6th Inning: Five big league plays for optimization success
As your company builds and matures its optimization program, it’s worth considering how you can benefit from the trail already blazed by other successful optimization programs. Winning in the optimization game requires effective plays, and I’d like to share some of the commonalities among the successful, more mature optimization teams that I’ve come across.
To help your game, we’re about to release a new version of Adobe Target with a completely redesigned interface, and invite you to participate in an upcoming webinar to learn more about how the solution can help you become an optimization all-star.
Let’s look at five plays that can help you win in the big leagues:
1. Accelerate your testing velocity
Many companies engage in limited A/B testing, but this does not amount to a true optimization program. Testing offers little value when not used regularly and in a disciplined fashion. Effective optimization requires ongoing testing built around a well-developed test strategy and well-defined methodologies.
Successful organizations make optimization an iterative process in which successes inform what and where they test next. This enables them to test more effectively and demonstrate value to management. In turn, that helps them gain the budget, resources, and head count to expand the program, run more tests, and see even greater returns.
2. Use a variety of strategies
As a general rule, I’ve noticed that companies with the most successful optimization programs use a combination of strategies. Many of these programs start with simple approaches that deliver quick wins—for example, geotargeting, in which content is targeted based on a visitor’s location. They might also target based on content affinity, another proven and popular approach for increasing relevance and revenue. As these programs get quick wins under their belt, they gain experience and build the confidence to start using more strategies.
3. Leverage more data
Great marketers have great instincts, but if they don’t combine data-driven insights with instincts, they limit their effectiveness. Data informs marketing decisions and often reveals anomalies and trends that might not be readily apparent to even the most seasoned marketers.
Successful optimization programs leverage as much data about visitors as they can to identify high-value customers. With the right data, marketers can identify the audience segments that convert more and generate more revenue, enabling them to best allocate limited marketing dollars. The more data they use to understand their visitors, the better equipped they are to serve them.
4. Extend your optimization reach
Many companies start by optimizing only their landing pages, testing to see what content drives higher conversions from paid and organic search traffic. I’ve noticed that the more mature optimization organizations have expanded those efforts, identifying additional high-impact, high-potential locations on a website, and testing and targeting on those locations to improve their offers and content and increase conversion.
Those same organizations also extend their testing and targeting to other digital channels—for example, to email, social sites such as Facebook, and mobile sites and apps. To do this, they must often work across organizational teams, for example social marketing, to build optimization strategies into their marketing efforts.
5. “Democratize” optimization
By democratization, I’m talking about enabling marketers outside of the core optimization team to try out their ideas by testing and targeting content and experiences to their important audiences. These marketers include product and brand managers, editorial teams, content strategists, and merchants—people who have a big stake in the success of their companies’ digital strategy and want to have more control over the experiences that impact KPIs. Typically, line-of-business marketers are not experienced testers, so the tools they use must build in best practices and intuitively walk them through each step required to build an effective test.
To learn more about how to optimize in the big leagues, consider registering for our upcoming webinar about the new release of Adobe Target!