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A Developer’s Perspective of Click Summit 2012

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This year I was fortunate enough to take notes on four sessions at Click Summit 2012. I have attended Click since the very beginning, so I knew what to expect going into it (mostly open discussions focused on digital marketing & testing). This year all of the sessions were focused specifically on testing and optimization, which is super exciting.

Since I’m a developer, I was happy to see that a lot of the session attendees drove the conversation toward the testing tools being used and the data those tools provide. One topic that stood out in discussions was that regardless of what testing platform was being used, there is a big need to customize tests to get the data needed for proper segmentation, targeting and analytics. Another interesting subject brought up was, how do you put all of your data together into one actionable place? This includes all social, emails, landing pages, site pages and offline campaigns.

Tools
The testing tool that you use is a great starting point for understanding your visitors. However, no one site is the same, so you’ll need to customize your tests to work with your current site. Since this is the case in almost all scenarios, it is a good idea to list out your current needs and find a tool that best matches those needs. You will most likely find one that can accomplish most of your goals—trust me, there are tons of testing tools to choose from. From there you will be able to work with your tech team to implement the tool across your pages regardless of which one you have chosen. In some cases, it’s okay to use more than one tool.

In order for you to properly segment and target your users, you most likely will have to create custom code within each individual test. Another way to do this, depending on the tool, is to pass your custom segmentation/targeting data into the tool. This will allow you to run great tests that are relevant to your visitor, and this will likely increase your conversions.

Data Management Platforms
Let’s say that you have some great data coming in from different sources. Maybe you’re running a campaign with social, email, direct mail with an tracked 800 number and some QR codes on posters. For each aspect of this campaign, a different group controls and collects the data on conversions, demographics, etc. How do you combine all of this data into one useful source that can then be taken directly into testing or any other actionable tasks? Data Management Platforms (DMPs) is a solution that was brought up in multiple sessions.

DMPs house all of your data in a central location. This solution is usually for companies that are fairly large and have a ton of data to store. However, I do like the idea of using DMPs for testing. The ability to use a ton of different data from different sources could be the catalyst you need to create highly segmented and targeted tests that deliver the lift you are looking for.

This year Click was the perfect mixture of people that get testing and are ready to find solutions to problems they have encountered during their own optimization processes. From companies just starting to build a testing culture to those running very successful programs within a highly functional testing culture, we had something for everyone.  Every attendee was there to help, listen, learn and contribute.  I came away from this event with some great ideas to apply to my current testing strategy and data management. I truly cannot wait until Click 2013!

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