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 Ancestry.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.


Search Engine Watch: Top 20 Conversion Optimization Tips


Naoshi Yamauchi: 7 Keys To Building a Kick-Ass Optimization Culture


Digital Marketing Blog: Who Owns Optimization?


Econsultancy: 5 Best Practice Tips for Optimizing Product Pages Online


iMediaConnection: 5 ways to optimize video for search


Digital Marketing Blog: How to Stick to an Optimization Resolution


Search Engine Journal: 10 Important Conversion Optimization Tips That Make Your Site Bad@$$


Rich Page: The Definitive Website Optimization Best Practices Checklist


Econsultancy: Seven Rules for Conversion Optimization


B2B Lead Blog: Lead Optimization – 10 Audience Answered Questions


Econsultancy: How Retailers Are Optimizing For Tablet Shoppers?


Digital Marketing Blog: Intuit/TurboTax Canada boosts order conversion by 11% and increases revenue with Adobe