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Meet the Moderators: Doug Mitchell, Manager of Testing & Optimization at Southwest Airlines

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Click Summit, our annual CRO conference, trades in the slideshow presentations found at most conferences and instead offers an intimate experience centered on conversation, collaboration and connection. At the heart of Click Summit are our moderators, a select group of digital leaders whose big ideas and inspiring insights set the foundation for honest and innovative discussions.

Doug Mitchell is new to our moderator cohort, having attended his first Click Summit in 2019. As the Manager of Testing & Optimization at Southwest Airlines, Doug touts an exceptional understanding of the digital customer experience.

Doug’s conversation at this year’s Click Summit, titled “Brand vs. Bland: When Test Results Conflict with Brand Standards,” will tackle how to navigate the issues that arise when your test results fall in direct opposition with your brand.

This conversation will also include discussions on how to position testing with your internal teams, prioritize the customer experience and find a balance between staying true to your brand and achieving your company goals through testing.

Read on to learn more about Doug’s background. If you’d like to attend Click Summit, request an invitation today. If you’d like to attend as a moderator, apply now! Moderator applications close on February 28.

Meet the Moderators

Name: Doug Mitchell     
Title: Manager of Testing and Optimization
Company: Southwest Airlines

Tell us a bit about yourself:

I joined Southwest Airlines about two years ago to lead the then newly-formed Testing and Optimization Team. We use a data-driven approach to understand customers’ needs and use insights to improve conversion and engagement with the site.

Prior to Southwest, I was the Senior Manager for Site Optimization at JCPenney. I have provided e-Commerce consultation for leading brands including L’Oréal, Lucky Brand Jeans, Juicy Couture, Proctor & Gamble, Kraft and Starbucks.

Tell us about your team:

I have two testing analysts who are responsible for ideation and analysis and two digital analysts who are responsible for broader analysis and insights in to Southwest’s digital channels.

We work collaboratively with product owners and other stakeholders to develop hypotheses, execute tests, and drive product and business strategies.

What makes a good experimentation or digital leader?

I think it’s important to ask a lot of questions of people and of data. I’ve also found diplomacy and neutrality to be critically important.

What is one big lesson you’ve learned in your career?

Admit when you’re wrong and learn from it.

What is unique about your industry or your customers?

The landscape is changing, but most retailers still have a brick-and-mortar channel that accounts for the majority of their revenue. Within the travel vertical, digital is your primary. In most cases, it is also a purchase with a much longer consideration cycle than a retail purchase.

Recommended Read: 10 Digital Trends in Travel & Hospitality for 2019 and Beyond

What are you most excited about for Click Summit?

I’m excited for the connections and conversations that Click Summit delivers. I attended for the first time in 2019 and enjoyed meeting people who have shared similar challenges and learning how they successfully worked through them. Also, the pens are really good.

Space is limited at Click Summit 2020! Request your invitation today!