Advantages of the New Adobe Target: Customer Journey Optimization

We now continue our saga about the scalability, sustainability and growth advantages that have now been reimagined within the new Adobe Target. The key areas of development we have focused on over several years map to the real-life maturity process of any optimization program. Part one showed how Rick Patterson, our optimization leader at a fictitious expectant parents’ website, easily implemented Adobe Target (and used the standard guided workflow) to run effective A/B/n and multivariate testing in high-value locations for immediate returns and insights. In Part two, Rick leveraged a unified progressive Adobe Marketing Cloud visitor profile (updated with all CRM and third-party data sources) to define sophisticated audience segments for testing and targeting activities. We saw him use built-in automated machine learning to surface the most predictive variables to include in segmentation. This clarity and sophistication ensures that no data or opportunity is overlooked and that he’s moving forward with the best strategy and approach to refining that strategy over time.

But Rick is well aware that isolated high-value testing and improvement of the customer experience through validated personalization rules is only a first step. What about the customer’s next touchpoint, or the next page in their journey through your website, mobile app, or other channel? When Rick is ready to expand his optimization and personalization efforts to multipage and cross-channel scenarios and activities, Adobe Target is ready to mature with Rick with our next area of development: Customer Journey Optimization.

Rick can navigate to any element on any page he wishes to create variations of for testing, and he can apply these variations to multiple pages through our template-testing feature. Once the element is identifiable by our tool, it can exist in different variations through these blocks of pages. For example, if he wishes to alter a button or a menu that spans across an entire domain or a block of product pages, he can do so easily by selecting the block of pages in a drop-down. This approach will also give him performance-based information and results by viewing how these variations affect performance across a broader set of pages.

While a test on the hero banner of a homepage has a tremendous amount of value given the importance of this high-traffic, high-value location, it may be misleading if we don’t test and evaluate the content that is leading potential customers to this homepage. What was the link, display ad, social experience or email that drove this customer to the site? While we can test one potential banner against another, and gauge which of the two is a better performer, might we be missing the mark based on an audience that is coming from a particular offer offsite?

Rick agrees that the best scenario would be to know what offer is the best to deliver through these acquisition channels based on our ability to connect them to the corresponding home or landing page. Thankfully, Adobe Target allows Rick to test and target the best performing offsite content to distinct segments (e.g., the best discount on baby toys in a display ad on Yahoo to grandparents who like to spoil their newborn grandchild) and to connect that to either a test or a targeted offer on the homepage that resonates with this customer preference or need. Target’s form-based workflow allows you to select any location within a display ad, the body of an email, a social application or experience, or any content placed on a partner site, and to execute a test or a targeted activity in this location. Testing within test scenarios allows you to bridge the offsite to onsite experience. This doesn’t only apply to content in Adobe Target; Rick can deliver optimized recommendations through the same workflow to any offsite location. Adobe Target can allow Rick to not only connect the full customer experience, from acquisition to website to conversion, but also to connect these experiences across divisions within his organization. The acquisition teams can now build and execute Target optimization and personalization activities with Rick’s oversight and guidance to ensure that no touchpoint is left without delivering a targeted experience.

Another cool callout that I love to share with the “Ricks” of the world is the ability to test and target content and recommendations in email at open time. This is very powerful stuff. Imagine Rick sends out a million emails in a campaign. He can test the content and the recommendations algorithms within the emails as they are opened. Now, let’s say the test reaches significance after the first 200,000 emails are opened. Rick can target the remaining 800,000 emails with the best-performing version of his email offer and recommendations in real-time for maximizing returns. He can also change out the email content in remaining unopened emails if a threshold is met. Email caching, such as is found in Gmail, doesn’t affect this feature as there is an easy way to disable the cache.

Another major innovation is Adobe Target’s ability to optimize in the “ Internet of Things,” or upon Internet-enabled consoles, networks and screens. Our form-based workflow and set of more than 40 application programming interface (API) methods enable this ability as well. Imagine having that progressive profile and combining it with the ability to test and target content on a grocery store digital kiosk, inside a gaming console, on a set-top cable box and entertainment system, on an ATM, or on a screen in your car. No other optimization solution currently offers this, and the potential connection between personalized mobile app engagement, digital screens and signage is huge!

Rick has now broadened his horizons in terms of testing on multiple pages and across all of his digital channels. But what about across multipage experiences on his web or mobile site? What if he wants to connect a test or targeted experience across several sequential pages or a block of pages on his site? The new Adobe Target has a very elegant approach to this. You can literally tab through several pages, defining how variations will be displayed and targeted, and what success metrics and conversion goals you wish to track. This is all visual and side-by-side code-based, making it as easy to set up as your more basic tests.

So, again, when Rick is ready to move to the next stage of maturity, Adobe Target is there with easy guided steps and features to support the expansion of his efforts with a clear view on what strategy he should focus upon within the depth and breadth of Target’s detailed reports.

Next, we’ll explore how Rick can use automation at each stage to propel him to the next level of maturity and uncover the next best opportunities for optimizing and refining the personalized engagement of his high-value customers.