Daniella Gregory
Daniella Gregory | May 29, 2018
Global Partnerships Director at Yieldify.

UK Eurovision finalist turned gourmand extraordinaire.

We share a sneak peek at the evolution of CRO ahead of our session at #AwinAC18!

A majority of today’s marketers consider conversion rate optimization as a ‘crucial’ part of their marketing strategy, yet according to a survey by Econsultancy many are increasingly dissatisfied with the results they’re seeing. So what’s wrong?

This is exactly what I’ll be exploring in our session at Awin’s affiliate marketing conference, The Affiliate Code on June 14th (register here). Here’s a sneak preview of the topic I’ll be covering: ‘CRO is dead: The future is CJO’…

First, let’s take a step back into the offline world and look at an example that illustrates a poor customer journey that I’m sure we’ve all experienced – the call centre. McKinsey were employed to help executives at a media company facing a problem: customers were leaving at an alarming rate. The rise of new technology, and with it an increasingly competitive market were sounding the death knell, and common tactics like discounting and upgrades were costing a lot, yet still weren’t enough to stem the customer exodus (sound familiar?)

The company examined everywhere that customers interacted with them, but still couldn’t figure it out: after all, every single touchpoint had a good satisfaction score. Digging into the data revealed the real problem: while an individual phone call went well, a customer was having to make three calls just to resolve their issue. The customer journey was poor, even if the individual touch points were good, and even if the customer eventually got what they needed.

So what does any of this have to do with CRO?  Well, only optimizing for the end result – in the case of CRO, conversions – means that you lose sight of the journey, and this can have a negative long-term impact. And like the media company, affiliates practising ‘CRO as usual’ could end up negatively impacting business in the long term.

So, what’s the alternative? Enter, Customer Journey Optimization (CJO): a data-driven approach to improving the whole journey to get more conversions. There are a few key differences between CRO and CJO that empower marketers to be more innovative and diversify their approach.

First up, the goal: CRO focuses on the conversion, CJO focuses on a data-driven understanding of the visitor. Because CJO is centred around understanding the customer journey – who they are, where they’ve come from, and why they’re there – marketers are empowered to create contextually-relevant messages that add value to the customer experience, rather than the traditional ‘line of best fit’ approach seen with CRO.

The results of CRO vs CJO are pretty different too. CRO gives you the conversion sure, but this is a short-term win, and could potentially compromise the customer experience. CJO, on the other hand, offers the best of both worlds: you get the conversion, and the visitor gets a better experience, laying the groundwork for increasing customer lifetime value.

When it comes to the success of CJO over CRO the numbers speak for themselves. As marketers are well aware, customers no longer see individual touchpoints in isolation, so companies with strong omnichannel strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers versus just 33% for those with weak strategy.

CJO can also help increase your chances of selling to a new customer – 78% of US consumers report having abandoned due to a poor customer experience, and a good experience also means you’re more likely to sell to your existing customers again.

So what’s wrong with CRO? Nothing, at face-value, but next time you’re considering that quick win, or come across an issue with your customer experience think about digging a little deeper – it could be an opportunity to create a better customer journey, for you and your visitors.

If you’re interested in learning more, then make sure to join Yieldify’s session at The Affiliate Code on June 14th (register here) where I’ll be sharing more about CJO, including a 5 step plan to getting started, as part of the Diversification stream afternoon sessions.

This post was originally featured as part of Awin’s coverage of the upcoming Affiliate Code event, check out more over on their blog!