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The Challenge
The Solution
The result
Case Studies

Cox Automotive Increases its product install base by 20X

The Challenge

Cox Automotive’s vAuto division offers auto dealers SaaS solutions to better manage their inventory. They had been highly successful in the past, but they were no longer seeing the gains they needed to continue to grow market share.

The team had already discovered the most obvious opportunities for product innovation—now they needed to find the not-so-obvious opportunities to keep ahead of their competitors.

But vAuto was up against an unreliable innovation process. How could they know for sure which capabilities would really matter to their customers?

According to Randy Kobat, SVP at Cox Automotive: “We would spend time launching new features in the software, and they just weren’t adopted. And they didn’t make a measurable improvement in the performance of the business.”

What was the disconnect? The vAuto team was doubting their ability to outline a successful product roadmap to attract new customers and sought out a more reliable framework for their innovation efforts.


Strategyn helped us understand that our product was poorly positioned and failed to get important parts of the job done. They helped us identify and fill the gaps, which we accomplished with targeted development and M&A activity. The project had a significant financial impact to the business. We have had similar successes with other ODI projects.”

The solution

Randy discovered Strategyn’s Outcome-Driven Innovation (ODI) process and decided to test it out.

ODI provided him and his team a step-by-step framework to uncover exactly what their customers were trying to accomplish, what they needed in a solution, and how they would measure success. The Outcome-Driven Innovation process was executed in five steps:

The Outcome-Driven Innovation process we used for Cox Automotive included five steps:

  • The first step was to define their market around the job-to-be-done and the people executing that job. For Randy and vAuto, the market was car dealers managing dealership inventory.

  • The team conducted qualitative interviews with people in their market to create a complete list of their customers needs.

  • The next step was to use surveys to quantify the degree to which each need was under- or overserved by existing solutions in the market.

  • Many of the customer needs were already covered, Randy and team needed to see which specific segments of their customers were struggling more than others. The ODI segmentation helped them uncover their next round of opportunities for product innovation.

  • With insights from the first four steps, Randy and his team had what they needed to clearly define their product roadmap around helping customers better complete their job-to-be-done—and market the solution appropriately.

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The result

By following the proven Outcome-Driven Innovation framework, Randy and the vAuto team were able to formulate a reliable product growth strategy—and move forward confidently with their innovations.

“ODI has helped us to understand what we do for our clients—and what we could do for our clients. It has broadened our thinking of our place to stand in the marketplace.”

Did it work out? You bet. In Randy’s own words:

“The project had a significant financial impact to the vAuto business. Today, we have about 4,000 clients using the solution, a lot of which I attribute to the work we did with Strategyn to help us understand how to position the product properly and how to innovate and add value.”

The insights vAuto gleaned from the ODI process were so useful that Randy and team continue to use the data to inform product innovation, marketing, M&A activity —several years after project completion.

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It is highly unlikely that we would have focused on these outcomes, defined this feature set, or made the right trade-off decisions without having the benefit of Outcome-Driven analysis.”

RANDALL COE, Director of Product Development

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If you’re ready to launch the next big thing, it’s time to upgrade to Outcome-Driven Innovation. Get in touch to speak with one of our innovation experts.

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