July 2012 Build­ing a Cul­ture of Opti­miza­tion Round-up: Must-Read Tips and Best Prac­tices from Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Experts

In July, we focused a lot of our social media con­tent around the value of build­ing an inter­nal cul­ture of dig­i­tal opti­miza­tion. Adobe experts shared weekly “Quick Tips” about how to lay the foun­da­tion inter­nally to cre­ate and main­tain an opti­miza­tion pro­gram and the value of reg­u­larly shar­ing results with key stake­hold­ers across the busi­ness. We also curated related arti­cles from across the web and shared them via our @adobedigmktg Twit­ter account and Face­book page. We’ve com­piled all of July’s great con­tent here in one blog post for easy ref­er­ence. Let us know what other types of monthly con­tent you would like to see in the future. 


Week One: The com­pa­nies that build the most suc­cess­ful opti­miza­tion pro­grams are those that start with sen­si­ble goals, build opti­miza­tion into their orga­ni­za­tional lifestyle, and then stick to their res­o­lu­tion to build an effec­tive opti­miza­tion orga­ni­za­tion. Start small with sim­ple tests that you can exe­cute quickly and that will cre­ate inter­nal excite­ment and enthu­si­asm for the pro­gram. Set rea­son­able goals and write them down. Get sup­port from your exec­u­tive team to spon­sor your out­lined goals and ask for the help in dis­lodg­ing road­blocks. Review progress reg­u­larly with your team and exec­u­tive sponsor(s). Expect set­backs as you learn that not every test will go accord­ing to plan or gen­er­ate a “win­ning” result; but every test offers insights that can inform your next round of opti­miza­tion. Like any good habit, it’s impor­tant that opti­miza­tion become a part of your every­day cor­po­rate cul­ture. Then keep the momen­tum going! Mea­sure your pro­gram year over year to gauge your con­tin­ued progress and set a goal to achieve the next level.

Cather­ine Wright over­sees a team of strate­gic Adobe Test&Target spe­cial­ists and works with lead­ing brands such as Dell, Sears, Intuit, Stub­Hub and Ances​try​.com to help them build effec­tive opti­miza­tion pro­grams that deliver sus­tain­able results.

Week Two: Effec­tive test­ing and opti­miza­tion is much more than about just hav­ing a good test­ing tool – you need to build an opti­miza­tion orga­ni­za­tion to be suc­cess­ful in the long run.

For this, it’s crit­i­cal to obtain ded­i­cated test­ing resources to cre­ate test vari­a­tions, and to run and review tests (not just rely on your busy web ana­lysts or online mar­keters to do this) – and with­out buy-in and approval from senior exec­u­tives, you will get nowhere fast.

Also crit­i­cal is hav­ing improved test­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion, in par­tic­u­lar weekly and quar­terly test­ing reviews to learn and iter­ate on your tests to gain bet­ter results. Improv­ing your project man­age­ment and test pri­or­i­ti­za­tion process is impor­tant, and mov­ing to an agile web­site deploy­ment model helps you test small changes quickly and effi­ciently (with­out hav­ing to wait for tra­di­tional long web­site release cycles for your tests to go live).

Rich Page is a con­ver­sion solu­tions spe­cial­ist at Adobe and the author of the new book, ‘Web­site Opti­miza­tion: An Hour a Day.’ He is pas­sion­ate about all things web­site opti­miza­tion and ana­lyt­ics, with more than 10 years of expe­ri­ence test­ing and improv­ing web­sites.

Week Three: Every test­ing pro­gram should have a monthly show­case meet­ing to share learn­ings and build excite­ment. Invite col­leagues from all depart­ments and dis­ci­plines for a wide vari­ety of per­spec­tives. Ask your busi­ness stake­holder for each test to review what was tested and why it was tested, and then flip it to the audi­ence mem­bers to vote on the win­ning expe­ri­ence and explain their ratio­nale. When your stake­holder shares the results, encour­age her to focus on how the test drove busi­ness value through new rev­enue, new cus­tomer insights or even more test ideas.

Make it sound fun and valu­able and pretty soon, stake­hold­ers from new areas of the busi­ness will beat down your door to run tests of their own!

Stephen Rat­po­janakul over­sees a team of Adobe Dig­i­tal opti­miza­tion con­sul­tants and has worked with com­pa­nies like Com­cast, TD Amer­i­trade and The Wash­ing­ton Post to drive rev­enue through improved cus­tomer expe­ri­ences.

Week Four: The biggest gap that I see with clients is a sin­gle point of fail­ure. Many clients have only one per­son run­ning their test­ing pro­gram and they for­get to have a suc­ces­sion plan in place in case they should be pro­moted, switch jobs, or leave the work force. As a result, most clients typ­i­cally find them­selves at a huge loss when this per­son is gone. My chal­lenge to clients is

to think about what back-up plan they should put in place to grow their opti­miza­tion pro­gram. What skill set would the new hire need? What train­ing is needed? How would the knowl­edge trans­fer occur? How long would it take to get a new per­son up-to-speed?

All too often, clients are faced with the need to back­fill for a test­ing strate­gist and they are com­pletely caught off-guard. Once the client hires the new per­son they end up hav­ing to start over because the com­pany didn’t plan in advance. Hav­ing a con­tin­gency plan in place is the sin­gle most impor­tant tip that clients could lever­age to ensure that they max­i­mize their test­ing pro­gram. Don’t lose the momen­tum you’ve built in cre­at­ing a test­ing cul­ture, have a plan to con­tinue to expand it.

As a Solu­tions Spe­cial­ist at Adobe, Kim Grif­fiths con­cen­trates her focus on help­ing clients grow and mature their opti­miza­tion pro­grams. She espe­cially enjoys facil­i­tat­ing client forums for lead­ers of opti­miza­tion pro­grams, called Leaders&Learners, where the group dis­cusses and gen­er­ates ideas for lead­er­ship of world class opti­miza­tion programs.


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