Optimizely 2017 Kick Off Summit

Each year, Optimizely holds an annual sales kick off. This year, they invited me to join them at the Silverado Resort in Napa Valley, California and say a few words.

It was awesome to see the amount of growth Optimizely has had over the years. And it’s exciting to see just how far Dan and Pete have taken the company since the first time I met them in 2008 – before they launched.  

After I wrapped up my speech, they brought up some very good questions. This year they were leading with a marketing approach that advocated “being bold with your a/b testing”.

Joining me on stage was Dr. Hairong Crigler. They asked us, “what do you think of that statement, as we encourage customers to run bigger and exciting a/b test?”

To my surprise Dr. Crigler and I arrived to the same conclusion. If adoption is the issue, then barrier to entry should be your main concern. Meaning, big, bold and aggressive testing can be exciting, but it comes with added and typically unneeded risk and cost.

Here are a few factors we spoke of:

  • Bold tests tend to take longer design cycles
  • Bold designs will cut deep into your front development backlog
  • Be prepared to fight politically charged design debates with product owners
  • Depending on the change, legal counsel can be required
  • How much of the content will actually change, and copywriters will want to have a look
  • Engineers

Ultimately, bold isn’t bad. However, one can see how bold has the potential to quickly eat into your margins.

We noted, considering the added risk which bold testing can incur, we simply reminded the audience we have seen many great experimentations with minor tweaks. I changed a single button once and it generated 19 million in incremental revenue. Dr. Crigler had her own stories to share too.

Minor tweaks enable quick adoption to a/b testing that quickly enables any Growth initiatives. If you want to start a/b testing and launch many a/b tests in a giving year, start with small tweaks. Growth teams must avoid time sucks. Time is the issue and many a/b tests must be launched. Naturally this various from org to org.

On that note, 2017 is an exciting year for Optimizely and experimentation overall. Thrilled to be part of the kick off.

Ps. You should check out Optimizely full stack it’s cool stuff.