Speaker’s Corner: Featuring Ayat Shukairy, Co-founder, Invesp

Tell me about your company – its work and projects… 

Established in 2006, Invesp is one of the first companies in North America entirely dedicated to conversion optimization. Invesp partners with clients to launch, accelerate, and scale their experimentation programs. Our clients, such as 3M, eBay, Target, the Special Olympics, and O’Reilly utilize our insights and methodologies to achieve a competitive advantage and succeed in an increasingly digital world. In 2015 we created a CRO tool, FIGPII, which included heatmaps, session recording, and AB Testing engine to help our clients achieve their goals. In 2019 we offered our tool to the public.

The industry you belong to is vast and often has its challenges, what are the challenges that most affect your business? Are you engaging in any kind of problem-solving?

Any industry in the digital space is fast-moving and changing. If you don’t keep up and continuously optimize and grow your business to be in the know of the latest and greatest technologies, you will become irrelevant.

But CRO is a special kind of challenge. SEO, PPC, and Email marketing are very defined, they also were popularized much before CRO was. So unfortunately CRO became defined as “changing a CTA button” and template tweaking which is not conversion rate optimization. CRO requires research, understanding the customer, analytics, heatmap and session recordings, customer interviews, etc.

Trying to change that mentality and rewire people on what CRO is all about is a big challenge the industry faces.

The COVID-19 and the pandemic have mandated change in the way we go about business and operations. How has this time influenced you? What are the trends you see within the sector?

Like many digital agencies, we’ve seen quite a bump and increase in business because of the vast need companies have to improve their digital presence. That has been the upside of COVID. But like many organizations, we have gone fully remote and that definitely has its share of challenges and issues.

What is your biggest objective as a speaker?

I love to educate, connect with people and represent minorities and women. My objective is to empower other women and minorities.

Could you share with us the points of discussion (the input that you provided) during the panel(s) at the Hero Conference Austin?

My topic was titled: Tested to Death: when AB testing no longer moves the needle. Most marketers have abused AB testing. They test every webpage on their site to death. However, they are still stuck with low conversion rates. Why? Because increasing conversion rates was never about A/B testing.

Like my point before, conversion rate optimization is very involved and AB Testing is simply the tool to measure the effectiveness of the CRO. But the industry flipped it – suddenly it became all about AB testing and simple template tweaking.

In the session, I discussed, why most AB tests fail, how to follow a process that works and the hierarchy of conversion: understanding the different types of items that impact website conversion rates.

I also discussed how to Re-think the approach to conversion optimization to generate real increases in conversion through better research and customer data.

As a leader, what are the factors both professional and personal that drive you? What keeps you going?

I get motivated by my team, the people I work with, and other professionals in my industry. I like to surround myself with amazing, smart individuals that help me grow and become an even better leader and marketer.

I also believe in investing in other interests outside of work. Everyone needs time off and time to focus on their personal needs. Women are often described as superwomen, having a family a full-time job, and doing it all. But the reality is that something has always gotta give and we need to focus on our mental health so that is important to keep in mind.

In your opinion, do digital events give you a similar level of feedback/result vis-à-vis the live versions? What would you say were the biggest pros and cons of both formats? Which do you prefer? 

I’m so happy to be somewhat done (not fully) with digital events. I like to see the response of the audience as well the questions I get afterward. Digital events can get a larger audience, but people are also quite fed up with being online. In-person events are limiting for some people because of the travel and accommodation costs.

What is your take on in-person events? Do you prefer in-person events as compared to hybrid or virtual?

Hero conf was in person! It’s good to be back. I definitely prefer in-person events.

In your opinion, what are the top 3 challenges to returning to ‘In-Person’ events? How could we mitigate risks?

Safety is key. I think the challenge would be:

  1. Figuring out if people are vaccinated,
  2. If they’d be wearing a mask.
  3. Lastly, the challenge of still maintaining a successful event that allows for networking and learning is important.

Eventible has recently launched a B2B Interactive in Person Event Tracker, tell us what you think? Do you think this is useful?

This is interesting. Yes, I think it could be helpful and would allow for other people to have the awareness they would need to feel safe.

Given how review-driven our lives have become today, do you think reviews will bring in a level of transparency to the events industry? Would you rely on event reviews from other speakers if you had to make a speaking decision?

Yes, as a CRO expert, reviews are essential. I think for any service or brand, reviews can really help customers or attendees in this case, know which event will meet their exact needs. I love reading reviews myself and see myself using a service like that prior to making speaking engagement decisions.

Finally, do you have a favourite mocktail or drink? We’d be delighted to know.

I went to a restaurant, Oriole, here in Chicago. Beautiful, and VERY EXPENSIVE. But one thing they offered was non-alcoholic pairings (I don’t drink alcohol). And I know this is a big thing for alcohol drinkers to pair the right drink/wine with the food, so I was excited that finally there was a non-alcoholic version. And it was amazing, but unfortunately, I can’t really remember the drinks – but they were super unique and paired so well with all the food.

I do like a rosewater lemonade fizzy drink by Fentimans which is superb.

About Ayat Shukairy: Ayat is the best-selling author, successful entrepreneur, the authority on marketing optimization with over 16 years of entrepreneurial and marketing experience. Ayat took her consulting business, Invesp, from a one-woman shop to a global consulting brand that helps companies increase online sales. In 2015, Ayat cofounded FigPii, an all-in-one growth hacking platform. Her book, Conversion Optimization, combines ground-breaking marketing research with powerful story-telling and case studies to demonstrate how to leverage these principles to create killer websites. Ayat is a recognized expert in marketing strategy and is an in-demand speaker who has presented at marketing conferences, business groups, and academic forums throughout the world, including Inbound, SMX, SES, Content Marketing World, BOFs, and many others. She has inspired audiences to rethink their marketing approach, and her work has helped hundreds of businesses to increase sales and growth.

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