Refresher: Content Personalization vs. A/B testing
A/B testing is presenting two different versions of the same webpage to visitors to determine which one perform better. Depending on your metric of focus, you can test for differences in web visitors, interaction per visit, bounce rate, etc. The results from the test then can be used to help in web re-design to improve conversion rate.
On the other hand, content personalization tackles the problem of increasing conversion rates by drawing in visitors through the means of presenting interesting and relevant content that is segment specific. There is a fundamental problem in using traditional marketing strategies in the modern world. Modern consumers now have the power to knowledge, and if you, as the marketer, does not have what they need, they will look else where.
Ultimately, the end goal of these two tools is to increase conversion rate, however, to say that they are interchangeable is misguided. To think of this another way, personalization is a tool to increase conversions, and A/B testing is the tool that verifies if the personalization is actually increasing conversion.
The Million Dollar Question: Which is more useful?
As you have gathered by now, the fact of the matter is that: you need both! Ideally, you track and identify your web visitors, make meaningful segments out of them, create personalized content for each segments, and finally, test different versions of the content to determine which version speaks to your visitors best. Once that is done, repeat the cycle. Human preferences change over time, and you need to change with them.
However, if you are working on limited budget and have to choose one, then it should be content personalization. Using content personalization on its own can still be effective at lead conversion. On the other hand, using A/B testing without content personalization, can run the risk of testing different versions of the same generic content. .
NOTE: For those who think that content personalization is something for the future, it’s not. Engaging in content personalization early can bring you real, measurable benefits and best of all, its easier than you think! Interested? Check out our article on the benefits of content personalization for more information on the topic!