Where Physical Meets Digital by Lucy Gill "Product people - Product managers, product designers, UX designers, UX researchers, Business analysts, developers, makers & entrepreneurs 28 April 2021 True Apps, Customer Needs, education, Product Discovery, ProductTank, ProductTank London, Mind the Product Mind the Product Ltd 418 Lucy Gill speaking at London ProductTank Product Management 1.672
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Where Physical Meets Digital by Lucy Gill

For companies that are used to creating and managing physical products, the shift to digital can be quite challenging. In this ProductTank London talk, Lucy Gill, Founder of Digills Consulting gives some insight into these challenges.

She takes us through:

  • Things that catch companies off guard
  • Why established businesses struggle
  • Examples of physical and digital products working in unison

Watch the video to see Lucy’s talk in full. Or read on for an overview of her key points.

Things That Catch Companies Off Guard

In her role as a consultant in the edtech space, Lucy finds that there are a few things that catch companies off guard when they try to develop digital products. Companies may look at digital products and assume that since there is no need to buy inventory, no long lead times and no physical manufacturing process, that things are simple. However, digital products come with their own product development and management issues.

Art and design might seem like secondary concepts but are in fact some of the most critical. Many companies are not clear about how this translates across the brand. There is also a lack of clarity as to what a specific app needs to do.

When building a digital product, you need to understand what the customer wants and know that customer service is a never-ending aspect of digital products. Digital also has its own unique discovery challenges. While you may no longer be dealing with distributors or retailers, you now need to know about search engine and AppStore optimization to get your product in front of users.

Why Established Businesses Struggle

Established businesses struggle because in some cases their teams may be too specialized, this makes it difficult for them to adapt to the digital world. They also struggle to understand the business model in the digital space. Calling on examples from her own work in the education space, using ads or in-app purchases is not feasible, so they need to find alternatives.


As a final takeaway, Lucy gives us a couple of examples of how physical and digital products can work in unison in the children’s education space. The goal is not for one to replace the other, but to put them together to achieve the goal. Simply packaging a physical book as an e-book doesn’t offer much value. However, augmenting the physical book with digital helps to create a larger ecosystem. Also, augmenting children’s toys with digital can help bring the screen to life.

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