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Adobe Target expands beyond A/B testing to automated optimization of user experience
The company is today announcing Auto-Target, which implements machine learning-driven automation across the entire tool.
A new Auto-Target capability extends machine learning-powered, automated optimization across the entire tool, beyond its previous role as a separately available function for specific locations in sites and apps.
In a blog post announcing the enhancement, Senior Product Marketing Manager Jason Hickey wrote that Target users can now set up automated personalization “in the same simple way they’d set up an A/B test.”
“By simply clicking ‘Auto-Target’ on step two of our three-step guided workflow,” he said, “marketers will be enabling a powerful personalization engine to determine the right experience to serve an individual.”
Previously, marketers might use Target to test two or more variables through a rules-based process. Usually, the testing was focused on offers, such as whether a 50-percent-off coupon would drive more sales than, say, a two-for-one sale.
They can still do that. But, now, Auto-Target also allows the marketer to select and automatically test an unlimited number of variables that define not only presented offers, but also the larger user experience. These could include, for example, different layouts, choices of images, different wording and so on.
The automated optimization can be targeted down to an individual profile, whether identified or not, and across channels. Target automatically tracks responses to the many variations, pointing to the one(s) that have the best performance according to the goals the marketer sets.
“The training wheels are coming off,” Hickey wrote, adding:
“You could have, say, 10 or 20 different page experiences — ranging from minor creative or copy adjustments all the way to totally different layout experiences. That’s right, no need for targeting rules, no waiting for test completion and no more going to IT to push a winning experience to production. You’ll be able to tap into real-time analyses surrounding the most predictive elements of each site visitor, which in turn, will enable you to deliver instant targeting tied to the best-performing experiences and maximize conversions throughout the course of the test.”
If A/B or multivariate testing — such as testing several different offers — is considered one end of a performance optimization spectrum, and automated optimization of all variables is the other end, Auto Target is now moving toward the automated/all variables end.
Interestingly, Optimizely — generally known as an A/B testing tool — is also today announcing that it is expanding beyond that limited role and becoming more of an “experimentation platform.”
But, Adobe Principal Product Marketing Manager Drew Burns told me, no one else has Target’s “combo of capabilities.”
Other testing platforms, he said, are “much more of an offer level, [while] we’re at the user experience level.”