July 16, 2015

Clearhead highlights from Opticon 2015

We had an amazing week in San Francisco in June. Many thanks and high fives to the Optimizely crew, our clients who attended and participated, as well as our own team who represented Clearhead at the conference and kept things running smoothly at the office. We hope everyone who attended learned as much as we did and came away with some sweet swag.

Here are a few of our highlights from Opticon 2015. And yes, we’re already counting down the days until Opticon 2016.

Clearhead named Partner of the Year

We were named a finalist for a record five Optie Awards this year, and we’re happy to say we brought home some hardware!

A testament to the caliber of our team and our clients, Clearhead was named Partner of the Year for 2015. Optimizely recognized that Clearhead has “built meaningful relationships and driven incredible business value for joint clients, resulting in the highest joint client satisfaction scores from all of our partners.” They added that Clearhead gives “true meaning to the word partner with their vision for the future and expertise in the category of optimization.”

We also shared the award for Most Dramatic Business Impact with our client Village Roadshow. The largest operator of theme parks in Australia, Village Roadshow wanted to test a new way to present their VIP and regular ticket options, hypothesizing that a cleaner visual hierarchy would increase order conversion rates and revenue. Short benefits tables were tested against longer scrolling pages in a complex multivariate experiment. The result was a dramatic lift in conversion rates as well as revenue. According to Optimizely, “this test takes the cake for having the most dramatic business impact because it was (a) disruptive — the team tried new designs, experiences and value propositions, (b) multivariate and (c) yielded huge lifts on conversions.”

Optimizely launched Personalization

Opticon kicked off with a big announcement from CEO and co-founder Dan Siroker: Optimizely Personalization. We’ve been testing this product for a couple months, and our client Mike Wodtke from Blu Dot was featured prominently in the intro video. “The person who provides the best experience to that unique customer, regardless of device type, is going to win,” he said.

With Optimizely Personalization, users will be able to discover the right audiences, target them in real time and measure the impact on their business. “This product allows us to finally deliver on the promise of personalization,” said Siroker. “We intend to do for personalization what we did for A/B testing—make it available to everyone.”

For more information, check out Optimizely’s blog post on Personalization.

Matty Wishnow shared insights making optimization stick

What does it take to build a data-driven culture? The journey from your first A/B tests to continuous optimization can be long and challenging. Clearhead CEO Matty Wishnow was joined on stage by Jon Satterley, Village Roadshow’s group director of digital development, Mike Wodtke, director of ecommerce at BluDot, for a panel on adopting and sustaining optimization.

According to Wishnow, that doesn’t necessarily mean testing every single click on your site. Rather it starts with a commitment to solving qualified problems, then socializing that approach across key business investments. When optimization is not just another thing but a fundamental part of the organization, that’s making it stick.

matty & mike 1- small

One successful example of this is Blu Dot. Wodtke said getting some early wins, even if they are just singles, is crucial for long-term success. In addition to building positive momentum, they can add up to home runs down the line. And as you continue test, your hypotheses will continue to get smarter since every experiment is a learning experience.

“We now over index on optimization,” said Wodtke. “There is almost nothing on the website that doesn’t get tested. We had some big wins, we built on them and now it’s part of the culture.”

John Satterley has had a different experience at Village Roadshow, which is a multi-national media and entertainment company. “In businesses where product has always trumped everything else, new ideas like this are very difficult for people to connect with,” he said. “It often just boils down to people, who gets it and who doesn’t.”

To help more people get it, Satterley presented his MOP UP plan—Measure, Optimize and Personalize to Uplift Profits—to as many stakeholders as possible. This accessible approach focused on ROI across the organization, and ultimately won him plenty of supporters and allies.

“There’s risk in all of this,” concluded Wishnow. “But there is greater risk in the alternative, in not knowing what will succeed.”

Optimizely benchmark report shows just how far we’ve come

Based on a survey of over 400 digital channel owners, the first Optimization Benchmark Report provided unique insights into the current state of testing and personalization.

“We’ve come a long way,” said Shana Rusonis, content marketing manager at Optimizely. “The number one thing to test is now complex UX, not simple A/B hypotheses.”

Another major finding in the report was success is highly dependent on building a strong cross-functional team. Clearhead was actually used as an example of an organization who is doing it right. By leveraging optimization directors, designers, front-end developers, analysts and project managers, we’re able to execute entire programs or supercharge existing teams with a wide range of optimization specialists.

Download the free report to get more insights on why and how you should invest in optimization.

Ryan Garner announced data-driven redesigns

In case you missed it, Clearhead co-founder and EVP Ryan Garner presented our newest service on the main stage at Opticon. Leveraging the same process we use for optimization and personalization programs, data-driven redesigns ensure sites are tested and validated before, during and after launch.

“We often see redesigns start with solution orientation, and then they tend to be very insular,” Garner explained. “Everything is about which platform or what tools, rather than delivering an optimized experience.”

One slide in particular compelled the audience to start snapping pictures during the presentation:

Data-Driven Redesign Process

For more details, check out our announcement and stay tuned for a full exploration on data-driven redesigns.