When Jeremy Epperson talks about conversion rate optimization, he speaks from the hard-won experience of 14 years as an agency leader helping growth-stage Silicon Valley startups launch successful CRO initiatives. In fact, Jeremy and his team have done that 155 times. And they have the notes to prove it.
“I’m a total data nerd,” Jeremy admits.
“So we track everything, literally everything. And we have thousands of pages of notes. It’s so nerdy.”
As Chief Growth officer for CRO agency ConversionAdvocates, Jeremy is deeply immersed in the data and processes that drive exponential growth. Jeremy was kind enough to share his expertise with the Leadtail community in a Spirited Conversations event.
“CRO is all about the process,” he says. “It’s the team. It’s the process. It’s how you communicate. It’s how you build workflows. It’s how people function within a business to drive growth.”
In his 14 years of CRO experience, Jeremy has analyzed the factors that influence the success of any conversion rate optimization initiative. For every engagement his firm undertakes, the team studies the program to find what works best and what needs to be tweaked.
For each client, Jeremy and his team ask some critical questions:
Did their conversion rate improve? By how much?
What was their testing velocity?
What was the validated lift percentage?
How does all this data tie to revenue growth?
Jeremy and his team discovered they were able to draw some robust conclusions from this analysis. And that work helped to identify six principles that drive digital growth.
“The exponential growth businesses, the businesses that are scaling the fastest, [had] these tiny things that they did differently. So we just kept digging into it. What are the factors? What are the principles? What is actually driving this?”
Six Principles of Digital Growth
They encapsulated their findings into what Jeremy calls the “Six Principles of Digital Growth.”
“The way to think about this is, it’s like competencies. These are the six things that you need to focus on to build the right competencies within a team to help you with scaling,” Jeremy says.
Teams that build competencies in these six critical areas will drive exponential growth; conversely, missing any of these principles will dramatically diminish your company’s growth.
Underlying each of these principles is the idea, supported by the data Jeremy and his team have collected, that there is a systematic and repeatable process to drive results.
1. Strategic Business Alignment
The first principle is all about team dynamics. For any initiative to be successful, you need buy-in from stakeholders. Are all executive team members on the same page about your 12-month goals, 90-day KPIs, and other metrics? Following on from there, are their silos within the business that need to be addressed?
Getting the team aligned and focused on the same goals is critical to drive growth.
2. Customer-Focused Approach
“We’ve run thousands and thousands of experiments, and we’ve also dealt with hundreds of teams that are running experiments,” Jeremy says. And the ConversionAdvocates team has found a strong correlation between a strong customer focus and the ability to drive winning tests.
“Not business-focused, not product-focused, but customer-focused,” Jeremy says.
3. Customer Research Methods
“I don’t think in 2022, there are any marketers who are like, ‘I don’t want to be customer-focused, and I don’t want to be data-driven,’” Jeremy quips. The challenge is putting desire into action in a technical, tactical way that deploys specific research methods that return the data you need to see about your customers and marketing efforts.
4. Scientific Testing Process
What should you test? The answer is simple: test everything you are working on. Doing marketing by trial and error is a recipe for disaster. You need to strategically and systematically test every marketing initiative so you can fully understand what is and isn’t working.
5. High-Velocity Testing
The fourth and fifth principles are closely related. Not only should you test every initiative, but you also need to run tests quickly.
“The faster that you can accelerate what you’re testing—in a channel basis, or adding new channels or on-site testing—the faster you do that, the more ROI you drive,” Jeremy says.
6. Culture of Growth
Perhaps the most exciting result of implementing these principles is the culture shift that occurs as your team becomes more clearly aligned on a common set of goals.
“The output of walking through this process with a team over 12 months created a different dynamic within the startup,” Jeremy says. A shared focus on growth, clarity on goals, improved communication, intelligent feedback, and data that shows success transforms the culture of the business.
You can see Jeremy Epperson’s complete presentation here.