In 2017, we saw how conversion rate optimization (CRO) informed and improved many of the major shifts in digital marketing, including customer experience, mobile/multichannel, personalization, and even marketing culture.
The mainstreaming of CRO
Throughout the year, our conversion rate optimization experts have been saying, “CRO now is what SEO was five years ago,” and they’re completely right. CRO is no longer a nice-to-have, or an add-on to existing digital marketing. It’s become a marketing pillar, like SEO, paid search, and email marketing.
In fact, CRO has had an impact beyond marketing strategies, tactics, and results. As companies have embraced CRO, many have made its concepts of incremental experimentation and optimization part of their overall marketing culture.
Customer experience still dominates
For the past few years, customer experience (CX) has been among the top areas CMOs and other marketing leaders want to focus on. CRO can help with that area tremendously, as it can bring quantitative, results-driven data to the digital-specific user experience (UX) aspect of CX.
Because CRO lets users themselves demonstrate what works best, it’s a much more accurate, objective tool than speculating or guessing what users would like. Best of all, CRO measures UX improvements by the most crucial metric of all: revenue.
Personalization’s still powerful
Personalization isn’t a trend, it’s become a defining force in digital marketing. However, as one might expect, it’s not one-size-fits-all. Depending on your industry, market, and strategy, your users might prefer higher or lower levels of personalization. That’s where CRO comes in: its tactics let you determine how much to personalize the content of your online communications, and where personalization works best for your users.
Mobile engagement is set to overtake desktop engagement in many segments (assuming it hasn’t already), and multichannel customer journeys are now the norm. CRO is essential for tracking which cross-channel/cross-device paths deliver the greatest ROI. A strong multichannel attribution model, combined with a disciplined approach to CRO, can show where the customer journey is the most rewarding, and where it needs improvement.
Google Optimize entered widespread release this year, offering small businesses an introduction to CRO. The free version of the tool allows 3 experiments at a time with native integration into Google Analytics; Optimize 360, the enterprise version, allows for many more experiments with many more variables. However, like all tools, Optimize is only as powerful as the insight of its users. After all, truly effective CRO isn’t just a matter of running experiments, it’s determining which experiments to run, in what order, for how long, and many other factors. And for that, we recommend the kind of human intelligence that’s found on our CRO team.
From the 360Partners CRO team to all your teams, at work and elsewhere, we wish you happy holidays!
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