Information Management

Fish Where the Fish are…

conversion rate optimisation

In my post, “Do you have the GRIT for testing success,” I summarized a data-driven framework to develop sound testing output. The utilization of business intelligence and web analytics tools, augmented with session replay, click-maps and voice of customer insight all contribute to the what and why of the digital user experience. Ultimately, this insight is used to build data-informed hypotheses, facilitate a successful testing roadmap and effectively “fish where the fish are.” This post aims to share recent examples where I used data to inform testing strategy to “fish” in the right places. I’ll share case studies and recommendations, highlighting some fundamental data sources as well: Measuring on-page elements on high traffic pages Benchmarking landing page performance Funnel segmentation Voice of customer analysis Measuring on-page elements on high traffic pages Testing on pages with high traffic is obvious: with a large pool of traffic, it takes a relative small segment of users to identify treatments that move the needle. Yet, how many times has a page been launched with measurement an afterthought?  How many templates are launched solely on UX wireframe and small-scale user study? I don’t recommend this as approach, but if you have already launched templates on this basis, it’s a good idea to start testing right away. In this example below, we used OpenText™ Optimost to provide click-through rate (CTR) data on a homepage, where web analytics had yet to be implemented. It was quickly apparent that the carousel was under-performing and quick task icons (labeled “icons” below) were out-performing click-through to products. For this client, the carousel housed 12 links to products and the aim was to improve product click-through: Control: We provided a new template as a challenger to the existing Home page which replaced the carousel with a static hero banner and an overlay menu of product links. The challenger increased product CTR from 5.3% to 8.96%, a 66% uplift in product engagement from the homepage. Challenger Compare this example to your own web site: Do you employ a rotating carousel? What is the CTR? What is the CTR of rotation 1 vs rotation 2 and 3? Which is the best-performing element on your landing page? You can measure on-page CTRs in three ways 1) Use your testing solution to create custom click measurements, to plug gaps where web analytics tools have yet to be configured. 2) Set up a variable in your web analytics solution that measures on-page clicks – I recommend using a URL parameter to signal and capture an on-page element post-click e.g: When using an analytics tool to measure CTR, use this calculation: CTR =     total instances of your internal campaign(s)                  page views of the landing page 3) Use an insight tool to provide click-maps and heat-maps. In my experience, I have recorded above-the-fold CTR ~6% and ~10% during sale activity. I have also seen higher CTRs on relevant static campaigns, rather than the employment of rotating carousels. How is your above-the-fold CTR performing? Benchmark Landing Pages Our customers work hard driving traffic to their web site(s). Landing Page analysis helps manage which pages visitors arrive at on the first page of the visit. Below are web analytics reports that can help benchmark landing page performance. In Google Analytics, the report to use is Landing Pages: Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages Click the comparison icon Ensure that column 1 is set to Sessions to provide the highest landing pages Ensure that column 2 is set to Bounce Rate The RED bars show that the Bounce Rate on these Landing Pages is performing worse than the average Site Bounce Rate. You can switch the same report to show landing page conversion vs the site average. Landing pages with high bounce and low conversion need improvement. Click the comparison icon Ensure that column 1 is set to Sessions to provide the highest landing pages Ensure that column 2 is set to Ecommerce Conversion Rate The RED bars show that conversion on these Landing Pages is performing worse than average conversion rate. These landing pages need improvement in retaining traffic. When using Adobe Analytics, the Landing Page report is found: View All Reports > Pages > Entries & Exits > Entry Pages It is harder to compare landing page bounce rate by average site bounce rate. Here are two options: 1) Create a calculated metric called Site Bounce Rate [Total Bounces] / [Total Entries]. This can then be applied as a metric to this report (as shown in the example above, third column). 2) Use the trended report View All Reports > Site Metrics > Key Metrics (Trended) to get bounce rate separately, using the same dates as the reporting period. By using the same landing/entry page reports, the metric can be changed from bounce rate to conversion rate. This will show which landing pages are poor converting. Now that you can identify high bounce and low converting landing pages, it’s important to compare landing pages of similar hierarchy. Comparing Landing Pages E.g “Which is the most under-performing top tier category landing page?” E.g “Which is the most under-performing product grid landing page?” In this example, the domain has four top-tier landing pages – compare the bounce rates and conversions between them: All bounce rates are better than the site average, however, the conversion rate from the Mens and Womens landing pages are worse than the site average. In this example, the company “New In” clothing (e.g., New In Mens) owned the entire estate for both Men and Women landing pages. In the attempt to promote high-margin product, perhaps too much emphasis was given to just a small percentage of their assortment width. We recommended that this company reduced its emphasis on “New In” clothing and used product sales and conversion data to identify popular categories, brands and “brand category” combinations: G-Star Jeans | Men’s T-shirts | Diesel Underwear etc….. So having identified a high bounce and low converting landing page, we used further product data to tailor a landing page that directs traffic to high-converting product assortments. This is standard practice in a data-driven organization. Even so, sometimes it’s natural for these same organizations to present their own agenda on a landing page, rather than use data and testing to claim authority on landing page performance. One Funnel, multiple opportunities Small improvements in the funnel can return significant incremental revenue. Typically, a funnel can be measured in terms of fallout at each step, to see where customers are experiencing difficulty. Testing can then be prescribed to a focused area of the funnel. Greater insight is found through segmentation. When you segment the funnel by device type and logged in status, this one typical funnel now has six user journeys that can be optimized. Each journey may show different pinch points that can be tested: In this example, we segmented funnel performance by device type and immediately found three areas of focus for testing: Step 1-2 of the funnel are not performing on Tablet, nor Mobile Step 2-3 shows poor performance compared to other steps – so we need to test across all devices Step 4-5 for Tablet is lower than Mobile Not only is it important to segment the funnel to find pinch points for optimization, but also to explain the results of a funnel test or a new implementation feature. More and more large organizations have the resource to productize their customer journeys, and consequently, have a team working solely on the funnel. Therefore, this level of segmentation is becoming increasingly common-place. Add operating system or browser segments into the mix and the number of funnels to optimize can multiply quickly.  Listen to the voice of the customer The use of survey, customer feedback and NPS verbatim is crucial in the application of a testing roadmap and strategy. Such qualitative data is the only time when customers actually tell you what’s up! It quickly shows areas that are causing frustration and provides opportunity for testing. In this example, a legal research provider collated quotes from various sources of customer feedback for their product research tool. Analysis of customer quotes identified words that are most commonly associated with the words frustrating and cumbersome. Clearly, users of the research tool found it difficult to download and print documents. Since that’s a primary objective of this tool, it was cause for concern: On the page, users had to click a print icon, then select a download and/or email icon to have documents delivered (see screenshot below). Based on the insight from the feedback analysis, we believed hiding document delivery behind a print icon might be the source of the frustration, so we designed an experiment to make the options clearer. Control: “hidden” document delivery options   Challenger: Exposes document delivery options After 30 days of testing, results were conclusive: the challenger increased total interactions per visitor by +12% (99% confidence). Session ID data was recorded for this experiment and then returned to validate metrics recorded in the client database.In addition to more interactions, the challenger improved actual document deliveries +6% and improved customer success score. In summary, this was a small change to the control experience that yielded a clear improvement and serves as a great example of sound, data-driven end-to-end testing methodology: 1) Qualitative & Quantitative analysis of customer feedback 2) Diagnosis of current situation – what is causing frustration? 3) Data-driven identification of problem, testing with a prescriptive hypothesis 4) Clear results, measurements provided both in-test and post-test analysis 5) A winning experience that can now be iterated and further optimized “To fish where the fish are” requires understanding of web analytics and user scenarios of the customer journey. As a result, you’ll be feeding quality ideas into your testing program and have a higher chance of success. If you’ve read this far, consider yourself ready for open water! If you’d like our help, please reach out. And please share your ideas for finding the fish in the comments.

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Sell Holidays Online? Good Emotions Mean Good Conversion


