2. Every now and then a city
becomes a magnet to a
particular industry or
profession. Like Silicon Valley
for techies, Paris for fashion
and art, or New York for
In fact, there’s a word for it:
Experts call these areas
3. What’s the big deal about Austin?
Is it the big-name corporations
that have made Austin their hub?
4. Why Austin?
“Website optimization is a fundamentally
entrepreneurial endeavor. Austin has
that entrepreneurial vibe, which
provides rich soil to grow an agency.
The people here are bottom-line
oriented, curious, and rigorously
creative. It is a place we can live outside
the box. A conference like SXSW
combining music, moves, and tech
could only arise in Austin. Austin's music
scene had the Armadillo World
Headquarters as ground zero for great
artists in the 70s. The online scene has
The Wizard Academy and Roy H.
Williams to educate and inspire great
5. Why Austin?
“Where else do creativity
and execution blend so
seamlessly? The city is
teeming with brilliant
people who use data to
results. Oh, and there's the
taco factor. Everybody
knows that tacos are
fuel and nobody does
Tacos better than Austin.”
6. Why Austin?
“Over the last 12 years or so
of visiting, Austin has always
been a great center of
technology and innovation,
the marriage of arts and hard
Author, CRO Pioneer,
Aside from the fact that Austin
has one of the most thriving
tech startup scenes, it's
considered one of the best
cities to raise a family (I have
3 kids) and, of course, a great
value for the quality of life
7. Why Austin?
“I really like Austin
and I don't miss the
winters, hassles or
expenses of New
York City. But to be
honest, I moved
here for love.”
Author, CRO Pioneer, Consultant, Speaker
8. Why Austin?
“Because of the
women! No joke. I
didn't move to Austin
because of great beer
(512 Pecan Porter
FTW), Rudy's BBQ or
cool people like Brian
Massey (I discovered
all of that later). I did it
for love. My wife is
from Austin, and she
brought me here.”
9. Why Austin?
“Austin is not new to the cutting edge.
Companies such as Human Code were
instrumental in marrying art and science
in the Wild West days of multimedia and
edutainment in the '90s. Another Austin
Ventures company, Garden.com, helped
write the book on ecommerce.
Austin continues to attract "big city" talent,
while maintaining a "small-town" feel for
its digital community. There's a rich
tradition of storytelling here, and whether
it's through music or analytics doesn't
seem to matter much.
That facility with using data in making
business decisions carries on in
companies like RetailMeNot. And we're
cradled by a fertile crescent of the world's
10. Why Austin?
“Is there any doubt that Austin is in a prime
position for CRO? Austin has a young and
highly educated population, low cost of living, a
hip and progressive culture and—with so many
successful online start-ups in the metro area
such as RetailMeNot, uShip and HomeAway—
top talents are flowing into the city every day
from all over the world.
In the past few years, this field has gained so
much importance that the local companies
have been sponsoring Conversion
conferences such as the DAA Symposium and
The Live Event from WhichTestWon.com. On
top of that, there are weekly Web Analytics
Wednesdays for the local analytic geeks and
optimization fanatics to gather and social.
I am walking proof of all this. I graduated from
UT Austin and never wanted to leave the city.
When I joined OfficeDepot.com, one of the
criteria was not to move away from Austin. The
combination of all these factors will make
Austin the Conversion Capital of the World, if it
One more thing, the food here is awesome!”
11. Why Austin?
“The motto of Austin, Texas is
“Keep Austin Weird,”
and weird is exactly what you'll
need to be if you want to
succeed at digital marketing.
Conversion optimization is rarely
intuitive. Stuff that should work
often DOESN'T, and stuff that
shouldn't work sometimes does.
We keep it weird down here in
Austin... because that's where
the big breakthroughs come
12. Why Austin?
“I came to Austin to work for Dell in 2004 and
have been here ever since. Increasingly I found
it is difficult to leave here for other places, even
with higher compensation. Cost and quality of
living here is a big factor for sure. But I also
believe in the future of Austin will be even
There are a number of companies such as Dell,
HP, OfficeDepot, RetailMeNot.com, etc., that
already have sophisticated analytics/testing
programs here in town and I believe, sooner or
later, other companies will find Austin an ideal
place to build their digital marketing hub. As that
happens, professionals like us will have many
There is no reason that Austin can't crown itself
as "The Capital of Optimization" as long as we
dream big and work hard.”
