Chapter 3: Develop your testing and personalization ideas

For your first activity, you might test something super simple like changing the color or copy on a call to action button. Just to get your feet wet. Longer term, though, you’ll want to establish a formal, repeatable process for coming up with ideas for testing and personalization activities that helps mature your optimization and personalization program. The following six steps outline a proven process for doing just that, along with details about what to do at each step.

Iterative Execution of Optimization and Personalization Strategy diagram

Step 1: Strategize

Identify opportunities for activities that align with business objectives.

Do this by:

  • Brainstorming potential Target activities based on site performance data, competitor analysis, and past test results.
  • Developing ideas for activities for review, feedback, and sign-off.

For example, look for a page on your site with a high bounce rate, consider what might be causing the issue, and brainstorm ways to reduce bounce rate.

Step 2: Prioritize

Rank and schedule activities based on business alignment, level of effort, and potential impact.

Do this by:

  • Ranking potential activities based on multiple criteria to increase chances of success and align with business goals.
  • Researching past test experience results to determine the potential of follow-up testing.
  • Reviewing and sharing the prioritized testing roadmap with internal stakeholders.

For example, prioritize an easy-to-implement activity that can deliver good results based on previous similar activities over one that might deliver good results, but requires significant effort and technical resources or might get push-back from stakeholders.

Step 3: Design

Design and develop activity plan with detailed information and approved experience visuals.

Do this by:

  • Finalizing activity entry criteria and metrics needed to determine the performance of the activity.
  • Completing and approving final designs for activity experiences.
  • Documenting requirements for the Target activity, including test entry criteria, reporting metrics, and experience changes.

Use the Activity Planner, provided later in the welcome kit, to document the details of the activity, including the metrics you’ll use to measure activity performance, such as clicks on a call to action button, video launches, or revenue generated. Be sure to include screenshots or images of the experience designs you plan to test or personalize.

Step 4: Build and run

Build and run the activity within Target, develop any code if necessary, conduct QA testing, and launch the activity.

Do this by:

  • Building an activity, applying any audiences, developing any code if necessary, and applying metrics to your activity.
  • Securing sign-off from all required stakeholders.
  • Launching the activity and reviewing metrics at one hour, at 24 hours, and periodically for the duration of the activity.

For example, if you want to target new visitors with a lightbox offer for 10% off their first order, you’d have your creatives develop the lightbox design and copy, get stakeholder sign off on the design, have your developers write the code for it, QA it in a staging environment, and then launch your activity. You’d then monitor the activity to make sure it doesn’t cause any major negative impact.

Step 5: Analyze

Analyze activity performance and summarize activity results, insights, and recommendations.

Do this by:

  • Leveraging data analysis and best practices to understand activity results.
  • Analyzing audience performance to find valuable visitor segments.
  • Documenting insights, results, and recommendations.

For example, you might discover that your returning visitors prefer a different experience than your new visitors.

Step 6: Act and iterate

Operationalize winning experiences to realize business value, and iterate on insights.

Do this by:

  • Communicating activity insights, results, and recommendations to stakeholders.
  • Gaining stakeholder approval to execute against activity recommendations.
  • Defining and executing the plan to implement the winning experience.

For example, if your lightbox activity succeeded in increasing first-time visitor purchases, you might want to keep this activity going. Be sure to communicate the value the test drove to stakeholders and executives using the executive summary template included in the welcome kit. And consider how you can reapply this learning; perhaps you can target those first-time buyers with a second offer to get more value from each customer.