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Opticon 2022 Recap: the Nansen Team Explores Boundless Digital Invention

We had many reasons to be excited for Opticon 2022, the big conference for customers, partners and prospects hosted by Optimizely in San Diego. There were reunions to be had with people we hadn’t seen since the shutdown of live events in 2020. There was the promise of southern California sunshine. And of course, Opticon 2022 would be the “coming out” party for Optimizely following its recent merger with Episerver.

The conference met our high expectations, and then some. With an impressive lineup of speakers, important product announcements and a heavier emphasis on business impact and value than in years past, Opticon 2022 left us feeling even more excited about the merger and what’s possible in terms of Nansen’s work with Optimizely on behalf of our clients.

There were tons of timely, interesting topics covered at Opticon 2022 (you can browse highlights now via Optimizely Insights), but a few themes from the event stood out to us as particularly important. The first was that Optimizely is clearly working hard to simplify how it talks about its products, following the merger with Episerver and its ongoing expansion via acquisitions. Secondly, among that vast product portfolio, we were interested to see that the greatest focus was given to experimentation tools and to the Optimizely Data Platform (ODP).

Finally, as part of the effort to showcase the business impact of Optimizely tools, Opticon 2022 took as its theme “boundless digital invention,” and we were intrigued by both this ambitious vision and some of the new services introduced to support it.

Simplifying Optimizely product offerings: three pillars

For the first time, Optimizely rolled out during the conference an organizational structure for its many products. This was a smart move to help simplify the company’s many offerings, some of which overlap or retain labels from before their acquisition by Optimizely.

In his Opticon keynote, Optimizely CEO Alex Atzberger introduced three new thematic pillars, into which all of the company’s products have been organized: orchestrate, monetize and experiment. The orchestrate pillar contains tools like content management (CMS) and content marketing. Monetize includes B2B and B2C commerce products. And lastly, experiment is the most self-explanatory, consisting of Optimizely’s web and feature experimentation tools.

It will be interesting to see, moving forward, how aggressively Optimizely might cross-promote across these pillars. Many of its big-name clients are exclusively engaged with the experiment category. Now that its offerings are nicely packaged for these three goals, will Optimizely seek to nudge customers to run more of their businesses on Optimizely tools?

Putting the spotlight on experimentation and ODP

Nansen team members have been using Optimizely’s experimentation tools ever since they were introduced more than a decade ago. Nevertheless, we learned a ton at Opticon 2022 from both Optimizely team members and customers about different ways to think about and approach experimentation tests in order to generate the most impactful insights.

In one standout session, we learned how Optimizely client TaylorMade Golf used experimentation tools to explore whether different page layouts converted customers better at different points in the product life cycle. It turns out that the answer is yes. With that valuable insight in hand, TaylorMade was able to adjust its customer funnel with deep precision and confidence. We left that session inspired to look with new eyes at some of our Nansen customers’ A/B testing roadmaps!

In addition to experimentation, the Optimizely Data Platform (OPD) got a lot of attention throughout Opticon 2022. We attended a couple sessions that really laid out the business impact and value of being able to capture and analyze data from every single visitor to a company’s website or sites using the highly advanced tools contained within ODP.

One especially exciting example of how Optimizely can help companies use data to run tests and elevate their digital customer experience was automatic segmentation. This tool works in real time to identify customer attributes and personalize their website experience based on those features, including the ability to test and optimize different user flows automatically.

Bringing “boundless digital invention” to customers

At Nansen, we’re all about exploring what’s possible—and pushing against the boundaries we find. For this reason, we loved the “boundless” theme throughout Opticon 2022. Playing on the concepts of growing and expanding, thinking multi- and omni-channel, and “unlimiting yourself,” Optimizely showcased for customers and prospects how their suite of tools can be used to elevate the entire customer journey and drive immense business impact and value.

It’s common at conferences hosted by tech companies to see lots of product roadmaps and sales pitches. But Opticon 2022 was really dedicated to customer storytelling and learning, with a plethora of examples of how Optimizely tools can drive “boundless digital invention.” We heard from big Optimizely clients like New Era, Zoom, Zillow, and Tapestry about how they’re doing personalized experimentation based on data and insights across the customer journey.

Additionally, we were thrilled to learn about a new value-add service called the Optimizely Value Consulting Team. This team of consultants works with partners like Nansen to analyze customer data and build a strong business case for adding experimentation to the customer’s tech stack. We look forward to collaborating with this team to bring new ideas and proposals to Nansen clients for how they might use Optimizely tools to achieve their business goals.

We had a great time at Opticon 2022, and we congratulate our partners at Optimizely on a very impressive event. There are so many exciting developments and opportunities we’ll be exploring in the near- and long-term with Nansen clients.

P.S. If you’re reading this and wondering about an Optimizely Content Cloud 12 demo, there was not a demo at Opticon 2022, but our team would be more than happy to walk you through one! Reach out to request a demo today.

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