, the masters of Data-Driven Product Development.