It has been an eventful 12 months for French martech company Contentsquare. From rolling out new AI capabilities and a cookieless solution, among others, they have also been very aggressive on the acquisition and expansion fronts, adding a slew of new offices and doubling its workforce to 1500. And that’s not to mention the USD 1.4B in capital and a current valuation of USD 5.4B. In this episode of the OMR Podcast, Contentsquare CEO and founder Jon Cherki joins to discuss how Contentsquare’s product actually work, why its relevant, the role of UX in marketing and why Contentsquare nearly amounted to nothing more than a hill of beans.
From beans to business to Contentsquare
Growing up in his native France, it literally seemed as if Jon’s career path had already firmly taken root in the ground, as everyone, incuding Jon, thought he’d continue with the family business, beans. “Fun fact: I never should have started this company. My destiny was actually to takeover my grandfather’s bean import & export company,” Jon Cherki, CEO and founder of Contentsquare, tells OMR Podcast host Scott Peterson. In addition to his love of legumes, Jon discovered a love of something else: numbers. “I love math and statistics, and within the framework of a project at business school I came up with what would turn into Contentsquare—the only company I have ever worked with outside of beans”.
Exactly one decade ago, in 2012, Jon launched Contentsquare. “The focus of the business at the time was acquisition. To grow through numbers”. However, that focus shifted as CACs (customer acquisition costs) began to increase, from sheer numbers to the quality thereof, i.e. conversions. “While the bulk of the traffic is mobile, conversion rates are very low compared to retail (3% to 30%). So we set out to understand what was happening on the website.”
Realizing the role of UX in conversions
That paradigm shift led Jon and his newly formed team to develop a product suite that tracks and understands every interaction on the website. “We wanted to understand why they are leaving, why are they buying and what happened before the click, in order to provide clients with strategic recommendations.”
First and first, Contentsquare’s raison d’etre is tracking the efficacy of ad creatives. Jon says that when they launched most of the ads with display ads, but were wildly inefficient. “When I saw [that inefficiency], I wanted to understand why people were not clicking. What I came to realize is that even if the banners were fantastic, if the UX was poor, the ads did not perform.”
To make the website accessible for all
Optimizing UX in the eyes of Jon and Contentsquare entails just about anything and everything on a company’s website. “Our focus is to help clients prioritize what they should do to improve their UX.” By quantifying the grey areas, i.e. the actions between tangible data points, they are helping clients decide which areas should be addressed first. “From maximizing brand loyalty, improving loading times, errors, content, price points, etc., there is a lot that goes into a decision. It’s our job as platform to identify what our clients need to optimize.”
Since its launch a decade ago, Contentsquare has been embedded on over 1m websites and, thanks to nearly a third of all staff worldwide being in R&D, they are continuously rolling out new tech to focus, among others, on those segments of the population who are otherwise often overlooked. “We have plugins for people with dyslexia, so that all the content is rendered for them. Whether it’s when they write or read, all the content is fully adapted for them”. The accessibility goes further than that as Contentsquare also provides plugins for users with visual or other impediments. “We want to make it the new normal for websites—from conception to implementation.”
Check out the full episode of the OMR Podcast with Jon Cherki here.