Dynamic and Data-Driven

Melanie Kyrklund, Senior Data Consultant at Mobiquity

Melanie Kyrklund is a Senior Data Consultant at Mobiquity. She joined the company in September 2018, after nearly 15 years of working with data for companies such as Booking and Staples. Melanie is passionate about data as a product and enjoys delving into the customer journey to continually improve user experience from a data driven perspective. She is excited to share her own journey as a rising star at Mobiquity.

From digital marketing to conversion rate optimisation

Melanie: Ten years ago, I made an unexpected career move from digital marketing to conversion rate optimisation (CRO). A new field for me, it involved understanding why website visitors don’t convert, and how to improve user experience. It is most commonly associated with A/B testing, where solutions are dynamically served to visitors to scientifically measure what works best. I loved the way data, UX, psychology, and engineering all converged within this discipline. The ability to rapidly test features in real time was fascinating. I was immediately hooked.

A new way of working

This moment in my career ushered in a shift in how I had previously learned to work. Firstly, data became my source of inspiration and a brutal idea validator. I was humbled by the realisation of just how difficult it was to a deploy a winning experiment, and with this awakening came an appreciation of the rigour (both analytical and operational) required to influence customer behaviour and generate results.

Secondly, as I was coming from a marketing background where I thought and worked in channels, my view of customers was greatly enriched. I started analysing data to identify and understand the customer journey, their behaviours, and their frustrations. It was also my first foray into wearing multiple hats — data insights needed to be translated into testable experiences, meaning I had to develop my UX and technical skills.

Looking back over the past decade, my personal journey has been reflective of the industry at large, where different areas of knowledge have converged in order to deliver customer experiences.

For example, the rise of mobile technology has meant customers are interacting with us across multiple devices and touch-points. Barriers between marketing, product engineering and data teams need to be broken down in order to understand the user journey and build personalised, cohesive experiences.

A changing industry

This shift towards a journey-focus and multidisciplinary teams is also very well illustrated by the emergence of growth hacking. These teams work on the customer journey holistically using data & a/b testing to work out which segments, marketing journeys and product features can be optimised for growth. Scale is built into product features (e.g. member-get-member loops) wherever possible, ingeniously driving usage.

From a broader perspective, organisations have integrated data and experimentation into product teams to varying degrees, for instance as advocated by the lean start-up approach. On the mature end of the spectrum, Spotify and Skyscanner have reorganised their staff into autonomous cross-functional teams called squads. They see integration of engineering with other disciplines as central to rapid evolution of their product.

Furthermore, the emergence of cloud computing has enabled data to play a bigger role in the frontend experience of customers, increasingly driving application functionality as well as the relevance of marketing messaging across touch-points. As data becomes productised, T-shaped individuals such as technical marketers and data-driven POs are required to translate data science and engineering into engaging customer journeys.

Autonomous cross functional teams are no longer synonymous with innovation, but an integral part of building, optimising and scaling digital experiences.

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