Why traditional CMS and AB testing platforms are no longer enough

PersonalizationBy Mariana Bonanomi and Luiza Ramos

While many acquisition channels are saturated, attracting lots of traffic to a site isn't enough anymore to increase the revenue of a business. The main objective of marketing, growth, and even product professionals is to provide users with more assertive communication and a genuinely engaging browsing experience that leads to conversions. After all, if each person is unique and comes from a different browsing context, why should you show everyone the same content?

However, along with this goal also come many challenges. Many CRO professionals with little or no programming knowledge face continual technological backlog time delays – even when they have developers dedicated to their teams. Having a site that is continuously optimized requires constant changes and many tests. That makes developers overloaded and unable to pay attention to more challenging projects that would boost their careers to the next level.

Suppose you have already used a CMS (Content Management System). In that case, you know that most of these platforms enable using static content only, which means your entire audience sees the same message and offer. For that reason, some companies try to develop in-house personalization systems, which have proven to be much more expensive and complex than it seems to be. When this is not an option, some marketing professionals attempt to find palliative solutions, such as creating one landing page for each campaign or a different URL for each content variant they wish to test. This is unsustainable in the medium-term, though, and not scalable at all.

This series of posts introduces details on the solution we created to empower marketing teams with enhanced flexibility and agility to perform personalizations and tests and provide developers the time they need for projects linked to the company's core business.

PMS: a more practical and scalable solution

PMS is derived from the CMS acronym and means Personalization Management System. It is a software that enables marketing professionals to manage and deliver a personalized experience on different channels.

More advanced personalizations demand more than just a simple segmented tool. That type of experience involves highly intelligent systems that automatically employ user data to react to each person's actions in real-time.

PMS creates progressive profiles for each one of the users who browse the website. That makes it possible to create real-time updated segments based on:

  • data related to marketing campaigns
  • browsing data correlated to the current session
  • data related to browser and device
  • user geolocation data, including the country, state, and city
  • data related to product views, shopping carts, and order checkouts
  • profile data such as name, email, telephone, interests, etc.

In other words, when a user accesses a site in which the PMS is implemented, the platform identifies which marketing campaigns that user has already clicked, which content they have viewed, how many sessions they have already begun, their location, etc. Based on that, the personalization engine defines which content to display to each user according to personalized experiences created on the platform.

CMS + Personalization + AB Tests + Analytics

Besides trying to create in-house personalization solutions, many companies get frustrated trying to integrate traditional CMS platforms with personalization tools, whether their own or from partners. To further hinder this scenario, some companies need to integrate internal systems, CMS platforms, AB test platforms, and web analytic platforms for monitoring results.

If you have ever tried anything like that, you know that maintaining four different integrated software programs is quite complicated. Any slight change can corrupt the code and negatively impact the data flow from one point to another. Besides interfering with this data reliability, it requires even more development hours.

As we know, it is never possible to be sure about what personalized content will achieve the best performance without experimentation and validating hypotheses; thus, we have created the PMS to make AB tests possible. After creating a personalized experience, you can rely on a powerful AB test tool and dashboards where it is possible to monitor the performance of those changes and declare winner variants.

Most importantly, these four features are united in a single software, so your team is not concerned about integrations.

It is possible to test an unlimited number of versions of the same page, all in the same URL, differently from what we have observed in less robust AB tests platforms. You can also perform tests on various audiences simultaneously, increasing agility for the optimization process.

The ultimate guide for AB testing analysis [ebook]Conversion rate optimization is all about AB testing. Find out the best statistical approach for analyzing your AB tests.
A book showing that variation A is the winner

Wrapping up

Creating a personalized browsing experience from end to end can make a significant competitive advantage by connecting people to your brand. This comes together with even bigger challenges when it is necessary to integrate more than one type of tool. Through PMS, you have everything you need to personalize, test, and monitor results, in just one platform.

If you wish to understand more about how the implementation works and the practical part of beginning optimizing your site and generating more conversions, subscribe to our newsletter and be up to date to know when we publish this post’s second part.

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