Adobe wants you to optimize your site, continuously improving content and appearance to achieve your business goals. Optimization is good for you: Adobe Target is responsible for increasing revenue to all of its users by $100M. And it’s good for Adobe, because your success drives Adobe’s success.
Adobe’s latest release of Target removes four substantial barriers to your continuous improvement efforts. This is a very big deal for Adobe and for Target users. The release makes it significantly easier to run tests, track progress, and manage your Adobe Target budget. And, Adobe has made a specific and significant commitment to response time of the Target service.
First, the UI has been dramatically improved. Marketers and merchandisers can now easily create variants of a page or experience, so that alternatives can be tested – or the customer experience can be tailored to a customer segment. For example, you might test (or target) homepage banners by viewing the home page from within the Target UI; identifying alternative banners; and indicating when or for whom the alternatives will be tested. You also specify the goal of the test, and how success will be measured.
And how do you communicate the results? Ahhh. This is the second UI innovation, which is differentiating and a bar for others: Pinterest-style boards. These boards communicate the campaign, test, and site information each individual in your organization needs. You find something you need to discuss, you pin it and share it. You need to create a dashboard for a campaign, or an executive, you pin the appropriate feeds. You follow the boards that are relevant to you. I think this is so brilliant. Why is the rest of the world stuck in “standard reports?” Standard reports are always replete with information that isn’t relevant to a particular person or task or campaign, making it hard to learn what to look at and what to ignore, in which circumstances.
Third, Adobe’s pricing for Target is no longer associated with the number of tests that are run. More optimization and targeting are in everybody’s interests – yours, your customers’, and Adobe’s. So, thanks Adobe, you just made the world a better place. Pricing is now based on page views, which is a universal (but crude) measure of a site’s success. So not only is it easier to set up tests you want to run, you don’t have to hold back on testing out of concerns about your Adobe tests budget.
Fourth, Adobe has established a performance goal for its services that observe and respond to visitor behavior. Performance is always a concern, and anything that adds to site response time (such as business rules that tailor the site’s behavior) is unwelcome. Performance concerns can be a barrier to testing. You may or may not be content with Adobe’s performance goal of 300 milliseconds, but Target is a better product for having the goal. Projects to improve performance in any software realm are often expensive, extensive, invasive, hard to predict and justify. Now that Adobe has established a goal, projects to improve performance now have greater development priority. This is good news for Adobe customers and their site visitors.
Adobe has made great strides with Target in this release. I’m even more excited about plans that I think will increase the value of Target exponentially. Features planned for next year will make it easier to run an optimization program, and to embed optimization into business strategy and marketing practices. Stay tuned.