Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

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Paresh Mandhyan & Ashwin Gupta of VWO

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Paresh Mandhyan and Ashwin Gupta run the marketing department at VWO, which is a sponsor of the MarTech podcast and the world's leading web testing and experience optimization platform that enables growing businesses to conduct qualitative and quantitative visitor research, build an experimentation roadmap, and run continuous experiments on their digital properties.

Website

Paresh Mandhyan LinkedIn

Ashwin Gupta LinkedIn


Show Notes

Part 1

The Roles at VWO and What the Company Does (02:28) 

My name is Paresh and I lead the marketing department at VWO. Most of our customers use us to optimize entire digital experience, right from click on to retention. 

The way we think about growth at VWO is to look at it from a business standpoint. We take tough business problems and we work cross-functionally with different teams to create that impact. 

The Difference Between Conversion Rate Optimization and Experience Optimization (04:04) 

When we think about conversion rate optimization, the conversion is something very close to marketers. Many marketers have worked with us to achieve a great conversion rate for their businesses. However, at VWO we’re not only optimizing for conversions. 

A few years ago we launched VWO Insights which not only is beneficial to marketers but also to product people and designers to create a better UX experience and better product roadmap. 

We’ll be having a couple of new products too. One is Full Stack, which is server-side testing. You’ll be able to test on any device and you can run any complex test. 

The Pillars of Running a Successful Experience Optimization and Conversion Rate Optimization Strategy (08:01) 

Conversion optimization is a business exercise, which means you need to get hold of what you're trying to do.  

You first need to figure out your value proposition and who your customers are. Once you figure that you need to understand these customers better than you do now. You do that by talking to them. 

You need to look at their behavior and we provide products that help you do that. 

Once you have collected this data you can look at prioritization exercises and that should be done based on the kind of impact you think it would create, the risk you’re taking and the cost that is involved. This should be done every month and it should be reviewed constantly. 

It's all about understanding what you're trying to do and then using the optimization layer on top to get the results as quickly as possible. 

The Process for Starting to Understand Why Clicks Happen (10:59) 

When I started my marketing career, KPIs were very straightforward. We were tasked with doing traffic and then from the traffic, it moved to create leads. 

Ultimately, everything comes down to experience. It becomes very essential to give a great experience online. 

Knowing the demographic is the start of the journey but following them at the end of the journey and making sense of their journey using the insights becomes supercritical in the whole experience optimization. 

Keep reiterating and keep continuously improving. 

Last Words (15:55) 

Just get started even if it’s very small. 

Part 2

Starting To Observe the Website (02:44) 

In VWO, people create segments and they’re able to see the heat maps of those users. This is important because you can learn about a set of users and not just one user. You need to look at it from a bird-eye view and customer segments pay a very important role there. 

Defining a Segment (04:13) 

You need to look at the hints that you can collect about the user. If a particular audience comes from a particular channel and that gives you an idea about who they are, that's something that you can look at.

If you don’t know what’s going on or who your customers are, run a survey. They are an important tool for figuring out what’s going on with the end customer. 

It’s important to understand what drives value on your website. For the VWO unit, different products have a different value for different customers. 

The Tools for Understanding and Observing Your Customers (07:41) 

With our tool, you can record sessions and see the sessions for every user. Another useful tool thing is the heat maps. They’re great for understanding which areas of your website have better traction compared to other areas and why. 

You could use heat maps and that data to shape the website versus just guessing what users are looking for. 

One of my favorite things, that’s not used by many marketers today, are the form analytics. This tool gives you insights into how much time a particular segment is spending on each field. We can get info such as the percentage of people that drop out from a specific field. 

The Difference Between Using a Platform and One-Off Toolkit (13:05) 

Understanding your customers is an important bid. 

Google Analytics can give you a certain level of information about your customer, but if you need to deep dive further into it, I would recommend getting on a BI tool or a platform like VWO. 

If you’re going after a different tool, it would be important to have integrations with multiple tools for the tool that you’re selecting. This will give you a holistic overview. 

