Q&A with Olivia (Ross) Taylor, Director of CRO at Directive Consulting

MEDIA 7 | June 25, 2019

Olivia Taylor, Director of CRO at Directive Consulting has 10 years of working experience in graphic designing and has expert knowledge in CRO/UX in landing pages and websites designing.

Olivia was recently nominated for the Orange County Business Journal's Top 25 Women in Business Awards.

MEDIA 7: What’s your superpower?
OLIVIA TAYLOR: I would like to think my superpower is empathy. That’s part of what CRO is: figuring out and understanding what’s going on through people’s minds and finding out what people need and want.

M7: Does it point to user intent, a term generally used in Account Based Marketing?
OT: 
Yes, exactly that. Because I’m able to basically understand where the consumer and the buyer is coming from, I can better optimize my clients’ websites, change that language in the headline and the subhead to relate to the customers’ pain points and better describe the benefits of what my client can provide to them.

M7: Your career spans an impressive 8 years from a Graphic Designer to being a Director of CRO at Directive Consulting. What attracted you to this industry, and how does Directive Consulting fit into your story?
OT:
I became a designer because all other subjects in school were boring. 2+2 will always be 4, but with design, there are so many possibilities - so many different solutions to a problem. Plus, I always loved drawing and creating.
While going to school, I worked as a designer at a few different places. Then upon graduating, I worked at a tech company in-house but it just wasn’t for me. I moved on to an agency that was full-service, but that also was not the right fit. After that job, I ended up at a PPC agency where I learned about CRO. I started there as just a designer and left there as the Director of CRO.

Using the skills I learned there, I was able to join the upstanding company that is Directive where I’m learning so much more, and doing so many more awesome things than I did at any other job and it has been amazing. It’s so wonderful to work at a place that is professional and that takes the work so seriously, only striving to be the best at being different. 


"The best way we can convince the customers is that we need to address what our client does, that no other competitor can do."

M7: Could you tell us about your best practices for creating an ideal customer experience?
OT: 
A functioning website that loads quickly
Easy navigation and user experience
Clear offerings and clear unique value propositions (what is it that you do that no competitor does?)
Great social proof (testimonials and case studies from current clients, awards, etc)

Great customer service: prompt support, regular email check-ins to see how your customer is doing, offer deals and promotions - all of these things keep a customer coming back for more.

M7: While creating a unique value proposition, how do you drive in the utility? In other words, how do you convince the customer about the uniqueness of your service?
OT: 
We definitely have to utilize this through the headline and anywhere in the hero section of the landing page or the homepage because that’s where people are landing first and you need to be able to grab their attention in the first five seconds. So, the best way we can convince the customers, is that we need to address what our client does, that no other competitor can do.

If you can say we’re the only platform that does x, y, and z, that is a great unique selling point. Another thing to consider is backing up your clients with data. If you are offering some sort of platform that will save me time on the implementation of a process, then tell me how much time I’m going to save. If you say, “Cut down your execution time by 90% with our platform” that’s a unique value proposition. That shows the benefit to the user there, and that will entice users to click through and complete the form. So, gaining conversions is usually based around giving real data that explains exactly what value the visitors are going to see or how much money is going to be made or saved, and how much time is going to be saved to solve a problem with this solution. The other side of the coin is “we are the only ones that do x y z” and that will basically set a business apart from their competitors.

M7: How does collaboration and communication come into play in your role?
OT: 
It’s the entire job. I oversee a design team and I need to make sure my team is not only communicating with me but communicating with other departments. PPC, SEO, and CRO must all work together to get the job done and we’re stronger together than apart. I have daily follow-ups on different accounts, weekly meetings, client sync ups - whatever it takes to make sure that I and the rest of the team have complete transparency into what is happening with these accounts so that we can assist in whatever way we can. We want our specialists and account managers to own their strategy, but the directors are responsible for approving the strategy and improving it if needed.


"As designers, we need to remember that form follows function, so we must be sure that this information is easily accessible, that the message is clear."

M7: What are the biggest mistakes you see businesses making when attempting to optimize their site to increase conversions?
OT:
These companies spend tens of thousands of dollars on a rebrand which will be done by a branding agency that has no knowledge of designing a site for increased conversions. Too many times we’ve had clients come in that just had a rebrand done and their conversions plummeted. So we will go in and audit the site to find out what is causing the problem. Too often, design takes over function but we must always remember that form follows function. As an example, the white space in the new site may be beautiful, but none of your visitors can even see what you’re offering until they get halfway down the page. Things like this are the biggest issues we see.

