It’s here. You’ve reviewed the dimen­sions of opti­miza­tion matu­rity and you’ve given a thor­ough and hon­est assess­ment of where your orga­ni­za­tion is and where it could actu­ally be in terms of test­ing and opti­miza­tion. So now what?

Now I give you the ulti­mate tool to see how you stack up: Adobe is rolling out the Opti­miza­tion Matu­rity Model, an inter­ac­tive tool designed to give mar­keters a com­pre­hen­sive, third-party review of their orga­ni­za­tions, com­par­ing and con­trast­ing their efforts and best prac­tices to that of highly engaged com­pa­nies in a host of indus­tries. This tool comes after more than seven years of in-depth con­sul­ta­tion and hands-on work in hun­dreds of busi­nesses span­ning all indus­tries and all plat­forms, includ­ing Web, mobile, email, site search, dis­play adver­tis­ing, and tablet. Through the inte­gra­tion and uti­liza­tion of Adobe opti­miza­tion and tar­get­ing tech­nol­ogy, along with rec­og­nized best prac­tices, our com­pany helped these orga­ni­za­tions become more effec­tive, more effi­cient, and more stream­lined across core aspects of their dig­i­tal busi­ness, gain­ing the invalu­able matu­rity across the six dimen­sions of opti­miza­tion maturity.

Some of the part­ner com­pa­nies are highly mature and evolved with regard to their test­ing and opti­miza­tion efforts. Some grew tremen­dously over the course of the study, through exten­sive improve­ments and enhance­ments within each of the six dimen­sions. And oth­ers remain periph­er­ally involved in test­ing and opti­miza­tion, run­ning a few sim­ple tests month after month, with lim­ited ratio­nale behind those initiatives.

In other words, there’s an orga­ni­za­tion just like yours in the mix. We aren’t here to tell you what you already know—that you are or aren’t (or are sort of) an opti­miza­tion behe­moth. This tool will help you effec­tively bench­mark your orga­ni­za­tion within five buck­ets of matu­rity and, from this com­pre­hen­sive under­stand­ing, drive mean­ing­ful improve­ments and help your brand move through these unique stages and toward deeply embed­ded test­ing and opti­miza­tion prac­tices that per­me­ate every cor­ner of your business.

As I men­tioned in my ear­lier posts, the Opti­miza­tion Matu­rity Model is based on a set of weighted cri­te­ria that emerged directly from this large sam­ple of your peers and com­peti­tors. When assessed in tan­dem, these cri­te­ria pro­vide a com­plete appraisal of an organization’s dig­i­tal opti­miza­tion sophis­ti­ca­tion. Keep in mind, though, that due to the weighted nature of the model’s scor­ing sys­tem, two com­pa­nies could rank the same while excelling—and falling short—in com­pletely dif­fer­ent dimen­sions. They can be dif­fer­ent, yes, and still be equally mature and sophis­ti­cated from an over­all test­ing and opti­miza­tion view­point. But no mat­ter where your orga­ni­za­tion thrives and stum­bles, the end result is the same: As a com­pany matures, it expe­ri­ences greater value—interaction, engage­ment, and ROI, ROI, ROI—from its dig­i­tal opti­miza­tion efforts.

So I’ve talked about the six dimen­sions in depth. Add them up and you get five lev­els of opti­miza­tion maturity:

  • Inci­den­tal. Test­ing and opti­miza­tion efforts are spo­radic or even ad hoc with lim­ited sup­port, resources, and an inabil­ity to lever­age the emerg­ing data.
  • Expanded. Here, inter­est and excite­ment exists, usu­ally in large part due to some con­ver­sion and rev­enue lifts, but lim­ited and infor­mal test­ing still dominates.
  • Dis­ci­plined. Once at this stage, the orga­ni­za­tion has inte­grated opti­miza­tion as a core strat­egy, but efforts likely aren’t mov­ing at full effi­ciency because of a lack of expe­ri­ence and exper­tise. More tests are wanted and the reach is pick­ing up—so now what?
  • Strate­gic align­ment. As the name sug­gests, at this level the orga­ni­za­tion has aligned its strate­gic goals with regard to test­ing and opti­miza­tion pro­grams and a com­pre­hen­sive roadmap dri­ves suc­cess for­ward. Opti­miza­tion tech­nol­ogy is typ­i­cally in place as is a strong buy-in from the top down.
  • Embed­ded. Very few orga­ni­za­tions reach this final, highly desir­able stage. At the embed­ded level, opti­miza­tion is just that—embedded in every­thing that takes place, serv­ing as an inte­gral force that dri­ves mas­sive value for the com­pany and its consumers.

As you move through these lev­els, not only does the value of your test­ing and opti­miza­tion efforts grow, but orga­ni­za­tions typ­i­cally expe­ri­ence many other high-value ben­e­fits, includ­ing increased test­ing veloc­ity and process refine­ment. What’s more, as strate­gic goals align with orga­ni­za­tion­ally aligned opti­miza­tion goals, suc­cess expands beyond the core opti­miza­tion unit and across all par­tic­i­pat­ing cor­ners of the brand.

Once you’ve input your organization’s crit­i­cal infor­ma­tion tied to the six matu­rity dimen­sions, it’s impor­tant to remem­ber that we’ve observed a long tail-esque dis­tri­b­u­tion, with many at the inci­den­tal and expanded lev­els. The upside, of course, is that this means there’s plenty of room for growth and move­ment within vir­tu­ally any organization.

Enough small talk—let’s eval­u­ate. Take your notes from the six dimen­sions as well as any crit­i­cal infor­ma­tion and ini­tia­tives you have in place and get to it. The answers likely won’t sur­prise you if you’ve done your home­work, but see­ing an unbi­ased assess­ment of your orga­ni­za­tion com­pared to others—especially oth­ers out­side of your tra­di­tional purview—is an invalu­able exer­cise, and one we know will help put you on a pos­i­tive tra­jec­tory almost immediately.

So, how did you score? Tell me in the com­ments sec­tion below. Curi­ous to know if you’re sur­prised or affirmed, charged up or scratch­ing your head—and what, if any­thing, you’re going to do about it. Let’s make this a dia­logue and a hub for future growth and expansion.

I’ll wrap up the series with some “if/thens” plus a few rec­om­men­da­tions for com­pa­nies look­ing to move up a level or two. They’ll be action­able, I promise—no sense in know­ing what you have to do, but not know­ing how to get there.

In the mean­time, though, I’ll be check­ing back often look­ing for your reviews of the tool along with where your assess­ment left you. Then we’ll roll up our sleeves and get to it, together.

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