We need to talk about: CRO as commodity, Message-Market Fit and a Critical Trio

Publication: Jul 25, 2023

We need to talk about: CRO as commodity, Message-Market Fit and a Critical Trio

There are many topics in Experimentation discussed over and over again. But what are the topics we don’t discuss enough? We highlight three different perspectives. 


1. Sad commoditization of CRO by Johann Van Tonder

According to Johann Van Tonder, CEO at AWA Digital, more discussion about the commoditization of CRO, and the dumbing down of it to bro science is the need of the hour.


Like fortune cookies - isolated statements of common wisdom, but hopelessly lacking any depth or nuance. As CRO has gained mainstream popularity, it seems to have evolved towards a "one-size-fits-all" approach. But template solutions and generic best practices fail to account for factors like brand equity, offer, positioning, customer mix etc.


Factors that impact metrics, like conversion rate, far more than moving shit around the page to see what sticks.


On Twitter, it's not uncommon to see self-proclaimed CRO experts (with 6 months experience) share 🔥🔥🔥 advice like "make sure your AB test has at least 100 transactions per variant". That particular myth may have been in fashion 10 years ago, but today you really have no excuse for clinging to it.


The answer is now a (proper) Google search away. Why don't we talk about this? Well for one, who am I to define "good CRO" and "bad CRO"? It's pompous, arrogant, unkind. And yet: moving best practices around the page to see what sticks is not CRO.


Johann Van Tonder is CEO at AWA Digital, a blackbelt in karate and optimization. His enthusiasm for AI is keeping him awake at night. He also wrote a book called ‘Ecommerce website optimization’. 


2. Testing Message-Market Fit by Daphne Tideman

What isn't discussed enough is Messaging as a part of a bigger organisational change. 


Sure CRO teams run separate copy tests, but a lot of organisations don't have Message-Market Fit.


Testing is an ideal way to figure out which Jobs to be Done resonate the most and what language to use. When I was Head of Growth at Heights we had around 104.3% lift from tests purely from focusing on messaging.


Given the research nature of CRO Specialists / Experimenters, they are perfect for helping companies research and test to find Message-Market Fit.


It feels like still a big missed opportunity as when the learnings are applied systematically the impact can be huge.


Daphne Tideman teaches D2C startups how to grow faster, has worked with 200+ brands and specializes in eco-friendly and wellness brands. She wrote a book called ‘Growing Happy Clients’. 


3. The Critical Trio by Rohan Sontake

Your website gets traffic from different channels. The total number of conversions and conversion rates are different for each of those channels.


That’s because not all web traffic is created equal.


High intent users coming from a search campaign versus first time users coming from a social media campaign can have remarkably different conversion rates -- for the same landing page!
The landing page should satisfy users' curiosity, provide clarity, and answer any potential doubts & questions -- in a way that prompts users to take the desired next step.

Higher the relevance in prior content and the landing page, higher the chances of users taking the right action. Note that users' overall motivation and awareness levels about your product or service also play a key role. 

That’s why it is vital to increase relevance in your traffic channel - message - landing page experience. Rather than looking at each one of them independently, treat this trio as one unit when optimizing.


By doing so, the conversion rate could significantly improve for that particular page.  


Extra benefit: When you optimize in this manner, it can boost CTRs (click through rate) and ad platforms may even reward you with lesser CPCs(cost per click). Thus helping you reduce CPA (cost per acquisition or action) and also saving some marketing dollars in the process. It’s a huge win - win! 


Rohan Sontake is experienced in Growth and Marketing, he's starting out with CRO and is CXL certified. He gathered the content to write this article for Increase Conversion Rate.com.


Let’s take 30 minutes to figure out what would increase your conversion?