It’s summer holiday season, and we’re all feeling excited about our upcoming summer breaks. But if you work in the online travel industry, how do your customers feel when they book with you? Booking a getaway can be an emotional customer experience, and to get the best conversion rate you need to make sure your site and booking process always evoke the right emotions. Emotions that reduce conversion Fear of the unknown A holiday is a big purchase, so it’s natural that customers can feel some trepidation when committing a large sum of money. As a marketer think about what you need to put in place to reassure customers. How to avoid it Include every detail of what is included in the deal. A package holiday company wanted to save space on their mobile holiday product listings. They tested removing a breakdown of what the holiday included to do this. Their bookings dropped by over 30%! Make cancellation policies clear, and offer insurance if the customer could lose out if they cancel. One European travel company saw increased conversion when a more detailed table of insurance options was shown. The change lifted conversion even among customers who didn’t actually take up the insurance. Confusion Make sure it’s clear what the user needs to input at each stage in their search and booking. How to avoid it For one travel company, simply adding a one word label to a field in a search form resulted a seven figure increase in annual revenue. Before the change the label was a placeholder inside the field, meaning that prospective holidaymakers who tabbed to the field didn’t see it. This left them without any signpost telling them what the field was. The result was confusion and abandonment of the search. One package holiday purchase journey had a large ‘basket’ detailing the options chosen so far above each step. This pushed the current call to action below the fold, so they tested removing or collapsing the basket. For the first few steps, conversion to the next step increased but ultimately conversions stayed the same. Why? The confusion caused by not having the selected holiday details easily accessible balanced out any gains from making the CTA more obvious. Emotions to create for high conversion Fear of missing out While we’ve discussed the bad kind of fear above, this kind of fear can help you make a quick sale and guide users towards impulse purchases. A holiday can be a long purchase cycle, but recently many travel retailers have started to use the tactics of scarcity and urgency to give potential customers a reason to make the purchase now. How to create it Add up-to-date information that shows that a deal is popular – so users fear that it will sell out. are famously the pioneer of this. The hotel listing shown below displays both the number of people looking at the hotel “right now”, and the number of bookings today. The second listing even explicitly states that they expect to sell out soon. An airline found that showing the precise number of seats left on a flight significantly lifted conversion. Visitors felt pressured to make the purchase before the seats were sold, and so didn’t have as much opportunity to change their minds or research competitive options. Use countdown clocks where a deal or offer is limited, such as this one on Expedia’s deals page: Smugness Managing to secure a holiday that seems exclusive and sought after gives your customers a sense of smugness or one-upmanship. This might annoy their friends but is something that as a travel marketer you want to encourage! To build on this make sure that any savings the customer is making are made crystal clear so they can pat themselves on the back for being so financially prudent. those in the UK will recognize this idea from the memorable but annoying series of moneysupermarket adverts. How to create it Scarcity messaging as described above can help to create this effect. If the deal does in fact sell out, follow up with a notification email to create this feeling of smugness and encourage repeat business. Placing the savings within the actual CTA e.g. “Choose this deal and save £500” increased views on deals and package bookings for one vendor. Excitement Prospective holidaymakers are more likely to part with hard earned cash if they feel excited about a deal or destination. In addition excited customers will often post to social media about the trip they just booked, giving you free word of mouth referrals. How to create it Content such as imagery, video or travel guides can show off the best features of your holidays. Don’t however highlight this at the expense of a clear and prominent search feature. We’ve seen ugly but clear search pages perform better than design-led, content heavy pages where the search is hidden. Social proof, like a high volume of positive reviews, also helps to hype your visitors up and turn them into customers. Discover more information on how to improve conversions on your website here.

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What I Learned at Digital Elite Camp 2016

testing framework

Fantastic conference in Estonia by Conversion XL recently. 3 days of seminars, workshops and networking, where the key message was to apply a testing framework that relies upon a foundation of analytics; user research; segmentation and operational site performance. Any experimentation will be compromised if foundations:  Cannot be measured with confidence  Are prone to functional errors cross-device and browser Where strong foundations are in place, then optimization is trusted. This conference continued to reference many testing examples; but my key takeaway was an evolving maturity in measurement; moving into longer-term metrics such as customer loyalty and lifetime value, rather than CTR and conversions. The first two sessions saw motivational discussion on “being the change”, challenging the status quo and having the confidence to excel. Paul Rouke (@paulrouke) talked obout how optimization professionals can help reinvent the persona of the HiPPO (Highest paid person in the organisation): Humility Integrity Passion Positivity Openness As optimization professionals, we have to avoid ‘imposter syndrome’ and act as ‘evangelists’ to promote testing culture within an organisation. Tom Barker of Royal Bank of Scotland (@tomabarker) shared how they rolled out testing to the front-line staff of RBS; creating a nucleus of experts to spread knowledge via internal training. The change in culture was emphatic, generating over 400 tests in a year, 110 live data dashboards and buy-in from the executive tier.   Ask yourself, are clients really sharing the wealth of optimization activity performed? Can you do more to present and share success? Avoiding corporate politics in new website design was also discussed. UX examples were provided where the internal business agenda has surfaced on websites. The learning here is to intensify user research: such as UX labs, scroll/heat maps, surveys. “Sell the way your customers want to buy, rather than how you want to sell to them.” Amy Harrison (@Harrisonamy) delivered a great session on how to write copy with impact. Avoid the use of umbrella terms such as “this is a powerful tool” because what does that mean anyway?  Focus rather on the USPs of your product/solution. Surface the needs of the customer to the benefits of the product/solution to match customer requirements: “you can download and trial today.”  Many landing page visitors bounce within 5 seconds – are your USPs visible within 5 seconds? Matching requirements featured in sessions that dissected journeys of an eCommerce site. The message was that each template of the funnel has an independent purpose. Reinforce customer requirements that are satisfied on each page type. Testing should bridge the gap in promoting an offline experience to online. Pop-up buying guides should appear upon scrolling; use localized testimonials; use of videos and alternative imagery –  all help to provide the look and feel you get with an offline experience.Use these tactics to effectively help customer decision-making. And if a product that is niche, technical or spec heavy, but is suitable for beginners, then tell them so! Day 1 was summarized by Peep Laja (Conversion XL). He pitched the XL Institute, a subscription where case studies are shared and academic papers translated for general use. This academic research is in the psychological study of cognitive bias that rationalizes the internal processes of decision making. Recent Institute case studies, showed some interesting trends on uplift with: Use of bullet points Left to right priority of pricing plans Familiarity of Trust/Security symbols Addition of images to testimonials Use of female customer service voices Days 2-3 drilled further into optimization practice; SEO/PPC optimization; video optimization; growth-hacking tactics; and analytics. It is clear that optimization professionals rely heavily on additional tool sets, such as heat-maps, session replay and user research. was mentioned as a shared resource. These tool-kits featured in many sessions to help solve “why?” a customer is exhibiting certain behavior. Data Layer, GTM and GA all delivered sessions regarding configuration, content optimization and re-targeting activity, with a key message: Your testing tool has to be hooked up to a web analytics platform.  Two sessions stressed the benefit of creating calculated metrics in your web analytics platform and creating multiple micro-conversions. Session scoring methods were discussed, applicable to measure content engagement and sites of low-traffic. Hit-level behavioral segmentation was also exemplified. For example: “A user visited page x and then clicked button y”  Yehoshua Coren (@analyticsninja) gave a great example of using multiple micro-conversions to create a scoring index to measure visitor interest over 30 days; used to avoid banner fatigue in re-marketing. Both sessions stressed a move to longer-term user behavior. Metrics such as Customer Lifetime Value; Average Cost per session; and Cost of Acquisition were especially pertinent. The conference was summarized by Craig O Sullivan (@OptimiseOrDie) stating that tools, knowledge, and techniques have all improved, but the foundation of conversion optimization remains a difficult job. Here are 12 concluding points: Avoid relying on best practice. It’s never 1:1 advice Build an optimisation roadmap on strong foundations of data Work on organisational design and culture; prepare for scalable growth Embrace failure – it’s an integral part of conversion optimization Humility and ignorance help achieve better results. You can’t and don’t know everything! Develop a ‘better quality’ ignorance Mature your metrics. Focus on loyalty, satisfaction and customer lifetime value rather than short-term events Prioritize: “Without scoring, you are burning rubber” Use quantitative and qualitative methods to map out the whole situation and solution Usability vs. motivation – work on both, but functionality trumps motivation Implement a process. Find a way of working that fits your team You MUST have copywriting, persuasion and psychology available to CRO teams Do cross-device optimization – not many companies and agencies do it fully yet I also learnt that I need to read this book. Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely. Thanks again for a great Elite Camp!

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Nashville Notes – Impressions of my First Enterprise World

Enterprise World

I’ve been to Nashville several times before, but never for an event like this. It had everything from Country Singers to an Astronaut – and some great business and technology as well. Welcome to OpenText Enterprise World! On the second day of Enterprise World, someone described it to me as “overwhelming,” and so it was on some levels. There was simply so much to choose from. Over two hundred breakout sessions ranging from business strategy, to software practioner how-to tips,through to  developer sessions that got down to the code level. Alongside were six themed theaters on the main Expo floor each running fifteen minute presentations on an equally wide range of subjects. Plus an Innovation Lab, a Developers Lab, Customer Roundtables, and over forty demo stations; it was a lot to take in. Whether you are a long time OpenText customer, a recent customer going through systems implementation, or a prospective customer – there was something for everyone. And as a relatively new staff member there was a lot for me to take in too; but I couldn’t have asked for a better immersion on the company’s culture, customers, staff, solutions, and products. Everyone I spoke to had a good time. Despite its size and apparent complexity the event ran very smoothly, and all were happy with the experience. Experience was the framework around which my week at Enterprise World was structured as I was managing the Experience Theater for the Customer Experience Management team. We had a steady flow of visitors to the theater to discuss a variety of subjects, and to take a look at the various product demonstrations available. It was interesting to note that most of the conversations were about solving business problems, and how to move towards delivering a continuous customer experience driven by digital transformation initiatives and projects. The changing nature of business was also highlighted in the opening keynote from OpenText CEO Mark Barrenechea as he described the journey from Engagement to Insight across the enterprise. Engagement | Capture | Content | Process | Collaboration | Discover | Exchange | Insight This concept clearly resonated with the audience at Enterprise World and is one I’ll be revisiting in future blog posts on how delivering an exceptional customer experience can drive the journey towards better customer and business insight. If you couldn’t make it to Nashville this year, make a note on your calendars for the week of July 10, 2017 and join us in Toronto next year for what promises to be another exceptional conference.

