Opticon 2017: Three Keys to Optimization Domination
Last month, the Rise team joined over 1,200 digital influencers in Las Vegas for Opticon, Optimizely’s annual conference. As the leading experimentation conference, the two-day event aims to “merge creativity and science to drive innovation and transform organizations.”
The conference reviewed anticipated technology advances that will facilitate optimization, and also shared how to drive a culture of testing organization-wide and build velocity and maturity. As a three-star Optimizely partner, Rise was invited to preview Optimizely’s platform updates and gain insider insights into the state of the optimization market. Here are a few of our key takeaways from the conference.
There’s Value in Driving a Culture of Testing
Because Rise embraces a culture of testing, we were naturally excited about Optimizely’s plans to transition Experiment Engine to Program Management. The enhancement will encourage ideation, collaboration, and knowledge sharing, and drive precise reporting among Optimizely users. Program Management will live within the Optimizely X platform and is currently available for those who signed up for Optimizely’s beta program.
Oftentimes people fear data experimentation because they’re averse to failure, but in experimentation, failure will point optimization in the right direction. Perpetuating ideation and collaboration can encourage a change toward a culture of testing. For example, The New York Times initially shifted toward an internal culture of testing when a team saw success with a headline test, which then evolved into each journalist testing every article headline. As a result, their developers plugged the CMS into Optimizely and ultimately made testing and optimization a part of their workflow.
While cultural change is challenging, by developing company-wide rituals, recognizing individuals for putting those rituals into practice, and repeating those practices through internal communications, brands can encourage the testing culture necessary for optimization success.
Setting Reporting Goals Will Build Velocity and Maturity
To build momentum for an optimization program, it’s essential to set goals and establish structure around the campaign. For example, setting a goal of “X” number of experiments within a quarter will hold you and your team accountable to testing. With win-rate goals (i.e. the rate at which your hypotheses were successful) to help measure the quality of a hypothesis, you can also better understand the impact from the program and adjust accordingly. Tracking velocity measures a team’s operational performance and assesses opportunities for increased momentum in the future. Now with Program Reporting included under Optimizely's Program Management function, both win-rate and velocity can be closely monitored.
Enhanced Features Will Boost User Experience
The opening speakers, Optimizely CEO Jay Larson and Co-Founder Dan Siroker discussed upcoming features – including a metrics builder – that will allow users to prioritize metrics in the order of importance and display negative metrics (i.e. bounce rate or load time) in a way that demonstrates the low rates as a positive impact. Additionally, Optimizely will soon display A/B test results up to 300% faster through artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms. The platform will also pull offline conversations and business intelligence to inform decisions with upcoming updates.
Overall, Opticon emphasized the importance of creating a culture of testing and developing a strategy for velocity, while also introducing Optimizely's new technology. Reach out to Rise to learn more about our Optimizely partnership and how your brand can benefit from testing and optimization.