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How to Test in the Age of the Customer

On October 8th, Maxymiser hosted guest presenter James McCormick, Senior Analyst, Forrester Research for a webinar alongside our Senior Product Strategist, Daniel Toubian. In addition to making the webinar available on-demand, we've put together some key takeaways (in case you missed it!).

James spoke about digital intelligence in an age when we need to leverage our customer insights and analytics to deliver an experience our users will love.

“Digital Intelligence” is Forrester’s analytics foundation for online testing in the age of the customer. This concept was the framework for James’ overview of the tenants of intelligent testing, strategic components of digital intelligence, and intelligent optimization.


According to James McCormick, we need to move more towards points such as ‘lifetime value’ and ‘time within application,’ which are the real customer experience metrics; the metrics which relate to our overall business goals.

He shared metrics that demonstrate how testing affects the entire customer lifecycle.


We got an inside look at McCormick’s view of the next generation of online testing practices including:

  • Distributed Access: Online testing scaled throughout the organization so a majority of stakeholders can get involved. This requires smarter, easier-to-use tools so business users can take advantage of the technology.
  • Multichannel Testing: More sophisticated mobile testing and testing of social channels.
  • Visitor Profiling: The use of a single visitor profile that tracks user from unknown to known across the entire lifecycle.
  • Advanced Testing Scenarios: From single page HTML swapping type tests to a modification of the behavior across an entire user journey.
  • Smarter Optimization: Making it possible for business users to be part of the testing team. Testing tools and practices need to make it easy, while continuing to deliver sophisticated analytics.
  • Optimization Suites: There is a trend towards optimization suites. A lot of vendors offer more than online testing, with solutions that include behavior targeting (natural match), marketing optimization, recommendation engines, cross-selling and up-selling. We’ll see these solutions come together to deliver much more than online testing.

James implored marketers and testing practitioners to remember, most successful programs start small. He notes that you can prove value very quickly from a one or two person operation and swiftly progress towards a larger, organization-wide testing culture.

Don’t be afraid to get started!

Included in the best practices James shared with us was a note that resonated in Daniel's presentation as well, "Start with segmentation." Don’t attempt to optimize against a non-segmented audience at a particular touch-point. You won’t know if an experience is impacting high value customers negatively.


This was a great lead-in to Daniel Toubian’s portion of the webinar. Daniel’s portion was titled:

"Optimizing the Total Digital Experience (for Every Eustomer)"

Daniel walked us through the broad transition we have been seeing from a campaign-centric to a customer-centric CXO approach. For example, the shift from determining the area of your site with the greatest immediate upside potential to determining/discovering the segment (or segments) of visitors with the greatest upside potential.

Daniel went through each phase of the personalization process, including:

1. Collection and aggregation of customer data (Note: these data can be completely anonymous. Personally recognizable data are not a requirement. This is a particularly important point for financial services organizations.).

2. Identify and rank pockets of near term opportunity among your existing visitor base (Maxymiser's solution has Customer Impact Discovery for this explicit purpose).


3. Run a targeted testing campaign to determine a winner-for-all.

We learned that the ultimate goal is to have a fully optimized site where testing and personalization initiatives come together to make a cohesive, relevant, contextualized experience for each and every one of your visitors' demonstrated preferences.


Daniel also made a requisite nod to omni-channel. Each point Daniel made about customer experience optimization applies across all digital channels. Your strategy should deliver the desired experience for each visitor, in real time, on all devices.

He then shared a insightful case study from leading retail brand, Lacoste (which you can read here at your convenience).

Daniel concluded by reiterating what he hopes listeners will take away from his presentation & from the webinar overall:

"The key to a customer centric approach is the elimination of data silos and the notion that testing insights and personalization should go hand-in-hand. The largest business impact should come from the interlinking of these components so that they feed off one another."

For more webinars from Maxymiser and our trusted partners, click here.

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