Digital Transformation ITechnology Interviews

ITechnology Interview with Edward Barrow, VP Product Strategy at Optimizely

ITechnology Interview with Edward Barrow, VP Product Strategy, Optimizely

“Key Innovations We Have Planned Focus Around Advances to Our AI for Predictive Customer Segmentation and Automated Journey Orchestration.”

Please tell us about your current role and the technology you handle at Optimizely

I’m Edward Barrow, VP of Product Strategy at Optimizely. I lead a team of product strategists, competitive intelligence and strategic alliance specialists who oversee the future build/buy/partner strategy across our digital experience platform.

Optimizely’s digital experience platform combines content management, commerce management, personalization, analytics and experimentation technologies to enable organizations to deliver personalized digital experiences at scale across multiple channels, unlocking the digital potential of their teams and their business.

What are the major challenges in the industry you witnessed during the pandemic months?

Most fundamentally, the pandemic has driven a seismic shift towards digital channels, meaning organisations have had to very rapidly transform both their business operations and their customer-facing digital experiences. We have seen organizations accelerate through years of digital innovation within a matter of weeks, and to do this they need agile, innovative and scalable digital technologies.

The pandemic has also broken the rule book for how we expect users to behave digitally, and so many of our pre-pandemic, data-led assumptions no longer hold true. In this environment we’ve been helping many organizations adopt a new experimentation-driven approach to digital transformation so they can rapidly test, learn and iterate.

What recommendations / advice do you have for the Product Marketing teams?

We have new buyers in the market for technology, some for the first time, and all needing to make very rapid technology purchase decisions. But many are often confused by the overwhelming technology options available to them.

It’s now more important than ever before to be able to clearly express the business value your technology provides, with a particular focus on time to value — how fast organizations can implement the technology to meet the needs of their customers, and interoperability – how well this will integrate and work alongside their existing technology investments.

What kind of IT framework do modern Marketing and Sales technology companies need to stay ahead of the industry?

Organizations are adopting a much more composable approach to their marketing and sales technology stack, opting to select best-of-breed point solutions. In this environment organizations must be especially careful to ensure the vendors they select are interoperable both at the technology and process level. Selecting innovative point solutions can help drive innovation, but can also slow down time to value through the extra burden of integration. The ideal stack combines innovative technologies that are easy to plug-and-play, but harmonized from a smaller group of vendors which play well together.

What is your vision for 2021 at Optimizely?

At Optimizely, our mission is to empower organizations to unlock their digital potential. We achieve this by:

  1. Unlocking behavior-based decision making by helping organizations apply a scientific method to decision making as they create and optimize digital experiences.
  2. Unlocking confident creation by helping developers, marketers, editors and merchandisers working in-concert, to confidently create and design experiences across channels.
  3. Unlocking outsized outcomes by helping organizations continuously optimize their digital journey to maximize the business value of each piece of content, of each product — with each experiment compounding to drive exponential business impact.

Tell us your AI ML goals that could transform the current product line-up at Optimizely.

In January 2021, Episerver rebranded to Optimizely following its acquisition of the business last year. By bringing together the two digital experience powerhouses, we now have some of the most powerful AI-driven experience management capabilities in the market.

Key innovations we have planned focus around advances to our AI for predictive customer segmentation and automated journey orchestration. We’re also in the process of unifying of our AI-driven 1:1 recommendation engine capabilities across both content and products, so organizations are able to deliver the next best experience at any digital touchpoint, with our AI optimizing for the best outcome for both the customer and the organization.

Our focus at Optimizely is to democratize access to AI for marketers and digital experience developers. By leveraging pre-trained, pre-integrated AI and automation, we can enable business users to deliver personalized experiences at scale without the need for a dedicated data science team, or a complex machine learning workbench.

Thank you, Edward! That was fun and we hope to see you back on itechnologyseries.com soon.

[To participate in our interview series, please write to us at sghosh@martechseries.com]

VP Product Strategy – based in the UK. Responsible for managing the Product Strategy Group who sit the overall direction of our product portfolio, working in conjunction with our Product Management and Technology Partnerships teams. Prior to joining Optimizely in 2019, Ed was Co-Founder and CEO of Idio.ai.

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At Optimizely, we’re on a mission to help people unlock their digital potential. With our leading digital experience platform (DXP), we equip teams with the tools and insights they need to create and optimize in new and novel ways. Now, companies can operate with data-driven confidence to create hyper-personalized experiences. Building sophisticated solutions has never been simpler. Optimizely’s 900+ partners and 1100+ employees in offices around the globe are proud to help more than 9,000 brands, including Peloton, Uber, AMEX, WSJ, Santander, KLM and Mazda enrich their customer lifetime value, increase revenue and grow their brands.

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