Results tagged “Test&Target”

Think Targeted Merchandising as You Head into Holiday Selling Mode

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According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), the average shopper plans to do 36% of his or her holiday shopping online this year – up 33% from last year! What are you doing to ensure that these purchase-minded shoppers are going to have the most relevant and efficient experience possible on your website and complete their business with you rather than your competitor? We’re now well into our second decade of selling and buying products online, it’s time that digital shopping experiences delivered more – both for the shopper and the retailer. It’s time for informed, intelligent targeted merchandizing.

Merchandising is a well-established, even fundamental aspect of retail marketing. It comprises the many activities surrounding the efforts to accelerate a potential buyer through the purchase funnel to the point where money is exchanged. In a recent white paper written by Sue Aldrich of the Patricia Seybold Group entitled “Success with Best Practices for Targeted Merchandising”, Sue sums it up by saying, “Merchandising is the practice of maximizing sales by leveraging product design, packaging, pricing, display, and most importantly, selection.” Corporations spend tremendous amounts of money and time working to put the right products, information or incentives in the right place at the right time to inspire a purchase – whether it be a large-ticket item or a spontaneous addition to a buyer’s shopping cart.

Although a fair amount of science has emerged from the collective experience of merchandisers, in the offline world, there is always an unavoidable element of inefficiency involved when merchandising strategies are deployed. Because few specifics are known about a customer, a merchandiser needs to cast a pretty wide net in hopes of attracting potential buyers who are prepared or interested in the products or offers presented them.

Targeted merchandising is a form of personalization – the creation of a unique sequence of relevant digital experiences, targeted to an individual or like-minded group of people to inspire them to progress towards a purchase or some similar success event. But whereas we think of personalization as being of primary benefit to the visitor or shopper, turn the tables and think of targeted merchandising as delivering personalized experiences in a way that not only satisfies customer goals, but optimizes the experience for the merchant as well.

In the digital world, the details and data available to a merchandiser open up several opportunities to remove or minimize the inefficiencies of merchandising to a largely generic audience. The data that an online retailer has access to from a digital analytics product such as Adobe SiteCatalyst or a multi-channel analytics product like Adobe Insight, can infuse online merchandising efforts with loads of intelligence regarding online customers’ and prospects’ interests and intentions.

Combining this intelligence with products like Adobe Test&Target, Adobe Recommendations, Adobe Scene7 and Adobe Search&Promote, merchandisers are now capable of delivering targeted content, messaging, cross-sells and offers to the anonymous, yet highly predictive profiles that analytics data provides. Targeted merchandising is all about leveraging these universal profiles – that signal implied and expressed interests and intentions – to present customers with timely and relevant content and offers. For example, with the latest release of Adobe Recommendations, merchandisers can arrange that a shopper who is viewing a specific brand of shoes will see targeted product recommendations for only shoes from that same brand. The product will even help you determine where on the page those recommendations perform the best.

So as shoppers start hitting your site in these crucial weeks to come, think “targeted merchandizing” and remember these three simple things:

  • Don’t assume that what works for one shopper works for all
  • Let your metrics guide the relevance (and flexibility) of your merchandising
  • And, most importantly…pay attention to shopper intent and deliver personalized digital experiences that meet your merchandising objectives.

For an excellent overview of targeted merchandizing best practices, click here to download a copy of Sue Aldrich’s paper, “Success with Best Practices for Targeted Merchandising”.

 

From coffee table to mobile tablet – browsing your favorite catalogs just got easier

When Montgomery Ward sent out its first catalog in 1872, I am sure no one at the time imagined that one day people would be flipping pages of multiple catalogs from one single portable device. But here we are nearly a century-and-a-half later and that is exactly what the latest release of Adobe Scene7 is making possible.

Scene7 eCatalogs are now optimized for rich viewing experiences across multiple screens, allowing companies to quickly and easily transform print catalogs into dynamic and interactive experiences that reach shoppers everywhere. Companies already publishing online catalogs with Scene7 can leverage existing eCatalog assets and seamlessly deliver them to popular tablets and smartphones including iPad and iPhone. With support for all multi-touch and gesture interactions, such as pinch to zoom in/out, double tap to zoom in/out, swipe to turn pages, mobile-optimized eCatalog viewers also respond to device rotation to swap between single page, portrait orientation and double page, landscape orientation spreads. These features enable businesses to scale existing rich, immersive experiences to more screens.

Some other highlights of this latest release include:

Tighter Adobe Test&Target integration to optimize relevance and conversion

Improved content synchronization capabilities between Adobe Scene7 and Adobe Test&Target™ enable customers of both solutions to quickly and easily transfer Scene7 images, templates, videos, recuts and Dynamic Banner assets to Test&Target to perform tests and reveal the most compelling and relevant content and executions for conversion lift.

