Cover Story: Finding 'Definitive Insights'
SAP brought in Adobe's Test&Target (previously Omniture Test&Target) two years ago, an A/B testing suite for optimizing website content and landing pages. The ability to A/B test the website "changed everything" about how SAP approached its website and digital marketing, according to Burns. "The moment you're able to render two different versions of your website simultaneously and just let your customers select with their mouses what they prefer, you're literally enacting change."
Going back to those nine items in SAP's main navigation that Burns "knows" 95 percent of SAP.com visitors are looking for, he attributes that to testing.
"We got 25 ideas [from customer focus groups] about what needs to be on the homepage. It's way too much, it's not going to meet the [standard] for simplicity. So how do we take it to the next level? ... Mock it up. Let's actually put all 25 on [the navigation], randomized. Let's roll it out to a series of customers. So now, instead of talking to focus groups 20 and 30 people at a time, you're doing thousands of tests in a live environment. And all of a sudden nine magic things rise to the surface, and quantitatively you're ready to go."
Even with all of the testing capabilities those tools enabled, Burns says, "what we realized in our first year with Test&Target was all we had was a platform. And a platform, when you ask an entire company to just spend 10 percent of their time [on it] ... it's nobody's job, it just doesn't happen."
In fact, it wasn't being used at all. Burns could see from the log-in statistics that SAP's trained users just weren't logging in and using the tool. All he had done during that first year with Test&Target, says Burns, was "put one leg of the stool in place, which is the platform. What about the people and what about the process?"