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Over the last two years, businesses have been pushed into a corner and proven their ability to quickly accelerate digital transformation. Although most are aware of the value that digital transformation brings to revenue growth, it was during the height of the pandemic that companies were seen collaborating with technology providers and digital experts to excel in an increasingly digital world. 

To inspire businesses accelerate their digital strategies in 2022 and beyond, Optimizely and Dept presented a joint virtual event titled, Optimizing the Future. During the discussion, Alex Atzberger (Optimizely's CEO) and Dimi Albers (Dept's CEO) sat down to talk about how the evolving technology is shaping the digital future.

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The shift in marketing

The ever-evolving customer behavior due to the rapid evolution of digital experiences has forced businesses to build multi-discipline teams with broader skill sets. For instance, marketing teams no longer operate based on their traditional job scope and have shifted towards using data science to build sophisticated digital experiences. And this shift has also encouraged more and more businesses to collaborate within different departments. 

Alex says, "I work with a number of customers where I see a big cultural change, with companies moving away from projects that are purely marketing or tech driven to really bring the two together.”

Dimi agrees, adding that when looking at brands that are ahead of the curve, they don't operate in silos but rather have a symbiosis relationship within departments. CMOs and CTOs are working hand in hand by bringing teams together and leveraging each other's strengths - for instance, combining data and technology to bring greater results.

As much as collaboration is essential, it's also crucial that businesses use the right technology to optimize their digital experience. Dimi further added that a solution like Optimizely, which integrates its full stack across Dept’s customer journey, makes it easier for them to deliver the output they want for clients.

Placing data in the center of a great experience

Over the years, Optimizely and Dept have witnessed the rise of businesses diverting their focus toward data strategy development and implementation to drive growth. And by combining data together with creativity and technology, companies have a higher chance of speeding their progress and remain ahead of the curve.

The priority shift on data has also influenced businesses to focus on maximizing customer lifetime value over acquiring new ones. Alex points out that for brands to truly understand their customers, the communication needs to be familiar and relevant, which is why Optimizely focuses on customer data strategy. And in the case where customers start to churn, brands can offer a personalized interaction to re-engage the customers and win them back. And this can only be done if you have data and the right tool.

Keeping up with digital natives

In the digital age, business decisions can't be made based on gut feelings and assumptions, and Alex is concerned about the progress of companies that operate in such a manner compared to digital-native companies.

Alex explains that his talk track to the customers is always asking them to not aim for perfection but be good enough so that their business can progress. For businesses to think that time is on their side is dangerous as this is one of the reasons why businesses progress slowly and eventually get left behind.

Alex is referring to the gap that exists between digital and non-digital native companies. The further non-digital native businesses fall behind, companies like Airbnb and Spotify will continue to monopolize and capture the market share. 

Case in point, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Alphabet stocks value rose 37% during the pandemic in 2020, whereas most businesses were suffering. And these big companies will continue to grow as long as they're collecting data. With that in mind, Optimizely and Dept offer solutions that enable and empower businesses to compete with big brands by starting quickly so that they can catch up.

Progressing for the better

As of 2021, Optimizely and Dept have grown tremendously. Dept has expanded their reach by entering Asia-Pacific and acquiring four agencies within the process.

Dimi says, “The focus we’ve always had is to gravitate everything towards what the client needs. We find like-minded agencies that align from a capability, cultural and strategic perspective to grow and diversify the business. Our integrated approach means that if we need more people, let’s say in our data team, we can find them anywhere across our regions and bring them into one team.”

Optimizely, on the other hand has recently acquired a leading content marketing platform built for marketers, Welcome. Alex points out that Optimizely is a believer in great digital experience, and to help marketers achieve that, it's important for them also to have a great marketing experience. By having Welcome on Optimizely’s side, Optimizely can operate using best-in-class workflow and digital asset management capabilities. He adds that since many marketers are working remotely, using an advanced yet intuitive platform that encourages collaboration is essential so that marketers can work efficiently.

Optimizely and Dept have built an ecosystem that they believe will bring success to both organizations, including the clients. Even though the ecosystem consists of different organizations, as long as the philosophy is aligned, Optimizely and Dept will be operating in tandem and leveraging each other's strengths and capabilities to reach optimal outcomes. Alex says, "Our partnership with Dept is so important to us. It is all in the service of customers to become more creative, to leverage the best technology, and gain superior outcomes through data; helping companies drive business outcomes as well as continue to adapt to the ever-changing market."

If you’d like to watch the full conversation between Alex and Dimi, Optimizing the Future: CEO Interview is available on demand.

My talk track to the customers is always asking them to not aim for perfection but be good enough so that their business can progress. For businesses to think that time is on their side is dangerous as this is one of the reasons why businesses progress slowly and eventually get left behind.

CEO, Optimizely