In the second part of this series, I’ll analyse the five common characteristics of businesses who are ready to use a data driven approach to generating significant growth through a conversion optimisation programme. 

Overview

We work with a wide variety of businesses across many sectors, and they are on quite a varied scale of company size, geographic reach and brand awareness.

What I find really interesting when we start to speak and work with these different businesses is the variety of characteristics they exhibit when it comes to the question “are you ready to grow your business through data driven optimisation?” 

In this article, I have summarised five of the most influential characteristics which contribute to highly successful on-going optimisation efforts.

1. The importance of optimisation is recognised from the top-down

Sometimes we are approached by a business because of a direct request from someone at the top of the organisation. Immediately knowing that their most senior people are bought into the importance of data driven optimisation makes the development of a successful and business changing optimisation strategy that much easier.

In comparison, there are scenarios where a company doesn’t have buy-in from senior management. This usually indicates it’s going to be a challenge to introduce and develop a culture of continuous testing and optimisation.

A big influencer in this is, what type of culture does the company have? Are they open minded, lean and agile? Or is their culture entrenched in the routine they have operated for the previous 5/10 years?

Once you have your business leader/s bought in to data driven optimisation are you truly ready to grow.

2. The business is ready to play the long game. CRO isn’t just a project

In some situations, businesses have some budget that they need to use up before the end of the current financial year and they see investing in testing and optimisation as a short term project which they can deliver.

These businesses are merely looking for quick fixes and results before moving on to other ‘higher priority’ projects.

In contrast, there are businesses who are fully prepared to play the long game when it comes to testing and optimisation, businesses that fully recognise that CRO isn’t just a short-term project, or a tap that you can turn off and on.

Just as they wouldn’t see their acquisition strategy as a short-term project, these progressive businesses have ‘seen the light’ and know that ongoing optimisation is integral to their future success.

At the extreme end, there are a small but growing number of businesses who are making conversion optimisation central to their growth strategy.

3. They recognise how crucial change and agility are and they simply get moving

You’ll hopefully agree with me that data driven optimisation through testing is here to stay. For many businesses it is still treated like the elephant in the room. For other businesses, they understand they have to change the way they think about traditional marketing and advertising spend.

Companies also need to rethink how they have always gone about redesigning their website. Pushing the big button to make the switch from old and stale to new and shiny introduces hundreds if not thousands of variables that can affect your visitors’ potential to convert.

One huge advantage non blue chip businesses have over their big competitors is their agility and potential to change the way they go about growing their businesses.

Ultimately optimisation is all about growth. Embracing change and demonstrating agility to get moving and make optimisation work for your business is absolutely crucial for success.

These days it is so quick and simple to start testing. Testing platforms such as Optimizely and Visual Website Optimiser (VWO) provide a WYSIWYG editor so you can get a test up and running in minutes.

Speed to go live with a test and how many tests you can run each month does not set you up for a successful, high impact optimisation strategy.

If you take only one point away with you from this article then please make it this one:

The impact of your testing strategy is directly influenced by the quality of your test hypotheses.

4. They focus on quality over quantity of testing

We have worked with some major brands who have approached us looking to go from zero testing per month to 10+ tests per month in the first six months.

Building momentum and creating opportunities to improve your primary metrics is all well and good but when a business is approaching testing as almost a vanity exercise to see how many tests then can run per month, they are missing the one crucial ingredient: quality.

This means quality of research, quality of insight, quality of intelligence of the test hypotheses, quality of design and copy expertise employed.

Quality: this should be your go to word when assessing your testing strategy.

5. They invest more than 90% of their budget on expertise, and less than 10% on the testing tool

We speak to many businesses who talk excitedly about how they got their testing tool in place and that they have started testing. We then ask “what impact have you had so far from the tests you have ran?” and “what valuable learnings have you taken from the test you have ran?”

Unfortunately, this tends to be where the problem lies. They have invested X amount in their testing tool, and have seen the scenario as “now that we can test, we will test, and they (higher conversions) will come”.

Simply put, such businesses haven’t understood the importance of investing the vast majority of their testing and optimisation budget on the necessary expertise to drive and deliver their optimisation strategy.

Contrast this to businesses whose methodology is focused on expertise. They start with the most cost effective testing tool they can, to serve as the foundation from which they can begin testing. From there, they invest the vast majority of their budget in to the necessary expertise who will be responsible for delivering business growth – whether internal, external or a combination of both.

The testing tool isn’t the answer. A skilled, passionate, innovative, multi-disciplinary team is.

Conversion optimisation insights and learnings

The following articles will provide you with essential insights and learnings for you and your business:

  1. Conversion optimisation: assess the maturity of your current approach
  2. Five characteristics of businesses ready to grow through data driven optimisation
  3. The four critical areas for long term growth through optimisation
  4. What can the German football team teach us about Conversion Optimisation?
  5. Vanity or Sanity: Metrics in Conversion Optimisation

Join our training course

After our last Econsultancy partnered training day sold out, Matt Lacey (Head of Optimisation) and I have newly added dates for ‘Conversion Optimisation: How to Deliver Digital Growth’.

This one-day course shows you how to implement a robust conversion optimisation strategy and process which can deliver major uplifts in sales revenue and profitability, as well as changing the way you develop your brand, innovate your offering, and revolutionise the website redesign process.

The next date is August 21st and more details on the course and how to sign up can be found at https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/conversion-optimisation-developing-your-growth-strategy/