If You Want Your Digital Transformation to Succeed, Align Your Operating Model to Your Strategy

Leaders, revising their five-year plans every quarter, are constantly seeking ways to reinvent their companies and stay ahead of the pack, given competitors of varying capabilities and scale and customers who expect more for less. For many companies, the answer is large-scale global transformation. Eighty percent of CEOs in one study claim to have transformations in place to make their businesses more digital; 87 percent expect to see a change in their operating models within three years.

But leaders see establishing those operating models as their top challenge in achieving digital transformation. So how might they move forward? A review of transformations across industries reveals a common theme: Successful transformations realign the organization to a singular vision; failed endeavors typically do not.

An organization has a far better chance at succeeding when its operating model—or how the organization creates value—is aligned to its strategy. And this means that for transformations to succeed, leadership teams should examine and possibly revise their organizations’ operating models. Given the pace of change, executives may struggle to determine where to place bets, how much to invest, and when to do it. Wait too long, and they risk seeing market value quickly erode; invest inefficiently or ineffectively, and they could face a cash crunch or investor backlash.

The good news for companies born before the digital era is that they often quickly understand the value in transforming to agile, adaptive, and responsive enterprises because they already have the other intangibles in place: strong brands, an entrenched customer base, established sales methods, and partners—suppliers, distributors, and technology.

Successfully driving these changes, though, depends on executives addressing a range of organizational barriers and risks—particularly functional silos, incomplete enterprise data, and a product-out (versus a market-in) philosophy of value creation. A well-designed and purposefully executed enterprise operating model can help companies balance growth with risk and overcome organizational barriers.

Target Operating Model
Poll any number of executives, and you’ll likely find yourself with as many definitions of operating model. But most commonly, operating model transformations are associated with cost takeouts or organizational redesigns. While these can be byproducts of an operating model shift, the common associations are myopic and discount the full value.

Instead, leaders should think about their operating models as their unique set of capabilities aligned to the enterprise’s strategy, with skilled leadership teams, tailored metrics, unique investment profiles, and tight coordination across the value chain.

What Work Needs to Be Done?
In moving forward with a digital transformation, the first step is to identify the holistic set of capabilities required to meet the enterprise’s strategic ambitions. The capability set should include both existing capabilities and new ones (as needed) and address front-, mid-, and back-office functions across all product lines.

For example, product strategy is a capability that creates product road maps to realize customer requirements; campaign management is a capability that launches, measures, and reports on the success of marketing campaigns. When brought together, capabilities comprise a capability map, representing the collective set required to execute against the strategy and business model. A capability map provides a foundation on which organizations can build their target operating model. It can be used to determine skill set requirements, hire talent, set performance metrics, build teams, and identify partnership opportunities.

Where Does the Work Get Done?
Once leaders have established the capability map, the next step is sourcing capabilities. Several capabilities will likely already exist—some mature or fit-for-purpose, others recent arrivals. This step is often the most difficult to execute, as companies can be resistant to changing their existing ways of working when instead they can leverage the opportunity to untether themselves from legacy processes and technologies.

Enterprises typically have four sources for capabilities: They can develop, transform, or mature them internally (use as is); they can acquire capabilities through targeted hires or outright M&A; they can partner to access them; or they can outsource the capabilities and have them delivered as-a-service. The decision to develop, acquire, partner, or outsource is a critical one, since each lever provides organizations with unique advantages. Executives should consider the following in making decisions:

• Speed. How urgently do we need this capability?
• Control. How important is it that we control the outcomes?
• Specificity. To what degree do we need to tailor this capability to our business?
• Competitive advantage. To what extent does this capability provide us an edge over competitors?
• Operational leverage. How much do we want to take on in fixed/on-balance-sheet commitments?

Who Does the Work?
This step involves allocating work to the most efficient parts of the organization.

Capabilities typically provide one of two types of value: demand-side or supply-side. Demand-side advantages drive increased attention toward a company’s offering, driving up pricing, revenues, and margins. These include capabilities such as sales, product engineering, recruiting, branding, and corporate strategy, where processes and skill sets are less repeatable, and where talent is a significant driver of value. Supply-side advantages allow a company to operate more effectively and get the most out of resources. These usually include areas in which value is related to scale, such as sales-quote capabilities, self-service, accounting, and manufacturing.