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Introducing OpenText TeamSite 8.2

TeamSite 8.2

Optimize Your Digital Experiences with OpenText™ TeamSite 8.2 We’re happy to share the announcement of our latest OpenText TeamSite release – TeamSite 8.2! TeamSite is a modern, dynamic, and flexible platform for digital experience management. It makes it easier for marketers to deliver outstanding digital experiences by simplifying the management of content across all channels, including web, mobile, email, social, ecommerce, and portals. From a single, easy-to-use interface, you can author, test, and target content, manage rich media, design websites and mobile applications, and publish content. Get to know what’s new in TeamSite 8.2 by scrolling through our SlideShare deck – or reading the details below. You can also email for more information.   Test your web pages for higher conversions and improve productivity OpenText TeamSite 8.2 brings you an even more marketer-friendly digital experience management platform that helps your business increase revenue – while also increasing productivity. With TeamSite 8.2, you’re able to optimize customer engagement and simplify tasks for your content editors, authors and web teams. Boost conversions by testing the value of your web pages TeamSite 8.2 is integrated with OpenText™ Optimost. Now, you can create experiments and view reports without having to leave eStudio. Adjust text and creative elements of your published TeamSite web and mobile experiences. Then, push your site to the next level by running experiments. You’ll see which versions brought you the best business results, so you can then take that knowledge to lift conversion rates and revenue. Take advantage of more flexible TeamSite templates Creating and editing pages just got even easier. Your web team won’t have to waste precious time creating new templates for every minor deviation from standard pages. They can set up flexible templates by designating components as “placeholders” that can be swapped out for other component types. For example, let’s say you have a template with a header, an image, and two columns of text, but you want to change the image to an embedded video instead. Now, you easily switch out the image for another type of component, like video. Flexible templates empower you to create new pages faster – without having to go back to web designers for every little layout change. Recognize web and mobile content easier with thumbnail previews Foggy memory? That’s ok. Now, when you are in eStudio, web and mobile pages and templates automatically generate image previews. This supplies you with visual cues to quickly identify existing projects. You no longer have to remember file names in order to find what you’re looking for. Publish dependencies from rules The Publish feature now looks at all of the targeting rules that are associated with the components of your page or template. It sees what content could potentially be returned from the rules – images, for example. It automatically grabs the content and publishes the content with all of the dependencies. You don’t have to manually publish each piece of targeted content associated with each published page. This update will save you a lot of time when publishing content – and it reduces the risk of accidentally forgetting to publish targeted assets for each page. Easily create new hybrid mobile apps Now, you can create a hybrid mobile app directly from the source – by using an existing TeamSite-generated site or a subfolder of a TeamSite site (such as a campaign microsite). And there’s an even easier option to create hybrid mobile apps. You can now simply enter the URL of any live website, regardless of whether that site was created or published via TeamSite, and create a new app based on content from that site. And just so you know – when you create Android and iOS apps, you can choose IPA and APK options. These options will enable you to directly download and install ready-made apps. You’ll save a lot of time because you or a developer won’t have to build the apps manually. Speed up the mobile testing process Enterprise organizations have so much on their plates when it comes to testing and reviewing content before it’s published or updated. We wanted to make it easier for the testing teams in your organization – so that they aren’t wasting a lot of time looking at devices they don’t support. The mobile emulator – which allows users to virtually preview and edit content displayed on multiple device types at once – has been updated so that your team can configure the specific devices it wants to see. This enhancement speeds up the mobile testing process by helping your organization view only devices it supports. View content in a folder structure If you’re used to navigating TeamSite via a folder structure, you’re in luck! In addition to the tile-based view of content included in TeamSite 8.0 and 8.1, you now have the additional option to view content in folders. Not only that – you can search the folders for the sites, pages, templates, apps, etc. that you’re looking for. So no matter how you slice it, you’ll find what you need in the way that’s comfortable to you. See version history in Experience Studio You can now view version history for all web and mobile app files – within Experience Studio. This includes pages, templates, assets, and targeting artifacts. Version History shows all the versions of a selected file or page to help differentiate them in their draft, submitted, and published states. Versions can be previewed, and changes can be reverted. When selected, each version reveals several details including version number, date and time submitted or published, and who modified the draft files. This feature helps those in highly regulated industries or companies with strict archiving requirements. Easily navigate through localized content The Monitor Localization dashboard is clean, easily searchable, and can be launched from eStudio. The number of tabs have been reduced, making it easier for your team to navigate and find the assets they are looking for. Other enhancements There are several other enhancements included in TeamSite 8.2. eStudio now offers the functionality to customize workflows, according to your organization’s business processes. Now, your organization can segregate user access to certain areas of your websites and access multiple stores in Experience Studio. The TeamSite Administration Guide now shares how to run Linux installations as a non-root user. There have been some additional enhancements to layout capabilities. Now, users can select sections, rows, columns via standard CSS3 index-based pseudo selectors. Any associated styles will be reflected in edit and preview mode. And this feature also provides a page/body wrapper for users to add styles for the entire page. Technical support Expanded technical support includes: Java: Support for Java 8 runtime is now added to TeamSite, OpenDeploy, LiveSite, and Search. Tomcat: Support for Tomcat 8.0.36 has been added to LiveSite. OpenSSL: TeamSite 8.2 components will link to OpenSSL 1.0.1e on the Linux platform. However, OpenSSL 1.0.x is supported. Windows will link to OpenSSL 1.0.2e. Thank you for taking a look the new features included in TeamSite 8.2! For more information, email

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3 Proven Tips for Optimizing Your Lead Forms

Optimizing lead forms

One of my favorite page elements to optimize are lead forms. I enjoy optimizing lead forms for a number of reasons, one being the fact that clients who have lead forms are sometimes smaller businesses, and every additional lead we receive due to optimization significantly affects their business. Another reason why I enjoy optimizing lead forms is that they offer up a ton of opportunity. Within the lead form itself, you can optimize the headline and sub-headline (if one exists), the number of fields presented, the location of the lead form on the page, how the lead form is presented; the list goes on and on. After recently completing a number of tests involving lead forms, I reflected on my learnings and composed these 3 proven tips for optimizing your next lead form. Let’s review them below. #1 – Personalize the Form Headline Typically, lead forms span multiple pages throughout your website, specifically across product and services type pages. Visitors to these pages are looking for additional information related to that product or service and when visitors cannot find the information they require, they either leave the site or consider contacting you through a lead form. To increase the likelihood a visitor submits the lead form, draw them in by personalizing the headline of the form. You can easily pique interest by communicating the fact that a specialist related to that product or service will be contacting them, rather than a random sales representative. There are two key takeaways related to the example below. Voice Services is the name of the product. This product name changes based on the product or service the visitor is viewing.  By changing the name of the product dynamically, the visitor believes they are going to speak to someone who is knowledgeable about that specific product or service. Often times visitors are reluctant to complete a lead form for fear that a random sales representative will be contacting them. We tacked on the word specialist to the end of the headline to increase trust. #2 – Know Your Audience Life throws a lot at us. We constantly juggle work, personal life, kids, bills and more. Long story short, we are busy people. Because people are so busy, it benefits you as a business to take on the responsibility of initiating the conversation, rather than the other way around. Consider the example below. The original call to action was passive and made it seem like the visitor was responsible for initiating the conversation, whereas the challenger gave the visitor the impression that the business would take on the responsibility of getting in contact with them. At the end of the day, understand that people have busy schedules and help them understand that you as the business are here to make their lives easier. #3 – Include the Form Directly on the Page Throughout my years of optimization, I’ve heard arguments for and against exposing the lead form directly on the page. Some believe it adds clutter or can be a distraction, but I tend to believe that because it takes up more real estate it actually helps increase the attention the form receives and it reduces the number of steps necessary to complete the lead form (removes the need to click to another page). Make it easier for visitors to interact with your business by adding the form directly to the page rather than asking the visitor to click a button to view the form. These are just 3 examples of how you can significantly increase the submission rate of your lead forms. Before conducting your next test, consider these proven techniques for optimizing your lead forms.  If you need help making your tests more actionable and want to learn more about optimizing your lead forms, get in touch with us at

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How to Improve Your CRO Results With Data Driven Hypotheses

