March 29, 2017

Data-Driven Design Goes Global: Clearhead Opens London Office

Today marks the beginning of a new chapter for me and for Clearhead, the digital optimisation company headquartered in Austin. We’re opening a London office with the intent of better serving our European clients and further extending our global offering.

Conventional thinking would align optimisation techniques to the continuation of an existing, stable, live product, iteratively making small changes to incrementally improve engagement, conversion and retention.

But when should you start optimising? When you’re at MVP? When you’ve identified the need for a new product? Or when you register your company?

The truth is the sooner you start testing and validating your approach using robust data the sooner you move from lucky outcomes, opinion and ultimately guess work to learning and improving based on fact (what we refer to within Clearhead as the Physics of ROI).

It’s an ethos that native tech companies and startups have championed, where the practice of optimisation runs through to the very DNA of operations, underpinning every process and decision made. Unconstrained by legacy, siloed data applications, their operations are inherently data centric, built from the ground up with access to all their data–current, robust, accessible.

Anyone who attended the A/B testing talks at this year’s SXSW will know just how important optimisation is to the very success of the likes of Etsy, Intuit, Uber and Netflix, where the practice of experimentation has allowed them to radically improve customer experience and the algorithms that feed their core services

But A/B testing is just part of the story, which contributes to a much broader set of processes, tools and skillsets that forms an optimisation programme. Beyond marketing and aesthetic decisions, optimisation programmes have the potential to help companies assess and improve any part of their organisation, determining entirely new product paths and business models.

So why a European office for Clearhead?

Clearhead has supported a number of great companies in Europe from its Austin offices for several years now. With a growing and consistent appreciation for experimentation and for a more scientific approach to design from its European clients, the market was hungry for Clearhead’s methodology and approach to UX and optimisation.

And it’s easy to see why. I know of no consultancy/agency like it. Now a 60+ strong team across five locations, I’m the first “agency” bod they’ve hired. Founded by ecommerce executives, the team is predominantly from client ecommerce and digital product environments. Which, refreshingly, means direct access to best-in-class consultants and practitioners.

The process and rigour that underpins Clearhead’s proposition is born out of decades of digital product development and experimentation for some of the world’s most successful brands. Most importantly, Clearhead focuses on identifying and validating real problems to solve. Clearhead’s Problem Solution Mapping methodology does just that by asking the right questions to surface the problems most worth solving.

Lastly, experimentation and personalization tech has made leaps and bounds in the past few years, becoming almost universally adopted by the major players in every sector. No longer constrained to web pages, full-stack multi-device optimisation is giving those that choose to implement it a huge advantage. However, the results of those investments are profoundly affected by the quality of the experiments undertaken.

It’s Clearhead’s market-leading ability to support every element of their clients’ optimisation ambitions–from business design to programme management–that for me set them apart, shifting the paradigm on how to build successful products & services.

If you’d like to learn more about Clearhead’s European business or are interested in working with us, let’s talk.

Ed Tomalin, Head of European Business, Clearhead
Ed Tomalin, Head of European Business, Clearhead