It’s a simple question, but one that is difficult to answer. I couldn’t say for sure, when I was asked it this week. If you asked the same question to people from different departments across your organisation, I expect you’d get many different answers. The majority of which would be along the lines of “I/we do”.
Perhaps the answers differ because each department has a different understanding of the question. IT builds and maintains the product/website, so they own it. Sales are selling the product, so they own it. Marketing are promoting and attracting the customers, so they own it.
So if it’s hard to answer the question at such a general level, how do you answer the second question:
Who owns conversion rate optimisation?
Who is responsible for making sure that your product is converting as many of your site visitors into customers?
Let’s look at what may go into adding a new product or feature to your website (this will vary considerably, of course, across companies. Use your imagination!).
A solution to a customer need is identified. It is evaluated (business / strategic fit, cost benefit analysis, etc.), a business requirement drawn up, a technical spec produced. Wireframes sketched, code written, design created. Tested. Launched.
Throughout that somewhat whirlwind tour of the development cycle, it touched people from multiple disciplines and departments. Commercial people, technical people and creative people.