Harvard Professor Joins Optimizely Board

Optimizely has recruited Harvard Business School Professor Stefan Thomke to its Advisory Board, the multivariate testing company announced Wednesday.

Thomke is the William Barclay Harding Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, where he has been a faculty member for over 22 years, teaching courses on innovation management, R&D strategy, product and service development, and operations. He is also the current chair of the Executive Education Program Leading Product Innovation, which helps business leaders in revamping their innovation systems for greater competitive advantage.

Thomke will advise Optimizely on product, strategy, and marketing initiatives.

Thomke’s background in leveraging data science to drive business innovation will be a welcome addition to Optimizely’s team, as Optimizely itself is a testing platform for optimizing the customer experience.

Optimizely’s software platform simplifies the building and management of multivariate experiments, otherwise known as A/B testing or split testing. In email marketing, A/B testing enables marketers to send two or more varying messages to a small group of subscribers to test the types of message content that generates the highest conversion rates. The most successful message can then be sent to the entire subscriber list.

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A/B split testing can help email marketers optimize their messages to be more effective. For example, A/B testing can be applied to a myriad of components in an email message, such as subject lines, font, color, promotional offers, the placement of call to actions, artwork, and the frequency of email messages.  Even the tiniest change can have a major impact, according to a research study Thomke published in the Harvard Business Reviewlate last year.

Optimizely ended the 2017 year with more than $90 million in annual recurring revenue, and now works with 26 of the Fortune 100 companies including IBM and Microsoft.  

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