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growth unlock digital potential

Igniting growth through data-driven optimization

I recently had the distinct pleasure of participating in Optimizely’s digital transformation event, Unlocking Your Digital Potential. The virtual event brought together several experts from across the world of digital experience to identify trends, patterns and other best practices that are driving actual, tangible results for organizations who are investing more in digital experiences. The event kicked off with keynote speaker, organizational psychologist and best selling author, Adam Grant who illuminated the crowd with his engaging conversation, How to Confidently Innovate and Not Believe Everything You Think.

As part of a panel discussion focused on Driving Results to Ignite Growth, I was joined by experts including Matt Lincoln, Senior Manager of Optimization, User Research & Product at United Airlines, Danielle Mayo, D'Addario's Director of Digital Products and Steve Loud, D'Addario's Global Director, Digital Commerce as we discussed their specific experiences and I shared insights from Kin + Carta’s portfolio of clients. Expertly moderated by Optimizely’s own Kirsten Allegri Williams, the discussion was engaging because we identified so many similar, actionable stories and trends across the diversity of clients we serve.

Some of the key takeaways from our discussion included:

Now is the time to invest in a proactive, programmatic approach to ongoing digital optimization services.

We discussed how the traditional model of relying on “big bang” website launches is problematic because the experiences degrade over time compared to organizations that continually deliver improvements, innovations and new capabilities.

The bigger investment in continual optimization programs, the bigger the business impact and results.

We shared an example of a Kin + Carta hotel client that wanted to focus their optimization efforts around their checkout process. As a result, they saw an uplift of almost $800K. We compared that example to another Kin + Carta client that is in the automotive space who has committed to a full program of optimization. In the past 12 months, that client ran 60 experiments that led to almost 900 specific improvements being rolled out through their 44 sites. The results were impressive: an increase of 34% in their overall site speed, an increase of 49% more requests for test drives and an overall customer satisfaction rating of 4.7 out of 5.

COVID continues to influence brands as they think about the future.

Many brands successfully adapted their approach to serving customers as the pandemic emerged by concentrating on delivery-to-your-door and store pick-up experiences. As we begin to emerge from the pandemic, it’s important for brands to embrace the return to normalcy while understanding that not everyone will be ready to return to the world as it was before. As always, understanding customer needs and thoughtfully considering ways to serve customers in different ways will make meaningful impacts.

We’re ultimately fighting for customer loyalty.

That loyalty is won by understanding our customer’s needs, mindset, approach and context over time. Data is essential for understanding this picture and must be an integral component of our optimization approach and program. We also have to remember that we’re dealing with messy things here; to be human is to change our mind, to be illogical and to act in surprising new ways, especially over time. To deliver compelling experiences that lead to long-term loyalty, we have to continually understand the customer, craft and deliver experiences that delight them and always be prepared to pivot and adjust our approach.

Optimization has to be seen in a holistic manner if we are to drive the biggest returns on our investment.

Many people think of optimization as A/B testing of messages, CTAs and the like. That is certainly a major element of optimization, but opportunities to drive perception, loyalty and conversions exist throughout the entirety of the customer journey. Optimization programs that focus on perceived speed, look to reduce interaction steps, simplify processes and streamline the overall experience will yield powerful results.

These key takeaways are powerful insights into the opportunities that exist for any organization that seeks to drive better customer satisfaction, to better compete in the open marketplace or to simply evolve their own internal capabilities to the next level. Committing to an ongoing program that looks at all of the optimization opportunities that exist at every customer interaction point will yield the kind of results that lead to increased funding and further investment in digital channels.

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