Web: Test Like an Online Olympian
Once a visitor leaves your core website, you should still continue to personalize their digital interactions with your brand. Test display ad content you run on third-party websites. Test the content you surface on social media channels, like Facebook or Twitter. Test and target the content on your mobile applications or mobile-optimized websites, especially as consumers increasingly rely on these devices for the bulk of their media consumption, shopping research and purchase process.
As your testing campaigns mature, understand this is a long race.
Testing campaigns need to be thought of as continuous, iterative and ever-changing. A homepage banner that outperforms the banner you ran on your site for the past two years isn't a reason to set it and forget it. Take that new banner and test it against other alternatives. Target different experiences at different visitor profiles to see what resonates best and moves the needle.
Your website should rarely look the same as it did three months ago. One test begets the next test and you are never done improving. It can change as different business goals are set; it can change based on timely news trends or pop culture; it can change due to broader macroeconomic circumstances. Think of it as a living, growing thing—a garden that you need to cultivate and nurture.
Going the Distance
There is no real finish line—an online marketer's work is never really done—but the goal is to shift your attention from acquiring new customers to driving more customer loyalty and creating a long-term relationship. The only way to do that is to truly understand who your online visitors are, what their preferences are, how they have engaged with your brand in the past, and how they want to engage with you going forward.