A Chief Conversion Officer’s interview: Adrien, co-founder of Conversion Boosters

Today we meet Adrien de Turckheim, co-founder of Conversion Boosters to talk about his network of CRO consultants and the web conversion optimisation market.

The simplest example of a market equation will be your company revenue, which is just an amount of money that results from a number of items sold at a certain price, but this could be completed by numerous elements as for example number of distributing points or number of items available at the distributing point…and this could be done for all type of performance, your number of incidents, your conversion rate… A market equation could be really powerful to analyse a performance and properly split the reason of your success or your fall but should also follow some specific rules.

1. Tell us about your carreer and explain your role today.

I started my career with 7 years in marketing at Coca-Cola and Mars Chocolate. Then I became country manager France for a large German e-tailer. Gradually I moved into the world of entrepreneurship by working successively for three startups, first BeamPulse then Ferpection and finally Conversion Boosters. At Conversion Booster, Eric, my partner, is in charge of the product, i.e. the follow-up of projects, the recruitment of experts who intervene in them as well as the methodological improvement of the CRO audit process. He also acts as a CRO consultant on certain missions. I am in charge of marketing, sales and administration.

2. How did Conversion Boosters come about?

Conversion Boosters is a selective network of independent consultants. They are experts in CRO, UX, Data, Analytics, SEO… The idea came to us from these 4 very simple observations concerning the CRO market.

1st observation: an imbalance between the Web professions, which are increasingly specialised, and the experts who are becoming rare. Moreover, many companies do not have the means to recruit this type of expert.

2nd observation: the best experts often set up on their own, or group together in highly specialised micro-agencies in order to be free to choose their mission and their priority.

3rd observation: a growing distrust of web agencies, especially those that claim to be versatile. Most of the people we spoke to have had one or more bad experiences: opacity, hidden subcontracting, high prices, etc. Without wishing to generalise, this perception is very real.

4th observation: the frustration generated by the search for experts on freelance platforms. For many, it’s a jungle where the “starving” are rampant, and they undercut the prices. As a result, the best consultants flee these freelance “supermarkets”. And recruiters spend a considerable amount of time sorting through what’s left. All this prevents effective recruitment.

It was to provide an answer to these problems that we decided to found Conversion Boosters: all the advantages of freelancers, with the selectivity of a recruitment agency, combined with the versatility and support of a web agency. 

3. Did you have any doubts before you started?

I knew that this model was a winner, because before Conversion Boosters, I co-founded and developed a conversion rate optimisation software. And to support our clients, we used independent consultants. In full transparency. The solution was very intuitive to use. Clients were impressed by the solution, its power, its simplicity and its usefulness. However, what made the difference was the support offered by our independent consultants. That’s when I realised that the software represents only 10% of the value, 90% of the value lies in the people: the users, their qualities, their involvement, their methodology and their collaboration.

This is the battle that I chose to wage, with my partner Eric, via Conversion Boosters.

4. By mentioning the essential role of the expert in the CRO process, Conversion Booster gives it a central place by relying on a network of freelance consultants.
Why choose this model? What added value does it bring and what are its limits?

We are responding to a twofold problem:

On the one hand, 90% of freelance experts in the digital sector are there by personal choice. They have no desire to (re)switch to salaried employment. Their problem: finding clients, because they don’t always have the time or the skills to prospect and make themselves known. On the other hand, companies are increasingly looking for independent profiles, for the reasons mentioned earlier.

The role of Conversion Boosters is to make the best “matching” between an assignment and consultant profiles, like a matrimonial agency in a way.

From the outset, Conversion Booster opted for this agile freelance model. On the one hand, the flexibility of this mode of operation makes it possible to create customized teams that meet the needs of companies. Indeed, consultants often form micro-agencies or clusters to work together. On the other hand, the model we have adopted avoids complexity: no employees to staff, no structural costs, no administrative complexity… to the great benefit of the client who pays the same rate as if he had gone direct with the independent consultant.

But this system does have its limits. If we take into account the constraints of freelance status, the margin is lower than if we had salaried consultants. We also have to deal with the availability of each person, especially as our network is quite small because we want to keep the most efficient ones.

5. With your consultants, what projects are you currently working on?

We have clients of all sizes in most sectors. The typical profile is the business unit of a large group, or the SME / mid-sized companies, which has 2 to 5 people in its digital team, and which lacks the manpower, organisation, tools and methods to optimise its site. Our projects are also very diverse, which is the challenge and the interest of this adventure. Recent projects have included CRO, UX & Analytics audits, A/B testing campaigns, configuration of Analytics and Tag Management tools, SEO, SXO and SEA coaching, marketing campaigns and training on these exciting subjects.

6. Do you work with other partners? How do you work with a player like Datama?

The work with our partners consists in enriching the range of CRO Pilot tools that we propose for the CRO audit. For the moment, each expert uses his own tools, which makes it possible to discover new ones, but the long-term objective is to constitute a common list. Our collaboration with partners such as Datama is based on the principle of exchange, an exchange of good practices to mobilise the appropriate tools for the right missions. It is during the pre-sales phase that the right booster must be sized to carry out the mission. The tool proposed by Datama allows for more detailed analysis of performance variations. It is based on the analysis of correlations between dimensions. Its operation corresponds perfectly to the way of thinking and acting of a marketer according to a staircase construction which is the basis of all marketing analysis. It is therefore a valuable aid for quickly identifying optimisation problems and reaching a conclusion more quickly.

7. What is the future of CRO in the market, more specifically its current and future transformations? 

Awareness of the CRO’s importance was late in France. It is fastly growing, but we are still far from the maturity achieved in the UK or the USA. Investing in CRO requires a prolonged effort, which is why more education is needed to convince clients to get started. With the continuous increase in traffic acquisition costs over the last 10 years, more and more web-marketing managers understand that they have a strong interest in investing in converting visitors into customers.

Datama is very well positioned in the market as CRO is increasingly moving towards automation with AI and data, even though the human dimension will always be essential thanks to the added value provided by experience, knowledge of the business… The growing importance of CRO will lead to a democratisation of the skills that are currently reserved for experts. It is already transforming the internal teams within companies, which will gain in know-how, in UX or UI for example.

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