The Performance Beacon

The web performance, analytics, and optimization blog

Helping businesses move at the speed of customers

Cinco de Mayo is not just a holiday celebrated in bars and restaurants. Today’s celebration of the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France is celebrated online by Cuervo, Taco Bell, People Magazine and Chipotle… even Symantec.

Yesterday, companies lined up to celebrate Star Wars Day (based on the pun “May the 4th be with you”). Whataburger created an AT-AT made entirely of ketchup containers. Hootsuite dressed up its signature owl in Star Wars costumes. Even M&M sported Star Wars M&Ms with the caption: “You always win with chocolate.”

Chocolate Mpire

All of these examples show how brands are engaging with consumers. In order to realize that brand promise, however, CIOs, CTOs, DevOps teams (and everyone in between) must provide a fantastic customer experience online. This experience only comes with continuous testing and performance analytics.

I find customer experience the ultimate True North in guiding how technology should be applied to deliver great products and services. A thriving business is a customer-obsessed business. And today, the battle for customer mind share and wallet share is increasingly played out on websites and mobile applications 24×7 around the globe. The ability to deliver a consistently great customer experience via fast and high-performing modern applications is no longer a nice-to-have but a must-have.


Customers are in control

In the Age of the Customer, your mobile, social, hyper-connected customers demand that you know them, serve them, and not waste their time. Speed is now the new differentiator for brands across the globe in all industries, as your competition is just one click or one install away. A rule of thumb in the web performance community shows that a delay of more than one second results in mental context switch, with disengagement as a result.

Performance is everything

So what’s the correlation between speed and business value? For Amazon, they know that for every 100ms delay, its sales decreased by 1% which translates into roughly $6.8 million of decreased sales. For Google, a slowdown in the search results page by between 100ms to 400ms impacts the number of searches done per user by -0.2% to -0.6%, translating into a loss of between $45 to $135 million for Google based on their AdWords revenue in 2013. Do you know how your digital business is performing, especially in comparison to your competitors? For most brands, I suspect the answer is no.

I am here to share best practices

At SOASTA, we have solved the most complex problems that affect digital business performance – across all platforms and all devices. For me, it’s the culmination of what I’ve been doing for my entire professional career of working on bleeding-edge technologies from servers, networking, e-commerce, mobile software to cloud applications.

Join me as I share best practices from our illustrious list of customers such as Netflix, Activision, Gap, Office Depot, Newsweek, Intuit, Lenovo, and SAP. I look forward to partnering with you to make your digital business a high-performing business that consistently delivers great customer experience.

Follow me on Twitter: @annruck

Ann Ruckstuhl

About the Author

Ann Ruckstuhl

As Chief Marketing Officer, Ann brings over two decades of marketing and product management experience to SOASTA. In this role, Ann leads the overall marketing organization that includes product management, product marketing, corporate communications, channel marketing, customer acquisition and lead-to-revenue strategy. Ann is a Silicon Valley veteran driving some of the most disruptive innovations in cloud, mobile, e-commerce, big data analytics, cybersecurity, networking and embedded systems. She is a leading advocate for better customer experience management and believes today's mobile and hyper-connected consumers deserve web and mobile applications that are fast, reliable and easy to use. Prior to SOASTA, Ann was Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at LiveOps. Ann also served in senior management roles at Symantec, Sybase (acquired by SAP), eBay and HP. Ann received her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and her master’s degree in business administration from the University of Florida.

Follow @annruck