Speaker Spotlight: Oli Gardner


Not long after I started thinking about putting what has become Full Stack Marketing, the guys from Stipso knew there was one guy that they absolutely knew that they wanted to get on the stage: Oli Gardner, co-founder of Unbounce. At the time, he and Brian were in a bar and he was blasting Brian — no other word for it — with his enthusiasm and passion for combining education and entertainment in the world of digital marketing.

Stipso and Turing have admired his work at Unbounce for years, and he has become one of the preeminent thought leaders in conversion marketing. He’s also a fantastic  speaker — his inner rock-star takes over at times, but we’ll try to keep him on point...

What does Unbounce do?

Unbounce is the landing page builder for professional marketers. A self-serve platform for building campaign-specific landing pages, including A/B testing.

What's your role there? What does a typical day look like for you?

I'm one of 6 co-founders. My role has morphed from being our sole marketer, to creative director, to just co-founder. Now I primarily travel the world speaking at marketing conferences, write big content pieces and come up with new marketing/conversion theories, methodologies and frameworks.

Tell us a little about your professional background.

My career has spanned the whole spectrum of online development, design, experience and behaviour. I started as a hardcore C programmer in London's financial district before moving to Vancouver (and now Montreal) to work as a front-end web developer, graphic designer, interaction designer producer, creative director, marketer, conversion rate optimiser, writer and speaker. I delivered pizza for 6 months after the 2001 dotcom crash, and my first job was in a beehive factory.

What are you going to talk about at Full Stack Marketing?

My talk is called 'The Four Corners of Conversion: Understanding the Intersection of Copy, Design, Interaction and Psychology.' The focus is on marketing campaigns, but it applies to all aspects of data-informed marketing. The vast majority of marketing campaigns are a terrible experience. I want to help marketers create more delightful and high-converting campaigns by teaching them how to incorporate these four corners to construct marketing experiences based on foundational principles and the latest conversion insights and data.

For companies that are getting serious about marketing for the first time, where do you think they can get some quick wins?

Chasing quick wins isn't the right way to go about being a successful marketer. Start a blog the day you start the company. Aim to become the most sought-after expert in a particular channel or subject. Build a culture of data and testing from day one.

What common mistake do you see marketers making that drives you nuts?

Sending campaign traffic to their website's homepage instead of a dedicated landing page.

And lastly, just for some context about you...

  • Tea or coffee? Red Bull
  • Wine or beer? Red wine
  • Twitter or Facebook? Twitter
  • iPhone or Android? iPhone
  • Favourite city? Vancouver
  • Last book you read? In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson
  • Last gig you went to? The Darkness