Online people need to clone themselves

Lately I have been to a couple of conferences about online business. The topics have touched everything from email marketing to conversion optimization to customer insights to relationship management and many other. Although they have been some really enjoyable sessions what hit me was the vast amount of knowledge you have to have to be able to make good decisions today. Driving online business today is much harder than it was just 3 years ago.

I have a feeling that the complexity has increased exponentially the last couple of years. This puts a lot of pressure to be able to know a bit of everything since everything is interrelated. How much more complex will it become? My spontaneous answer is much more complex.

So if it is already complex how will it be possible for a manager to possess knowledge in all fields to make good decisions. There are so many parameters to keep track of that it makes it impossible to know everything. Time has become such a scarce resource that you need to clone yourself to manage things effectively.

Let me give you an example of the complexity one faces.

If you had an online business a couple of years ago you would probably do fine with a website and some adwords buying. Then you hook up emails. After that you had to consider SEO. After that user reviews was a big thing. Then you had social media. Then you had conversion optimization. Then you have retargeting. Then mobile apps. And so on, I think you get the picture. Considering the technical aspects, such as load time, responsiveness etc you more or less need to be a super human to know everything.

Of course you have professionals in each position, but if you want to be successful as a business your top managers have to make good decisions. To make good decisions you need to know the key aspects of each area. To truly know the key aspects of each area you need to have hands on experience. No human, or at least no normal person has worked within all of these areas especially in a larger organisation.

I think that many companies today have not adjusted themselves to the complexity of an online world. The complexity of everthing being interrelated has huge implications on how you make decisions and how you create an effective organisation. The bigger the organisation is the bigger the challenge.

So if you are an online manager the only solution is that you should clone yourself ;). Then you get double time. Just think how much you can accomplish.

Question 5: What is the most important thing you try to achieve as a conversion specialist and web analyst?

important learnings in web analyticsWorking as a conversion specialist and web analyst has many challenges. You need to have skills in multiple areas to be successful. Everything from technical understanding, to analytical, to be able to present data in an easy manner, to leads projects and changes, to educate people and many more issues.

The main denominators though are 1) increase revenue, 2) save cost and 3) improve customer loyalty/satisfaction. These are the high level numbers I work towards. Almost everything I do points towards these goals. These numbers are universally important although depending on how your company is setup you will work either with one, two or all three of them.

This question is part of a five question series that are the most common issues people ask me.

Question 4: What is they key learning from working on Sweden’s largest lottery?

Keys-To-Web-Analytics-SuccessWell, this is a hard one to answer. There are many learning’s to take away. First of all we are a lottery that is the largest one in Sweden. We have grown from 0 to 1 million customers within six years.

The concept is rather unique. We combine large winnings with charity and TV production. For example we produce one of the biggest television shows in Sweden (Who wants to be a Millionaire). We also give a massive amount to charity and have strong ties with well-known people. All of this makes a very interesting projection of the lottery towards our customers. The brand is as well known as Coca Cola in Sweden. The whole setup affects the way we work and communicate. I can see how this offline projection affects my online numbers. A bad article in a newspaper for example can affect our sales tremendously for a long time. In the same time a good offline campaign can have great effect on our online numbers.

I think one of the more interesting aspects that I have noticed is the tight correlation between the various channels. This demands a different approach than the companies I have worked on previously that were strictly online with weak brands. In sum I would say that companies with strong brands work differently that other companies which as a conversion specialist you need to relate to.

This question is part of a five question series that are the most common issues people ask me.

Question 3: What is the most challenging in your business right now?

Conversion challengesOn top of my mind I think mobile user experience is the most challenging topic at the moment. Not many companies have cracked the mobile experience code. Rebuild our site for a fluid and positive user experience demands a lot from the organisation, both technically and mentally. You need to think mobile first, which we have found is not as easy as we thought.

Further we are on a stage where our technical systems give us a big challenge on everything we want to do. I think most big companies have this challenge. If you have developed a solution a few years ago you probably sit on old systems that need to be updated or replaced.

Another issue are our internal stakeholders. We have to many of them, which affects our work processes negatively. Our decision process is not optimal for working in an online environment.

The last issue is to integrate our personalization thinking into our work process. As I mentioned in an earlier article our personalization software is powerful and full of potential but you cannot harvest that potential if you do not adjust your internal organization and the way it thinks.

This question is part of a five question series that are the most common issues people ask me.

Question 2: What is the most challenging within conversion optimization?

online conversion optimizationI have been doing AB tests for a while now and feel pretty confident how to approach and build a strong testing culture within a company. Although optimization work is something that constantly needs to be reviewed and developed.

There is no other channel quite as complex as the web, in terms of the number of variables. This makes optimization work a never-ending story. I think one of the biggest challenges in my field is to know how long your recommendations live. In other words when do you know that for example your perfect converting landing page is out of date due to the ever-changing variables?

Another big challenge as I see it is the emergence of personalisation software, which put optimization in a new playing field. With personalisation you are moving into micro segmentation. The technology is extremely powerful but opens up for many challenges to companies that want to adopt this approach. The web is moving towards this field and as a conversion optimization specialist I need to evolve towards this path.

This question is part of a five question series that are the most common issues people ask me.

Question 1. What is the most challenging with web analytics today?

Conversion Optimization and Web analytics challengesI think each year has its own challenges. The web is constantly moving so you need to keep your knowledge fresh. For me this yes one of the more challenging aspects is the multi data source world we live in. The increase in data sources makes it much more challenging to interpret the data and make good decisions. The mobile phone traffic exploded last year and has continued in an upward path. Since this source is fairly new few companies have adjusted their technology and most of all their thinking to this channel.

I also think clean data is always a challenge. You constantly need to keep an eye on your data so it is clean. For example we have companies doing quality tests that generates a fair amount of data. You need to make sure you block those IPs and keep an eye on emerging data contamination sources.

This question is part of a five question series that are the most common issues people ask me.