Deeper Creative Suite 5 integration to further streamline desktop-to-Web workflows

A new Scene7 Creative Suite Extension for Flash Professional allows upload, preview and customization of Flash projects to Scene7 directly within Flash Professional, enabling a seamless, efficient workflow for creating Scene7 Dynamic Banners. The new “publish” capability in Scene7 Creative Suite Extension further enables users to publish assets, already uploaded to Scene7, to live image servers directly from within the Creative Suite 5 application.

With this tighter integration, companies can continually optimize their digital experiences in real-time without going back to the desktop to build new variations of creative, enabling customers to extend testing by eliminating high production time and costs.

Open Viewer Platform for Flash SDK to create innovative customer experiences with custom viewers

Companies can achieve flexibility and creativity to extensively customize Scene7 Flash viewers and uniquely brand viewer look-and-feel and interactivity with a new Flash component-based framework. Additionally, reusable performance-optimized components lower the overall cost of viewer development and accelerate custom development.

Video search engine optimization and libraries to maximize discoverability

To improve video discoverability, Scene7 now automatically generates and updates a sitemap/mRSS of the videos for submission to search engines, ensuring that companies are able to maximize the ROI on their video investments. Additionally, companies can create video libraries that consolidate videos in one central location within their site or as a separate microsite, establishing a destination where consumers can go to find valuable video searchable by title, description, keywords, category and related videos.

Making Site Search Experiences More Targeted

15CaptureThis week we released the newest version of Adobe Search&Promote. This release promises to give our customers even more opportunity to give their site visitors relevant search-driven experiences. And today at Omniture Summit 2011 online sheet music retailer Musicnotes.com helped us tell attendees all about these new capabilities.

So what’s new? In the true spirit of online marketing optimization, we’ve taken additional steps to make site marketers and merchandisers more effective in their jobs. Specifically, we’ve deeply integrated Adobe Test&Target functionality with Search&Promote.

First, marketers or merchandisers can now test a variety of business rules before pushing them live to all their site visitors or specific segments. The great thing about business rules in Search&Promote is that it allows the marketer to influence search outcomes based on what he or she thinks (or what the metrics indicate) is the best direction to take the visitor who, through search or navigation, expresses interest in a particular item. Now, marketers can test their hypotheses — rather than wondering what would have happened if they’d used an alternate business rule. Additionally, you can take advantage of the cool new simulator we introduced in December. This means that you can see the results of these alternate rules-generated experiences the way they would look live on your site. You don’t even have to leave the Search&Promote marketer interface to do this as long as you are a current Test&Target user.

Second, beyond testing, Search&Promote’s integration with Test&Target allows businesses to utilize targeted business rules to make search experiences even more releva
nt and personalized. For example, Musicnotes’ Bill Aicher today in our Search&Promote Summit 2011 breakout described new strategies for presenting relevant results — and eliminating noise — by using a targeted “guitarist” business rule. He also demonstrated how using geo-targeting will help create more relevant site search experiences based on delivering results according to popularity of certain kinds of music around the world. Very cool. If you weren’t able to attend this session, the recording will soon be available to Summit attendees on Omniture.com.

If you want to learn more about the new release, I encourage you to check out this video of my colleague, product manager Mark Tuyay, demonstrating the new capabilities now available in Adobe Search&Promote.

Better targeting with Alliant = better marketing

adobe-suite-test-targetThe Adobe® Online Marketing Suite, powered by Omniture®  just keeps getting better. In our on-going commitment to provide our customers with the very best alternatives and technologies for creating relevant experiences for their site visitors, customers and prospects, Adobe is thrilled to have entered into a partnership with Alliant. This partnership allows Adobe® Test&Target™, powered by Omniture® customers to add, as an upgrade option, direct-to-consumer purchase behavior data aggregated by Alliant as targetable audience segments directly into the Test&Target campaign-building interface. This same data will be available for integrations into other Adobe Online Marketing Suite products later this year.

Alliant is a leading aggregator of multi-channel transactional data. Test&Target customers can create targetable segments from 65 key marketing performance measures such as: recency, frequency, monetary value, product affinity and payment history. This data represents actual consumer behavior summarized at the zip code level and ranked from 1 (highest) to 5 (lowest) based on recent activity from over 130 million US consumers.

This combined value of Alliant data within Test&Target provides users several benefits. Three of these benefits can be summarized as: 1. Audience continuity, 2. Avoiding the cold start, 3. Profile augmentation. Some further details for each:

1. Audience continuity: Many marketing organizations are often utilizing 3rd party data in various marketing and campaign activities. For example, this type of data is particularly popular in direct mail. With this same data now available within Test&Target, a marketing organization can coordinate campaigns and messages to the same audience segments across channels.

2. Avoiding the cold start: Some marketers may not have an in-depth understanding of the make-up of their online audience. If the majority of your online audience is completely anonymous and unknown to you - with Alliant data you can immediately begin targeting campaigns to desirable audience segments that may exist within your online traffic.