Also, with too many changes implemented at once, it makes it harder to pinpoint what caused the drop in conversions. It’s often times all of the things combined together that caused the problem. If a company is going to focus on increasing conversions, the changes need to be based on data and not on whims or best practices. Data doesn’t lie.

M7: What is the most challenging part of doing a conversion optimization project? What type of resource commitment do you require from your team?
OT:
The most challenging part is that the results cannot be guaranteed. Our tests are based on data but they’re just that: a test, a hypothesis. Nothing is written in stone. 9 out of 10 times I will be right in my hypothesis, but there will always be a test that fails. We still celebrate the failure because we still learn from it. We can find out why the test didn’t work and use it to narrow down on what will work.

As far as resources are concerned, we want to make sure that we’re testing at least a few things each week per client. We use Hotjar for qualitative research as well as Google Optimize for on-page testing, and Instapage/Unbounce for landing page testing. Reporting is a big part of our deliverable so a good amount of our time is spent gathering the data and providing insights to the client.

M7: According to you, what prompts a visitor to scroll down to the bottom of a webpage?
OT: 
Usually you would have to have a message that entices them in the hero section of the landing page. Just like we discussed about the UVPs, we need to show the customer right when they land on the page, that this is the solution for your problem. That will entice them to scroll down. You can sometimes kind of coax people to scroll down: I like to use false CTAs to get more information and if they click that CTA, it will scroll down to the benefit section on the page and that will get people to start scrolling. And from that benefit section you could have a CTA linking to the case studies on the landing page and get them to scroll down even further on the page.

The main issue is people think of redesigning their page to look better and they see horrible conversions because it may be beautiful but it’s not functional. The messaging is vague and does not relate to what it is they do as a company that’s better than anybody else. They don’t adjust the benefits, and they’re too stuck on this flowery and technical language that a lot of SaaS companies like to use. So, the biggest thing is being very upfront with what you do in layman’s terms, making it as clear as possible to the lowest common denominator, so that you have a potentially larger pool of leads versus only having that technical jargon that only a few may understand. This usually relates a lot to B2B and SaaS clients. They get really hung up on their own language that’s very technical but the common man that needs their service doesn’t understand that...just tell them what the benefit is.

So, to summarize that long rant: basically, make sure that the messaging is clear about the benefits right away, then use CTAs on your page to entice people to keep scrolling so they continue to learn more. Keep people engaged and reading, section by section.


"Gaining conversions is based around giving real data that explains what value the visitors are going to see or how much money is going to be made or saved, and how much time is going to be saved."

M7: In a world where anyone can start a web-based business, generating trust is more important than ever before. Considering this, what impact does design have on revenue?
OT: 
It has a huge impact. If you land on a site that is poorly designed - it’s ugly, it’s confusing, you have no idea what they sell - do you think you would stay on that site for long? No, you’d go to a site that has a clear hero image showing the product and how it works, and a headline that explains what sets it apart from any other competitor product. The way information is presented is just as important as what information is being said.




One-size-doesn’t-fit-all and I’ve seen pages that - funny enough - looked horrible but converted better than the redesign we did, just because the form was more readily available. All the information was above the fold and it looked really scrunched. However, the customers got whatever they needed right away and that was what was important. So even when you’re seeing this image of bad vs good, we could argue that maybe the option on the right still won’t convert because it’s not quite explaining any unique value composition. It has a lot of beautiful imagery but it’s not getting to the point. Although these full-width websites with huge images is the trend, I think it needs to be taken with a grain of salt and used sparingly; and it needs to be dialed back a bit when it comes to conversions. You have these big beautiful images and people have to scroll very far just to get down to the first paragraph which is not good for conversions even though it’s trendy. As designers, we need to remember that form follows function, so we must be sure that this information is easily accessible, that the message is clear and if it is, then great! The beauty comes after that, but messaging has to be clear, concise, and easily understood.

M7: Directive Consulting ranks #1 on Google for “SEO Agency”. What SEO strategies and tools does the company leverage to channelize its sales campaigns?
OT: 
On page SEO and targeted guest posting with keyword driven anchor text. Then we continually write content around SEO and internally link back to our core SEO page.