Conversion Rate Optimization

A test’s hypothesis is arguably the most important factor when it comes to conversion rate optimization (CRO). The hypothesis not only establishes the purpose behind running a test, it also helps inform the design of test variants as well as helps to determine key performance indicators (KPI’s). That said, not all hypotheses are created equal, there are good hypotheses and bad. Good hypotheses are formed and supported by data, while bad hypotheses have no support and are generally based on subjective opinions. While the concept of developing strong hypotheses using data may seem fairly straight forward to some, it’s alarming to see that a vast majority of hypotheses I come across are not supported by data. CRO novices and experts alike continue to form poor, non-supported hypotheses from sources such as ones intuition, general theories, the HiPPO (highest paid person’s opinion), competitive research and even designers’ opinions. While many of these sources can, at times, lead to successful testing, none have more impact than those backed by data. If your goal as a CRO practitioner is to increase the likelihood of success, you must abandon the notion of using opinions to form hypotheses and place more importance on data. Develop Stronger Hypotheses Using these Common Sources All types of data sources can be used to form hypotheses including web analytics, CRM data, session replays and more. More importantly, each source offers a unique set of data points that help focus and streamline the hypothesis development process. The table below includes just a few examples of the different data sources and their corresponding data points to help you build better hypotheses. By no means is the list exhaustive, but this should get you started on your journey to building better hypotheses. Data Resource Typical Data Points Web Analytics Top Entry & Exit Pages Paths to Conversion Visitors Likely to Convert (e.g. new vs. repeat OR mobile vs. desktop, geography) Actions Leading to Conversion (e.g. calculator interaction, product comparison) Previous Test Data Types of Elements that Increased Conversion (e.g. headline, CTA, content) Audiences that Responded Positively Actions Leading to Conversion CRM Data Attribute Analysis of Past Purchasers 3rd Party Data Visitor Profile Data (e.g. psychographic, demographic) Voice of Customer Data (VOC) Qualitative Data (e.g. common pain points) Session Replays Causes for Abandonment (e.g. form field errors, form submission issues, data entry hesitation such as SSN) Now that we understand the types of data that can be used to form strong hypotheses, let’s take a look at a couple of examples of data supported hypotheses that led to significant impacts to our partners’ business. Example 1 – Correlation Analysis A recent analysis of a client’s shopping cart revealed that there is a strong positive correlation between visitors who click on the ‘Continue Shopping’ button and the average amount spent per visitor.  This analysis helped us to understand the fact that revenue per visitor significantly increases by getting more visitors to add additional products to their cart after clicking the ‘Continue Shopping’ button. Hypothesis Formed: Revenue per visitor significantly increases by getting more visitors to add additional products to their cart after clicking the ‘Continue Shopping’ button, therefore by drawing more attention to the ‘Continue Shopping’ option we should see a significant impact on our revenue per visitor metric. Test & Outcome: Example 2 – Visitor Attribute Analysis (New vs. Repeat Visitors) An analysis of a bank’s test data showed that there is a significant number of visitors who leave the website after their first visit and return several days later to start an online application. Hypothesis Formed: Data suggests that a significant number of first time visitors are not ready to start the application process and that many of them return to the website several days later to begin that process. By targeting these visitors with content related to the last product viewed upon their repeat visit, we expect to see a significant impact on application start rates. Test & Outcome: Example 3 – Product Analysis by Geographic Location An analysis of the top 10 highest revenue generating rental car locations revealed that visitors’ rental preferences change from location to location. Factors such as preferred cars, preferred payment method and average length of rental were just a few of the factors that differ between locations. For example, one location’s most rented vehicles may be economy, compact, intermediate, standard and full size, while another locations most rented vehicles may be Full size, intermediate, standard, Intermediate SUV and Premium. Hypothesis Formed: Given the fact that preferred cars change by location, by calling out the most rented vehicles in a given location and marketing them differently than all other cars, we should see a significant impact on the reservation rate of each location. Test & Outcome: At the end of the day, the hypotheses we formed and the insights that followed would not be possible without supporting data. Without data, less visitors to the eCommerce site would continue shopping, we’d see less started applications at the bank and ultimately less reservations being submitted for the car rental company. To conclude, while testing theories or listening to the HiPPO is an easier, quicker way to get tests up and running, these methods for forming hypotheses are far more inferior to using data. While you may not have direct access to data, your internal analysts, agencies or your client relationship manager typically do. Rather than forming hypotheses using subjective opinions, reach out to any resource that may help provide the data needed to form data driven hypotheses. If you need help making your tests more actionable and want to learn more about developing data driven hypotheses, get in touch with us at

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Enterprise World 2016 – Learn How to Improve Process Productivity with Extended ECM Platform

Enterprise Content Management

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) was supposed to be a single solution to all of the myriad business problems. It would let the business owners dictate where and how all data would be stored and structured, apply user rights and retention policies, and most importantly, control what happened to that data over its lifetime. But we all know how that story ended. Users felt constrained by all of the new rules that got in the way of their ability to do their job and were baffled by the complex metadata and classification requirements. Sharing information with external resources (gasp!) became a monumental challenge. And most of all, they resented having to do the real work of their job—be it sales, HR, engineering, or virtually anything else—in one application, then switch to the ECM system to (attempt to) file and find documents related to their business processes. So those very employees that were hired to be self-motivated problem solvers and critical thinkers did what they were hired to do—they found alternative solutions so they could do their job more efficiently. Custom add-on applications were built to handle common processes, while whole industries evolved for things like enterprise resource management (ERP) and engineering document management (EDM). Users switched between different applications to perform different aspects of their job, often to complete steps in the same process. The result? An inconsistently used ECM system and unstructured data that is spread across various (largely uncontrolled) silos with no control and poor personal and process productivity. So what if you took the heart of what ECM represents to your business—the backbone for your unstructured information—and integrated it with the leading application where the work actually gets done? You get Extended ECM and an engine for Digital Transformation.   With Release 16 OpenText launched the Extended ECM Platform, which offers unprecedented integration of Content Suite Platform to ANY  other system. OpenText offers out-of-the-box solutions for many leading business applications like SAP® ERP, Oracle® E-Business Suite, and Microsoft® SharePoint®, but Extended ECM Platform allows organizations to connect their ECM system to as many leading applications as they need, even if no pre-packaged offering is available. With Extended ECM, users get to work in the application they know and prefer, while getting effortless access to the right unstructured information. Metadata is automatically applied from the business object, turning unstructured information into structured. No searching, no switching, and no workarounds. Users are more efficient, processes more streamlined, and the holy grail of “a single source of the truth” is achieved. Best of all, it allows organizations to start with one process at a time and to leverage existing ECM efforts. Extended ECM Platform uses a template mechanism to join business processes with information and documents, so you don’t need to start from scratch. It really is time to rethink ECM and achieve a better way to work. OpenText™ Extended ECM Platform will get you there. And best of all, you can come see it in person at Enterprise World in Nashville, Tennessee on July 11 – 14. Join me at these key Extended ECM sessions: ECM-100 ECM Strategy and Product Direction: Re-thinking ECM for the Digital Enterprise ECM-301 How To: Extended ECM Platform Developer Workshop ECM-237 Putting the X in ECM – Extending ECM into Leading Business Applications Plus, the Content Theater in the Enterprise Expo has recurring demos of all the new Content Suite features, Q&A sessions, and the chance to chat with OpenText experts about anything and everything ECM related. Feel free to stop by anytime!

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Accelerate Your Customer Communications Strategy at Enterprise World

Enterprise World

Join us in Nashville this July at Enterprise World 2016 to learn, and share, the latest in Customer Communications and how to turn your regular customer communications into a powerful marketing asset. With OpenText™ Communications Center you can maximize the effectiveness of your communications, not only by providing a single, consistent look and feel across all devices, but also by creating a dialogue from the document. Also, because the channels are linked, a customer can, say, initiate an application from their email reader and complete it on their tablet at a later time or date. Communications Center provides the robust, enterprise-grade CCM solution that you need to effectively generate and manage communications that connect all of your business systems, while providing up-to-the-minute critical information to your customers, partners, vendors and personnel. You can find out more at the upcoming OpenText Enterprise World conference in Nashville the week of July 11th. The focus for Enterprise World 2016 is to provide more informative and detailed technical sessions alongside customer case studies, making it our most informative user conference to date. For example, the OpenText Communications Center specific sessions on offer in Nashville include: Fast tracking sales from Contract to Digital Signature Developing state of the art Dynamic Templates for Customer Communications Data Gathering Strategies for Customer Communications Management Integrating Customer Communications with Content Server What’s new and what’s upcoming for the OpenText Customer Communications offerings And that’s just a small selection of over 20 sessions around Experience Suite and 200 plus breakout sessions, roundtables, labs, and demos on offer across the whole OpenText portfolio. Enterprise World 2016 is a must attend event for anyone in the Customer Experience and Customer Communications world. If you haven’t yet registered for Enterprise World, now is the perfect time to do so. Come join us in Nashville!

