The customer journey in today’s digital age is anything but straightforward. The marketing funnel is no longer a linear path from generating leads to conversions. In the always-connected world of smartphones and social media where it is difficult to stay focused for long periods of time, the consumer journey can start and stop multiple times within each funnel layer from acquisition to retention.
Customers will usually research products and services online a few times before buying and will have been exposed to multiple display and retargeted digital ads before they end up on a landing or product page. The modern day marketer needs deep insights into the customer online behavior in order to optimize ad campaigns and site content and maximize ROI. However, acquisition, conversion and retention are still separated in the marketing funnel with many technology players in each space.
A/B Testing and the Marketing Funnel
A/B testing can make a big difference about how effective a business’s marketing efforts are. It allows marketers and product teams to make data-informed decisions about website optimization changes. Most companies are already running customer experience optimization programs using A/B testing and personalization tools like Oracle Maxymiser. Most ad servers also have split testing capabilities for ads which helps marketers optimize their media plans and tune ad pricing models. However, testing the site and ad campaigns separately makes it difficult to get a holistic view and optimize for the whole – from acquisition to retention.
The Oracle Maxymiser platform can help drive convergence for the marketer without relying on multiple vendors and integrations. We developed a tracking pixel which when used in conjunction with ad tags and existing Maxymiser campaigns gives a marketer the ability to combine ad interactions and conversion optimization data to create an optimal customer experience.
How does it work? Let's look at an example.
Let’s take the following example: a bank offers multiple financial products, such as credit cards and current accounts, and is running ad campaigns with multiple creatives for them. The Oracle Maxymiser tracking pixel is embedded in the ads. A prospect customer is researching for credit cards online and gets exposed to one of the credit cards ads. Sometime later she visits the bank site. As soon as she enters the site her Maxymiser customer profile will be updated with info about the ad she has seen. Maxymiser will also track conversion relevant data about actions she takes on the site.
The triggering of the tracking pixel allows ad exposure data to be added to the Maxymiser customer profiles together with other contextual data. The segmentation data from the profiles can be combined with conversion metrics in Maxymiser’s reporting to better understand the impact of the advertising campaign. This helps to create more accurate attribution and reporting against the respective ads and creatives. Continuing with the bank ad campaign example – marketers would know which particular ads contributed to more conversions.
Testing and personalization
Optimizing content and landing pages is crucial to having an efficient and well-performing ad campaign. The Maxymiser platform helps marketers personalize user journeys, experiences, content and promotional offers. In its core is the ability to target visitors based on customer profiles populated with out-of-the-box contextual attributes, such as geolocation and weather, but also containing a number of custom attributes which can be updated with custom data from CRM systems, data layers, URLs, etc. By using the Maxymiser tracking pixel these profiles can be enriched with ad exposure data which can then be used to personalize the site. For example, the prospect customer who was researching credit cards and saw the bank’s credit card ads can be shown a personalized version of the bank’s home page with call-to-actions above the fold leading directly to a credit card application funnel.
Oracle Maxymiser’s ad optimization technology can also help marketers show consistent branding and messaging across the whole marketing funnel. The site content can be tailored to show the same images, colours and visuals as the ones used in the display advertising campaign. The familiarity and consistent branding throughout the consumer journey will increase the chances of keeping them on the conversion path.
Optimizing ad campaigns
The conversion metrics and insights from Maxymiser can feedback to optimizing the ad campaign itself. For example, the bank may find out that visitors who have been exposed to certain creatives convert to customers more than others. Or perhaps certain ads work better for a particular target audience like students or mobile users. In this way a marketer can use the Maxymiser platform to A/B test ad campaigns and their site without having to rely on complex data matching and integrations of different vendor technologies.
In summary, the Maxymiser platform allows marketers to gain insights into the impact of ad campaigns, personalize and serve consistent experiences to visitors based on ads they have been exposed to, and optimize ads on third party sites by using a combination of insights and conversion metrics. With Maxymiser you don’t have to guess on the performance of marketing ideas. They can be tested and underperforming variants can be discarded quickly. By using a single technology, marketers can do statistically significant improvements in all parts of the marketing funnel.
Want to learn more about how Oracle Maxymiser works? Request a live demo and take a moment to see how Oracle Maxymiser helped National Express increase their ROI through targeted testing and personalization.