MIMA Salon – Web Analytics, Testing and Optimization

As usually, the event was interesting and insightful.   Yes, a very photogenic back of my head can be spotted on a couple of event pictures.  🙂

Jamie Roche, the founder and president of Offermatica, shared his thoughts on marketing approach to testing and valuable suggestions how to navigate political landscape. Plus, he happened to be an exciting speaker.

Some ideas from the event:

  • It is easier to test landing pages than home page (less politics and internal fighting)
  • Easy testing democratized the process; anybody who has an idea can test it. Earlier only ideas of top management were used.
  • Interesting testing results – complex nav worked better during week days, and simple nav worked better during weekends
  • What to do if “ugly one wins”…  If an “ugly” version is liked by customers, it is preferred probably not because it is “ugly.” Discover why this version is preferred and make it “pretty” so everybody can be happy 🙂
  • General web page structure – 7 elements on the page and one of them is dominant
  • After one test Microsoft saw 300% improvement on a landing page
  • Convincing management that tests are useful: Offermatica  made list of companies that did testing by the testing activity and the company that needed to be convinced was on the bottom. Executives don’t like to be on the bottom of the list…  the list itself is not that important… 🙂

Testing concepts – revolutionary and evolutionary. Revolutionary changes are needed to determine if something drastically different works better; evolutionary changes are tested to fine-tune the change if it was successful.

Explanation of tension between IT and Marketing: different purposes. IT may not make mistakes; if it does, the company will suffer. Marketing must try new approaches what leads to acceptance of mistakes. If marketing does attempt something what can be a mistake, the company will suffer.

For success with any kind of testing, marketers need to cut through

  • Brand (slight variation that lift conversions could be eventually accepted)
  • IT (testing should be in marketing hands)
  • SOPs (testing is not possible if every version requires 5 signatures)

How to start???

  • Start with hypotheses… “I believe [something bad] happens because [……]. Let us try changing it.”
  • Quantify the outcome. The main question: is it worth the test?
  • Take risks
  • Testing should be part of job function (testing should allow to do the job better). Testing should not be concentrated in a separate department.
  • Be realistic. 5% – 8% lift is good!!
  • Divide and conquer…

Food was good… 🙂


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