5 Key Takeaways from Opticon Conference 2022

Oct 12 2022
  • Written By
    Kimberly McCabe, Customer Experience Consultant

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Key Learnings from Opticon Explained

Icreon, a leading digital experience agency, participated in Opticon Conference 2022 that took place from October 3-5, 2022 at the Marriott Marquis San Diego.

Optimizely’s annual conference was packed with business leaders, intelligent marketers, and more for three days of conversations and collaborations around the future of digital experiences.

From unveiling of new products to business leaders discussing real-time segmentation and the evolution of personalization, there was no shortage of ideas floating around at Opticon 2022. This Opticon was one for the books. It brought about a series of leading keynotes, inspiring and challenging breakouts, customer spotlights, and educational sessions. The Icreon team had an amazing time networking with communities of industry experts, seasoned business professionals, academia, and the media.

In case you missed the event, here are our highlight takeaways:

1. Set a New Standard for Digital Experience: Collaboration, Insights and Experiences

Optimizely rolled out Q3’22 product roadmap at Opticon where they discussed three critical needs that are shaping their best-of-breed product suite. And these three critical needs are helping customers collaborate seamlessly, make data-driven decisions, and deliver exceptional customer experiences. With the explosion of channels, the need for content, planning and ideation have become paramount. As statistics revealed, companies that excel at personalization can score 40% higher revenue. With the Welcome acquisition, Optimizely is now able to ‘close the loop’ on the marketing lifecycle and allows teams to manage the entire lifecycle from a single workspace. The second critical lever enables companies to harmonize, understand and act on all data insights they collect across the customer journey. With the help of Optimizely’s one-click connectors, companies can integrate data platforms with applications like Web Experimentation and B2B Commerce, empowering brands to make data-driven decisions via real-time reporting.

2. Intertwine a Culture of Experimentation

The overarching theme of the conference was taking the experimentation fear away from implementations. A major roadblock in applying experimentation is the fear of messing up. At Opticon, the overarching focus was “Boundless Digital Invention” and building an experimentation culture on an organization level. It was iterated throughout the session and keynotes to step outside your comfort zone and “unlimit” your ideas, curiosity, flexibility and so on to see if they work. If you’re not testing, you’re missing something unbelievable.That said, Optimizely revealed that they combined the concept of three products into one with a marketer mindset to embrace experimentation. This all-new product offering uses data insights to improve collaboration (Content Marketing, i.e., CMP/Welcome), content creation (CMS), and customer foresight (Digital Asset Management, i.e., DAM).

3. Strong Push to Individualization: Optimizely Commerce

In the current times, a lot of shoppers are buying from brands or manufacturers that resonate with them, like their core values, sustainability preferences, and so on. And another significant factor is the increased customer acquisition costs, digital advertising tactics, and the ongoing investment to get the right tech stack in place. And that leads brands to focus on customer retention, making them loyal to your brand. At Opticon, Josh Schoomaker, Sr. Director of Product, Commerce Strategy, stated that along with popular trends like social commerce, live commerce and now loyalty programs or subscriptions -- which are related to customer retention -- the key is to adapt personalization to speak to individuals.

A lot of brands face challenges in effectively segmenting those first-time buyers & repeat buyers into segments to ensure that every customer feels unique. And challenges may occur when it comes to developing the right personalization strategy for those customers and adapting that experience depending on where they’re in their purchasing journey.

Understanding your customers deeply through Optimizely Data Platforms (ODPs) or any CDP tools is the best way to create more personal commerce experiences because this helps in capturing data about customer behaviors, aggregates them and puts them together.

Josh extended the conversations and said retailers and brands should focus on building capabilities to remove friction from their shoppers' journey. An example given by Josh Schoomaker is about ‘anywhere checkout’. Companies are currently trying to figure out how to create a checkout process that can be completed in an email. For example, a one-click “complete” process in a ‘cart abandonment’ email.

4. Rise in Low Code/No Code Development Skills

As per the recent statistics revealed at Opticon, 35% of employers hope to hire 50+ developers in 2023. Businesses having low budgets will have a hard time hiring talented developers. In this race, hi-tech and finance sectors will remain at the forefront. Other industry sectors and mid-market companies running on low margins are finding new ways to replace those developers with more capabilities provided to in-house staff. In this year's conference, Optimizely noted their focus on adapting to market needs of no-code/low-code development. Experts predict that a growing faction of non-technical professionals learning enough low code/ no code development would replace developers and build feature-rich features applications in a more agile, intuitive, scalable & composable manner.

5. Driving Lifetime Value with B2B Commerce: Shift to Loyalty Mindset

Josh Schoonmaker, Sr. Director Product, Commerce Strategy at Opticon, put an emphasis on driving lifetime value while working on meeting buyer’s new expectations. Building a relationship trust is still pivotal to achieving B2B success. The generational shift has accelerated and has changed B2B marketing and buying behaviors. Millennials have become more influential in B2B buying decisions. Josh emphasized in his session the increasing importance of driving Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) by improving UX and utilizing personalization to a greater extent. Marketers demand more self-service tools and access to control content to make buyers happy and engage with them in their chosen channel. Josh elaborated on driving customer lifetime value by sharing an example of a smaller online shop where visitors struggle to get the checkout done. Extending functionalities with an integration like BOLT, customers will be a known entity and they can start checking out without the typical roadblocks of keying in lots of information.

“Opticon was a valuable and inspiring event packed with insights into Optimizely’s roadmap and path forward with tools designed for the marketer that are focused on experimentation, streamlined collaboration, and more data-driven decisions.” said Kimberly McCabe, Senior Director, Solutions at Icreon.

Let’s Optimize the Future of Digital Experiences

Many thanks to Optimizely for hosting another amazing Opticon conference. Icreon had a great time interacting with peers and holding conversations with industry experts to discuss the above-mentioned strategic focus areas.

Icreon, a leading customer experience agency, focuses on empowering brands with the right tools and technologies to drive success. The company believes in hypothesizing and testing strategies with experimentation, helping their customers collaborate seamlessly, make data-driven decisions, and deliver phenomenal experiences. With expertise in Optimizely DXP, ODP, and B2B Commerce Cloud, Icreon helps its clients achieve boundless optimization and personalization at an accelerated pace. Explore Icreon’s Optimizely Services.