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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Pixotope | September 28, 2022

Pixotope, the leader in live augmented reality (AR), extended reality (XR), and virtual production solutions, is continuing to break down barriers to Virtual Production adoption by expanding its network of partners across the EMEA region. This expansion follows the success of major productions for Pixotope, including support of the world's largest esports event, Valve’s Dota 2, 2021, held in Bucharest’s 50,000-capacity stadium, Arena Națională. Alongside Pixotope, new business partners Tangram, Telmaco, Vantec, The Level, Mondatum, Post Logic, Plan Shoot Deliver, Centron, CVP, and BDS will drive market-leading virtual production technology in their respective territories. David Cheng, VP Sales & Marketing (EMEA) at Pixotope, says, "We're delighted to be working with our new partners in the EMEA region. These new partnerships reflect the increased global demand for high-level, virtual production technology throughout EMEA. We’re looking forward to broadening access to Pixotope technology and seeing what clients create next." David Cheng, VP Sales & Marketing (EMEA) at Pixotope, says, "We're delighted to be working with our new partners in the EMEA region. These new partnerships reflect the increased global demand for high-level, virtual production technology throughout EMEA. We’re looking forward to broadening access to Pixotope technology and seeing what clients create next." All the new business partners represent the best talent in their respective regions to support the adoption of Virtual Production. Clients can take additional assurance with the introduction of Pixotope Certified Experts, who have each taken a specialized course and exam, ensuring the best level of support for productions. To support the new business partners, Pixotope has appointed Lisa Schneider as Channel Marketing Manager, to be responsible for the global Pixotope Partner Program. Lisa joins Pixotope from Arvato Systems, where she supported the sales teams and spent several years in the company's Media & Entertainment division, becoming a familiar face at industry events and exhibitions. Lisa says, “I’m looking forward to working with such a prestigious group of partners and leading a program that brings real value to our business partners, enabling them to grow their business as we grow ours and fulfill our mission to make virtual production accessible to all media creators.” New Pixotope EMEA Partners Tangram Solutions - Spain We are a company offering the best audiovisual solutions through the most advanced technologies for more than 18 years. We provide our clients with specialized advice, being experts in the development and optimization of pipelines for Media Entertainment. We are a company that distributes both software and hardware of the first brands in the audiovisual industry, and we are currently leaders in Virtual Production. We are HP Amplifly Power Partner specialized in Workstations Specialist and Autodesk Gold Partner of Media & Entertainment (M&E). We work with film production companies, series, animation, VR, AR, professional schools, and universities. Always being at the forefront of new technologies, providing the sector with new ideas to speed up production. Telmaco - Greece Telmaco S.A. is a leading European AudioVisual and Broadcast Systems Provider and Integrator located in Athens, Greece. The company has been operating very successfully for many years in Greece and Cyprus, with a branch office in Thessaloniki, Northern Greece. In recent years Telmaco has expanded operations internationally and is involved in Turnkey System Integration projects in Northern Europe, the Balkans, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. VANTeC - Portugal VANTeC provides technology, consulting, integration, training, and support for the media market, optimizing its clients’ resources and offering complete solutions. Founded in 1991, VANTeC has 31 years of experience in the market. VANTeC is part of the Danmon Group*. *The Damon Group works specifically in the broadcast sector, with an international presence in various countries like the UK, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Dubai, Jordan, Vietnam, Spain, and Portugal. The Level - UK & IRE Established in 2020 by founder and creative director Kevin Cooney, The LEVEL has worked with some of the biggest names in television sports broadcasting, including F1, FIFA, ITV and Disney, to deliver a truly immersive experience in real-time production. Blurring the lines between animation, virtual and live performances, The LEVEL are creators and innovators and proud to pioneer virtual production solutions and workflows for the broadcast industry. Based in Nottingham in the heart of the midlands, the team have over 20 years’ combined industry experience, which they are now using to take the business to the next level, delivering real-time virtual productions of all shapes and size across the broadcast, media and corporate sectors. Mondatum - UK We are tech innovators, problem solvers, and contract developers. We specialize in on-set virtual production, in-camera visual effects, and real-time visualization. As Unity’s newest tech partner outside games, we are focused on helping organizations to incorporate game engine technology into their creative processes and workflows. Post Logic - France Post Logic distributes a complete range of software and integrated systems for post-production video, film, 3D animation, and broadcast. We are looking for innovative technologies and offer software solutions for the whole of the image processing chain: management of rushes & DI, film restoration, encoding, storage, & special effects compositing, 3D, DCP, and graphic design, as well as hardware systems suitable for the graphics chain: workstations, render farms, secure direct-attached, NAS and SAN storage, networking, monitoring & HD UHD play-out. Plan Shoot Deliver - Czech Republic Plan Shoot Deliver. That's what we do. Founded by Warren Yanish, who has twenty-five years of broadcasting and content creation experience. We bring thousands of hours of live television, sports, documentaries, and corporate & commercial video production experience to the industry. Our focus is innovative solutions for video technologies, Virtual Production, 3D Environment Creation, XR, VR, and AR content creation. Based in Prague, Czech Republic we have worked with clients worldwide to produce amazing projects using Unreal Engine, Twinmotion, Pixotope, Blender, Houdini, 3Dsmax, Sketchup, Revit, and many others in our production pipeline. Contact us for a solution to your next video, broadcast, or film project using Virtual Production. Centron - Slovakia Centron is one of Europe’s leading integrators in the field of supplying professional audiovisual systems and designing, managing, and implementing projects based on audiovisual and communication technologies. Founded in 1991, we have been operating across the Slovak and Czech markets as a distributor, seller, and integrator of professional audio and video technology. CVP - UK & Belgium For over thirty-five years, CVP has been one of the leading Broadcast and Professional video solutions providers, with a comprehensive sales and support infrastructure across the UK and Europe. The company prides itself on maintaining close relationships with key manufacturers such as ARRI, Sony, RED, and Canon, and uses its unrivalled experience to listen to customers, understand their needs, and deliver the right solution with first-class service. CVP offers creative consultation, sales advice, technical service provision, and training. BDS - Italy Broadcast Digital Service was founded in 1994, spanning thirty years of experience in the construction and assembly of audiovisual and commercial directories in multimedia systems, Virtual Studios, Augmented Reality Studios, and Realtime VFX for Film & TV. For over ten years we have expanded our focus on two new sections: Production & Creative Lab. We always work by your side, guaranteeing highly qualified teams, able to develop ideas and content for important audiovisual realities.

