17 January 2022

Recipe testing for perfect conversion rates: Meet Sam

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Ask the 15 year old Sam Van Roy what he would be doing 10 years later, and he would certainly have answered chef! Today, however, he is a CRO expert (Conversion Rate Optimization) for Mediafin, the Rossel Group publisher behind Belgium's two leading business newspapers, L'Echo and De Tijd. How did a young chef come to be cooking up great conversion rates?

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On the digital planet, we live in a world of acronyms, such as SEO, SEA and of course, CRO or Conversation Rate Optimization. The content and the importance of a specialty is best described by the expert; when asked about his job at Mediafin, Sam replies: "My job is to make my client earn money without a media budget. To do this, I analyze and optimize their existing communication channels to generate more conversions."

Making money without spending more money: it's easy to see why CRO is on the minds of many companies today. It's a fascinating subject that Sam, as a good digital native, has mastered to a tee. And yet, the path was not entirely clear.

The ingredients of digital expert

Sam's journey as a consultant actually began way back at hotel school. In the kitchen, he discovered a passion, but above all he learned rigour, discipline and not to count the hours to please the customers.

The kitchen may be behind him, but the mindset has never left him. As Sam says: "In the kitchen you always have to give your best, manage high expectations of yourself. When people pay for your service, they want quality service, delivered on time!"

Sam loved cooking, but he saw his future in the industry as an event organiser. So he went to the Thomas Moore College in Mechelen, a college that offers a formation rich in training and professional experiences.

I don't cook anymore but I know that it helped me to become the consultant I am today. I think the qualities I have as a consultant today I owe to that experience.

Sam Van Roy, CRO expert

His schooling paved the way for the Sam Van Roy of today. It was when he discovered digital marketing that he found his way. Thanks to an internship at KBC and 3 years of experience in an agency Ghent, he discovered digital marketing in more depth and found his particular skill in CRO.

Sam's special sauce

And what do you think gives Sam the edge for this job?

In his opinion, it's his empathy, his ability to step out of his role as a consultant and become a client. By being in the shoes of a customer who has to navigate a site, he can see what works, what could work better (or even what doesn't work) and can make suggestions. This is how he remembers his first days at Mediafin.

"During my first three days at Mediafin, I sat behind my computer and browsed, observed, analyzed and really experienced their platform from the customer's point of view. I tested the different customer journeys to be able to suggest improvements. I think that for this kind of action I really have a good instinct. As a result, after these three days, I was able to propose many ideas, based on concrete examples."

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In short, for this true digital chef, nothing is as interesting as analyzing his client's recipe, defining all the ingredients and adding his own secret spices to transcend the plate and make it even more attractive to customers.

CRO, the new SEO?

What about the future? Big digital recipes in prospect for Sam? Of course! According to him, the focus of marketing teams these last few years has been on SEO, SEA and social advertising. But many companies are now realizing that these are quick fixes; you pay for an ad, it runs, you stop paying, it stops running and the investment stops. CRO is a longer marketing process, but the effectiveness is also way longer. Optimizing your site can help you generate money over many years, and Sam is enthusiastic about leading impactful projects in this skyrocketing field!

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