"Products drive business. As a PM, you’re at the front-end of that; you help define and optimize them which is always an exciting challenge." – Johann van Tonder
COO, author, Karate black belt, and venomous snake handler – Johann van Tonder is perhaps equipped with the precise combo of skills necessary to handle the ever-changing world of e-commerce. When he's not handling Cape Cobras, he's helping some of the world's most recognizable brands grow their online sales using a data-driven process we can't wait to learn more about.
After spending 15 years at global media giant Naspers, Johann left his corporate career to help turn around a struggling internet retailer. His techniques for transforming the loss-maker into a star worked. Just three years and multiple successes later, he took on the role as COO of AWA Digital – a leading UK-based conversion optimization agency with clients like Canon, Interflora, and Avis.
In 2017 he co-authored the book E-commerce Website Optimization – a practical guide to improving online conversion rates.
Johann van Tonder, iXperience 2020 Product Management Head Instructor
My agency, AWA Digital, is constantly doing exciting work so it’s hard to single out one project. Last year we added €3.7 million to a global brand’s revenue by applying the principles I teach in this class.
Products drive business. As a PM, you’re at the front-end of that; you help define and optimise them. I also love the surprise of customer engagement - you think you know the business and its product until you reach out to users.
I’ve always enjoyed teaching, and have been teaching in various programmes at universities for over 20 years. I enjoy the exchange with critical thinkers, and the eternal learning.
I'm looking forward to forming great friendships and relationships with students and teachers – some of whom I know I'll have contact with for many years to come.
Artificial Intelligence will change the industry. So predictable, I know. But it's going to be a a really good tool in the right hands. Embrace it, use it to your advantage, learn all you can about it now.
My students will leave equipped with practical insight into how to define, build, and take to market, products that are commercially viable. They'll learn more about customer research, value propositions, and behavioral psychology.
Have fun, but also know that there’s a portion of your day during which some phenomenal people will be investing their time into you. Respect that, and invest back! The growth will be tremendous.