Paul Rouke
Founder & Director of Optimisation
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9th Jul 2015

6 min

Two weeks ago, I was at the annual summit of the Global Conversion Alliance in Vancouver. After what was an extremely constructive week, I thought I’d provide a little insight into what the Global Conversion Alliance is and how it operates.

What is the Global Conversion Alliance?

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The Global Conversion Alliance is a formation of dedicated Conversion Optimisation agencies. The group is the brainchild of WebArts (the world’s largest dedicated Conversion Optimisation agency) co-founder Andre Morys, who started the Alliance in 2011. Andre approached approached Chris Goward, CEO of WiderFunnel, with the aim of starting a collaborative process; a forum in which they could share their experiences and to discuss their respective businesses in both the North American and the German marketplace.

Today, the Alliance has grown and brings together the world’s industry leaders and the five most progressive and ambitious Conversion Optimisation agencies. They collaborate on transformative Optimisation programmes on a global scale, using each other’s businesses and experience as a platform to experiment and redefine the industry.

The vision

The vision is to bring together the leading, non-competing Conversion Optimisation agencies from across the world into a group, with each agency being a representative and the standard bearer of Conversion Optimisation in their respective countries. This provides an open forum for knowledge sharing, leading to each agency (and by association the group) becoming stronger, more specialist, more advanced and more unique, pushing the Conversion Optimisation industry to the forefront of online business development.

Which optimisation agencies are in the Group?

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Since the inception of the GCA in 2011, the focus has been to deduce which agencies are the best in the field and that demonstrate extraordinary expertise in Conversion Optimisation’s four vital components:

  • Analyse: Qualitative and quantitative research
  • Hypothesise: Systematic approach for planning
  • Design: Wireframing, design and conceptual work
  • Test: Quantitative validation of test hypotheses

The agencies are also picked depending on their ability to promote the group as the leading global authority on Conversion Optimisation. As the saying goes, you are only as strong as your weakest link.

As of July 2015, there are five agencies within the GCA:

Web Arts – Germany

  • Founded in 2002 by Andre Morys
  • The world’s largest dedicated Conversion Optimisation Agency
  • Clients include FriendScout24, CosmosDirekt, Görtz

WiderFunnel – Canada/USA

  • Founded in 2007 by Chris Goward, author of “You Should Test That”
  • Founders of the globally recognised LIFT Model™ and the Kaizen Method™
  • Clients include Magento, Iron Mountain, Build Direct

Coversionista – Sweden

  • Founded in 2010 by John Ekman
  • ‘Number one at Conversion Optimisation in Sweden’
  • Clients include Spotify, ICA, Skandia

PRWD – UK/Ireland

  • Founded in 2004 by Paul Rouke
  • Industry leader in User Research driven testing programmes which has doubled in size in six months
  • Clients include MoneySupermarket.com, Bensons For Beds, Schuh

Uptilab – France

  • Founded in 2010 by Thibault de Broissia
  • Composed of web marketing specialists, analysts, ergonomists, designers and developers. Experts in Web Analytics
  • Clients include Microsoft, Renault, RuedeCommerce.com

The Global Conversion Alliance is a unique operation

There are many things that make the GCA truly unique and progressive when compared to similar bodies in other industries. Below are a few reasons why the GCA isn’t just a pioneer in the Conversion Optimisation industry but all industries.

  • The annual summit brings together CEO’s of the world’s leading agencies to share everything pertaining to their respective businesses.
  • As passionate Conversion Optimisers (or Conversionistas as John Ekman would describe us!) we spend in-depth time within other Conversion Optimisation agencies, allowing us to learn new techniques and broaden our skill-set, transforming us into Super-Conversionistas!
  • All five agencies can learn from each other’s biggest successes in growing their business (and the stumbling blocks) to ensure that we all continue our expansion.
  • How many global organisations are there of the world’s leading Conversion Optimisation agencies? It’s less than two.

Shared learning at every level of the business

To say that the learnings shared between the agencies is invaluable wouldn’t be doing justice to the importance of these learnings. To say they are priceless would be heading in the right direction.

Shared learning between the agencies is gained at every level – from the CEO’s to the optimisation strategists, UX designers, user researchers, web analysts, developers and psychologists. You can’t put a price on fast tracking your learnings and everyone involved in each agency is in a very unique, privileged position.

Accelerate through the stages of business growth

Each of the agencies are at different stages of business growth, which provides opportunities to learn from each other about what has brought success and what hasn’t had the impact they had expected.

Larger, more established agencies such as WebArts are able to impart their experiences to the agencies currently in a more progressive growth phase, like PRWD. Likewise, the smaller agencies can introduce new and experimental methodologies which can help cement the Alliance’s reputation as being the pioneering force in Conversion Optimisation.

Complementary core strengths

At the heart of each agency is a core strength which acts as a foundation for its programmes and what defines that agency in the marketplace. For instance, here at PRWD, our extensive user research and behavioural understanding methodologies define us, just as data and analytics are at the core of Uptilab, and WiderFunnel has its LIFT Model™ testing strategy. Each of these core strengths are fundamental to transformational business growth through optimisation. Each of these core strengths are complementary to each other, so with the formation of the Alliance, each agency not only enhance their core areas of specialism and experience but most importantly to build every area of the business up to industry leading standards.

Collaboration on global optimisation programmes

Each agency has an extremely strong client list, some of which operate internationally. One of the biggest direct benefits these international clients have is the opportunity to optimise their localised digital experiences by including different agencies within the Alliance. One recent example at PRWD, was when we redesigned The North Face European checkout. During the project, we gained invaluable user insights from German consumers through partnering with Web Arts on this major project. Collaboratively, a superior experience was delivered to our client. As the customer demands even more localised and personalised experiences online, member of the Global Conversion Alliance are in the best position to give customers what they desire.

What does the future hold?

During the five days of this years annual summit, the future of the optimisation industry and how we can help define it were very significant parts of the strategic discussions.

There is also more emphasis on the level of collaboration between our agencies moving forward, followed swiftly by a rebrand of what currently exists (keep an eye out), the future is looking extremely bright and exciting. Expect to see and hear much more about the Global Conversion Alliance going forward.