How Website Optimization Can Determine the Most Compelling Combination of Content and Design for Your Website (by Interwoven).

The event was very interesting and inspiring – thank you, Interwoven!  Even if I thought I studied everything available about marketing testing (what was easy to find and free of charge 🙂  ), evaluated multivariate and post-click marketing with segmentation, I found very useful insights in the presentations.

Sitting at the same table with the presenters (a lucky occurrence) , I was excited to see that other marketers are engaged in tactics about which most of us in the audience can only dream…  From another side, the obstacles that advanced marketers faced brought the world of testing to reality. 

The presentation suggested the audience to guess on the most successful variations of one of the tests. Usual parameters: testing an image, a call to action, a form field layout. The audience of experienced marketers guessed…  and only 3 people guessed correctly 2 out of 5 elements…  Very humbling experience… We can not – and should not – guess… we must test.

North West Airlines presented a wonderful case study of significant improvement through multivariate testing. Even if the company is not quite moved to the adventure of testing of the home page, they started small and received very good results. Bravo!

Interesting points from the presentation:

  • One of the problem that marketers face is the lack of easy technical capabilities to provide targeted content to targeted audiences.
  • Interesting concept of “speculative” web design as the result of the “hippo” decision making (highest paid person in the organization decided what should be done). Speculative web design can be eliminated with testing
  • Interwoven has an interesting product allowing determining personas based on testing and enabling persona targeting (adaptive targeting). The method allows discovering personas and the content to which they are responsive. I would love to learn more about it…
  • Testing can include time of day parameter (particularly useful for b-to-b). And I currently use daytime targeting in PPC based on nothing else but “my best judgment…” 
  • How NWA started to pay attention to testing?  The company discovered that competitors were doing multivariate testing. This was sufficiently convincing. The company also had a great success in e-mail marketing testing what made it e-mail marketing leader in its category. Excellent PPC targeting lead also to special recognition from Google.  
  • Why NWA selected Optimost: availability of service and proven technology. The service element allows each client of Optimost to have an optimization team of 3 people (account person, technology person, and analyst who designs the tests and provides reports).
  • NWA started from less important part of the site to learn more about the testing and evaluate its effectiveness.
  • One of the tests showed that reducing marketing copy (that marketing thought was invaluable) lead to more conversions. Marketing became excited with less copy and more conversions.
  • One of the tests challenged the branding rule of not using people in images. The image with the person produced more results than images without people. Image that is not quite “on brand” stayed… because it increased conversions by almost 6%… 🙂
  • Current tests of NWA include flash/no flash landing pages

Hm… Interesting development in the industry: while Omniture acquired Offermatica and tries to position itself not as an analytics company, but as an optimization player, Interwoven acquired Optimost and ties to connect the optimization with content management. Time will tell what could be the winning combination… Ha! This is an existing time in marketing!

Great event!  Delicious food! 🙂

One thought on “How Website Optimization Can Determine the Most Compelling Combination of Content and Design for Your Website (by Interwoven).

  1. I’ll go ahead and lend my vote to “time will tell”: optimization needs to be tied with content management. I’m biased, of course, as my company produced one of the first content-centric post-click marketing platforms (LiveBall) in the market. But the inspiration for building it was seeing the challenges that marketers were having in actually creating and deploying landing pages and post-click experiences — which has to happen before you can optimize them.

    Definitely agree: it’s an exciting time in marketing!

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