M7: As a child what did you want to be when you grew up?
OT:
I wanted to be a speleologist (a cave scientist) for years. I was obsessed with caves, stalactites, and stalagmites. I’ve always been interested in maths and sciences, but there are dangers tied to being a cave scientist so I gave up on that. I still sometimes wonder what would have been if I had gone into the sciences instead of design. Maybe I’ll try it out in a few years!

M7: That sounds interesting! Have you visited caves in your earlier days?
OT: Yes, I did visit just a few caves, nothing big like the Man of the cave or Carlsbad cavern but as a child I was very interested in science – Biology, Zoology, Geology just the world around me and caves are interesting because they’re the dark places that not many people go to. I love history, I love biology so I think caves are kind of that interesting combination of both cause they’re ancient and they have these creatures that are so bizarre you know, like these blind salamanders which is like a different world there. I got very fixated on that for a few years as a child, reading all the books I could about it. I had my mind set, this is what I was going to do and I didn’t take into account the dangers of being a cave scientist. You’ll have to get into tight little spaces and there could be cavemen, you could get lost and stuck. Me being a homebody and kind of a bookworm, I decided, you know, maybe this is not the path for me, but I was also an artistic child. I was drawing all the time and that’s how I ended up in design school instead. So a very different path, but I still love science and history so I might dabble in it later in my life but for now it’s been design.

ABOUT DIRECTIVE CONSULTING

Directive does beautiful search marketing for B2B and enterprise companies that share our values. We redefine the global standard for how marketers work, live, and grow. We are a group of SEO, PPC, and content experts who are passionate about working with the best B2B brands in the world. When we are not executing ROI driven campaigns, you can find us drinking cold brew, volunteering in our community, or playing an intense game of ping-pong.

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AdDaptive Intelligence | September 30, 2022

This week, AdDaptive Intelligence, the leading provider of account-based advertising and analytics, has released a new logo and website. "We started by exploring our business strategy, internal strengths, and market opportunities," explained Laura Goldstone, senior director of communications and branding strategy at AdDaptive. "Then we crafted messaging and designs that conveyed our differentiators most effectively. Strategic planning and cohesion throughout enabled a full brand refresh that spans all of our content, building on and elevating our voice and presence in the market." The new design's elements include: The gradient represents movement, adaptability, and depth as well as sleekness and tech-savviness. The logomark matches the A in AdDaptive. Its shape conveys AdDaptive's emphasis on analytics and success by representing a bar chart growing from left to right. When rotated, it can also resemble a marketing funnel, representing AdDaptive's ability to move key accounts toward clients' KPIs. The tagline informs audiences that they will achieve Smarter B2B Advertising by working with AdDaptive. "The ultimate goal of this project was to elevate our visual identity and tell an authentic story that embodies who AdDaptive is, what we do, and where we excel," said Alexandra Singer, senior graphic designer at AdDaptive. "Every decision in this process was intentional and strategic and done with our mission and vision in mind." While designing their new logo in-house, AdDaptive concurrently worked on a new website that would showcase this new design while also conveying their brand's narrative in a more compelling and data-driven manner. AdDaptive worked with web design agency Bop Design to produce a sleek, optimized, and organized website that conveys AdDaptive's value proposition clearly and thoroughly and provides intuitive navigation and flow. "We're excited that our new site leads with transparent, comprehensive account-based analytics, which is a main differentiator for AdDaptive," said co-founder Patrick Shea. "We're excited that our new site leads with transparent, comprehensive account-based analytics, which is a main differentiator for AdDaptive," said co-founder Patrick Shea. Co-founder Kevin O'Malley added, "Beyond the unique reporting we provide, our new site dives into how to use those insights strategically and how to ensure your campaigns are set up to yield successful results across marketing, sales, and overall business goals. We're excited for our website to walk through the customer journey step by step and hope this new layout provides a positive experience for all visitors." AdDaptive's customer journey as laid out on the new site is cyclical, starting with audience discovery either in the form of an ABM list or custom-built firmographic segments; leading into media activation and campaign deployment either through AdDaptive's curated deals offering or through AdDaptive's accounts management team; feeding into transparent insights in various analytics reports (namely Campaign Analytics and Site Analytics). But it doesn't stop there: AdDaptive's team then acts as strategic consultants, coaching agencies and brands on how to make analytics reports actionable. AdDaptive's team works with its customers to make effective advertising decisions by exploring the insights in previous campaigns' analytics reports and refining their target audience, KPIs, and budget in subsequent campaigns, thus feeding into the cycle for long-term success. "Storytelling is at the heart of how we connect with our customers on a human level," Goldstone went on to say. "While we lead with our insightful analytics and technological capabilities, the way we convey the power and value of those solutions is through stories - stories about the customer, internal teams, and the market. And when stories are supported by strong design, trust among customers increases exponentially and builds a virtuous cycle with tremendous upside." Readers can view the new website and logo at www.addaptive.com. About AdDaptive: AdDaptive Intelligence is the leading provider of Account-Based Advertising and Analytics. Deploying display, native, video, CTV, and audio campaigns for B2B audiences, AdDaptive's proprietary technology bridges offline and online data, optimizes ad campaigns, and provides transparent B2B analytics to help clients reach the accounts that matter most. The result is the industry's most accurate and strategic B2B ABM solution. For more information, visit https://www.addaptive.com/blog/ or follow AdDaptive on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.

