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8 Great Tips for Building Optimization and Personalization Expertise

customer experiences

Optimization and personalization professionals from a number of financial institutions have shared insights and best practices they’ve learned through experiences using Adobe Target to optimize and personalize customer experiences. Optimization lead Sigi Bessesen of global bank HSBC shared his experiences and best practices in a recent article, as did Mike Girard, Senior Manager of Testing and Optimization at a leading Fortune 100 financial services institution.

We recently had the opportunity to interview Adobe’s Drew Burns, who provided the following tips for someone getting started in personalization and optimization:

Tip 1. Read the documentation

Read the Adobe Target documentation so that you can fully leverage what the tool can do. The documentation will also give you ideas — maybe small ones — for activities you can launch to get some initial experience and wins with the solution.

Tip 2. Check traffic levels

With optimization you need enough traffic for your test to reach statistical significance. Your homepage probably has plenty of traffic, but pages deeper in the site may not. Pay close attention to traffic levels, and set up activities on pages where you have sufficient traffic. 

Tip 3. Use Analytics for Target (A4T)

The beauty of A4T is that all your testing results are in Adobe Analytics. That means you don’t have to kill an activity that’s running if you want to change the principal metric. You can also look at test results from different angles without having to run the test again. For example, let’s say you run a four-week test to new versus returning visitors on desktop machines. If someone asks if smartphone and desktop users responded differently, you can provide the answer right away. Even though you didn’t run the test specifically to smartphone users, you can still see how they responded. Without A4T, you would have to run a new test. 

Tip 4. Get stakeholder support in advance

Every stakeholder — UX, line of business, copywriting, tagging, analytics, and IT — may have a stake in your test results. When you create a hypothesis and variations to test it, they may challenge your variations. The earlier you involve stakeholders in the activity the better; your test variations are typically much better creatively and you have greater stakeholder buy-in for rolling out the winner.

Tip 5. A/B test to update website guidelines

Most corporate entities have website guidelines. Sometimes those guidelines need to be revamped. Challenge those guidelines by A/B testing them, quantifying the impact of these changes, and updating guidelines based on what worked. Then share what’s been learned with stakeholders who use the guidelines.

Tip 6. Pick the low hanging fruit that aligns with company objectives first

While everyone advises going after the quick wins first, it’s important to ensure they align with the company’s main objectives. Your program will get better visibility when you show management results from a test that’s already aligned with the KPIs they care about. Also, be sure to report using metrics that clearly show the benefit — like impact on annual revenue rather than button clicks.

Tip 7. Network and find mentors

Network with peers at events like Adobe Summit and the Adobe Experience Cloud Networking group, but also connect with a mentor who can help show you the ropes. Fortunately, most practitioners are happy to share their knowledge.

Tip 8. Watch webinars, read articles

Many larger agencies have deep experience in optimization, so their websites are a great source of information. Consider reading blog posts like these on The Adobe Blog and Peep Laja’s on CXL, but also attending Adobe Target webinars like the recent Mobile Skill Builder series (register for the November 21 Mobile Skill Builder today).

Want to learn more about Adobe Target?

We always appreciate that Adobe Target users are so willing to share their experiences, insights, and tips and tricks to help others personalize and optimize more and better. But you can get great information about using Adobe Target from other sources, too. Subscribe to the Adobe Target Newsletter, visit the newsletter archive, and visit the Adobe Target area of Experience League.


Drew Burns
Drew Burns is the Group Product Marketing Head for Adobe Target and works to evangelize the practice of personalization and content targeting in the digital marketing world.

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