Testing & Personalization Kill Best Practices

Best_practicesripBack in October of last year I wrote about lazy marketing or deciding to implement creative and design strategies based on so called best practices. Last week MarketingShepa published a case study of work we did with a client on button testing that once again proved that even for buttons, best practices need to give way to intelligent inconsistency as predicated by testing at each step of the funnel.

This makes sense when you understand that while there is an overall goal of your media or website each step of a user flow has a specific goal, so the messages, images presentations and yes, even buttons, are likely not optimized if they are the same across this flow. As mentioned in the original post this gets magnified as we start to look at segmentation to understand and address the different needs of users.

I’d like to reiterate an important piece from the original post:

Optimal is changing all the time. With the spread of Rich Internet Applications the web becomes a much more dynamic and engaging place. So too is the way people interact with it changing. This is the natural evolution of user interaction and experience. Those that study HCI observe continued change and can see distinct differences in behavior among segments. Bottom line is that the web is just too dynamic and evolving too fast as a medium to say what is good today will be good tomorrow. Or what worked for you will work me.

This gives birth to a new best practice.

ABT…always be testing.

The absolute results of this will be the great cycle that delivers LIFT:

Failure (faster failure, a good thing!)

(Note to self…no more acronyms for a few months)

It’s also worth noting that since the multivariate test results of our initial work with DYMO (that in addition to the Sherpa case study can be seen in more detail here) they have progressed into behavioral targeting. We’re proud that they will be at eTail 2007, (along with another OTTO client, Fingerhut) to deliver a case study on a personalization campaign to owners vs. non-owners that resulted in a huge lift in conversion rate.


3 responses to “Testing & Personalization Kill Best Practices”

  1. shor Avatar

    That’s a real problem that big companies have.
    Templates, minimum standards and best practices dominate our product development cycle. Thus it’s a real war to breed an ‘ABT’ mentality and wean our people off their rigidity, best advice is to work on it from department to department and let the results speak for themselves!
    “Fail faster, succeed sooner” – David Kelly, IDEO


  2. WiderFunnel Avatar

    Best Practices Are a Good Starting Point

    In Jonathan Mendezs blog, he recently proclaimed the death of best practices.
    At WiderFunnel, we firmly believe, and have seen many times through experience, that there are always better ways to do things. Best practices should no…


  3. Chris Goward Avatar

    While I agree with your Always Be Testing mantra, I think you’ve got the wrong approach to Best Practices. Yes, they are evolving, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have value.
    I’ve got more to say about it here:


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