Symplify’s Mika Sano Janze shares her advice for those looking to get into CRO

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Rommil from Experiment Nation: Hi Mika! Thank you for taking the time to chat – I know it’s a busy time of year. Let’s kick this off. I’d love to hear about who you are, what you do, and where you are from.

Mika Sano Janze: Hello! My name is Mika Sano Janze and I am a CRO Manager at an agency called Symplify (based in Stockholm). I started out at this agency 2 years ago through an internship which then evolved to a position within the CRO team shortly thereafter. I come from the northern parts of Sweden so I love snow and being out in nature!

Clearly, Sweden has much better skiing options than Toronto, Canada.

Very cool. How did you get into CRO?

I got into CRO through an E-commerce manager education. As part of this education we did internships and I did my last internship at the company where I am now. I’ve always been a very analytical person and have had an interest in psychology and behavioral psychology. Which is why I think I was so drawn towards CRO because it sort of marries the two topics together. Working at an agency for CRO I think is a great way to get started. I’ve gotten to work with a lot of different areas and types of websites, and it’s just been super educational. I’ve learned so much in such a little time.

I think that’s a large part of CRO’s appeal. That marriage of diverse domains. Changing gears a bit. As someone from Stockholm, what is the Experimentation community like there?

Personally I haven’t noticed any larger communities for experimentation in Sweden/Stockholm, which is why I was drawn toward Experiment nation actually. The ones that I know of who are working within this field are either colleagues, working at one of our clients, or are connected on LinkedIn.

Very interesting. We’ll I’m glad you found us! I guess Sweden just needs you to start something there then =) That said, are there any event or people you recommend people check out in Sweden?

Well since I basically started my CRO journey in the beginnings of the pandemic I have to say my event attendance has been extremely low.

I can say the same thing about mine, haha! Go on, sorry.

However, some of the biggest events have transitioned to a more digital approach. So when it comes to refreshing and getting new information about the digital behaviors and trends for the Swedish users I would say PostNord arranges really good events each year. They collect data and execute surveys each year which are then presented as an overview status for the e-commerce landscape in Sweden. One that’s coming up soon is Retail Day 2022. Unfortunately these events are mostly in Swedish.

I wouldn’t say unfortunately, honestly. I think it’s great that kind of event is held in the local language. So much CRO content comes out of the Americas that its great to see that other countries are starting to have a voice in this field.

As for people I think the first really prominent person I started following on LinkedIn within CRO is Marianne Stjernvall.

Very cool, I really enjoyed chatting with Marianne! Here’s a silly question. Swedish is known for having very long words. Does this give you any problems when writing button copy?

Hmm..that’s a good question. The one example that comes to my mind is the classic “Add to cart” button, which in Swedish translates to “Lägg i varukorgen”. As you can see it is a bit longer so in cases where the space for such a button is limited, you definitely have to get creative with how to communicate the action.

As someone who does a lot of project management of Experiments, what are the most common reasons that deadlines are missed and how do you avoid them?

The ones that have the biggest issues with missing deadlines most likely have really long lead times.

Logically, this doesn’t make sense. But I 100% agree with you!

Something which is really hard for us as an agency to affect and improve since it’s an organizational issue. I would recommend trying your best to lessen the amount of people who absolutely need to be involved to take action on A/B tests. If you get a winning/losing variant you can always involve more people afterward to get input, but at the bottom line you need to be able to move fast and make fast decisions.

I hear you. I find the hardest part of launching a test, from my experience, is to figuring out which people need to be involved. In cases where there are a lot of people that want to be involved, I like to clarify their roles explicitly (e.g. define a RACI).

As someone who’s moved up fairly quickly in their career in this space, do you have any advice for those looking to break into CRO?

Most importantly I would say to stay humble and get used to being disproved. A/B testing is a really great way to really understand the mindset of how a “failure” is never a failure but an opportunity to improve.

I would also strongly recommend always being curious and keep learning. CRO is such a broad area that you can never learn too much and there is always new stuff happening.

Love it. Great advice. Changing gears again, it’s time for the Lightning Round! I’ll ask you a question and you give me the first thing that comes to your mind.

Describe yourself in 5 words or less.

The more you know.

Ooh. I like that. Frequentist or Bayesian?


If you couldn’t work in Experimentation, what would you be doing today?

Frontend developer or painter.

What do you have going on that you feel our audience should know about?

Well we had some plans of attending physical events, however with Covid taking over again, the ones in the near future are looking to be cancelled. However we are doing some exciting changes to our tool which I am really looking forward to.

Who should we interview next and why?

You should interview my boss Gustav Wicklén. He’s been a central part of my CRO journey and is truly an amazing person!

Mika, thanks for taking the time to chat with me today!

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Rommil Santiago