kentico marketing campaigns

How to Set-up Multi-tactic Marketing Campaigns with A/B Testing in Kentico

This post is the first part of a two-part series on executing a multi-source, multi-landing page campaign in Kentico EMS. This post covers the scenario and its configuration in Kentico; the next post covers results from a sample campaign.

I’ve read a lot of digital marketing posts, both using Kentico and not using it, which focus on a simple example with one variable, and often focus on e-commerce applications. As Kentico custom software developers, using the platform heavily, we know that our clients need to build marketing efforts on top of their websites that take into account complex business needs and unique arrangements. In fact, Bit-Wizard’s own marketing has some of these nuances, and we need to be quite sure we’re putting our money where our mouth is! So, ready to get started?
 

The Campaign Scenario

Let’s consider two very different tactics being used for the same overall campaign purpose:
  • Radio ads, a stand-in for traditional media of any type; for these ads the consumer experience is analog, having a more complex and somewhat tenuous conversion path
  • Search engine marketing ads, which in my (biased) opinion are the finest cognac out of the liquor selection of digital ads; for these ads the consumer experience is digital and the conversion path fully defined
Let’s add in two different web landing pages:
  • One of the landing pages is pre-existing but tried-and-true,
  • And one of the pages is purpose built for the current campaign.
There’re a lot of reasons where we’d like to reuse current assets, including cost-effectiveness, and a recognition that we don’t have to start every campaign from scratch with new assets from whole cloth. Similarly, a new website relaunch can make available new features and design patterns of which the previous incarnation couldn’t take advantage.
 

The Solution Outline

We decided to use A/B testing to compare the existing and new campaign landing pages’ effectiveness. We wanted to not only measure the pages against each other, but we wanted to use a defined conversion metric, and we wanted to keep track of the sources of the traffic to the landing pages. Kentico’s A/B testing helps us with both of these desires.

Additionally, we needed a way to move analog, radio ad visitors to the landing page choices, and not force those listeners to remember a complex URL. We decided to go with a virtual landing page URL (bitwizards.com/cloud, spoken as “bit wizards dot com slash cloud”), as is often done in traditional advertising. The advantage is that branding (the domain name) is preserved, and some audiences are used to remembering the branding term along with a campaign term. We chose the campaign term portion of the URL to reflect the cornerstone of the campaign offering with a simple, relevant keyword interested listeners could remember. The key here is to use a virtual URL that is NOT used in any online or clickable fashion, so that visitors coming to the advertising URL are definitely and only arriving from the traditional radio ads.
 

The Kentico Configuration

As a prerequisite step, make sure that campaigns and conversion tracking are turned on in Settings -> Online Marketing -> Web Analytics, and that the campaign parameter is utm_campaign to match Google Analytics’ parameters. (In Kentico 9, this last step is done by default for you - https://docs.kentico.com/display/K9/Release+notes+-+Kentico+9).

kentico campaigns and conversion tracking

First, we needed to create the campaigns for the two tactics in Kentico – this keeps the radio respondents separate from the SEM ones. Setting these up is pretty straightforward – just keep the code name you choose for each handy, for coming steps.
new kentico campaignSecond, a conversion needs to be established. This step is crucial to how Kentico measures success and how you should too!

kentico landing page contact form
Associate the conversion with the campaigns as well.

associate kentico conversions with campaigns
Don’t forget to assign the conversions to a page, web part or action. If you’re using a form with a Thank You type page, it’s easily done in the Pages application under Analytics -> Settings. It can also be done with the Track Conversion Name property on various web parts or e-commerce actions, or you can use the Kentico API to track conversions. See https://docs.kentico.com/display/K8/Logging+conversions+on+your+website for more options than we used here.

assign conversion page in kentico
Now, we can set up the A/B test between the pages. As much as I’d like to define two A/B tests and take advantage of the Visitor Targeting to segment traffic by the source, this isn’t an available option yet. So, the best thing to do is to target all visitors and 100% of traffic, so your campaign landing page test gets the full benefit of the paid exposure you’re driving.

a/b test set-up in kentico

Set the alternate campaign landing page as a variant to complete the test setup.

set-up alternate landing page in kentico
Now that there is an ‘Original’ landing page on which the A/B test is running for all traffic, you’ll want to use that as your ads destination for both sources. For the radio ads, we want to set up the virtual URL page to not only redirect to the original page (so the A/B test can take over from there) but we want to tag that traffic as arriving from radio ads. So, create a new page, and in its Properties -> Navigation page, we want it to not appear in Navigation, the sitemap, or in search results; we also want to use URL Redirection to forward it to our ‘Original’ landing page with UTM parameters appended (see https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1033867?hl=en to build UTM URLs for use with Google Analytics and Kentico). The utm_campaign parameter should be the code name of the Radio Ads conversion defined above.

set up url redirection for campaign in kentico

Finally, set up your AdWords ads to use the ‘Original’ variant as the destination URL (now called the final URL), with the utm_campaign parameter appended and set to the code name of the Search Ads conversion above.
 

The Follow-up

Now it’s time to let the ads loose and start collecting data! We’ll look at some results in the next post.

 
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Author

Wiz E. Wig, Mascot & Director of Magic
Wiz E. Wig

Director of Magic

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