Last Words (14:26) 

It’s important to gather these insights in one place so you can look at them holistically and really prioritize what ideas you should experiment with. Our Product Suite has something called VWO Plan where you can store all information from recordings, funnels, etc. 

Part 3

Things You Can Do to Start Driving an Impact to Your Business (02:27) 

Learning is a very important aspect of testing. You won’t always get business impact through testing but you will get learnings. The secret of the industry is that you need to experiment a lot. VWO Plan layer is an important part because it helps you gather all insights. 

Once you have this in place, you need to run the tests and run them one after another. 

VWO Plan creates this program for you so you can create business impact. 

Tools For Testing (04:53) 

You have standard A/B tests where you create variations between two pages. The other type of testing is split URL testing where you can split traffic between two different pages. 

Lastly, there’s a multivariate test where you can try any combination of ideas on one page. You can learn hundreds of experiments at the same time on one page as well. 

Setting Up the Test (07:14) 

There are two parts to it. One is what kind of experiment you should run and the second part is testing a lot of time. 

If you don’t have a lot of traffic A/B testing is a great way to gather more insights. The multivariant test is longer because it requires multiple variations of the copy, buttons, colors, etc. That’s why it takes a longer time.


Testing intuition plays an important role but also having a statistical engine that helps you make those decisions. 

Running Effective Tests and How Much Should a Marketer Test (11:23) 

As long as marketers are going to have aggressive goals, they should be continuously testing. We’ve worked with clients that had hundreds of test running at the time. For example, booking.com has about 10,000 different tests running on their website. 

Last Tips on Running Successful Experiments (13:54) 

Once you fix one part of the website, you move on to the other and that has a cumulative effect on your business. 

Part 4

Optimizing CRO and Experience Testing (02:40) 

It’s important to understand what you’re trying to improve. And when we say the word experience it goes beyond just optimizing for conversions. You also need to look at the experiences you’re giving. 

Having metrics in place that you can measure to quantify this improvement in customer journey would also be very important. 

Mitigating the Risk From Too Much Testing (04:35) 

The customer is changing every day and by doing testing often you learn more about your customer. As you experiment you generate these pieces of evidence through these micro experiences. 

Understanding the changing context of your business is just as important and addressing that effectively becomes a very important part of your experience optimization and growth strategy. 

Within the VWO tool, there are 27 segments that you can build natively. 

Another important aspect is the collaboration. CRO is not one person’s job, it involves marketing, UX people, product managers, tech people. It’s managed by multiple departments. 

The collaboration factor becomes really essential.

Where most companies make a mistake is by having teams working separately. 

Part 5

Reaching Out and Engaging With the Customers (03:12) 

People don't make decisions straight away all the time. What you need to do is nurture them, bring them back, engage with them, communicate the value proposition again and again and excite them to come back to your website so that they can go through the funnels that you've set up and finally convert.

Retaining customers is a very important part of the experience optimization otherwise you’ll have to spend more marketing money on attracting new visitors. 

We do exactly that with VWO Engage. Our philosophy is to introduce new age channels that help you engage with your audiences a lot better than you're already doing with traditional channels like email. 

Retargeting vs. Direct Style Messaging (07:46) 

Retargeting is essentially what we are trying to do with Messenger and SMS targeting but you're targeting terms with a dollar cost.

Retargeting spreads the message across different platforms and sometimes it can get a bit annoying for the end customer. Businesses need to understand the importance of not annoying their customers. 

You need to make messaging relevant to what the user was doing on your website. 

Other Ways to Think About Using Engagement (11:34) 

There are two ways to think about this. 

The first way is the traditional way - remarking ads, email, SMS, etc. The effectiveness of these channels is getting low because people know what they can expect. 

New channels are going to become super important. 

With VWO Engage you’re able to personalize messages down to every single click and behavior. The platform also supports A/B testing of various messages. 

Last Words (16:15)

Just get started and you’ll see the right results quite soon. Think about your customers and put them in the center. Think about optimizing all touchpoints in the customer journey. 

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