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The Cloud: Bigger and Better at Enterprise World

Cloud Enterprise_World

If your business is already operating applications in the cloud or is considering adopting cloud for EIM applications, you will find many opportunities at Enterprise World to advance your plans. The Cloud is everywhere at Enterprise World this year! If you would like to better understand our cloud strategy and meet with the leaders that manage all parts of our cloud, join us at: CLD-100 OT Cloud: Strategy, Offerings, and Talk with the Experts on Wednesday morning. This panel session will offer you the opportunity to learn more about all aspects of our cloud operation and to ask questions. Directly after this session we will head to the Elite Lounge where you will be able to enjoy a coffee and talk with the cloud experts one-to-one. For those that want to dive deeper, there are several sessions that are aimed at helping you with the details of working in the cloud: CLD-200 Enterprise Managed Services in the OpenText Cloud provides a deep dive into the services that are provided when your applications are managed in the cloud. It will describe service levels, operational standards, security and compliance processes. CLD-201 Total Cost of Ownership Benefits in the Cloud provides guidance on how to evaluate your total cost of ownership on-premises and in the cloud and evaluate the possible savings for your organization. This session features a customer describing how they went about analyzing TCO for 2 systems on-premises and in the cloud. CLD-202 Embracing the Cloud in the Public Sector is a customer panel session where customers will share what they are doing and how they are advancing through the use of cloud applications. This interactive session will provide high value for all Public Sector and customer service focused organizations. ECM-223 Top Questions you need to ask when upgrading ECM to the Cloud will provide answers to some of the top questions when considering a move to the cloud as you upgrade to Release 16. You will leave this session with a clear understanding of the path to cloud success and have a chance to ask the experts about your particular situation. CEM-201 Strategies for a Successful DAM Implementation on a Cloud Platform shares practical advice on managing media in the cloud including architecture, metadata, ingestion of content and administration. Cloud is very popular for media management customers and this session will provide great practical advice. Do you want to have 1:1 practical advice for your own organization? Now is the chance to spend quality time with our Professional Services and Managed Services experts. Book a private session with our experts – go to the Professional Services area in the Expo Hall to request the time that works for you. If you don’t have time to fit full breakout sessions into your schedule, there are several Theatre sessions running in the Professional Services Expo Hall Theatre. Check the daily schedule for a 15 minute short session on:  TCO in the Cloud, Trends in Cloud Implementations, Upgrading to the OpenText Cloud and an overview of Managed Services in the Cloud. Networking: Meet with other customers who have experienced the cloud through all of the networking events and sessions. Meet with our executives and experts in booked meetings, in the Expo Hall, or after breakout sessions. We would love to speak with you in more depth. This is the best work week of the year for us as we get the opportunity to speak with you and learn together. Please take the time to talk with us, and with your peers and have a wonderful Enterprise World. See you there! To register or get more information visit our Enterprise World site

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Enterprise World 2016: How to Succeed with ECM


Having attended more iterations of Enterprise World than most, I know from personal experience that every edition of our flagship annual event is a world unto itself; every one has its own unique feel and personality. This year promises to be no different. For the first time I can recall, the OpenText community will be convening right on the heels of a major product release. Back in April, we launched Release 16, the most extensive product announcement in our history. That makes this Enterprise World something special; the perfect forum for customers, partners, and thought leaders to come together and experience a brand new, revolutionary product suite in person. You’ll have a front-row seat to discovering what it can do, how it all fits together, and what it all means to your organization. The focus at Enterprise World this year is squarely on learning: Learning how to maximize your existing infrastructure, learning what’s available to up your game, and learning which trends are going to impact your future. We’re turning the floor over to the product gurus, the solution experts, and the industry thought leaders to teach and educate. If you happened to read CEO Mark Barrenechea’s recent post, you’ll see some interesting numbers; this year we’re scheduling double the number of breakouts, and almost double the number of technical training sessions. From a Content Suite standpoint, that means: How To’s A wide variety of technically-focused “How To” and training sessions covering everything related to Content Suite and ECM, from maintaining to optimizing to upgrading. Honestly, there are so many topics covered, if you’re a practitioner or administrator, you just have to dive in and peruse through. Product Updates What’s new? A lot. And there’s an abundance of sessions devoted to the nuts and bolts that make up the advances in our new and existing solutions. These are the overviews where you’ll get clear, tangible insight on new features and functionality, new integration capabilities, and new use cases. Keynotes Always a strong point at Enterprise World and even more so this year. Again, it’s all about learning, so look for a first-rate assortment of OpenText and industry thought leaders to help you do your job better, increase your understanding of the rapidly evolving information management landscape, and the role our new solutions can play in maximizing your digital enterprise. Connecting My personal favorite activity at every Enterprise World! And we’re making sure there are even more settings to have the conversations that matter to you — answering your questions and expanding your horizons. From interactive customer panels featuring organizations tackling the same challenges and opportunities as you to hands-on demonstrations of Content Suite’s new features at the Content Theater, the experts are all here for you. Let’s talk. Nashville in July…School’s in Where will I be? Hopefully everywhere, but here’s the shortlist of ECM sessions I’m counting on to inspire both my left and right brains: ECM-100 ECM Strategy and Product Direction: Re-Thinking ECM for the Digital Enterprise ECM-201 Product Update: Smart UI – Content Suite User Interface ECM-301 How To: Extended ECM Platform Developer Workshop ECM-212 How To: Insights from the In-House Upgrade to Content Server 16 at OpenText Enterprise World 2016 is shaping up to be an epicenter in re-thinking ECM and its role in digital transformation. The next-gen solutions, the best practices, and the thought leadership will all be there. Now all we need is you. Take a few minutes to read about the new possibilities for ECM in the digital enterprise and plan on learning more—much more—in Nashville. See you there!

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IQPC Online Summit – Technology Roundtable Recap

contact center technology

On Tuesday, June 14, I had the pleasure of participating on the panel of an online IQPC Technology Roundtable with two other distinguished vendors. Brian Cantor, the moderator, asked each of us to share our insights and expertise with the audience of over 100 attendees regarding the current state of contact center technology. Over the course of the 30-minute discussion, we covered a number of topics, including: The current state of today’s quickly evolving contact center The role of technology in supporting this evolution Opportunities for using emerging technology to manage rapid change How contact center professionals can ensure success Great information, and great advice, was provided throughout the discussion. There was one topic, however, that did not get covered due to time, and I would like to address this in my blog today. Problem: Technology is great, but the results will not be maximized unless the business properly updates operations. What are some best practices businesses can adopt to make the most of their technology investments? Prescription: Establish a cross-functional steering committee with individuals from operations and IT who meet on a regular basis to share how technology is or is not solving their business challenges Engage with your vendor (who should truly be a partner) in quarterly business reviews. As a true partner, the vendor should clearly understand the goals and objectives of your organization in addition to sharing their expertise, product roadmap and strategy Evangelize process and technology successes (small and big wins) by proactively communicating progress throughout the contact center and the broader enterprise Ensure increased user adoption of technology by leveraging internal power users and other colleagues and peers through customer forums and vendor/partner communities I would like to extend my sincere thanks to IQPC, and especially Brian Cantor, for facilitating this roundtable. My OpenText WFO Software colleagues and I very much look forward to seeing you on June 27-July 1 at IQPC Call Center Week at the Mirage in Las Vegas, NV. Please stop by booth #1017 for a craft coffee and engaging conversations with other OpenText™ Qfiniti and OpenText™ Explore experts. Until next time…

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Wrestle a HiPPO – and Win!