13. Why Austin?
“Austin is a great place to find whip-smart
talent. My coastal competitors don't get employees
who scored over 1400 on the (old school) SATs...
If you're in California, and are a top graduate, and
comfortable with numbers and math, you don't go to
work for a marketing consultancy, you go to work in
If you're on the East Coast, and a top graduate, and
good with numbers, you go into high finance, not
If you're most places in the middle of the country,
other than Austin, once you graduate, you LEAVE
your college town and find a destination city.
Austin is a destination city, and a place where I can
engage, train, develop, and RETAIN top-tier
talent. My coastal competitors struggle to attract
anyone solid, and retention isn't even an option
after 1-2 years of training.”
14. Why Austin?
“People often ask me whether an
analytical mind or a creative mind fares
better at conversion optimization. Without
fail, I answer "neither.“
To me, it's a middle-brained thinker,
somebody who understands the
relationship between design, experience,
product and data. That combination of
creativity and appreciation for consumer
data is a rare one, but a trait that seems to
be disproportionately concentrated in
In some ways, this makes sense when you
consider the fabric of Austin in 2014—a
city of big, young brains, built on the music
and tech start-ups that greatly define our
local culture. To me, it makes perfect
sense that Austin would have a lot of
"middle-brained" people, skilled at datadriven optimization.”
15. Why Austin?
“Austin has a thriving community
of companies provide services
and sell products on the
Internet. As a digital advertising
expert, it's a fantastic place to
be able to help a large number
of companies be successful.
Austin is also seeing a lot of
growth, especially in the realm
of digital. I expect this growth to
continue, which will make the
future even brighter for
consultancies like ours who help
these companies grow.”
Unique Influence, Inc.
16. Why Austin?
“When we decided to move from snowy,
low-tech northern Indiana, we wanted a
location with warmer weather and a
great tech community. Austin had both,
and offered a great lifestyle, too.
Neuromarketing and Brainy
I knew about companies like Dell, AMD,
and others with big operations here, but
I was surprised at the size and diversity
of the web marketing community. Meetups on topics like SEO, social media,
Internet marketing, affiliate marketing,
and other specialty interests are well
attended, often drawing over a hundred
attendees. As a plus, when one weighs
cost of living, state taxes, etc., Austin
compares very favorably with the Bay
Area and other hubs of tech activity.”
17. Why Austin?
“Austin has wonderful
housing, a great
lifestyle, and no state
income tax. If you like
tacos and live music as
much as I do, it's the
perfect place to live.”
18. Why Austin?
“Easy. It's the people. But that's too
Specifically, there are a lot of great people
in this city who really care about the work
they do. They want to continually exceed
their expectations and push themselves
and their conversion rates higher and
higher while fully enjoying the work they
The Tarr Group
Austin has the highest per capita of
creatives, entrepreneurs, information
marketers, persuasive copywriters, UI/UX
designers, consultants and many others
that make up this wide and diverse field of
study we call CRO. But more importantly,
it's a city filled with southern hospitality,
acceptance, integrity and people who are
always willing to share what they've
learned in order to help you, them and our
19. Why Austin?
“I chose Austin for the
tacos. After that everything
else. Weather, cost of
living, friendly people,
central (literally) in the
USA and great outdoors.
The tech scene is small
and doesn't feel like the
echo chamber of the Bay
OKDork and Monthly1K.com
20. Why Austin?
“An inexhaustible music
scene and reputable MA
program brought Luke to
Austin, and the city‟s
spirit kept his creativity
comfortably nestled in the
„512.‟ (For non-natives, 512
is Austin‟s area code.)”
Ethan Luke Stenis
21. Why Austin?
“For someone who is an
entrepreneur and future
bestselling author of fiction,
Austin provides the perfect
mix of quirky, creativity, and
start-up culture to call
home and business hub.”
Idea Pioneer Media
22. Make your business
“The ___________ Capital of the World”
Have a conversation with a Conversion Scientist today
23. Kathryn Aragon is editor of The Daily Egg and publisher of the C4 Report.
She is committed to helping businesses communicate, connect, convert...
and capture their market. Follow her on Twitter and Google+
Excerpts from her article
“Austin: The Conversion Capital of the World” (link)