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New RollWorks Survey Confirms Marketers Rely on Account-Based Marketing to Drive Pipeline and Revenue Goals

RollWorks | October 03, 2022

Account-based marketing platform RollWorks, a division of NextRoll, today announced the results of a six-month survey designed to gauge ongoing B2B marketer priorities and challenges. The new study reveals that marketers overwhelmingly rely on ABM to increase ROI and achieve pipeline and revenue goals. "Marketers are accepting that ABM is an efficient, effective marketing strategy that focuses on engaging the right accounts at the right time, through a variety of marketing channels. The success of the market isn't determined by the few who agree on one definition, but rather a focus on ABM's very clear value of helping to create the most efficient sales strategy that drives growth at scale," said Darragh Fitzpatrick, CRO of RollWorks. "Marketers are accepting that ABM is an efficient, effective marketing strategy that focuses on engaging the right accounts at the right time, through a variety of marketing channels." said Darragh Fitzpatrick, CRO of RollWorks. Critical Role of ABM in Key Initiatives + Challenges B2B marketers indicated a growing dependency on ABM to help support key initiatives. Survey respondents overwhelmingly said that they are turning to ABM to help increase ROI and achieve pipeline and revenue goals (72%), followed by supporting faster sales cycles (53%), as well as faster growth and bridging the communications gap between marketing and sales (48% respectively). And yet, nearly half of those polled said providing customized and relevant ad experiences to the right people on the sites they spend time on (44%), reaching the right targets on the sites they spend time on (43%), and scaling ABM programs (42%) have been the top challenges when implementing their ABM strategy. Hyper Focus on Understanding Intent from In-Market Accounts Many B2B organizations are realizing that ABM means efficiency and precision can coexist. Survey respondents indicated that their top two priorities are intent, or understanding what accounts are in-market to buy a solution like theirs, even if they haven't heard of the solution (48%), and ads and other forms of ABM engagement (40%). Doubling Down on Digital and Webinars Throughout the past six months of the survey, respondents have said that they are increasingly investing in digital advertising and webinars, with nearly 80% of respondents doubling down on digital advertising and 43% investing in webinars. Interestingly, only 18% (25% fewer than webinars) said they are investing in virtual events. Respondents have increasingly adopted HubSpot over the past six months, with two-thirds of respondents indicating HubSpot is their primary CRM. RollWorks' integration with HubSpot provides marketers with easy-to-use, end-to-end solutions to drive their account-based strategies by enabling teams of all sizes to identify high-fit, high-intent accounts and buyers, reach them efficiently, and measure impact. The integration, which has given the majority of go-to-market teams consolidated account-level visibility, is a powerful illustration of ABM and CRM working together to deliver deep insights for revenue teams of all sizes. The survey, conducted March through September 2022, consulted approximately 200 B2B marketing and sales professionals. About RollWorks RollWorks, a division of NextRoll, offers ambitious B2B companies an account-based platform to align their marketing and sales teams and confidently grow revenue. Powered by proprietary data and machine learning, RollWorks' solutions address the needs of organizations large and small — from those with best-in-class ABM programs to those just beginning their exploration. By empowering teams to identify their target accounts and key buyers, reach those accounts across multiple channels, and measure program effectiveness in their system-of-record, RollWorks is an indispensable platform for marketers and sellers who believe that an account-based approach is just good business. To learn more visit www.rollworks.com

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