One of the toughest challenges for every data-driven marketer is dealing with someone higher up in their organization, who can and does make decisions based on gut, “experience”, or maybe ego, rather than data-driven customer insights. They are the HiPPOs – the Highest Paid Person in the Organization (or sometimes, the Highest Paid Person’s Opinion). We here at Optimost have a lot of experience helping our customers address cultural challenges like this, so I wanted to share our recommendations for turning your HiPPO from a scary creature that tramples over your best ideas to a supportive, empowering, roadblock-clearing champion. Why does your HiPPO matter? Everyone talks about the elephant in the room, but the HiPPO often doesn’t get the mention they deserve. And that’s too bad. HiPPOs are one of the top conversion killers when they base decisions on conjecture instead of data. It’s like a wild card. Their opinions may make perfect sense, or they may be totally left field. Either way, their suggestions may not actually be best for the business or your customers. Don’t believe us? Look at this: In reality, your users may feel or act much differently. To maximize profits, your site needs to reflect what works best for your customers. But, you can’t know what that is if you aren’t testing. HiPPOs eat data for breakfast Famed 20th Century American engineer, statistician, and management thinker Edward Deming said, “In God we trust, all others bring data.” Most senior managers would prefer to make decisions based on data rather than gut, but rely on their experience instead because they lack complete information for many of the decisions they make. A HiPPO with a testing suggestion, like the one above, might just be trying to be helpful. Or he might think his wife is a web design expert. But he almost certainly doesn’t have the data necessary to make the right decision. So tame the HiPPO by bringing them data instead of anecdotes. That means testing, measuring, and analyzing every step of the conversion funnel on your website. Any site changes should be made because you have quantitative proof that they will improve the outcome you’re driving. That said, if your HiPPO remains adamant their opinion is right, co-opt them through data-driven testing. Incorporate your HiPPO’s suggestions into your test planning and prioritization. It’s a great strategy to help you get ahead, because it helps show your HiPPO you value their ideas. Doing so is important to garner their support. Also, planning and prioritizing helps you to bring order to the chaos and decide what to test first. If you can show your HiPPO that their idea is likely to be marginal at best and will delay a really important test, they may be happy to withdraw their request. Senior management will love you if they see that you’re not only doing the work right, but doing the right work. When you do both, your HiPPO can show he or she is delivering more overall value to the company. And, in turn, your work will be deemed more valuable. As the CRO owner, you probably already have much more detailed data than your HiPPO. So, you can easily use it to your advantage to fuel your CRO/testing agenda. Speak in HiPPO As marketers, we know intuitively that if we don’t communicate with our customers in ways that are relevant and relatable to them, we won’t be in business long. But somehow we often forget this when it comes to internal communication. Everyone, at every level, has specific language and metrics that resonate with them. For you, it might be site traffic. For your colleague, it might be to email sign-ups. But, to really engage your HiPPO, translate your successes to their language and communicate results in terms of that they care about. Here’s an example: If you ran a great test and achieved a 9% boost in adds to cart, don’t go to your CEO and say, “This test achieved a 9% boost in adds to cart.” They probably won’t know what you mean or why they should care. Instead, do say, “For every 1% boost in adds to cart, we earned $10 million in annual revenue. As a result, this test could bring in $90 million in annualized revenue.” Now, that’s something your CEO will want to hear! (Quick diversion: watch this if you want to learn to speak in actual HiPPO. It’s pretty amusing.) What matters to your HiPPO? In order to measure and communicate appropriately to anyone in your organization, ask yourself and your management questions like: What kind of data does my boss ask for again and again? What kind of results do my bosses report to their bosses? What is being tracked on management dashboards? What metrics do executives communicate to the organization? What metrics do stock analysts estimate and report on (for public companies)? Make a HiPPO your Executive Sponsor Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you simply don’t have the rank or pull to push your testing agenda forward, so identify and cultivate an executive sponsor. An executive sponsor is a senior person within your organization who believes in and supports your CRO mandate and has the authority to push forward higher level executive decisions. They will help you: Define and advocate the primary business goals and objectives of your CRO program Expedite approval of strategic decisions on what tests to run Evangelize tests results and widely share them throughout the organization People often get stuck when they lack testing support in their direct management chain. If you’re up against a wall, look elsewhere. Your executive sponsor doesn’t need to be your boss or bosses boss. Look for an executive sponsor that works in any area where data is highly valued; for example, in analytics, marketing operations, or finance. Any of these teams will be predisposed to support you: Analytics’ mission is to better understand and improve website performance Marketing operations wants to ensure marketing maximizes the value of every marketing dollar Finance is always eager to add to the top line or reduce costs Bring HiPPOs into the club with a testing workshop and quarterly reviews At Optimost, we’ve had a lot of success transforming customers’ testing cultures through testing workshops, or hackathons. Testing workshops are one- or two-day team building sessions designed to bring together key stakeholders and raise awareness about testing. The sessions help build testing ideas through a fun, engaging atmosphere. We’ve found team building activities, like testing workshops, help everyone tangibly see and experience the value of CRO. Giving everyone the opportunity to brainstorm, share and present their testing ideas, and have their voice heard fosters collaboration. Stakeholders who aren’t involved in testing day in and day out welcome the chance to feel like they’re having a direct—and positive—impact for customers and the business. Let’s face it. Your HiPPO is a busy person. There are a lot of issues to take care of on the wide savanna. So in addition to inviting them to the occasional workshop, keep them aligned with regular high level reviews. We find quarterly reviews are about the right cadence. In the session, present a high level view of what’s been achieved and what’s in the testing pipeline. With everyone in attendance, state in clear terms how testing goals are being met and how they’re supporting the goals of the business When reporting your achievements, make sure to use KPIs your audience will respond to and understand best – see below When key stakeholders see and hear how your testing program is positively impacting their bottom line, you’re more likely get their buy in Let the wrestling match begin So remember my four tips for wrestling HiPPOs: Bring your HiPPO data. Their decisions will be better! Communicate to them in terms they understand and care about Look for HiPPOs that are on your side — in your management chain or elsewhere Bring them into the club with workshops and regular reviews I hope the tips above help you engage the HiPPOs in your organization confidently and successfully! We’re putting the finishing touches on Trade Up: From Cube to Corner Office, a comprehensive guide to taking charge of testing and optimization in your organization, which goes into a lot more depth on these issues. Please let us know in the comments or by email if you’d like to receive a copy when it’s ready in a few weeks. You can also read more on HiPPOs and testing programs in previous blogs here and here. What other ideas have you successfully used? Please add them to the comments.

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The Customer’s Perspective of the Redefined Customer Journey

digital customer journey

The digital customer journey is being redefined – it’s never been easier to buy stuff. All it takes is a few clicks of a button. But there are an almost infinite number of websites and online sources from which to make purchases. How do you choose? In today’s digital age do you simply buy something, or do you create ongoing relationships with the companies that meet your needs and provide a good experience? I’m guessing that it’s probably more of the latter. Several blog posts ago I talked about how the customer journey is being redefined in the digital age from a linear process to an ongoing loop of BUY then OWN with the companies you choose to deal with becoming more and more engaged in every part of the cycle. But how does that on-going loop look like from a customer perspective? Although the overall experience is continuous it is made up of 10 distinct stages: Awareness: Do you know what is available in the market place that relates to your activities, business, or lifestyle? Need: Why do you buy something? It is generally to fill a business or personal need. Is it something to solve a problem, make life easier, or just to provide pleasure? Defining a need is an essential part of the purchasing process. Research: Once a need is identified and you’ve matched that need to an awareness of what is available, you will often start to ask questions. What has anyone else used or purchased to meet a similar need? In the digital world research is playing a more and more important role with the majority of purchasers doing their own research rather than engage with a sales person to get answers to questions. Evaluate: How do various products and solutions compare? What are other people’s experiences in using those products and solutions? The collective experience of a peer groups are becoming a vital part of the evaluation process in an increasingly connected social world. Buy: Once a decision has been made the ideal purchase experience should be frictionless and consistent irrespective of which channel you use to make the purchase. Delivery: This is the point where the experience moves from the BUY to OWN part of the process, and is often the point where many companies step away from the relationship with the customer. Delivery, be it digital or physical, should be well documented, well communicated, and as fast, and as efficient as possible. Use: The everyday use of a product or solution is the longest part of the customer experience, and yet is often to most overlooked. How easy is it to actually use what you have purchased? Does it meet your needs and expectations? Does the company you purchased it from provide information on its continued use, or ways to connect with other customers to compare experiences? Maintain: What is something goes wrong? How easy is it to get help, or receive product updates? Advocate: Do you talk about products, services, and solutions that you enjoy? So will your customers. Customers who have a positive experience will become brand and product advocates. Recommend: And good advocates will recommend to others. Or they will self-recommend and make repeat purchases based on having been engaged as part of a well-designed and delivered continuous journey. The full engaged customer journey cannot be addressed by separate applications at different parts of the process. To be fully effective, it has to provide an exceptional continuous experience made up of a combination of the many different experiences and processes. In an upcoming blog post we’ll take a look at the next layer related to the company’s activities in providing a continuous connected customer experience. In the meantime this white paper “A Better Way to Engage – Redefining the Customer Journey for a Digital World” is worth a read.

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ECM Show and Tell at Enterprise World 2016

Enterprise World

We’re closing in on two months since we unveiled the most significant release in the history of OpenText, including, of course, a powerful new version of OpenText™ Content Suite 16. After a busy few months with the ECM product team doing the ‘CS16 show and tell’ via the OT Live webinar series, our next stop is in-the-flesh in Nashville at Enterprise World 2016. Following so closely on the heels of the Release 16 launch, this year’s event is going to have a special vibe: There’ll be less, “Let’s talk about what’s coming!” and a lot more, “Let see how to leverage what’s here!” But, of course, we aren’t the only ones participating in a little ‘show and tell’ at Enterprise World. This conference is truly a gathering of the top minds in ECM—including those of you who work with the OpenText ECM solutions every day! Here are a few things on the ‘not to be missed’ list: On the more formal side, we have a wealth of Customer Panel Breakouts this year including ECM-232, A Discussion on Upgrading to Content Suite 16; ECM-233 Real World Stories of Transforming through ECM; and ECM-226, Harnessing the Cloud to Amplify the Value of ECM. Upgrading to Release 16 and Content Suite 16 is a strategic move to fast-track your digital transformation. To set you off on the right path, the OpenText Services Experts will be on hand helping you leave the event with a concrete plan of action specific to your organization. Read Bob Schindelar’s recent blog post on making the most of the OpenText Professional Services resources on hand at the event. If there’s one thing I hear every year when we ask you about the best part of the conference, it’s the opportunity to spend face-time with your peers exchanging ideas and experiences. As with previous events, the ECM product experts will be your hosts in the Content Theater where we’ll help you experience and test drive the new features. The kicker, there’s really no better place for firing up an impromptu conversation on the topic than the Content Theater. The cross-pollination of ideas here is priceless! So, to kick off the build-up to Enterprise World and help drive home that, by attending, you are also taking a driver’s seat in defining the future of ECM, I’m going to suggest we all do a little homework to bump up our knowledge of the rapidly evolving ECM landscape. I encourage you to read a few of the most recent reports by the respected industry analysts who spend their careers scrutinizing what we all mean when we talk about how digital disruption is transforming information management. Here are a few findings from key ECM analysts’ latest reports: In 2015, Forrester split their ECM Wave into two distinct reports to better address the use cases most organizations are adopting for ECM. Supporting the ECM value of process productivity, the Forrester Wave: ECM Transactional Content Services, Q3 2015 cited OpenText for having the broadest backbone for embedding ECM in enterprise applications. In this report Forrester commented “We also like OpenText’s vision for the ‘connected workspace,’ which organizes unstructured information, folders, tasks, and milestones. This allows transactional workers to swarm a customer exception with social, collaboration, and ECM capabilities.” And on the personal productivity side of the house, the Forrester Wave: ECM Business Content Services, Q3 2015 commended OpenText for investing in secure file-sharing, synchronization, and team collaboration. Gartner sees a similar shift in the use cases for enterprise content management with transactional content management, compliance, and digital workplace scenarios taking precedence amongst their clients. In the 2015 Gartner Magic Quadrant for ECM our efforts in both process productivity and control are lauded with Gartner calling our offering “a strong option for businesses looking for solid ECM functionality to address information governance requirements,” while highlighting our strong technical partnerships with SAP®, Microsoft®, and Oracle®. And in the Gartner Critical Capabilities for Enterprise Content Management: Compliance and Records Management OpenText scored the highest of any vendor on Trusted System of Record, Regulatory Compliance, and Long-Term Digital Preservation. Other analysts also are weighing in on the role of ECM in the path to digital transformation. Ovum Decision Matrix: Selecting an Enterprise Content Management Solution, 2015–16 our ECM portfolio was called “one of the most comprehensive” with capabilities in every category of ECM. Nucleus Research ECM Technology Value Matrix 2015: Liked our “wide range of functionality with tight integration, making the transfer of information between different products or applications much smoother.” Info Tech Content and Email Archiving Vendor Landscape states that OpenText has the “most comprehensive solution in the landscape due largely to the traditional content management strengths of the vendor” and particularly called out our “wide set of deployment and management settings to deal with complex data sovereignty and compliance issues.” Does that get you in the mood for a trip to the music city? Don’t worry about packing those cowboy boots, we know it’s kind of hot in July so come see us in the Content Theater and we’ll dress you up right for the week. We’re all excited to talk more with you about the new roster of OpenText Content Suite solutions so remember to pack light, register to attend Enterprise World and we’ll see you in a few weeks!

