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Click Summit 2017 – Retrospective & Key Clickaways


For those of you, who attended Click Summit, thank your participation, time, and for being part of an evolving community. For those of you, who missed this premier event, we invite you to mark your calendars for May 7-9, 2018.  For all of you, here’s a conference summary with 175 key Clickaways – actionable strategies and tactics your testing and optimization teams can prioritize for implementation in your organization – from all 23 conversations.

Unlike other large, technology conferences, people, not speakers, drive Click Summit’s success. The undeniable value comes from intimate, round table conversations, which not only focus on industry trends and hot topics, but also center around prudent challenges, digital analytics, and emerging issues in testing and optimization. Brooks Bell’s eighth annual conference was no exception. We were delighted to host over 80 industry experts, and learn from 36 completed surveys, 35 people plan to return. To provide you with additional value from this premier event, we have captured nearly 175 practical and actionable key takeaways that will allow you to take your experimentation program to new heights.

Click Summit 2017 was held May 17-19 for its fourth year in a row (by popular demand) in Raleigh, NC home to Brooks Bell. For the first time, we hosted the opening reception at our headquarters, showcasing our culture and environment, as well as providing the opportunity for our customers, partners and team members to get to know each other, connecting names with faces.

Storytelling was this year’s theme and a hot topic at that.

Nancy Duarte, a best-selling author and CEO of Duarte Design − the largest design firm in Silicon Valley and the fifth largest female employer in that area – shared her insights into famous speeches. She explained different public speaking techniques, including contrast, as well as the reasons these presentations were not only effective, but also memorable.

Our founder and fearless leader, Brooks Bell surprised participants by telling her personal story. Six months after launching the company in 2003 as a 23-year-old student at Duke University, Brooks suffered from a severe stroke. She had to re-learn how to read, write, and talk. As she recovered, so did her fledgling company. The incident shaped her thinking and outlook on life.

Like famous speeches, some stories stick with people and, as a result rapidly spread. Brooks challenged everyone in the room to answer one question: “Can you tell better stories around your data, experiments, and results so people will connect so strongly they will remember your organization?”

Conversation leaders and moderators included e-Commerce experts representing such global brands as Wal-Mart, Nike, PayPal, Xfinity, AMEX, Lenovo, Barnes & Noble, Uber, and the Gap.  Sponsors, who help make the conference what it is, included such brands as Adobe and Optimizely.

There were many firsts this year.  

Thursday we changed the dinner format to bench seating, which provided an open setting environment, encouraging more people to participate in single, deeper conversation.

For the first-time, I emceed the event. It was great fun. It was also my pleasure to introduce speakers and to experience parts of the conference from a different perspective – the stage.

Again, driven by the participants and feedback from the previous year, we shortened the sessions, providing extra breaks and creating more opportunities for people to connect and continue conversations.

Behavioral economics  was a new topic we explored this year.  While there is much discussion in the industry about incorporating behavioral sciences, or behavioral economics, into ideation to provide insights about customers’ emotions early in the optimization process, most companies do not do this. Instead, they are still reacting. Among other new topics, we discussed native app testing, personalization technology stacks, design thinking, and creating an experimentation structure within a company.

As always, there’s room to improve and make Click Summit 2018 even more amazing.  We welcome your feedback and recommendations. And of course, would love to hear about your successes as your teams implement some of these new strategies. Simply email us at [email protected]

Again, we invite you to read Clickaways – which are packed with actionable ideas you can use to enhance your own testing and optimization program.  

We also encourage you to save the date for next year’s Click Summit, which will take place May 7- 9, 2018 at The Umstead Hotel in Raleigh, NC.

Naoshi Yamauchi, President
As president of Brooks Bell, Naoshi Yamauchi leads the analyst and engineering teams, oversees ideation and strategy, refines processes and methodologies, and directs the professional development of the company’s analysts. Before joining Brooks Bell, he was a manager of business intelligence at Lulu.com. While there, he used analytics and A/B testing to increase marketing conversion rates and develop a new pricing model that dramatically increased the completed order rate. Naoshi holds an MBA in marketing and innovation management from NC State and several technical certifications, including Adobe Certified Expert and Monetate Certified Professional status.