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Is Your Optimization Strategy Guiding You to Greatness or Mediocrity?

Lauren Burgess  |  May 2, 2018

Lauren Burgess  |  May 2, 2018

        

No digital property is ever finished. There are launch dates, updates and transformations, but unless it’s abandoned, your website or app is never done.

Instead, digital teams are in a continuous cycle of optimization. The longer a business is in the market, the more competition they face. The quality of the product or service itself is no longer enough to win the hearts of customers, it’s delivering remarkable customer experiences that allows an enterprise to maximize conversions and ensure a larger slice of the pie.

When younger companies come snapping at the heels of established businesses, enterprises must look for new ways to overcome experiential challenges and meet the demands of an “always-on” customer base. Traditional optimization strategies can fall short in this respect.

Identifying and Evaluating Your Optimization Strategy

There are three ways to approach website and app optimization, each indicating a particular level of digital maturity.

     1. Opinion

At its most immature, the dominant optimization philosophy is the opinion of key stakeholders. Everything from navigation and design to key messaging is optimized based on a “we know what our customers want” attitude as opposed to real, actionable customer data.

Businesses at this stage of digital maturity may well gather some quantitative data on surface metrics like page views and bounce rates, but no insights are being drawn out. Analytics are used purely to satisfy the curiosity of management.

Sound like your company? It’s time to dedicate a team to configuring analytics systems and unpacking any insights so that opportunities for improvements can be identified and acted upon.

     2. Conversion Rate Optimization

Conversion rate optimization continues to be a leading optimization philosophy for a reason; it utilizes the scientific method and has been proven to produce results.

Unfortunately, it’s also labor-intensive, simplistic and focused on immediate instances of desired user behavior rather than the overall customer experience. As such, it is limited in its efficacy as a long-term optimization strategy.

Even if a team can achieve a significant boost in conversions, the gains are often short-lived and have little impact on longer-term revenue drivers like customer lifetime value.

Businesses that engage in CRO whilst also utilizing qualitative data (like customer sentiment) often have more success, but it’s still not at the level of sophistication required to reach full digital maturity.

To improve from here, it’s essential to engage with digital experience intelligence platforms like Decibel that harness qualitative data at a quantitative scale. This way, any improvement opportunities that move to the testing phase are fully explored and can offer the biggest wins.

     3. Digital Experience Optimization

When digital experience optimization is the dominant philosophy, measuring website interactions is almost entirely automated.

Using digital experience intelligence platforms, teams monitor the system for alerts regarding UX or technical issues and use forensic tools to investigate any trends or anomalies. When the problem has been sufficiently examined with both quantitative and qualitative analysis, one of three things happens: the issue is fixed, a hypothesis is formed for testing or an opportunity for personalization presents itself.

This model of optimization removes the guesswork and puts the focus squarely on the customer, enabling businesses to design exceptional digital experiences that engender loyalty and increase customer lifetime value.

Businesses in this stage of digital maturity are the most prepared for the move to real-time insights which we know aren’t too far in the future. At that stage, digital teams will be able to use advanced technology to intervene and offer up personalized experiences based on the way an individual customer is interacting with a website or app.

What to Do Next

Throughout this post we’ve talked a lot about how different optimization strategies indicate varying levels of digital maturity.

If you feel confident that you’ve identified your optimization strategy and want help in understanding where you fall on the digital experience maturity curve, take this quick quiz.

If you want to know more about undergoing a digital experience transformation and receive an inside look at how some of the biggest businesses in the world approach optimization, click on the image below to read a useful ebook. There’s no need to sign up or download anything, just click straight through to the publication.

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Lauren Burgess

Written on May 2, 2018 by:

Lauren Burgess

Lauren is a Digital Marketing Executive at Decibel.

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