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What Happens in Vegas Should be Shared in Vegas!

Contact Center Week

If you missed the opportunity to attend the ICMI Contact Center conference this past May in Long Beach, California, we’re hoping you will join us in Las Vegas at IQPC Call Center Week. Sure, you might be tempted to drop some coins in the slots, but be sure to also drop by our booth and learn how to stop playing games of chance with your contact center agents and your customers. The OpenText WFO Software team is proud to be a gold sponsor of this event, and you won’t want to miss out on the nuggets of learning and inspiration that you can pick up by speaking with our expert staff – not to mention the opportunity you’ll have to win fantastic prizes while enjoying the craft coffee being served. June 27 – July 1, 2016 IQPC Call Center Week                                                                                                      The Mirage Las Vegas, NV OpenText WFO Software at booth # 1017/1019 Tuesday, June 28, 2016 | 11:15a-2:15p Workshop L Service Delivery Optimization: Tackling Your Biggest Challenges with Best Practice Processes This fast-paced workshop will cover best practice processes in key operational areas so that you can consistently deal a winning experience to your customers by optimizing service delivery. Presented by Roger Lee, Principal Evangelist, OpenText WFO Software and Deb Alvord, Global Lead – Contact Center Advisory, CX Transformation, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Tuesday, June 28, 2016 | 6:00p Call Center Week Excellence Awards Gala Please join us at the award ceremony to see if HSN (Home Shopping Network), one of our customers and a finalist for Best in Class Contact Center (Over 200 Seats), can walk away from the table with the top prize! Wednesday, June 29, 2016 | 3:00p-3:40p Track 3 Power your Customer Experience with Data-Driven Analytics Don’t rely on lady luck to win over your customers. Turn your big data into actionable insights and create real-time, personalized customer experiences through deep behavioral analytics. Presented by Stephanie Shaffer (Asurion) and Roger Lee, Principal Evangelist, OpenText WFO Software Stay tuned for additional information regarding this must attend event.

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The HiPPO Goes to the Movies!


What happens when a millennial CEO hires a retiree intern? Valuable real-life digital marketing advice from the movies! I recently watched The Intern, a great Nancy Meyers comedy starring Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway. She plays Jules Osten, a millennial startup CEO, and he plays her new intern Ben Whittaker. That’s right — her company hired a retiree as an intern. Comic gold. We first see Jules about 10 minutes into the movie, entering the office and immediately set upon by her assistant, making quick decisions and taking charge in a classic Hollywood walk-and-show-decisiveness shot. It’s updated for a startup culture because she bikes through the office, but otherwise it’s a familiar movie device. Part of the scene shows her meeting with her web team and asking for design changes to the day’s homepage. “Try making the photo grid bigger.” “I love that 5. Can we make it more graphic?”     At OpenText™ Optimost, we talk a lot about HiPPOs, or the “Highest Paid Person in the Organization”, and the unfortunate role HiPPOs often play in website decision making, to the exclusion of data-driven customer insight. This scene is a great comedic illustration of the idea, and you can read more about HiPPOs here. A bit later in the movie, Ben shows that he’s savvier than the clueless old person his millennial colleagues take him for by sharing some insights he found looking at the marketing and advertising data. “The most expensive place you’re advertising is actually bringing you the customers who are spending the least and the channels you’re least investing in are adding enormous value…” To her credit, Jules listens and empowers him to fix it. As you can watch in the movie, he is still a bit unorthodox — he looks at the data on paper?! Lesson: Sometimes you have to help your HiPPO help you This is something we help our customers with every day at Optimost. If you are trying to wrestle with HiPPOs in your organization, here are three things you can do: Watch the movie! It might not help but at least you’ll get a good laugh Stay tuned for my next blog post: Wrestle a HiPPO — and win! Let us know how we can help In the meantime, have you seen other good examples of HiPPOs in the movies? Please share in the comments!

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Making the Case for ECM in the Cloud


Staying competitive and continuously enhancing customer experience is critical to any global enterprise. Scalability, flexibility and agility are key to meeting stakeholder requirements. One of the first areas organizations are focused on is ensuring corporate content is available to all of their constituents on a 24/7/365 basis. Cloud is becoming an increasing part of their Enterprise Content Managements (ECM) strategy. The extension of ECM to include cloud, hybrid cloud and cloud-to-cloud implementations is becoming the next logical step forward in a digital transformation that ensures content is consistently available, accessible, and shareable. Moving your ECM to Cloud brings uninterrupted content access to internal and external global teams. It brings agility, flexibility and cost savings. Our customers talk about these benefits as they look to move into cloud and hybrid cloud implementations. As a spokesman for the Greater Toronto Airport Authority – GTAA explains, “By going into the OpenText Cloud, we will have a lot more options, whether it’s offering services that we didn’t have before, getting upgrades sooner and bringing more technology into the house. We proved that there is cost savings, but not only that, going to the Cloud will help us bring the innovation that we’re looking to do in terms of information management.” A recent survey from AIIM (Association of Information and Image Management) found that nearly three quarters of those who have made the move to the cloud say they are saving money. But there’s much more to it than pure cost savings. Many respondents said they made the move to the cloud motivated by more than just achieving cost savings.  But what about cloud concerns?  AIIM sites there is a growing confidence in cloud applications, with 73 % of respondents indicating that cloud providers are likely to offer better (48 %) or similar (27 %) security to their on-premises managed systems.  The AIIM report, Harness the Power of the Cloud to Amplify the Value of Enterprise Content Management shares some interesting statistics and insights that may help as you consider your cloud options for ECM.

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ICMI Contact Center Expo & Conference at Long Beach, CA

contact center

From the desk of Dr. WFO: If you haven’t attended an ICMI Contact Center conference, you are missing out! This is a worthwhile investment for all contact center personnel. We were one of the sponsors at this year’s conference in Long Beach, CA, and the entire OpenText WFO Software team was impressed by the turnout of over 1,500 attendees. Another interesting fact was that about half of the attendees had never attended this type of conference before, so in other words, 50% were newbies. Lots of great content was delivered which focused on all aspects of content center management – people, process, technology, and strategy. The overall theme for the event was tied to improving the overall customer experience, along with how to promote the value of the contact center within the organization. It was most interesting to hear about the challenges that contact center professionals were looking to solve and the best practices they were hoping to learn from industry experts and other peers. Dr. WFO presenting to a standing room only crowd on Selling the Value of the Contact Center to the Enterprise Dr. WFO with colleague Jessica Overton and leadership team from Church Pension Group (CPG) The event had several interesting keynote speakers, but one in particular stood out for me. Scott McKain’s featured keynote titled “The Ultimate Customer Experience: The Key to Lifelong Loyalty and Endless Referrals” was engaging and fun. His message was make it easier to do business with you. He shared his model of 4 corners of distinction: Clarity – Be crystal clear on what sets you apart, define purpose; mindshare precedes market share Creativity – Be creative at one thing, be considered innovative Communication – Write a story about how a customer improved his/her business as a result of your efforts Customer Experience Focus – Unique experience I would highly encourage you to attend a contact center industry event. If you were unable to make this most recent ICMI event, you still have an opportunity to attend the upcoming 17th Annual Call Center Week & Expo (CCW) in Las Vegas from Monday, June 27 – Friday, July 1. The OpenText WFO Software team would love to see you there! Until next time…

