Optimizely Recruits New CMO, Aims To Democratize Testing, Optimization

Optimizely has tapped a 25-year marketing veteran, Carl Tsukahara, to join the company as its new chief marketing officer.

Tsukahara, who previously served as the CMO of cloud business intelligence company Birst, officially began his new position at Optimizely on September 1.

Founded in 2009, Optimzely is a multivariate testing company that provides marketers with a platform to experiment and determine which combination of logic will most engage mobile and online customers. Optimizely’s technology goes beyond A/B testing, however, as the company can “optimize the entire digital relationship,” says Tsukahara. 

"Our customers understand that they need to innovate and digitally transform to compete,” says Tsukahara. “The way customers behave now has fundamentally shifted. Everyone laughed when Amazon first came out with books," he says, "but they aren’t laughing anymore"

Tsukahara says he is particularly excited about how Optimizely opens up creative opportunities for marketers by allowing them to experiment across UI and UX.

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For example, should a retailer be testing different packaging? Should an email marketer test different promotions or pricing options?  By going beyond traditional testing, Tsukahara says marketers can offer a “more dynamic personalized experience.”

“Corporations across the world are trying to figure out how to get better at working with new customers and prospect behavior,” he says. “I really think the time is now to take data science and apply it to these hard problems” 

Awareness is a main priority for Tsukahara, and he says he wants to create a strong storyline to talk enterprise. Optimizely already counts major companies like Fox, IBM, Microsoft, and eBay as customers, and Tsukahara sees room for growth. 

Tsukahara says that the bulk of his career has been “helping companies move to the enterprise,” and explains how “moving towards the enterprise segment creates the potential for incredible growth.” 

Tsukahara says that Optimizely’s high growth rate was once of the things that attracted him to his new position, as well as Optimizely’s organic platform. He says Optimizely’s platform is a differentiator in the space, as the full stack product can scale at a higher velocity than legacy vendors.

Tsukahara plans to recruit new folks to some high-level positions. Optimizely already has a staff of 400 employees, and in the past year has grown to $90 million in annual recurring revenue.

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