Welcome to Conversion Conference Chicago 2013

By Jenny DeGraff | Jun 11, 2013
More Articles by Jenny


Morning Keynote:
The Conversion Maturity Model – A Roadmap to Profitability

Conversion Conference
Tim Ash, Conference Chair & CEO, SiteTuners opened Conversion Conference Chicago 2013 by addressing the conversion maturity of the audience with the following evaluation model:

Stages

The Conversion Maturity Model - A Roadmap to Profitability

Stage 1 – Un-optimized (Flop)

People and Structure

  • There are no full-time formal positions devoted to CRO
  • Employees have no training of any kind in CRO
  • CRO is not on the organizational chart
  • Marketing focus is on traffic acquisition volumes
  • Most website changes need assistance and approval from IT

Tools and Technology

  • Websites are mostly static content
  • Proprietary content management systems are difficult to maintain
  • Different technology platforms exist across divisions
  • Few qualitative and quantitative diagnostic tools are used anywhere

Measurement and Accountability

  • Reporting of key metrics involves manual work and is infrequent
  • Web analytics does not cover all web properties and campaigns
  • Campaign level or more granular ROI is not tracked or measured
  • Marketing budgets are fixed
  • There is not culture of measurement within the company
  • Online marketing decisions are frequently overruled by executives without a quantitative basis

Process and Culture

  • There are no formal processes for CRO
  • Marketing is driven by branding and creative campaigns
  • Financial rewards re not tied to improvements in online efficiencies
  • Positioning, messaging, product offerings are largely defined by brand/marketing
  • Offline and broadcast content and messaging is reused without changes for the web

Stage 2 – Basic (Crawl)

People and Structure

  • Some full-time non-management positions are devoted to CRO within certain departments
  • A few additional employees have some informal training in CRO
  • Marketing focus is on profitable traffic acquisition
  • Marketing can now make website updates updates without IT involvement
  • Some landing pages and microsites are under control of online marketing
  • Main site design, messaging, and structure are still largely under control of brand/marketing (with support from IT)

Tools and Technology

  • Websites are mostly in a commercial CMS
  • More standardized technology across divisions
  • No qualitative or qualitative diagnostic tools are used company-wide
  • Split testing tools are used opportunistically by small teams
  • Very basic segmentation and analysis is done on test results
  • No easy way to update web content with test winning content
  • Website changes are frequently made without measuring their impact
  • Website redesigns are led by branding and marketing (without a deep diagnostic phase focused on visitor needs)

Measurement and Accountability

  • Reporting of key metrics is done via near-real-time dashboards
  • Web analytics covers all web properties and campaigns
  • Campaign-level or more granular ROI is often measured
  • Marketing budgets are fixed on regular intervals
  • There is culture of measurement and testing
  • There is little culture of measurement in branding, creative or operating divisions

Process and Culture

  • There are formal processes for tactical split testing
  • Marketing is driven by a mix of creative campaigns and high-impact CRO activities
  • Some teams or operating divisions have compensation ted partially to improvement in online efficenies
  • There is some executive management awareness of cro, but not much active support
  • There are turf issues between accountability-driven teams and brand/marketing

Stage 3 – Intermediate (Walk)

People and Structure

  • There is a formal CRO team with full-time positions and a manager within a specific department
  • CRO team members have periodic formal training in CRO and are given the opportunity to get additional informal training
  • CRO team periodically conducts informal training for a wider internal audience
  • Marketing focus is on profitable traffic acquisition and conversion (84%)
  • Website content and many structural changes can be made without IT involvement
  • Some parts of main website and ALL landing pages are under control of online marketing

Tools and Technology

  • All websites are in a commercial CMS
  • Technology platforms are standardized across divisions
  • Some qualitative and quantitative diagnostic tools are used company-wide
  • Split and multivariate testing tools are used routinely by small teams
  • Some split tests are segmented by traffic source or other single parameters
  • Marketing automation systems and CRM systems are in place but are not integrated into the testing
  • Some longer-term prospect and client behaviors are provided by CRO team upon request by other departments

Measurement and Accountability

  • Reporting of key metrics is done via near-real-time dashboards
  • Automatic alerts are triggered if key metrics are out of line
  • Web analytics covers all web properites and campaigns and is combined witha s trong business intelligence team that all department and operating divisions have address to
  • Campaign level and more granular ROI is always measured
  • Marketing budgets are flexible and may be periodically reprioritized depending on the current mix and profitability of acquisition activities
  • There is a culture of measurement that is spreading to other teams including operating divisions and creative/branding departments

Process and Culture

  • There are formal processes for tactical split testing and implementing permanent changes based on winning test versions
  • Marketing in driven mostly by high-impact CRO activities
  • All operating divisions have compensation tied to improvements in online efficiencies
  • There is a broad executive management awareness of CRO, and some active support for projects or initiatives that are on a long-term roadmap created by executive management
  • Web visitor behavior and the results of CRO activities are informally fed back to marketing to revise value propositions and product offerings

Stage 4 – Advanced (Run)

People and Structure

  • There is a formal stand-along CRO team with full-time positions and a manager which reports to the CMO and sets strategic CRO priorities company-wide via a formal intake process
  • CRO team members have regular formal training in CRO
  • CRO team regularly conducts informal training for a wider internal audience
  • Marketing focus in on an increasing profits over the lifetime of the customer
  • Almost all website content and structural changes can be made without IT involvement
  • All landing pages and microsites are under online marketing control

Tools and Technology

  • All websites are in commercial CMS, integrated with CRM, marketing automation and traffic acquisition
  • Technology platforms are standardized across divisions
  • Wide variety of qualitative and quantitative diagnostic tools are used company-wide
  • Split and multivariate test tools are used routinely company-wide
  • Real-time content changes are made on an individual visitor basis used predictive analytics, behavioral targeting, and lead scoring
  • Winning versions of tests are automatically deployed
  • All web-facing experiences are under online marketing’s control

Measurement and Accountability

  • Reporting of key metrics is done via near-real-time dashboards
  • Automatic alerts and corrective actions are automatically triggered if key metrics are out of line
  • There is an understanding that not all tests are successful and a tolerance for negative test outcomes
  • Web analytics team main focus is developing predictive analytics models and deploying them in the form of
  • Website business rules and triggers to changes the site experience on an individual basis
  • There are no fixed marketing budgets and spending is quickly reprioritize depending on the current mix and profitability of acquisition activities
  • There is a culture of measurement in all divisions

Process and Culture

  • There are ongoing and largely automated processes for tactical split testing and implementing permanent changes based on winning test versions
  • Marketing is driven exclusively by high impact CRO activities which are priotized via a structred submssion and evaluation process
  • All perating dvisions have comp teid to improvments in online efficesl
  • There is universal executive management awareness of CRI and support
  • There is solid cooperation among all departments
  • Web visitor behavior and the results of CRO activities are actively and systematically fed back to marketing

We found that most of the attendees today fall into Stage 2. Tim emphasized that there is nothing wrong with this, just being here means that you are a progressive Stage 2. The key is to keep move up. Just remember, you can’t skip rungs.

Where does your company fall? And what are you going to do to reach the next stage?

Keys to Success

Dedication

Some people in your organization must have CRO as their only job and have higher-level support

Honesty

Problems and shortcomings should be addressed directly and openly

Focus

Well-defined business goals should be set, executed, tracked, and incentivized

Flexibility

Everything should be quickly changed when necessary

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