Five Minutes With: Itai Sadan, CEO and Cofounder of Duda

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Itai Sadan, CEO and cofounder of Duda
Itai Sadan, CEO and cofounder of Duda

What are your biggest opportunities and challenges with mobile personalization in the next one to two years?

Awareness. A lot of SMBs—and companies that cater to them—aren't aware that they can now realistically start using website personalization. More case studies showing ease of use and ROI are needed. SMBs have low traffic for the most part, so getting accurate stats to measure the impact is difficult and can take a while—but it's necessary. It's getting difficult for SMBs to compete against the goliath brands, and mobile personalization is something they need help with if they're going to survive in today's world.

Traditionally, SMBs have provided a more personal level of service. It's always been one of their key advantages. But until recently, this hasn't been the case online. Due to the fact that personalization was technically complicated, and therefore expensive, it remained out of the grasp of most SMBs. But the industry is moving towards making personalization easier. So, hopefully, soon every website will have implemented it.

What's really exciting about this is the way it helps SMBs generate more revenue. SEO is hard, and customer acquisition is expensive. But website and mobile personalization helps an SMB convert more customers out of the traffic they already have. This is going to be the big draw for most SMBs.

What keeps your clients up at night?

For SMBs, it's “How do I improve my Web presence to help increase my bottom line?” For the Web professionals that serve them, it's “What new unique thing can make me standout in the market, but not increase my price point to something SMBs can't afford?”

What's the hardest thing to educate clients about when it comes to mobile personalization and A/B testing?

Strategy. Mobile personalization isn't just something you turn on and it immediately works. Messaging needs to be thought out; different scenarios need to be tested; customers need to be segmented properly; and you need to have a deep understanding of the business. There are definitely best practices you can pull from, but there's no magic bullet here. Critical thinking is key.

What are some unmet needs in the A/B testing landscape?

Traditional A/B testing basically means you're picking a winner and a loser. You have to pick a winner. But where this strategy falls short is in catering to the losing side. If you have a 60/40 split and you pick 60% as the way to regard messaging, your website's design, or CTAs, you've basically just written off 40% of your business. You need to find a way to segment and cater to that 40%.

What needs to happen to accelerate growth in the personalization space next year?

The Web professionals that serve SMBs need to adopt this. SMBs lean on designers, developers, marketing agencies, hosting providers, website builders, etcetera for help and guidance in regards to what they need to be doing online. So, all of us Web professionals need to be more educated and knowledgeable about this area so we can communicate it to SMBs. Of course, we also need to keep making personalization tools simpler, so we can continue to offer better price points. Naturally, this will make adoption a lot easier and provide everyone with more revenue.

Personalization also needs to be incorporated into tools that are already being used by SMBs. Offering personalization as a standalone product is just one more headache for both the Web professional and SMB, and developing your own set of tools is very difficult.

Optimizely has done a great job with this in the A/B testing world, and it's what we're focusing on at Duda with our own website personalization tools.

— Itai Sadan is the CEO and cofounder of Duda. This interview has been edited for grammar and clarity.

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