Similarly, the relationship to the business is twofold. Capabilities significantly tethered to the line of business often rely on some expert ability such as localization, R&D, product marketing, or technical sales. Those with limited relationships to the business—for instance, M&A, e-commerce, and supply chain management—rely on generalist skill sets and play across the enterprise.

Each capability has a different place within the operating model, and companies can opt for different ways to deliver similar capabilities. Those decisions should be closely linked to the strategy.

How Can Organizations Drive Better Outcomes?
Operating models are ever-evolving, driven by feedback from employees and customers, the effectiveness of business processes, and evolving competitive landscapes. Leading organizations augment their capabilities through simple cross-functional processes, hyper-focused incentives, and best-in-class tools to drive simplicity, clarity, and speed in execution.

Our research points to at least six ways to potentially increase your chances of building a model that can help guide a successful digital transformation:

• Nominate and empower function and business leaders early on to drive the cultural change required across the organization.
• Define clear roles and responsibilities across businesses, regions, and functional support groups.
• Create complementary incentives and goals for businesses and functions to reduce conflict and optimize resource allocation.
• Establish cross-functional debriefs to keep relevant parties informed, and nominate an owner to manage the process early.
• Institute a governance model with clear KPIs for each leadership team—one that supports quick, independent decision-making.
• Standardize resource and knowledge exchange to ensure that skill sets are cultivated and proliferated.

Transformation demands that leaders develop a clear sense of their strategic ambitions—where to play and how to win—and the business models they wish to employ, including target customer segments, channels, pricing, and delivery models. There are many questions to be answered. Both the strategy and the business model directly influence the operating model design.

Organizations that try to short-cut their way to a new operating model may find the design ineffective and the implementation lacking employee traction—or worse, dilutive to value.

Most critically, an organization’s operating model must be inextricably linked to the corporate and business-unit strategy and varying business models. The operating model is the anchor for the enterprise and is critical to the strategy’s effectiveness and longevity. And understanding how your organization maps onto the model is key to an effective digital transformation.


Effective team management: The 10 secrets you need to know

Posted by Jess Lawrence

Team management is not always easy. Most of the time it means navigating different personalities, work habits and motivations while balancing your own tasks and keeping the company goals in mind. It takes a lot of work to get this right, but we’ve put together a few secrets that are aimed to help every manager, from seasoned and senior through to those new to the role.



Hotjar Alternatives: 21 Tools for Optimizing Your Website and Conversion Rate

Hotjar is a behavior analytics and website optimization software for marketers and user experience (UX) pros. Hotjar’s solution offers multiple ways to collect user feedback including: heatmaps, visitor recordings, form and funnel analysis tools, and surveys.

While Hotjar has plenty of satisfied users, some marketers may need analytics tools that are easier to use, offer more granular, in-depth data analysis, or offer more flexibility to A/B test webpage changes.

If that’s you—and you’re looking to replace Hotjar with a solution that better fits your needs—you’ve come to the right place. Below, we list 21 Hotjar alternatives, broken down into 5 categories, so you can find the right tool for you and your team.

Note: Looking for a website optimization tool that’s easier to use and offers more in-depth data? Sign up and try Crazy Egg free for 30 days to get access to heatmaps based on more visits and more granular data segmentation.

All-in-One Website Optimization, CRO, and A/B Testing Tools

When you want one tool that can do it all, the options below are ready to swoop in and replace everything Hotjar can do and then some.

Crazy Egg

Hotjar alternatives: Crazy Egg

  • Pricing: Starts at $24 per month
  • Trial: 30-day free trial on any plan
  • Unique feature: Snapshots

Here at Crazy Egg, we believe we’re one of the best alternatives to Hotjar. We’re, admittedly, a little biased—but that doesn’t mean we’re wrong.

For one, our Snapshots (that’s what we call heatmaps and clickmaps) take website analysis to another level, enabling you to dig deeper and understand the data behind the visual. You can filter clicks to see how up to 22 different segments interact with a page, and you can better understand where people are clicking.

Our software also ensures that you have maximum flexibility when it comes to sampling. We include all visits in our Snapshots and allow you to decide when and how to sample or filter as needed.

Plus, our tool offers the most flexibility with A/B testing, too. We’ve built A/B testing right into our product, but we also integrate with Optimizely, Google Optimize, and other A/B testing tools you may already use.

In other words, Crazy Egg offers marketers more flexibility and more in-depth data segmentation options than Hotjar.

Note: Sound good? Sign up and try Crazy Egg free for 30 days to get access to a website optimization tool that’s easier to use and offers more in-depth, granular data.


