Carl Tsukahara, CMO of Optimizely, says every aspect of digital marketing and the user experience can and should be tested—not only to optimize ad performance, but also to increase the likelihood that prospective customers will have a fruitful journey. Tsukahara’s bullishness on testing—his company describes itself as “the world’s leading experimentation platform”—is not surprising. Still, it’s hard to imagine a CMO who can thrive without some level of testing and experimentation.
What was your mandate when you started at Optimizely?
The company had gotten to a certain point in its growth and was adjusting its strategy to focus on spending more time with enterprise customers. The company had grown as an A/B testing tool, but primarily sold to small groups and practitioners in a bottom-up sense. We realized is while it’s important to see the market bottom up, and to pay attention to a range of available prospects, pivoting toward bigger enterprise customers requires quite a bit of focus and effort. We had customers like IBM and HP and big companies that were saying they wanted to take this experimentation process and implement it. This became a strategic imperative for our organization, and we wanted to focus more on enabling that process adjustment for larger customers.
Where should testing fit into a content marketer’s toolkit?
So many places. A good way to understand is simply ask questions about your efforts. Let’s say you’re doing paid search via Google AdWords. I would ask this: Is the messaging in your ads right? Is the language you’re using correct? What about the experience that happens when somebody clicks through the link and gets to your landing page? Do you have the right images? Colors? Offer strategy? That’s just one example. How do you know if you can’t get 10 percent or 20 percent better? – Read more