When was the last time you re-ran an A/B test for your web site after you achieved a statistically significant result? When was the last time you wanted to? I’m willing to bet you’ve never wanted to do that. A/B tests can be expensive and time consuming, on one hand. And on the other, the idea of repeating a test evokes an uneasy feeling that you may discover that the old results (and all the work you did with that info) aren’t working anymore.
The problem with this widely used approach is that your audience makeup and behavior change regularly, and one A/B test does not capture that change over time.
A/B tests optimize for a particular moment by understanding how one idea affects your site’s conversion rate at that moment. When you change your paid marketing campaign, when visitor behavior changes, or when someone makes a change elsewhere on your site, the previous results may not be the best answer, and acting on those results may even cause harm. The tests you ran three months ago aren’t measuring the right answer today. If you re-ran the same A/B tests constantly to stay up to date, you’d be testing the same thing over and over, preventing you from testing other ideas.
Predictive personalization tests all of your ideas continuously, observing how your audience responds now, and making adjustments automatically. If your visitors’ behavior changes, predictive personalization will change their experiences accordingly.
Think about all the factors that influence your audience’s behavior on your mobile and desktop websites. It’s a long list that includes your marketing efforts, your competitors’ marketing efforts, seasonality, and even random, unpredictable occurrences.
Recently, one of our clients promoted their anniversary with a giveaway using social channels. This promotion created a significant spike in traffic and had a sharp effect on the audience makeup of their site. The homepage headline that performed best changed within hours, impacting their customer acquisition flow. Intellimize automatically detected this change in audience behavior and allocated more traffic to the new best performing variations. Within hours, the new top performing headline was receiving more traffic than any other variation. Two weeks later, as the promotional effect subsided, Intellimize automatically shifted traffic again based on a new best performers.
Without continuous testing, our client would have lost thousands of conversions. Even worse, they would not have been aware of what they were missing. They would have, in fact, cheered the large spike in traffic, unaware they were missing out on many new customers.
Even if the changes in your audience profile aren’t as dramatic as that example, predictive personalization gives you the peace of mind of knowing your site is being continuously optimized. Automating the testing, analysis, and rebalancing of ideas eliminates the challenges marketers face when they optimize for a point in time. Marketers no longer need to cross their fingers and hope that the right answer ‘back then’ remains the right answer ‘right now.’ Predictive personalization helps ensure that you won’t be taken by surprise when things change, which they always do.