Hotjar alternatives: FullStory

  • Pricing: Contact FullStory for pricing details
  • Rating: 4.5 on G2
  • Unique features: Top Opportunities

FullStory focuses on the entire end-to-end digital experience, with an emphasis on actively (and proactively) troubleshooting UX problems. That means they have stellar session recordings and allow you to monitor a user’s entire history with your website. Their unique Top Opportunities feature analyzes session recordings and shows you the greatest opportunities to improve your website’s UX.


Hotjar alternatives: VWO

  • Pricing: From $99 – $1,999 per month
  • Rating: 4.2 on G2

VWO is one of the most comprehensive platforms for optimizing the customer experience. With funnels, sessions recordings, heatmaps, surveys, form analytics, and more, VWO has just about everything enterprise marketers need to analyze and improve the customer experience.


Hotjar alternatives: Inspectlet

  • Pricing: Inspectlet offers a free plan; paid plans start at $39 per month
  • Rating: 4.1 on G2
  • Unique features: Error Detection

Inspectlet is an all-in-one platform with an eye toward more technical, back-end optimization and troubleshooting. Their unique Error Detection feature proactively identifies bugs and errors and notifies you in real-time.

Website Optimization Tools

The website optimization tools below can take over the heatmapping, session replay, funnel analysis, and more. They’re the closest thing to a one-to-one replacement for Hotjar. Think all-in-one tool minus A/B testing and a few other small features.


Hotjar alternatives: Mouseflow

  • Pricing: Starts ar $29 per month
  • Rating: 4.6 on G2

Mouseflow is another website optimization tool aimed at diagnosing why visitors don’t convert. With session replay, heatmaps, and funnels, the tool has many of the features marketers and CROs need to optimize for conversions.


Hotjar alternatives: EyeQuant

  • Pricing: Contact EyeQuant for pricing details
  • Rating: 4.6 on G2
  • Unique features: Clarity Score

EyeQuant is designed to use research, AI, and data to improve website design, all while making the project management and sign-off process easier. They’ve put in the research to help users actually predict how website visitors will navigate and respond to designs changes.


Hotjar alternatives: SessionCam

  • Pricing: Contact SessionCam for pricing details
  • Rating: 4.1 on G2
  • Unique features: Struggle Detection

SessionCam (despite the name) offers a lot more than just session replays. They also feature heatmaps, conversion funnels, and customer journey mapping. Their unique Struggle Detection features helps you identify areas of your site that leave customers frustrated—so you can fix them and boost conversions.

Lucky Orange

Screen Shot 2020 01 23 at 4.40.57 PM

  • Pricing: Starts at $10 per month
  • Rating: 4.0 on G2
  • Unique features: Chat

Lucky Orange offers heatmaps, session recording, funnel analysis and more—all designed to help users get to the heart of why visitors don’t convert. Lucky Orange is also one of the few conversion optimization platforms to include a Chat feature, making it easier to communicate directly and informally with customers.


Screen Shot 2020 01 23 at 1.17.39 PM

  • Pricing: Contact Clicktale for pricing details
  • Rating: 3.9 on G2
  • Unique features: Experience Center

Clicktale is one website analytics solution with, perhaps, the biggest emphasis on web analytics. With solutions for web, mobile, and apps, their tool includes session replay, heatmaps, and conversion analytics. Their unique Experience Center helps users get a high-level overview of the entire customer experience and how it affects business.


Screen Shot 2020 01 23 at 1.18.28 PM

  • Pricing: Contact Decibel for pricing details
  • Unique features: Digital Experience Score (DXS)

Decibel Insight is the web optimization platform designed for continuous improvement. Their unique Digital Experience Score (or DXS) helps users get a bottom-line read on the experience customers have across your website or app. Plus, their data captures everything from mouse movements and scrolling to device rotations and pinching.


Screen Shot 2020 01 23 at 5.22.01 PM

  • Pricing: Business plans start at $69.99 per month
  • Rating: 4.4 on G2 (based on 6 reviews)

Reactflow is a website optimization tool with an eye toward diagnosing conversion blockers and building “distraction-free” funnels. With features like heatmaps, session recordings, funnels, and feedback, Reactflow is a solid option for replacing Hotjar.

A/B Testing Software

When you need to make changes to improve your website and test those improvements, the tools below are there to manage and report on experiments like A/B testing. Most of these can be used in conjunction with some of the website optimization tools above.