3. Profile augmentation: No matter if you know a little or a lot about your online audience, additional insight will help you more effectively target that audience with relevant content and experiences. Adding Alliant data to your testing and targeting activities  provides an additional lens through which you can scrutinize and understand your online audience. This data also provides valuable data points to the anonymous profiles you are building that can fuel effective segment-based targeting or fully-automated targeting activities.

In sum, the addition of Alliant data to Test&Target has multiple benefits. For illustration, this data set integrated natively into Test&Target allows a marketer to go from either doing no or basic experience targeting to a point where they could literally provide a specific offer to site visitors within a specific zip code who have purchased cosmetic products online within the past 60 days with a credit card. At Adobe, we are thrilled to offer our customers access to this rich and insightful data set to help marketers build relevant and effective experiences for their end users.

For information about this solution, please contact your Adobe representative.

To read the related Alliant press release: http://bit.ly/9P1zXe

Online Testing Catches the Wave

A short while ago, Forrester Research released its first ever Forrester Wave Report dedicated to evaluating online testing vendors. For those of us making a living developing, marketing and selling these solutions, this report is an excellent acknowledgement that more and more companies are getting serious about building better online experiences for their customers and building better results for their online businesses. The concerted focus of a major analyst firm like Forrester Research on the testing space is proof positive that a growing number of companies are looking at the space with the intent to invest.

Forrester Research confirms this and provides a reason why: “Interest in online testing is surging, and for good reason. Marketers cannot intuitively divine the wants and needs of anonymous and fickle Web site visitors. The only way to know for sure how visitors will respond to a given treatment is to run a test and track the outcome against a control.”

We couldn’t agree more. Those of us supporting Adobe Test&Target, powered by Omniture, have spent the past several years helping our customers realize the potential of an iterative, thoughtful testing plan. It’s tremendously gratifying to hear a customer’s language shift from “we think this should work”, or, “this is what we did last year”, even, “I don’t know why we’re running this content”, to “Let’s test it”. Our most recent poll shows that the content with up to 70% of online marketing is still being dictated by a single person’s best guess or opinion as to what will perform best.adobe-suite-test-target

Testing your content and offers allows you to tap into the most meaningful source for what will work and what won’t – your customers. Utilizing proven testing technology and sound strategies to let your visitors “vote with their clicks” on what is relevant and compelling can up-level the effectiveness of your online marketing like little else can.

In Forrester’s report, Adobe Test&Target was recognized as a leader amongst vendors providing testing applications and services. Forrester evaluated vendors against 82 criteria grouped into three buckets: current offering, strategy and market presence.  Adobe was called out specifically as excelling in the overall usability of Test&Target and content support as well customer satisfaction. In fact, Adobe received a perfect 5-out-of-5 score in the service and support and customer satisfaction categories – highlighting our dedication to providing a satisfactory and rewarding experience to our customers.

Although we are thrilled that Test&Target was commended for “exhibit(ing) strength in almost every dimension evaluated” we continue to assert that the true value of any testing program lies in its ability to further an overall optimization and content personalization effort. Testing can reveal how various segments of your online audience respond to different experiences. Why stop there? Once testing results are known, target the winning experiences to the audiences that find them most compelling and watch your conversion rates and engagement start to climb.

We commend Forrester Research for conducting such a thorough review. It’s heartening to have our “marketer-controlled” approach to testing technology and services be recognized as a leader in the marketplace and to have testing in general recognized as gaining further acceptance in the online marketing landscape.

To download The Forrester Wave: Online Testing, Q3 2010 click here: http://www.omniture.com/offer/935 .

Happy testing.

Omniture Analytics and Optimization Extensions Now Available Within CS5

We’re pleased to share that Omniture analytics and optimization extensions are newly integrated within CS5, in the form of Omniture SiteCatalyst and Test&Target. Adobe/Omniture customers can now deliver more engaging and relevant content by constantly measuring consumer preferences (with SiteCatalyst) and applying that knowledge to optimize their marketing content and campaign performance (with Test&Target) higher upstream within the creative workflow. These extensions are available now at no additional cost to customers who have licensed Adobe and Omniture products. Read more about it here.

We’d also like to tell you about SiteCatalyst NetAverages, a new online service available within CS5, which provides mobile and Internet usage benchmark data to help designers optimize creative for Web and mobile screens much earlier in the content creation process. Drive your designs based on the most popular browser and operating system configurations and optimize designs and images to fit within the constraints of users’ desktop or mobile device screen sizes. You can even track the latest trends and see when a specific browser or mobile device has gained or lost market share. The NetAverages service is available at no additional cost for a limited time. Find out more here.

Image: Use data about popular system configurations from SiteCatalyst NetAverages to help drive design choices.
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