Interview with Jason Rzutkiewicz, VP at Razorfish
On Monday I had the pleasure of speaking with Jason Rzutkiewicz, VP and Client Partner at Razorfish. Jason has over 11 years experience at Razorfish and had awesome insight into CRO and the digital marketing industry in general. Between his role at Razorfish, his clients and his three kids, Jason is a busy man!
Here are the main takeaways:
- SEO/SEM/CRO all compete for dollars: Every practitioner – whether you do SEO, SEM, or CRO – thinks that his/her “practice area” is the most important. The reality, though, is that CMOs are constantly asking themselves, “Where is my best next dollar?”
- Not all clients are data-driven: Many times the mentality of senior leadership is reflected here. If their senior leader is data driven that filters down through the organization. Likewise if they are not. That said, we also see differences across verticals where some are more disciplined and conduct more frequent testing than others.
- Offline Sales will become digital: Targeting, cross-sell, personalization – these are easy to do offline, but not easy to do offline now. The future of retail will include recommendations, offers, etc. in store at the moment of purchase.
The full interview is below. If you’d like to learn more about Jason, you can follow him @jjrzut.
How long have you been with Razorfish?
I’ve been with Razorfish for 11 years. I started my career at PriceWaterhouse and as technology, data and marketing collided eventually made my way into digital marketing.
That’s a long time at one place – what’s made you say?
Time at agency is often measured in doggy-years so 11 years is an especially long-time (laughs). I’ve been lucky enough to work with some great colleagues and help build the company into what it is today, so there’s a lot of satisfaction from that and it makes you want to stay.
That coupled with how much the marketing landscape has changed over that same time period. There’s a plethora of new and competing options out there and we get to help separate the signal from the noise. Our clients depend on us to help them navigate these new waters which is very rewarding.
What areas do you focus on?
My main focus is on e-com, retail, travel & hospitality. Within those segments we provide a full suite of services including CRO, SEM, website design, omni-channel strategy development and many more.
How CRO savvy are your current clients?
Our clients really range from doing constant testing to not doing much at all. One client has performed hundreds of tests. Interestingly that same client just redesigned their site so it’s been interesting to observe the results of a site that has undergone such extensive optimization vs. a new design that has seen none. Very keen to see how the data plays out over time there.
It just depends on the culture – many cultures are top-down, if senior leadership takes an analytical and data-driven approach the rest of the organization follows. That said, Travel & Hospitality clients are generally *very* disciplined about the booking flow (i.e. booking a flight or hotel room). E-com clients are much more varied and usually have more room for improvement.
What tools are they using now? Do they do any type of personalization or dynamic pricing?
Adobe, Monetate and Optimizely among others. Most are doing A/B tests, a few are getting into advanced personalization or price optimization.
Where does CRO fit on the priority list?
I’d say it’s one of the top five areas we look to immediately optimize when we start new engagements. The rough list (assuming their analytics are reliable) is something like:
- Website Speed: Speed kills. A one second delay in load time results in a 7% drop in conversion.
- CRO Analysis: Can we see any major leakage in the sales funnel?
- SEM: Are we capturing those raising their hand to engage with the brand via Paid Search, Google Product Listings, etc.
- SEO: Real basics (do you have meta tags set up right, no duplicate content, etc.) to ensure we are maximizing immediate traffic without hurting ourselves
- Email: Some clients do not take full advantage of their lists, so this can be an area for some quick wins.
Normally it’s – “What’s on fire?” (laughs) There’s usually 1-2 things that need a major fix before we begin digging deeper into specific areas.
That’s a lot of things to balance. How do clients prioritize?
What most practitioners don’t realize is that every discipline is competing against every other. It’s “you have to invest in SEO, you have to invest in social, you have to invest in CRO.” And the biggest question is, “Where do I spend my best next dollar?”
Many marketers are like a “deer in headlights” when you start singing the benefits of your service. That’s because every vendor is knocking down their door and it’s often overwhelming for them to decide where to focus their attention and decide what to do next.
Do you have any examples of great tests you’ve done for clients (or seen them run)?
My favorite was a client who was defaulting the credit card to their branded house card. This resulted in 7% of people trying to complete checkout getting an error message. One third of these didn’t recover to complete their transaction. A simple test and fix of that default option drove incremental revenue overnight.
What are you working on now? What gets you up in the morning?
One of the biggest projects we’re working on here is integrating physical commerce with digital. For example – when you buy things online, there’s all this data/personalization that you can use. But when you buy things in store – how do you do a cross-sell campaign? Where are my product reviews and comparisons?
The future of physical retail will look a lot more digital and that’s one of the many things changing in the broader ecosystem which keeps things fresh and exciting. You never know what tomorrow may bring.