Stefan Holm Olsen

My key take-aways from Opticon 2023

This past week I spent 4 days with Optimizely at Opticon 2023 in San Diego, and got to hear a lot of inspiring announcements and ideas. Here are my personal favorites.

Optimizely One

The biggest news is Optimizely One. Coined as the new Marketing Operating System, it underlines how marketers should be able to utilize all the Optimizely platforms in a single circular workflow.

This circular workflow contains all the kind of tasks a marketer should be able to perform. And Optimizely wants to enable each of those steps in a seamless way.

During Opticon 2023 several demonstrations elaborated on this in depth.

SaaS Core

Optimizely CMS has always been developed and maintained by developers. And then deployed to a designated infrastructure (servers). This means that developers can customize all parts of the code base. But it can also mean a long lead-time for system updates.

While this is fine for many sites, it is not a perfect fit for all companies. Some companies prefer a pure SaaS CMS, where no-one needs to deploy updates and maintain infrastructure etc. To target those companies, Optimizely launched the SaaS Core. A headless CMS, with no need to deploy any code or updates. This was exciting news for a lot of developers.

It does not yet support Optimizely Monetize platforms or Visitor Groups. But I was assured that the Optimizely product teams are working hard on bringing them to the SaaS arena.

To be clear, this is in addition to the existing CMS (from now on called PaaS Core). Optimizely emphasized that these two CMS platforms will be developed as two equal products.


Unsurprisingly, since it lies in the original Optimizely DNA, Web Experimentation was a big theme on Opticon 2023.

I did not realize how big a thing it is, and how much potential it has. For me personally this was a whole new world opening, and something I am definitely going to explore. I met some brilliant people who guided me on how to begin working in this area.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence was a big theme. It was demonstrated with real world use cases that can help digital marketers accelerate their velocity in all areas of the Optimizely One flow.

One specific case was text generation in Content Marketing Platform, in which a marketer can write a bullet-list summary, select some content types, and instantaneously get a text in return. With a text review and maybe some edits, this text can then be sent directly to CMS and other channels.

And Optimizely is not launching Artifical Intelligence as a separate product. No, they are incorporating it in the core of every product and platform.

Optimizely Graph

Optimizely Graph is the new name for Optimizely Content Graph, plus some exciting additions.

One such addition is semantic search, where searches are performed based on the meaning of the search phrase, not the exact wording. This is done by using Artifical Intelligence that is trained to understand connections between words and phrases. Like "big apple" in the context of cities of the world, would return "New York City", even though that phrase were never indexed.

Optimizely Graph is important, because it is the preferred way for headless websites to load data going forward. In fact, for SaaS Core, it is the only way to get data from the CMS. So this technology was the subject of several different demonstrations.

Content Marketing Platform

A lot of time was dedicated to Content Marketing Platform, which is going to be further emphasized as the new way of bringing marketing teams together to ideate, create and publish content.

I am still hooked on this, and I believe this could be a quick win (or a low-hanging fruit) for many marketing departments out there. And something I will strongly recommend looking into.

As a matter of fact, I have also started using Content Marketing Platform for my own marketing.


This was only a quick summary of the many topics I saw and heard. To be fair, Opticon 2023 was jampacked with high-quality content, so it would be impossible to mention everything.