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How to Identify Return on Investment of Social Media Marketing (Infographic)

social media ROI

The B2B marketing leaders will be spending more money on technology than the CIO in 2017. Sure they may already spend a lot, but the interesting question here is: will they now finally be able to identify the revenue? It was not long ago when CMO’s were perfectly ok with having more and more new technology tools. The problem came when they were forced to maintain the tools and, also to measure the performance of those tools in order to prove that they were still needed. While each platform may include its own reporting tools, in an omnichannel world, having so many partial views of the truth makes little sense. Many business users and decision makers can’t see the forest for the trees when it comes to the current analytics environment. How will they manage then in an Analytics of Things of world with 6.4 billion connected devices? Are CMO’s prepared? According to a recent study on The State of Marketing Analytics by VentureBeat, “Analytics are key to showing value, yet the market is huge and fragmented.” Customers are no longer using a single channel to buy yet only 60% of marketers create integrated strategies. Probably the most painful source to measure is social media. It is painful because there’s no way that investors will accept engagement metrics such as impressions or likes as revenue. It is also painful because the CMO is being pushed by market analysts to invest more and more budget on social media. Social media spending is expected to climb to a 20.9% share of marketing budgets in 5 years even though analytics is not yet fully integrated or embedded according to a recent CMO Survey. ROI of social media in the form of adding new revenue sources, enhancing revenue sources and increasing revenues is more pronounced among companies with a more mature data-driven culture. The graph below shows where competitive advantage has been achieved as a result of data-driven marketing by stage of development according to Forbes. What’s worse for the laggards is that their immature analytics culture is resulting in the lowest profitability – they even don’t know often which analytics platforms they are paying for, according to the same research. “There is no substitute for hard work,” said Thomas Edison. In order to identify the ROI of social media marketing, we will go through the hard work by going through the requirements for your social media data below, including: Why you need integration and democratization of data in the cloud, including social media data Why you need self-service advanced and predictive analytics for your campaigns Why agility is so important when it comes to marketing analytics Why integrated reporting and insights should be easy to access by any marketer or business user Integration and democratization of data in the cloud, including social media data This is not just useful to get a single view of the truth. Working in an environment where each platform’s reporting is separate from the others, is not possible to calculate ROI of social media marketing. You may find a way to calculate the revenue of a Paid Per Click campaign in LinkedIn for example, but this is a very narrow view of what social media marketing is about. The first step to identify the real revenue of social media should be to integrate all disparate data sources in the cloud. They should be integrated, because that way you will be able to cross reference information, discover the real 360º customer view and the actual ROI. Also, it should be integrated in the cloud specifically so other business users can access and self-service the final insights. Some people may think they have a 360º customer view when they integrate Google Analytics and Salesforce to calculate the ROI of a paid campaign in Google Adwords. But they are still far from that view. According to Think with Google, for instance, customers in most industries in US click on a paid ad long after they were engaged in social. That means that a percentage of the ROI of the Pay Per Click campaign should be attributed to social to be accurate. What if instead of making assumptions you start to track which channel is the first, then which is next, and which is the latest? You can do this with tools like Piwik or Eloqua Insights because they track all different devices from which the customer is visiting your website as well as specific URLs they land on, and order the events by date. While this is fine if you have less than 200 sessions per day on your website, if you have more than that you will quickly understand why big data is more than just hype! Trust me, if you had the time to explore, analyze and export using Piwik or Eloqua Insights you would really know what patience means. With big data, even if you just want to use a selected small part of it, you need columnar database technology like the one used by OpenText™ Big Data Analytics. Having your data sources integrated at the start and managed by IT is fine, but when it comes to data audits, data cleansing and data enrichment you had better expect this to be self-service. B2B companies need to know as much as they can about the companies they market to and 75% of B2B marketers say that accurate data is critical for achieving their goals but lack of data on Industry, Revenue, and Employees is a problem in up to 87% of the examples. Bad data affects not just marketing but also sales, according to Forrester, executive buyers find that 77% of the sales people they meet don’t understand their issues and where they can help. As a result a lot of CMOs are taking the initiative to start profiling and creating more targeted leads so that sales don’t have this problem. Self-service advanced and predictive analytics for marketing campaigns According to a recent study by MDG Advertising, B2B organizations that utilize predictive analytics are 2x more likely to exceed their annual marketing ROI goal. The research offers interesting reasons why 89% of B2B organizations have predictive analytics on their roadmap. According to VentureBeat there are 3 main reasons why marketers aren’t that advanced in their analytical approaches – including skill gaps around data science. Easy-to-use tools can make it easier to run reports, but without a real understanding of data-driven approaches, the final report may not be accurate enough. Predictive lead scoring, for instance, can yield significant ROI and 90% of large organizations will have a Chief Data Officer or CDO by 2019. Meanwhile CMOs are not inactive and 55% of B2B organizations are already hiring for marketing analytics roles. Success in social media is not as easy as being 30 years old. You know that you will be 29 years old for 12 months and then it will automatically change to 30. This is easy to predict, but it is not scalable to social media. In terms of social media you need to go deeper than the surface to measure, for example, if it is worth having 30 social media accounts or maybe 10. You need to measure if it is worth having 30 blog articles or maybe 300. You will want to calculate if “Channel A” is worthwhile because it generated 300 conversions from unqualified leads or not. You may want to go further and identify which of the qualified leads bought “Product A” and “Product C” but haven’t yet bought “Product B”. Do you want better segmentations and profiles of those, so you can create a custom cross-selling campaign, based on information that you can get from LinkedIn, for instance? If so, you will need to go further than data visualization. Companies need advanced analytics to identify ROI. This is what will give you the insight on the ROI of your social media, but more than it could ensure success in the current digital era. You will find the following ad-hoc & pre-built tools at OpenText Big Data Analytics: Venn Diagram: Are you tired of reaching the wrong people? Smarter companies are reporting benefits doing data mining to target advanced segmentations and the most appropriate people with marketing material that resonates with them. Note that segmentations are based on data mining, but can be created by drag and drop of the database objects in the left column. Profile: Are you still re-marketing to visitors who landed on your website by mistake? Our drag and drop, easy-to-use tool is needed by marketing in the current customer-centric culture. B2B marketing goals for predictive analytics span the customer funnel including customer retention, customer lifetime value, customer effectiveness right up to customer acquisition – so having a customer profile is a must-have to begin. Association Rules: What if you could identify which users are likely to abandon with sentiment analysis of their activity in social media and help-desks – so you can reduce churn with a loyalty campaign? Would that help the ROI of your social media? You can find more predefined analysis screenshots and use case videos to help. Companies plan to increase spend on marketing analytics, but many will select the wrong capabilities or be unable to use them properly. Harvard Business Review alerts to this point “marketing analytics can have a substantial impact on a company’s growth, but companies must figure out how to make the best use of it”. Why agility is so important when it comes to marketing analytics You already know that advanced and predictive analytics is not new, if you think about how financial services has been using it. What’s really new is how easy analysis can be created as self-service now. In the real world, only 20% of organizations are able to deploy a model into operational use in less than 2 weeks according to TDWI, so don’t forget to ask for self-service and real-time advanced analytics. You will be happy that your analytics platform technology includes a columnar database when you get to this point. Why integrated reporting and insights should be easy to access by any marketer or business user 3 out of 4 marketers can’t measure and report on the contribution of their programs to the business. Isn’t that scary? To know the customer and how to deliver relevant data is a key business differentiator. Marketing analytics tools need to be more than a nicely displayed report, they need to allow decision makers to interact with the information according to McKinsey & Company. There’s a lot that has been written about the opportunities of using big data in supply chain and retail companies, and specifically the social media capabilities to reach their audiences. The retail analytics market is estimated to grow from 2.2 billion to 5.1 billion in 5 years but difficulty in sharing customer analytics is ranked as a top challenge by the Industry. Social media is a smart way to connect a customer with a specific local store, right? Instagram includes stats of impressions, reach, clicks and follower activity for businesses. There are a few tools with powerful capabilities to personalize, share and embedded HTML5 data visualizations available, but OpenText™ Information Hub is the only one that is tied to advanced and predictive analytics. 9 out of 10 sales and marketing professionals report the greatest departmental interest is in being able to access analytics within front-office applications and OpenText Information Hub is ranked as the top vendor in the latest Embedded Business Intelligence Market Study by analyst Howard Dresner – not without reason. Don’t forget to ask for an analytics platform that is perfectly fine to be scaled to unlimited users. Turn your social data into strategy, then gold Predictive analytics not only applies to what will happen next quarter, but also to what the user may want to find right now. Google doesn’t wait for you to make association rules that have probably helped you a few times – they make their big data work for millions of users in real-time. Now think about your company and one of your prospects sharing your content on social media or email. Do you create a campaign to track and nurture these actions? How do you react if a user won’t complete a form more than once? What do you do when one of your prospects is searching on your site having landed from a social media post about “Product A”? Are you able to identify that “Product C” will be the more likely purchase? There are musicians unhappy about piracy, but there are others tracking, mining and getting revenue from social data. Getting these insights on revenue before running new omnichannel campaigns will provide one voice communication, essential for a successful omnichannel strategy. What is also important: this will help with better data-driven decisions and greater return on investment of your social media budget. 86% of companies that deployed predictive analytics for two or more years saw increased marketing return on investment according to Forbes. Download the Research “Operationalizing and Embedding Analytics for Action” from TDWI The report notes that operationalizing and embedding analytics requires more than static dashboards that are updated once a day, or less. It requires integrating actionable insights into your applications, devices and databases. Download the report here.

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