When most people think about CRO they think about simple A/B tests; button colours and copy tweaks, and yes, in a nutshell, this is CRO; “increasing the percentage of visitors to a website that convert into customers”, thus making businesses more money. However, after 12 years working with a variety of businesses including some of the world’s most progressive brands such as Shop Direct, AO.com and Booking.com, at PRWD we have come to recognise that CRO is so much more than that. CRO utilised intelligently can be a lever for business growth and ultimately digital transformation.
It’s our mission at PRWD to help educate and mature the industry, which is where our Conversion Optimisation Maturity Audit™ comes in. By answering 21 questions across four crucial business pillars, within 10 minutes the online audit allows businesses to gain insight into their current level of maturity (Beginner, Aspiring, Progressive, Strategic and Transformative) and identify areas of opportunity for improvement.
This is the first in a series of four blog posts which will delve deeper into each of the four pillars (Strategy & Culture, Tools & Technology, People & Skills, Process & Methodology) of our Conversion Optimisation Maturity Audit™ providing insight and actionable tips on how to kick start and progress through your journey of digital transformation. The first of the four pillars within our Conversion Optimisation Maturity Audit™ is ‘Strategy & Culture’. Although potentially the least obvious requirement for implementing a successful CRO strategy within a business, without the right business mindset from the right people, even those with the best intentions can experience serious roadblocks.
A senior, influential champion
An important starting point for any business looking to implement a successful CRO strategy is appointing an internal CRO champion. Ideally, there should be CRO advocates at all levels of a business. However, the most transformative businesses are those with support for the cause from the very top of the business, which then naturally feeds down. Having a senior CRO champion means there is real potential for growth and transformation in all of the four pillars of CRO, as they have the influence and authority required to foster and drive forward change.
It’s not simply enough to appoint an internal CRO champion; it’s integral to ensure the business mindset is right. Our founder and CEO, Paul Rouke, spoke recently about reinventing the traditional concept of HiPPO (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion). Paul’s article outlines the necessary traits of truly transformative leaders, not as people who are paid the most and who shout the loudest but those who exude humility, integrity, passion, positivity and open-mindedness.
Transformative CRO is about creating a test and learn culture, where CRO is used as a tool to grow businesses through learning about users needs and behaviour across every touchpoint. It’s, therefore, integral to embrace ‘failure’; a test that seemingly had a negative impact on key metrics can also provide valuable insights into user behaviour and should be seen as an opportunity to iterate and grow. Without a true understanding and appreciation of this from a senior level, CRO teams really struggle to practice a true test and learn culture, through fear of persecution for negative test results.
Core business strategy
Conversion optimisation should not be regarded as a ‘quick win’ solution or tactic to boost website performance. To be truly transformative, strategic conversion optimisation should play a fundamental role in the core business growth strategy. This means investing in CRO by seeking the help of expert agencies or growing an internal, multi-disciplinary team, as well as investing in the necessary tools and technology to effectively gather insights, run tests and analyse results.
CRO is in its infancy, especially when compared to other methods used to increase businesses digital performance, such as PPC and SEO. The harsh reality is that there is a lack of understanding and appreciation of CRO within many businesses, irrespective of their size; CRO teams are often small and hidden away somewhere within the digital team, with limited involvement in other departments, such as customer services or marketing. To become transformative, CRO teams must collaborate with and be visible across the wider business; insight and learnings should flow both ways.
Five tips for implementing a transformative CRO strategy & culture
- Education around intelligent CRO is an extremely important starting point for any business looking to begin their journey to digital transformation. Read, attend talks and reach out to experts for advice; don’t try to run before you can walk. Our book The Growth Strategy That’s Being Ignored shares insights from 17 global thought leaders on what are the most common barriers to developing a test and learn culture within business
- Create a buzz around CRO by getting everyone involved; create a survey for people to submit their test ideas, build a testing board in the office which showcases latest tests or circulate a monthly testing dashboard via email.
- Gather insight from other areas of the business as often as possible; for example liaising with the customer services team to find out what customers are ringing up about.
- Build a culture that strives to learn rather than always win by integrating your testing tool with analytics so that you can understand the impact on a wide range of metrics. Always communicate customer learnings as well as impact.
- Take our CRO maturity audit today and start your journey to digital transformation.