Hotjar alternatives: Optimizely

  • Pricing: Contact Optimizely for pricing details
  • Rating: 4.3 on G2
  • Unique features: Full Stack

Optimizely is on the top go-to A/B testing tools. Their Full Stack offering enables everyone from engineers to marketing to product teams to A/B test every aspect of their job. With Optimizely, you can make decisions based on their automated reporting or dig deeper to better understand why versions differ.


Screen Shot 2020 01 23 at 5.18.06 PM

  • Pricing: Paid plans start at $89 per month
  • Rating: 4.2 on G2

Mixpanel is designed for constant improvement of the product. Their “innovation loop” design streamlines testing and iteration to continuously grow the customer experience and boost retention. Plus, an eye toward visual reporting makes decision-making a breeze.

AB Tasty

Hotjar alternatives: AB Tasty

  • Pricing: Contact AB Tasty for pricing details
  • Rating: 4.4 on G2

AB Tasty is one of the best options available for enterprise website and customer experience optimization. With platforms designed for both marketing and product teams, AB Tasty offers A/B testing on the client-side, and server-side, and solutions for personalized marketing, progressive roll-out, and more.


Hotjar alternatives: SiteSpect

  • Pricing: Contact SiteSpect for pricing details
  • Rating: 4.3 on G2
  • Unique features: Services

SiteSpect is another top A/B testing tool that also specializes in personalization and other website optimization. What’s unique about SiteSpect is that users have the option to buy their services as well—completely offloading the task of testing.

Session and User Recording Tools

If you’re more interested in the qualitative data around how users interact with your website or app, session and user behavior recording tools may be just the ticket.


Hotjar alternatives: UserTesting

  • Pricing: Contact UserTesting for pricing details
  • Rating: 4.5 on G2

UserTesting is one of the original website optimization tools to focus solely on user recordings. The tool enables you to request real users to test your website or app, give them a particular task to complete, and ask specific questions about the experience.


Hotjar alternatives: Smartlook

  • Pricing: Paid plans start at $31 per month
  • Rating: 4.7 on G2
  • Unique features: Identify customers

Smartlook offers a website optimization platform with all the features customer support teams need, including session recording, customer journey mapping, and funnels. What’s unique about Smartlook is the option to use their API, in conjunction with other software to actually put a name to the user recordings and visitor behavior.


Hotjar alternatives: LiveSession

  • Pricing: Starts at $99 per month
  • Rating: 4.7 on G2
  • Unique features: Engagement Score

LiveSession is a great option for session replays and proactive troubleshooting on your website or web app. Filters, Inspect Mode, and Engagement Score make it easier to get to the heart of the data you need—without spending hours watching irrelevant replays.

Surveys and Customer Feedback

Surveys and other user feedback tools are ideal for drawing in more in-depth information around what customers and users experience when using your website or product.


Hotjar alternatives: RightMessage

  • Pricing: Starts at $29 per month
  • Unique features: Personalization

RightMessage is one of the top tools available for surveying website visitors and putting their answers to work for you. Everything RightMessage does—from surveys, to email, and landing page segmentation—is designed to personalize your message for better conversions.


Hotjar alternatives: Survicate

  • Pricing: Paid plans start at $59 per month.
  • Rating: 4.6 on G2

Survicate focuses on a more holistic approach to customer feedback—charting everything from website feedback to Net Promoter Score (NPS) and mobile app surveys. Their goal is to empower teams across the organization with the customer feedback they need to make the right decisions.


Hotjar alternatives: Ramen

  • Pricing: Paid plans start at $39 per month.
  • Rating: 4.7 on G2 (based on 3 reviews)

Ramen’s customer survey tool focuses on getting feedback from the right customers at the right time—while they’re actually using your website. The tool offers robust targeting options to help you find the right customers to ask and enables you to proactively mitigate churn and lost customers.

Find the Right Website Optimization Solution

With so many tools and solutions available to marketers, engineers, product teams, and customer support pros who want to better understand the behavior of visitors on their website, there’s no reason to stick with one that doesn’t work for you or your team.

One of the Hotjar alternatives above may just be a better option for improving your website, app, or product.

How do you choose which tool to use? The questions to ask are:

  • What features do you need around data segmentation, A/B testing, funnel analysis, and more? Which features are you better off without?
  • Which tool’s user interface seems like the most intuitive one for you and your team?

Or, you can try Crazy Egg free for 30 days and see why we’re convinced we offer the best alternative to Hotjar.