Ana Catarina Cizilio tells us about CRO in Brazil and the mindset needed for CRO

Home / Interviews with Experimenters / Ana Catarina Cizilio tells us about CRO in Brazil and the mindset needed for CRO

Hi Ana, thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us! How have you been?

Thank you for the opportunity! It’s a pleasure. 🙂

Let’s start off with a bit about yourself. Could you please share with our audience what is it that you do and a bit about your career journey up to this point?

I’m a conversion optimization analyst in Lojas Renner S.A., a huge group of clothing retail in Brazil and Uruguay. I’m of the responsibles for the experimentation and improvement of Youcom ecommerce ( I started my career as a conversion optimization trainee in 2015 and since then I’m in love with experimentation and testing.

Having worked for both agencies and in-house, what are some of the biggest differences between them?

It’s a huge difference! I worked for 5 years in an agency and the processes were very fast, the diagnoses, the a/b tests… We were always delivering something for the client. The clients that I worked for were looking for quick results and were always impatient. 

Now that I’m working in-house, I see that there’s a concern about these “quick deliveries” and the culture of optimization and experimentation is still developing. But I believe it’s a great environment because in retail everything is always changing and people are very open to see new ideas and studies, whether this will bring us quick results or not.

CRO is a very young area in Brazil, so I believe this is changing very fast…” – Ana Catarina Cizilio

You’ve also worked for both Brazil and the US. Have you noticed any differences between the two cultures with regards to conversion optimization?

Yes! US clients were pretty much about personalization, landing pages and copywriting. They didn’t exactly have a specific knowledge about CRO, but they did know that copy was something important to be tested, for example. While Brazilian ones are more about branding copy and new functionality. I saw that they prefer to see new landing pages, to build new websites rather than optimizing what was already working somehow… CRO is a very young area in Brazil, so I believe this is changing very fast, specially with our Covid crisis that is leading every company to focus more on the web.

I love that you pointed that out. There’s this misconception that the entire world is at the same place when it comes to CRO – it’s just not the case.

As you’ve worked with various clients from an optimization/testing perspective, how do you assess their understanding and readiness for Conversion Optimization?

In Brazil, they understand it’s a important thing to do, but they don’t know how to do it – don’t know how to start, how to create a process… In many companies that I worked with, CRO was inside of the marketing area, so it wasn’t a priority. They wanna see results, but they don’t want to invest time or money in it. So they continue to spend a lot in traffic.

In the US and Canada, I saw that companies also didn’t put CRO as a priority at first, but as their ROI was growing, they started to look at it more carefully. I worked with two big companies that at first were treating CRO as a side project and after 6 months or less, it became the main project in the company. This is very great to see happening when you’re in an agency!

I love how companies change their opinion on CRO after they see the first win. It’s great to see. So Ana, as someone who has coached and mentored, what are some of the skills that you think are the most important for newcomers to CRO to learn?

It’s very important to know a little bit of every area that surrounds marketing, because conversion it’s a result (or consequence, maybe) of many other factors. So SEO, PPC, Display, inbound, UX, copy… You don’t need to be an expert in everything, but you sure need to know how to talk with other people about it and understand how this impacts your conversion.

I also strongly believe that CRO is more about culture than an area itself, because if you don’t have a culture of experimentation in your company, nobody will value your results or your research. The HIPPOs will still exist and your work will go to waste.

I was a graphic designer before I started as a CRO consultant and I tended to get a little affectionate about my jobs. I definitely don’t recommend that in CRO, you shouldn’t create any kind of affection with your hypotheses because if you don’t see that working for the users, you’ll get pretty much frustrated. And that’s not our work.

Changing gears. Could you tell us about Cacheia?

Cacheia is a blog that I founded in 2013 with other friends to talk about curly hair and other stuff related such as feminism, racism and sustainability. We have almost 1 million organic access every month, we already appeared on Vice and also on Brazilian TV, it’s a personal project that I’m very proud of.

Finally, it’s time for the Lightning Round! Are you a Bayesian or a Frequentist?

Tricky question! Hahaha I’m a Bayesian

If you couldn’t work in Experimentation, what would you do?

I would work as a UX or product designer!

Describe Ana in 5 words or less.

Chatty, friendly, forever learner & helper!

Thanks so much for chatting with me today!

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