Phil Williams
Head of UX and Optimisation
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  • Conversion Rate Optimisation

30th Nov 2016

6 min

This is the third post from our in-depth look at PRWD’s CRO Maturity Audit. This blog will focus on the third pillar of digital transformation, ‘People &  Skills’ and why it’s so important for unleashing strategic, intelligent conversion optimisation and most importantly, how it can help you on your journey towards digital transformation.

With all the aspects of a CRO programme there has to be a robust process and methodology in place, you also have to have the right tools and technology available and there has to be a good strategy and culture within the business. However, without the right people and skills to put all these in place, your CRO programme will no doubt fail.

Having the right people in place to achieve your business goals is vital. Having your developer changing button colours hoping to get more conversions isn’t going to cut it I’m afraid. Likewise, having someone from marketing building a ‘persona’ based on hunches and gut feeling will not give you insight into your customer. You first need to find passionate people who want to jump feet first into optimisation and you need to nurture people’s curiosity and creativity if they show an interest in this area.

‘T’ shaped people         

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Hiring someone with a background in UX, research, psychology, analytics and development is a good start. But finding someone with all these talents will be extremely difficult. Here at PRWD we pride ourselves on hiring ‘T’ shaped people. What this means, is people have a broad range of skills but are very focused in one area.

Take me, for example, I’m the senior UX Designer but I have a background in graphic design, development, and analytics, but I specialise in UX. That’s where most of my knowledge lies. I can knock together a decent infographic, I can dive into analytics and pull out some data, I can even code some of the test ideas and get them into production. However, my main role is to work with the strategists to design better user experiences.

We are a small business of experts, and purposefully so, using our talents to bring together expert CRO programmes. Trying to replicate this internally can be difficult. When you are starting out on your optimisation journey, you really need ‘T’ shaped, passionate people. CRO, in its very nature, is scientific, dealing with psychology, behaviour, data and statistics. Those that think outside the box and have you question ‘what if’ will make you question the reason behind a business decision and get you testing solutions you never really thought where possible.

On the other hand, enterprise level businesses, who have been testing for a while might still only have a hand full of developers, designers and strategists in one department. The CRO department can become isolated and have a reputation for questioning larger business decisions. Internal bureaucracy and ‘red tape’ can be seen as a barrier to growth. However, a true ‘test and learn’ culture should be instilled within all people and all departments throughout the business. Education and cultural change can only come from people and having a CRO Programme lead that educates the wider business on the improvements they are continually making will show the true value of successful testing culture.

Personality traits

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There are pro’s and con’s for hiring specific people for the right job, but making sure they have the right mindset for CRO will ultimately lead to businesses having the right people in the right place, with the right skills. The ‘test and learn’ culture isn’t just a process, it’s a personality trait. These people who are open to change, want to learn and want to test ideas, in their very nature, will question the status quo and will be invaluable to your CRO programme.

The one drawback to hiring good people is they usually cost good money. As the old saying going goes – “if you pay in peanuts, you’ll only get monkeys”. It’s important there is the budget to invest in behaviour/ user research, UX design, front-end dev, statistics and data analytics. Setting healthy budgets for recruitment in specific areas will make it easier to attract the right people and with these skills in place your business will be on the true path to digital transformation.

The PRWD Maturity Audit evaluates the people you have in place, their skill levels and also the structure and culture of the CRO programme. There will be questions around specific teams of your business, your internal budget and resources, and the skills required to build an optimisation team. We use dynamic scoring so you can see your results in real-time, giving you the chance to see how where your business is succeeding and where improvements should be made.

5 top tips for improving people and skills

  • Hire ‘T’ shaped people. They should have a broad skill base but are a specialist in their field.
  • Make sure you have key people in strategic place around the business who are ‘testing’ advocates. They will help you show the benefits of a good CRO programme and how it can lead to cultural change.
  • Let people experiment. It’s in their nature to want to test and learn, so don’t pigeon hole them. They may optimise your business from within.
  • Fuel their curiosity. Dedicate at least one day a month to R&D to help them develop personally. The business will reap the benefits of educated people.
  • Finding someone with good CRO experience is difficult. If you come across them, snap them up and learn from them. We CRO’ers are a rare breed and invaluable to any business.

We hope after you’ve completed the audit, we can put you on the path to change the way your business operates and change the business for the better. After all, business growth is all about people and the skills they can bring.

 

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