February 28

Web experimentation 101: what are Dynamic Customer Profiles?

Experimentation is a must, but only if you target the right people.


Running experiments on your website to understand what is working is no longer an option but is imperative to optimize your website and convert the most customers. A vital part of running those tests is making sure that your target audience is seeing them so you can optimize for success.

Delivering consistent, personalized web and mobile experiences is extremely difficult in a world where customers’ needs and wants change at the drop of a hat. Furthermore, understanding which customers should see the campaigns and experiments your team is running can get convoluted and confusing.

So, you have an experiment you want to run, but how do you target the right audience? How do you make sure that the people who are seeing your campaigns and experiments are the ones most likely to convert?

Dynamic Customer Profiles (DCP) is the answer to these questions.

What is Dynamic Customer Profiling?

At Optimizely, Dynamic Customer Profiling is a feature that lives within our Web Experimentation product. This feature allows customers to create a 360-view of a customer across many different data sources to run targeted experiments on customer segments defined by intentions and behaviors.

Dynamic customer profiles are updated and populated with both first- and third-party data so that you can provide personalized, consistent experiments and campaign experiences.

The data that comes from dynamic customer profiles allows marketers to anticipate and predict customer behaviors. While it’s important to collect and harmonize data, making sure that you can use those insights to improve customer outcomes is imperative.

Better targeting tools equals higher quality experiments, which lead to greater conversions.

To drive a customer-first mindset throughout your experimentation process, you can utilize Dynamic Customer Profile data to understand all aspects of the customer journey. As an experimenter, you want to make sure that when you are experimenting, that you are reaching the correct audience and hitting them on the right channels. Whatever you are tracking like browsing favorites, purchase history or other any interactions, data can be passed into the Optimizely Dynamic Customer Profiles to better experiment and target customers. Based on that data, you can better test and target your experiments to garner the most rapid and accurate results.

Drive relevance and personalization

Dynamic Customer Profiles drive relevance and personalization in experiments and campaigns. Relevance is king when it comes to creating a customer experience.

There are multiple market reports that prove that a 1-to-1 personalization experience increases not only engagement of the target audiences, but also revenue, conversion and customer loyalty. A recent survey found that 86 percent of customers say that relevance and personalization play a crucial role in their decision-making process. Furthermore, if there are personalization campaigns, they are 125 percent more likely to buy.

It's no wonder that targeting the right customers with the right experiments and campaigns is a must.

Why are Dynamic Customer Profiles important?

  • Utilize your first- and third-party data sources in Optimizely Web Experimentation
  • Create a single, unified view of your customers
  • Customize Audience conditions based on behavioral targeting, as well as online and offline data about your customers
  • Better target when you are running experiments via customer profiles that match, merge and consolidate your first- and third-party data
  • Dump your data sources into Optimizely Web Experimentation to target your most valued customers and then refresh the data whenever you feel like it

Alaska Airlines: driving signups with Dynamic Customer Profiles

A great example of how DCP drives outcomes is Alaska Airlines. They started piping in their customer loyalty program data via DCP and ran tests to optimize sign-ups for their mileage plan. Because DCP allowed them to target the right audience, they were able to not only see an uplift in their signups for that mileage plan, but also successfully launched their credit card program.

“Experimentation is critical to our business because the industry we’re in is very competitive, and it’s also pretty low margin. We weighed the pros and cons of different testing programs, including the one that we were using before, and Optimizely was hands down the best. Probably the first test that we did on our loyalty program, on the mileage plan, it wound up yielding an increase of 18 percent in terms of total mileage plan sign ups. It successfully got us over the hump for our credit card program and it’s been continually driving in revenue.” -Alex Smolin, Ecommerce Analyst, Alaska Airlines

What types of data sources can you connect with DCP in Optimizely?

The following list shows a few examples of the data sources that you can connect to Optimizely through DCP:

  • Customer Relationship Management software
  • Email Service Providers
  • Data Warehouses
  • Analytic platforms
  • Point-of-Sale systems
  • Data Management platforms

For example, you can use DCP in combination with behavioral targeting to create a personalized experience based on a visitor’s browsing behavior during a session, as well as frequent flyer account information, favorite airports, and average purchase amount. Below is an example of what additional targeting capabilities are possible with Optimizely’s Dynamic Customer Profiles.

How to implement and use Dynamic Customer Profiles as a Web Experimentation customer

  • Create a DCP Service (aliasing) and link it to one of your projects
  • Create a DCP data source
  • Unique ID Location (cookie, qu param, JS variable)
  • User Attributes
  • Upload data
  • CSV file to AWS (large uploads)
  • REST API (single upload)
  • Create audiences that use your customer data (DCP)

Conclusion

DCP is a great way to personalize and make your experimentation campaigns more relevant and more likely to convert. To learn more about how to implement Dynamic Customer Profiles or to further your knowledge about Web Experimentation please visit Optimizely.com.