Webinar De-brief: Key Takeaways

You may have been one of the many who attended the first Webtrends Optimize webinar last week (26 November 2020), but don’t worry if you missed it as you can watch it in full on YouTube – and/or download the slides.

We’re all busy people though and you may not have the chance to review the full thing yet, so I thought it would be good to provide a brief overview of some of the key takeaways from the session.

AB Testing is A LOT OF THINGS

AB Testing, even by itself, is the culmination of a whole bunch of activities. We see it as the vehicle by which you can do a load of things including incremental improvements to UX and UI, personalisation, product rollouts, innovation… plus others.

Incremental improvements are what most people think of using AB Testing for (see a problem, fix a problem, get lift, move onto the next problem) – and personalisation in itself is a microcosm of various things such as recency, relevancy, guidance, nudging etc.

We see the more advanced programmes adopting experimentation as a part of product releases, quite often paired with a delivery mechanism like Feature-Flags instead of JavaScript injection. i.e. A simple on/off switch you could write with an IF statement to decide between the current and new versions. This might be slightly slower, but better. You’re not just in the build/release cycle, you’re thinking too.

CRO is MUCH MORE

Everything that includes making things better is CRO. Including how you get there. And most processes for making things better don’t start with ‘just doing’, they start with learning, researching, understanding.

It’s a fairly simplistic view but if we consider AB testing the ‘doing’ then where better to start than your analytics. Analyse your data, find problems and opportunities, friction points. How deep are you looking at the moment? When you are watching the session you will notice that Sandeep covers a few good examples of this.

Research MATTERS

You then have other forms of research such as listening to the voice of your customer (via things such as reviews, surveys etc.), user lab testing sessions and prototyping. These are all important elements of understanding what it is you are trying to achieve.

These can be often underutilised or overlooked simply because it might take a bit more time or effort, but the insight can be so much richer than simply looking at aggregate data in an analytics tool. You also get feedback from two very important groups of people here – people that love you, and people that loathe you. And both can be very insightful.

As with all these things a blend is important. But don’t waste time by just doing things. Learn first, and then solve the actual problem.

Innovate OR DIE

Perhaps ‘or die’ is a bit extreme, but the point is: Leaders Lead. If you’ve got, or want, a good brand, you need to understand the customer demand, what other technology in your space is out there that people are becoming familiar with, or might be starting to come into the mainstream and could affect your company/market share.

Try to move in that direction, prove the value of the demand or innovation for your own business, or at least understand if/how it might hurt you and adapt accordingly to differentiate, before it’s too late. There is good value in making sure you’re always one-step ahead of the competition and not playing catch up.

As Peep Laja, founder of CXL said “One of the biggest problems is that a lot of people just look at other people’s websites and then try to create a better version of what they saw. They miss out on the fact that differentiation strategy is often how you beat the competition.”

Find WHAT HURTS

Look at real business problems. Weaknesses and Threats. Things that could be a real issue in in the future – 1 year, 3 years, 5 years… Not just the ‘today’ problems.

It’s not always easy to convince people those are the right things to prioritise when so many are concerned with ‘today’ issues or proving immediate worth, but there is more value to your business when not just looking at the here and now.

Look BEYOND LIFT

We appreciate this is difficult. Everyone wants to see a lift. It’s what we all report on and get asked for most of the time. But try and educate people on the value of solving real problems – beyond just an immediate percentage improvement or cash benefit.

Will what you’re doing strengthen the business as a whole, save money in resources or processes elsewhere, generate additional ROI longer term…

To conclude…

I’d like to finish by just saying that there is no substitute for the real thing – Sandeep and Matt cover these points in a lot more detail than I can here, as well as some real-world business problems (and much more) and I would urge you to take the time to watch the full session whenever you can.

I hope the above will give you a little taster of what was covered and helps in some small way.

Given this one was such a success, we will be doing another webinar in the new year and once again we will be throwing it out to our social following to choose the subject. Follow us on LinkedIn and keep an eye out for the poll which will be going live in a couple of weeks so you can have your say!