a group of people sitting in a room

Opticon London 2016 round upThe other week marketers from all over the UK, Europe and beyond descended on London for Opticon 2016. Thank you to the huge number of delegates who came and made it a big success – over 400 attendees from marketing managers to CMOs, made it a fantastic, insightful day for all.

Experiment Everywhere

Dan Siroker, Optimizely’s Co-Founder and CEO, kicked off the day’s events with his keynote speech. The theme was ‘Experiment Everywhere’ and Dan began with the stories of fearless experimenters throughout history. From radiotherapy to winning gold medals, their outlook and bravery in pushing boundaries has inspired Optimizely’s own values and captured the theme of the day: be brave and experiment.

Most intelligent picture ever taken

‘Most intelligent picture ever taken’ Marie Curie’s experiments with radiation won her a Nobel Prize.

Dan introduced Optimizely X, our new experimentation platform and demonstrated how businesses can use the Optimizely platform to experiment across every channel and device to create a truly personalized experience that directly impacts the customer’s experience. Dan shared the example of the Weight Watchers customer experience and showed how testing different variables could impact customer lifetime value. For example, does showing a motivational message make an impact on the underachieving user? WIth experimentation testing, such hypotheses are possible. He also demonstrated how to use Optimizely X OTT by applying a great customer experience to every device, whether it be the TV, smartphone app or even the new Amazon Echo.

Do you only see good results? You need to be braver!

Robert Bridge, Chief Customer Officer at The Telegraph Media Group joined Dan on stage to share his experiences of using experimentation in practice, highlighting how the business has made huge strides in how they utilise data which in turn has allowed them to put the customer first.

Dan introduced a key lesson from our customers, who spoke throughout the day on their own experiments, that experimenting is useful regardless of whether you see positive or negative results; there is always value and insight to be gained from the results of your experiments. Moreover, if you only ever see good results, it’s time to be braver.


Scott Tieman MD of Accenture Digital took to the stage to share some big trends in marketing that are set to shape the future of personalization:

  • The human experience is key; customers are becoming fed up of “falling down a rabbit hole of recommendations, reviews and best sellers” when they shop online. Digital is not just another channel anymore and businesses are seeing a rise in the “B2ME” side of marketing. This means personalization is becoming more important than ever.
  • “Experience” – Scott shared the example of Disney who give their visitors a ‘magic wristband’ as a key to their hotel room, ticket to the park and stores photos from their visit. Experience of a service is as important as the product. Creating services like this also generates real time data, which can be used to personalize the experience even further.

Insight from customers who are getting it right

After lunch, we had the obligatory but incredibly valuable customer panel. The panel featured Sarah Stellini, Head of Growth Optimisation at Betsson; Jerome Sardou, Head of Data Marketing at Orange; Mark Leach, Head of eCommerce at Missguided; and Rohit Gupta, Senior Product Manager at Secret Escapes. And what was the one insight that they all shared?

“Experimentation is a culture change, that can drive business forward”

Sarah Stellini shared that although it took a while to change the company culture and mindset towards testing, it has been a change for the better. Rohit Gupta noted the importance of getting your team on board with the experimentation culture. An ‘ideas jar’ in the office can help your team feel involved with testing and mean you can try new ideas without commitment.

WIRED Magazine’s Greg Williams

Greg Williams of WIRED Magazine ended the day with his insights into what the future might hold for technology. There is a relentless change in data-centric tech that is evolving faster than ever before. From drones forming servers in the sky, to cars that customers can order for one day only depending on their needs – the way we use technology is inevitably changing. Greg left us with one baffling thought: iPhones now have more processing speed than NASA’s computer that got men to the moon in 1969!

The day was a fantastic insight into how companies are embracing the culture of experimentation in order to progress faster, and better. With new technologies released all the time, experimentation in all aspects of business is an essential, future-proof solution.