How Canva balances experimentation and personalisation at scale

Design and creative platform tapped Optimizely to power personalisaiton across the platform

Online design platform, Canva, favoured by Pinterest fans, designers and creatives of all stripes, has made its mark in a short space of time, counting over 20 million monthly active users in 190 countries with a market valuation of A$4.7 billion.

But success has a way of bringing with it new challenges. In Canva’s case, it’s how to personalise experiences for diverse users while creating levers that give it scope for experimentation, and keeping an eye firmly on future growth and optimisation across the platform.

Canva head of brand and marketing, Zach Kitschke, explained to CMO when it's building a new experimentation program “it’s vital that the foundations are in place so we are in a position to scale effectively all the while embracing the agile nature of a startup culture”.

The design and creative platform tapped experimentation platform, Optimizely, to run its testing, personalisation and analytics program, integrating seamlessly with Canva’s wider tech stack including Amplitude, Braze, Google Analytics and Segment.

Kitschke said personalisation is incredibly important. To achieve this, it’s started leveraging this capability within its own site, although it’s yet to start personalising experiences on landing pages. The plan is to expand the scope from simple A/B testing to delivering highly contextual, tailored experiences for users.

“When we're building a new experimentation program, it’s vital that the foundations are in place so we are in a position to scale effectively, while embracing the agile nature of a start-up culture,” he said.

Canva put its eggs in the Optimizely basket primarily because of the experimentation smarts, as Kitschke said it’s important to be able to see what works, for which users and what locations and with what projects. Added to this are the collaborative features that enables teams to capture ideas, prioritise projects and manage experiments all within the platform.

Since Canva has started using Optimizely, Kitschke said, it’s significantly increased the testing velocity and improved collaboration and autonomy between teams and this has fostered a more data-driven experimentation culture at Canva.

"Some of our early wins demonstrate the importance of contextual experiences in increasing conversion rates," he said. “This has enabled the wider business to understand the value of experimentation.”

Optimizely managing director APAC, Simon McDonald, said Optimizely’s test-and-learn tool can improve the customer experience across all digital assets for Canva. For Canva, it’s all part of the experimentation roadmap and executing its marketing strategy to achieve the end-goal of personalisation at scale, even when the scale is millions of customers across the globe.

As Kitschke explained it, Canva’s marketing strategy is multi-faceted, with teams working to increase brand awareness to new users, optimise key landing pages and bring more value to its existing community.

“Essentially, our mission is to become the most loved and used design platform in the world,” he added.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

More Videos

Great piece Katja. It will be fascinating to see how the shift in people's perception of value will affect design, products and services ...

Paul Scott

How to design for a speculative future - Customer Design - CMO Australia

Read more

Google collects as much data as it can about you. It would be foolish to believe Google cares about your privacy. I did cut off Google fr...

Phil Davis

ACCC launches fresh legal challenge against Google's consumer data practices for advertising

Read more

“This new logo has been noticed and it replaces a logo no one really knew existed so I’d say it’s abided by the ‘rule’ of brand equity - ...

Lawrence

Brand Australia misses the mark

Read more

IMHO a logo that needs to be explained really doesn't achieve it's purpose.I admit coming to the debate a little late, but has anyone els...

JV_at_lAttitude_in_Cairns

Brand Australia misses the mark

Read more

Hi everyone! Hope you are doing well. I just came across your website and I have to say that your work is really appreciative. Your conte...

Rochie Grey

Will 3D printing be good for retail?

Read more

Blog Posts

How to design for a speculative future

For a while now, I have been following a fabulous design strategy and research colleague, Tatiana Toutikian, a speculative designer. This is someone specialising in calling out near future phenomena, what the various aspects of our future will be, and how the design we create will support it.

Katja Forbes

Managing director of Designit, Australia and New Zealand

The obvious reason Covidsafe failed to get majority takeup

Online identity is a hot topic as more consumers are waking up to how their data is being used. So what does the marketing industry need to do to avoid a complete loss of public trust, in instances such as the COVID-19 tracing app?

Dan Richardson

Head of data, Verizon Media

Brand or product placement?

CMOs are looking to ensure investment decisions in marketing initiatives are good value for money. Yet they are frustrated in understanding the value of product placements within this mix for a very simple reason: Product placements are broadly defined and as a result, mean very different things to different people.

Michael Neale and Dr David Corkindale

University of Adelaide Business School and University of South Australia

Sign in