Optimizely is all about our customers and day two kicked off with Jennifer Ruth, our VP of Customer Success reaffirming how committed everyone at Optimizely is to making our customers successful. Case in point? Performance Edge was a direct answer to customer requests.
Jeriad Zoghby, Managing Director & Global Head, Personalization & Media Optimization, shared what he feels is a key opportunity in Digital Experience. In talking through the future of Digital Experience Delivery (DXD), he outlined the difference between having control of your product on your own site if you are say a Levi’s working with your owned properties versus the experience that you have on an Amazon or within a retailer like Nordstrom. He made the historical analog between what it’s like for Pepsi to deliver their products to a supermarket and the management of the shelf space, with the virtual shelf being the new battleground.
Jeriad’s talk segued into a customer panel on the Outperforming Organization with Cox Automotive’s Jessica Stafford, Mark Yolton of Salesforce, and Marilyn McDonald of StubHub and how they promote a culture of experimentation within their walls. Whether it be Salesforce’s integration of experimentation into their overall V2MOM planning (Vision, Values, Methods, Obstacles, and Measures) or Stubhub pivoting from being a project-based mentality to an outcome-driven culture, it was clear that placing experimentation in the middle of your company’s digital experiences is increasingly the norm.
As Salesforce’s Yolton put it, “While there may not be an experimentation team in Asia Pacific, we do have a team here that carries experimentation forward. They essentially are the culture stewards of experimentation at Salesforce.” And perhaps the most telling comment came from McDonald who said, “Experimentation has freed people from having to be right all the time.”
As with Day One, the breakout sessions provided plenty of guidance and lessons from the frontlines of experimentation. ClassPass’s Nina Bayatti outlined one way she is able to run so many tests (in 2018 they ran 150!) is that she has productized experimentation. Optimizely’s strategy lead Alek Toumert ran a panel, “How to Build a World-Class Experimentation Practice,” that demonstrated the momentum and growth of this thing called experimentation.
Anne Reints of Mailchimp has managed to grow her group from a ‘mighty team of three’ to a ‘cross-functional team of 30.’ But perhaps an even greater indicator of the vital importance of experimentation is what Ian Tucker of the Wall Street Journal had to say, “We’ve started to bake our 3% lift from experimentation into the revenue forecasts.”
To close out the day’s experimentation conversations, Co-Founder Dan Siroker sat down with Nina Achadjian, Principal at Index Ventures, to talk about the future of experimentation. On the product front, Dan shared that one thing he would like to do is to help people figure out how to get started with experimentation without necessarily having the experience.
With characteristic empathy, he said, “I really want to figure out how to leverage all the experiences of all the customers we’ve had to give people the benefit of the wisdom of the crowds”. Then to the question of what is the future of experimentation he offered, “Customers’ expectations will continue to rise, the only way to meet them is through experimentation”.
Providing more than a dose of inspiration, Dr Mae Jemison took to the stage to share her vision for the future, a future not necessarily bound by convention. As part of the vision of 100-year Starship and interstellar space travel she reeled off using fission and fusion contained within the ship, generating bacteria for your gut because you won’t be able to, and most of all changing human behavior.
An incredible font of energy and passion she thread the needle from her own personal triumphs to how we all have the power to make a difference in the world.