SOURCE: Webtrends

Webtrends

May 20, 2015 08:00 ET

Webtrends Shares Top Proven Optimization Best Practices

PORTLAND, OR--(Marketwired - May 20, 2015) - Understanding how modern consumers engage across the increasingly complex multi-channel world is a puzzle that continues to challenge digital marketers every day, especially when it comes to building personalized and relevant interactions across each consumer touch point. This process is known as digital optimization. And while digital optimization is most commonly recognized as a powerful method to bolster brand engagement, many enterprises don't realize that it is more than a marketing tactic and enterprises in particular have unique needs.

In the November 2014 report entitled, "Mix Art and Science for Marketing Success," Forrester Research stated that enterprise marketers must "get better at the science of marketing -- using data and insights to understand the link between marketing investments and business outcomes." When marketers think about using data, it's important to remember that those insights don't stop with digital analytics. A truly data-driven marketing culture also has an effective optimization program that will continuously adapt and scale itself to align with the bottom line. This is accomplished with repeated cycles of measurement, testing, analysis and iteration.

The most effective optimization strategy for enterprises cannot be built overnight. It takes expertise that can only be acquired over time through rigorous testing, dynamic adaptation and strategic counsel. However, getting the groundwork in place is a pivotal step in the right direction, which is why we've outlined four best practices to help your organization establish a reliable foundation for an effective enterprise-scale optimization program:

Best Practice 1: Define a measurement strategy that aligns to your business goals

Consider what a successful optimization program should deliver to your business based upon input from across the organization, as one team's measure of success is not the same as another's. Once business goals have been defined, you can map out a measurement strategy accordingly. When doing so, choose a measurement approach that will enable you to compare program performance against business goals and justify decision-making. This ensures that you are identifying the metrics required to properly measure and report on success, and ultimately, demonstrate how optimization contributes to the bottom line.

Best Practice 2: Segment your customers

Customer segmentation should be the bedrock of any optimization program. Design your segmentation scheme early on but don't over-complicate it. To start, think about a few large consumer segments and then build your program around the needs of each one. When doing so, ensure the approach aligns with your measurement strategy so that you are collecting the data that is required to properly identify and quantify performance by segment. The result is a program that is more targeted, learnings that are aligned to the nuances of each customer segment and results that are far more accurate and actionable.

Best Practice 3: Take a programmatic approach and test, test and test

Testing is not a one-time event, it's a continuous and iterative program that should be deployed to enhance engagement and ensure that you are adapting digital campaigns to changing consumer preferences. Make sure to begin each test with a hypothesis -- one that may challenge your assumptions; this is essential to develop tests with a clear outcome. Remember that you learn as much from a failed test as you do from a successful one. From there, the process for each test should include test plan creation, variation design, test development, QA, test execution and results analysis. Be sure to take into account any scale considerations, since in enterprise environments, the volume of testing may result in multiple test running on the same page simultaneously. To avoid collisions, in which the same element is in use within multiple tests, ensure that your organization's process makes avoidance possible or your optimization tool ensures clear identification. Don't forget to document your results, and use those results to influence the next tests.

Best Practice 4: Assemble the right team

A holistic optimization program requires more than a web analyst and developer. Before you start, ensure that you have the right team of internal and external contributors in place. These contributors will help develop and drive the evolution of your optimization program over time and ensure that the strategy contributes to your bottom line. Access to internal experts and stakeholders is key to a successful optimization program, but also be sure to welcome advisory from outside experts in optimization as necessary. Tapping into seasoned professionals is extremely beneficial when it comes to large-scale and complex projects that require the programmatic application of best practices and in-depth technical expertise.

Useful links:
Webtrends Optimize Overview
Top 10 Questions to Ask About Enterprise Optimization
Webtrends Twitter: @Webtrends

About Webtrends
For more than 20 years, Webtrends has helped companies make sense of their customer data to drive digital marketing success. By combining innovative technology with our team of trusted and creative advisors, our solutions are designed to provide actionable insights, increase customer engagement and boost revenue. 

We partner with companies at all levels of digital maturity and offer data-driven marketing solutions in measurement and optimization. We work closely with approximately 2,000 global brands including Microsoft, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Kimberly-Clark, HSBC, Marks & Spencer, npower, BMW, Toyota, The Telegraph, Lastminute.com and many more.

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