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MARTECH

Grip Security launches first partner program to drive sales of their SaaS application protection

Grip Security | September 27, 2022

Grip is looking to add partners who understand the differentiated value of their offering, and the uniqueness that it will provide to customers looking for improved SaaS security. Grip Security, which makes a SaaS security solution that unifies discovery, access control and data governance, has announced the Grip Security Partner Program. Grip emerged from stealth in April 2021 with a SaaS security solution designed to go beyond the limits of traditional CASBs, while at the same time making it easy to cover a large number of apps, overcoming a problem that exploded with the number of apps where many apps were simply not covered. “The company has grown by 300% and has seen a 500% growth in engagements with Fortune 500 companies,” said Lior Yaari, Grip Security’s CEO. “The company has grown by 300% and has seen a 500% growth in engagements with Fortune 500 companies,” said Lior Yaari, Grip Security’s CEO. “There has been a lot of change and a lot market change.” Because SaaS is closely tied to identity, Grip made it a top priority to establish deep integrations with as many identity providers as possible. That phase has now been completed. “We have extended our integration to almost every identity provider in the market today – almost a dozen,” Yaari said. “We are now looking at bringing joint offerings with large security vendors to market. Many of these joint integrations have been signed, but have not yet been announced, as we are still building out joint value.” Grip started out briefly selling direct in their proof of concept stage, but the pivot to the channel was in their plans, and that too has already taken place. “We have a channel-focused Go-to-Market strategy,” Yaari stated. “14 is the number of partners that we have right now, and that is growing fast. Our third U.S. hire was our director of channel sales. This is a critical part of our strategy.” The plan is for a fairly rapid channel expansion, not just to work with a small number of partners until they become successful. “We aren’t looking to work with 10,000 partners, but we do want to find enough key partners,” Yaari indicated. “We are not looking for logos on the web site. We are looking for partners who want to work with us so that we can make each other successful, and where they can position themselves as a source of innovation with us.” Insight is one of their initial partners. “With Insight, we are not part of a special innovation program,” Yaari said. “They are an example of a partner that we have a good relationship with, who understand how to drive need and who knows that SaaS is becoming bigger.” The problem many partners face is that since SaaS is relatively new, as they think organizations don’t have the right solutions to fix it, and they themselves lack the right backdrop for channel sales to explain it to the customer. “For the partner, they keys are understanding the problem space, understanding the market and the patching that is used today, and understanding how we are unique and the right questions to ask to get a meeting,” Yaari said. The program begins with a single tier, but Yaari said that they intended to expand that as the program builds out further. Simplicity is a dominant feature of the new program. “Our product is very different from other security products,” said Young-Sae Song, Chief Marketing Officer at Grip. “It takes 10 minutes to install. It is simple enough to be demoed by a channel sales person. You don’t need a technical person with deep training to demo it.” Grip also supports partners with jointly funded programs to promote Grip, as well as co-branded sales materials. Song said that because Grip isn’t heavy like most SaaS solutions, the channel can go to market very quickly with it. “It is probably faster for them than any other enterprise security product,” he stated. It also provides support for more than 20,000 SaaS applications, allows for 80% reduction in analyst workload, and has five times more SaaS application discovery compared to CASBs.

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