Faces of Optiverse: Nolan Margo -- Community Member of the Month

by Optimizely ‎01-21-2015 January 21, 2015

PRP_4221.jpgName - Nolan Margo


Title, Organization - Sr. Business Analyst Petplan Pet Insurance (USA) www.gopetplan.com


You can find Nolan on LinkedIn here


How did you end up working in website optimization? Did you mean to? Why/Why not?


I can’t say I dreamed about working in website optimization, but then again, who from our generation did…? That being said, I love it! For as long as I can remember, I’ve driven by an insatiable curiosity, inspired in part by my father, whose knowledge always seemed to know no bounds. In place of studying the ‘hard’ sciences, I picked Sociology & Economics, which provided me with the mathematical and theoretical frameworks to satisfy my curiosity.


After spending a number of years working as an economics consultant for private businesses and various arms of the Scottish and British governments, a friend, in need of a web analyst took me onboard to help grow the ecommerce arm of a top 5 mortgage lender. Together, through diligent ad and onsite testing, we helped grow year over year sales by 10x. This brings me to where I am today, in charge of acquisition analytics at Petplan, with the freedom to ideate and dream-up creative solutions to gaps in our performance!


What’s been the most inspiring moment in your website optimization career so far?


Sitting down with our online chat associates and hearing firsthand, from the ‘front-line,’ the roadblocks and opportunities our users uncover. This type of direct user feedback provides me with a steady stream of optimization ideas that might otherwise have been missed in the threads of data.


You’re very active in Optiverse. What do you find most valuable about the community?


While it certainly helps to read developer and guidance documentation, I’m more of an experiential and kinesthetic learner - so seeing and hearing how people use Optimizely helps me to close the gap from the theoretical “how to’s” to the practical “here’s how we did it.”


You have an impressive background in data collection & analytics. Can you tell us how this knowledge has shaped the processes you use in CRO?


Oh wow, where do I even start…


While we obsess over every small minutia in our key metrics, developing complex attribution and data models, I think what I hold in highest regard is the voice of our customers and users. At the end of the day, no matter how complete or how precise your multidevice, multi-channel, yada yada metrics are, the story behind why a cohort of visitors behaved in a certain way can only be best understood when you supplement the math with their words!!


For fun (and because you work at a Pet Insurance company), what’s your favorite animal? Do you have any pets yourself?


As a true animal lover, this is an impossible question, but my top five animals, quickly – Pandas, Whales, Big Cats (think lions), Dogs, and Domestic Cats. My wife is a veterinarian, and I have two Scottish Terriers, Callum & Islay and two cats, Beinn & Munro … they’re pretty much awesome!