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The Case for Bigger Optimization Budgets is Finally Here. Is Your Organization Ready?

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DATA-DRIVEN CMO is an ongoing series on the Brooks Bell Blog that focuses on topics for the modern day data-driven CMO.

For me, the most intriguing statistic coming out of Adobe’s 2013 Digital Marketing Optimization Survey is that companies that allocate 25% or more of their marketing budget towards optimization see notably higher website conversion rates.

Business people with ideas, pie chart and money

Yes! Finally some real data from over 1,800 companies that support what all of us have known: a larger budget means more tests, which means more wins and higher conversion rates on our websites. In this case, more IS more! But before you march these survey results into your next budget meeting, understand that just because a bigger budget typically leads to higher conversion rates, it’s not as easy as just getting more funding.

The results from that survey could be misleading without more context. Those companies may be allocating more than 24% of their budget towards optimization, but it isn’t a flip-the-switch situation. Even if you are with a brand new company that has a ton of budget to go around, there are three main things you must have in place before you can expect similar results!

1. Team

You cannot expect to scale your testing program without having the right people on your team—and the right support from leadership. “Your team” could be internal members or an optimization firm serving as an extension of your team. Either way, it requires a ramp-up period for your team to understand your business, your visitors, the implementation of your testing tool, your internal process, and your baseline numbers.

2. Technology

As your testing program grows, increases in scope and gains velocity, you’ll need to be confident that your testing tool can meet your new needs. While there are many enterprise-level testing tools out there, they all have pros and cons. Most companies that are just getting started will often choose platforms with a low cost of entry to prove value in their program without overspending. This is great when running small tests while your optimization program is in its infancy. But when ramping up your program from one test per month to 10 tests per month, some testing platforms limit the ability to segment and test concurrently, which limits your ability to ramp up completely.

3. Cooperation

A larger budget means more tests, which creates a necessity for faster test launches. This is only possible when you have cooperation and initiative from other departments in your organization. You’ll have to work with your CIO for technology integration and support, HR to staff your team with the right people, the legal department to understand how to shorten legal approval time, etc.

Don’t set yourself up to fail! The time where your optimization program commands the majority of your marketing budget is approaching. Are you set up to succeed?