435: #435: Building a culture of experimentation, Kevin Li, Optimizely

I am here at Opticon 2023, Optimizely’s annual conference, here in San Diego, California where there have been a lot of exciting announcements, and we’re going to get to at least a few of those today.

Organizations that have a culture of experimentation are able to innovate more quickly and get to the best ideas by learning both what does and what doesn’t work.

Today we’re going to talk about how marketers can use experimentation to get the most out of their MarTech stacks, their AI tools, and their collaborations in general. 

To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome Kevin Li, VP, Product Strategy, Optimizely.


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Building a culture of experimentation is crucial for organizations to thrive, but it is a challenging task that requires collaboration and involvement from various teams, including marketing, product, design, legal, and compliance. However, many organizations struggle to establish this culture due to factors such as lack of visibility, poor communication, and inefficient workflows.

Without the right tools and processes in place, teams can face difficulties in completing tasks and understanding what is happening. For instance, a customer from the financial services industry shared their experience of trying to solve a workflow problem using spreadsheets, approval chains, and email. In their case, a single change required approval from seven different people, resulting in inefficiencies and delays. This lack of streamlined processes and visibility can lead to confusion and frustration within the organization.

Executives and leaders also play a crucial role in building a culture of experimentation. Without their support and understanding, decisions may be made without proper consideration for experimentation efforts. This can result in surprises and a lack of alignment within the organization. It is easier for executives to rely on their own opinions, known as “hippos” (highest paid person’s opinion), rather than embracing experimentation.

To overcome these challenges, organizations need the right tools and technology for experimentation. Having the appropriate experimentation tool can make a significant difference in enabling collaboration, streamlining workflows, and providing visibility into experimentation efforts. With the right tools, organizations can better track and understand the impact of experiments, leading to more informed decision-making and ultimately, organizational success.

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