Closed Loop CEO Lance Loveday on Big Data and the Pitfalls of Testing

big data & pitfalls of testing

Today we have Lance Loveday, Founder and CEO of Closed Loop (CLM), and a well-regarded user experience design expert. Lance started his digital marketing career as a web site manager for a Fortune 100 company in 1998, before moving on to establish CLM in 2001. He has since worked with a number of startups and big brand clients such as Hewlett-Packard, Brocade, and Lockheed Martin.

Lance co-authored the book Web Design for ROI, which was published in 2007. He’s a firm believer in the need for companies to balance design and human elements with numbers.

Here’s Lance’s take on the most important trends and challenges for digital marketers this year, and what you can expect from his keynote at Conversion Conference Las Vegas in May:

ConvCon: What do you think are the trend/s which will define digital marketing this year and how can digital marketers best take advantage of it?

Lance: The ability to finally connect data silos is going to be big this year. We’ve started getting full funnel data that integrates front-end campaign data with Marketo and Salesforce lead and sales data and it is insanely powerful. It has us managing campaigns completely differently now. It’s especially compelling when you bring it together with a great data visualization tool like Tableau.

​I think forward-looking marketers should find a way to add some data science skills to their toolbelt to take full advantage of this trend.

ConvCon: What’s the biggest challenge for digital marketers today? Can you give us a short advice on how marketers can solve or overcome this problem?

Lance: Resisting the cult of testing for the sake of testing and insisting on testing intelligently to achieve a valuable outcome. The industry, the vendors and corporate politics have caused a lot of marketers to assume that testing is easy and that test volume or velocity is a KPI. I’m hearing more execs say things like “we should be doing 300 tests this year” and it makes me cringe, because I know what it usually means is “we’re going to test a lot of stupid stuff even faster than last year.”

I know a lot of those tests are going to be rushed, have unclear objectives, not achieve statistical significance, be poorly instrumented/executed/interpreted and lead to faulty conclusions (our users hate orange!). My advice is to model realistic outcomes as objectively as possible ahead of time to help prioritize testing efforts in the areas where you can really make the most impact. Secondarily, I’d advise sticking to your guns and requiring test plans to meet certain objective criteria before allowing them to proceed.

ConvCon: What can attendees look forward to during your keynote?

Lance: Sex, drugs, rock and roll. Hold up… my wife says no sex. No drugs either. Rock and roll is approved, however. So just that then. ​You’ll have to go see Zumanity for the other two.

I’m going to share the highlights from a fascinating study we’re wrapping up now on how CRO masters think differently. It’s been one of the most profound and rewarding activities of my career and I can’t wait to share it with everyone at the Conversion Conference.

We’re pretty sure Lance knows how to rock and roll – but you’d have to see it for yourself at the big event next month. Don’t miss Lance Loveday’s keynote presentation “Good to Great: The 8 Ways True CRO Masters Think Different Than Everyone Else” at Conversion Conference Las Vegas 2015 on May 13th.

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