“Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view” 

 I have been working in the CRO industry for over 5 years now. An industry that’s seen enormous change with so many vendors coming and going (or being swallowed up by the giants). Some are rising and some falling, and some are changing their approach, but I’ve found that unless people are directly affected by those changes or they (metaphorically speaking) slap you in the face, then it’s very hard to alter existing perceptions.

This is only natural human behaviour, and we all tend to do this to some extent in all aspects of our day-to-day lives, allowing our pre-conceived ideas to determine our relationships and views on certain things.

A perfect example of this is my own company. Is your perception of Webtrends Optimize still rooted in reality? Is it based on a review of our platform or capabilities from 5 years ago? 3 years ago? Even 18 months ago?

The CRO market

As I suggested above, I also see this a lot in the CRO industry as a whole. I spend the majority of my time at the moment speaking with our clients and prospects, and the feedback I hear is that there is a great need for a re-alignment of the common perceptions here too.

From my observations, the last 2 years specifically have seen a huge change. Things such as:

  • Prices being pushed well above what would be deemed ordinary inflation (sometimes 2 or 3 times the previous contract rate) so only an elite few can afford them
  • Long-standing partnerships being fractured as the the partners are edged out
  • Reluctance in developing core technology and allowing performance to deteriorate at the cost of the client’s site performance/page render
  • Some vendors only interested in making a quick buck, delivering the minimum (‘low hanging fruit’) and not being prepared to take on what the clients really want
  • Technical support being ‘offshored’ or reduced

These are just a few of the things that I’m being told.

A big 15 months

We ourselves (Webtrends Optimize) have seen a huge change over the past year or so. The business is completely separated from Webtrends Inc. and is now a pure, standalone AB/MVT testing and Personalisation business.

As a product offering, Webtrends Optimize is unrecognisable from 15 months ago. Not just aesthetically, or in terms of UX, but the core product offering continues to grow as well. We’ve come from the majority of the team and clients using a decade-old interface built in Flash, and a Visual Editor interface with a proxy-based solution which required continual maintenance, to something genuinely more sophisticated. A response from a recent demo from someone who has experienced a lot of CRO platforms was that “it’s great you’ve not just copied everyone else… it’s so much more intuitive”. I love hearing this stuff as it’s exactly what we’re aiming to do.

We also now offer a tech only solution and we’ve migrated to a new cloud hosted environment to improve performance and allow us to develop product enhancements quicker than we have ever done before (new releases every 2 weeks). This is key because technology changes so fast and we want to remain at the cutting edge and deliver the very best for our clients and partners.

Our market-leading services and support team has doubled in size (based fully in the UK), client satisfaction is the highest it’s ever been, and the feedback is flattering. Our partnership programme is also flying, with more and more active partners by the day. I sometimes have to pinch myself to remind me this is all in just over a year!

Re-align your perception

However, despite all of this, I still hear “oh I thought Webtrends Optimize had gone”, “you only offer X, Y or Z though” or “your technology isn’t easy to use” – I hate to use this phrase but… that’s all fake news. It’s time to re-assess the CRO market and take another look at Webtrends Optimize. Re-align your perception, you might be very surprised!

Matt Smith


PS Yes, of course the quote at the top is by Obi-Wan Kenobi, who else!

PPS For those of you travelling to Conversion Jam 2019 next week stop by and let us share what we’ve done at our stand. For those who aren’t there, we’d love the opportunity to enlighten you on how we’ve changed and how we can help you improve your online conversions – just give us a shout.