Am 1. September 2011 wird Bryan Eisenberg den Conversion.Summit 2011 in Frankfurt mit seiner Keynote eröffnen. Für mich ist es eine große Ehre, dass Bryan auf meine Anfrage so schnell mit einer Zusage reagierte – kein Anderer hat schließlich das Thema Conversion Optimierung so früh und so nachhaltig geprägt wie er.
Im Vorfeld des Conversion Summit habe ich mit ihm über einige Fragen und Herausforderungen gesprochen:
(Übrigens: Wer noch ein Ticket haben will, der sollte dieses Interview genau lesen…)
Bryan, you started blogging in 2001 and published your first book about conversion optimization already in 2002 – which makes you a pioneer in conversion optimization. What changed since then?
We were actually publishing an email newsletter for several years before we published articles on the web. In reality not much has changed in the factors that influence conversion other than the impact of “reviews” and other social content that can influence sales. What has changed are the tools available. When we first started the choice for analytics tools were fairly limited and not inexpensive or free like today, testing solutions were home grown or extremely expensive and there were few additional tools to help you identify your challenges. The amount of tools available to help you improve your website is growing exponentially. 2 years ago I published 33 free tools to improve your website, last year I published 69 free and low cost tools and this year I published 99 free and low cost tools to improve your website – that’s progress!
But one thing has changed – today, conversion optimization has become one of the most trending topics for online marketers. Why did it take so long until people realize the importance of profitability in online business?
I think it took the widespread adoption of the analytics tools and the testing tools to get into marketer’s hands to realize they could have an impact on the levers to conversion rate optimization. I think we all owe some gratitude to Google for giving away free analytics and website optimizer and helping to make CRO more mainstream. However, let’s be clear, conversion is still not a top-of-mind issue in the c-suite – the resources allocated to it demonstrate that.
Bryan, if we take a look in the future – how will the science of conversion optimization change in the next 3-5 years? What will be the biggest challenges for ecommerce managers in the future?
The biggest challenge is the same challenge we have seen over the last few years; can companies execute on change and can they learn to speed up their corporate metabolisms to react and make changes quicker than they have before. The world is changing faster and we as marketers need to learn to execute in real time. Some game-changing tools, like Monetate, are really enabling marketers to do that today.
Today, we can see a kind of a hype on any topics containing „social media“ – what‘s the impact of social mechanisms of the web on conversion optimization?
As we wrote in 2006’s Waiting For Your Cat to Bark?, our customer’s B.S. meters are set higher today then ever before. We rarely accept “professional marketing” on it’s word. We trust other people like us. More marketers realize that the marketing problems we face are often not the fault of marketing but of the product or service. It’s getting exponentially more difficult to promote because products and services that lack remark-ability, are not authentic or provide poor experiences. The sooner we correct those shortcomings the more we can make a difference.
Today, a lot of people call themselves „conversion optimization expert“. Amongst testing, design and copywriting – what are the most valuable skills and tools of a successful conversion optimiziation expert?
I like many people get frustrated when people refer to themselves as experts. As Malcolm Gladwell pointed out it takes over 10,000 hours of doing something until you can really be an expert and there are few people who have had that kind of experience. In fact, my brother and I cringe when we are called experts, we still have so much more to learn. The art and science of Web site optimization is way too broad to be a subset of another honorable science like usability, copywriting, design or information architecture. If you are struggling in your optimization efforts, it might be time to examine your tools. You could be trying to solve a copy issue with a design tool. Or you could be using a design tool to solve a persuasion problem. I’ve created a reading list for people who want to learn what some of the core thinking behind CRO is and it can be found at http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/1698935/a-must-have-reading-list-conversion-optimization.
One last question: Your book „Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?“ carrys the subtilte „Persuading Customers When They Ignore Marketing“. How willl CRO and online marketing change our view on classical marketing, advertising and sales?
There is hardly anyone who would argue over the impact that search, social, and mobile technologies have had on the customer buying process over the last five years. However, while many companies worry about keeping ahead of their competition, they actually have a much bigger issue – keeping pace with their customers. This future shopper will have more information available at their fingertips whether they are online or “offline”; they will always be connected. They key is about learning the triggers than prompt customers to remark about the great experience they enjoy with our product or service.
Bryan, thank you very much for your answers, we are looking forward to meeting you in September 2011!
TICKETS: Aufgrund der riesigen Nachfrage gibt es für alle, die zum ConversionSummit 2011 kommen wollen ein kleines Sonderkontingent an Tickets als Nikolausgeschenk. Einfach bis 09.30 Uhr auf conversionsummit.org auf die Warteliste setzen und auf E-Mails warten oder Fan auf facebook.com/ConversionCamp werden.