In every team sport there comes a time when specific players need to step up their influence to make their team successful. 

That's essentially what Google did when it announced a beta for offering Google Optimize at no charge.  

The offer represents a significant step up in the role A/B testing has on analytics and building a customer experience.

Google's A/B Testing Platform

Google announced in its Analytics Solution blog a beta signup for a free version of Google Optimize, its A/B testing platform.  The solution was introduced as part of its premium Google Analytics 360 suite.  

A/B testing is meant to highlight when one webpage element yields a higher volume of response compared to another. 

The results are meant as an interpretation of a general preference of an element, say a button or a call to action phrase, over another. 

Optimize Simplifies A/B Testing

Optimize offers easy creation and deployment of A/B and multivariate tests to determine the optimal combination of site features and functions.

Its features include the capacity to run test on top of Google Analytics, and a simple use interface to make straightforward text and image changes without the need to recode.

How Google Optimize Affects Marketers

So what does the Optimize introduction mean for marketers?

1. More selection and testing options

Long time users of Google Analytics can now select and test variables for different layouts and content choices with a solution that best integrate with a familiar tool. 

And there are a lot of users who would benefit. Google Analytics holds the largest market share among analytics solutions.

2. Advances personalization strategies

Marketers should expect their future tasks to include a heavy emphasis on digital media refinement, an aspect for which A/B testing has long been useful.

Organizations are starting to become more proficient at analytics, seeking methods that offer refinement of decisions. A/B testing was always one of those methodologies, but few stand-alone options for customers relying on Google Analytics had existed before the Optimize announcement. 

Now Optimize will help marketers deliver a more personalized experience for each customer through decision on which digital media best serves customers.

3. Expanded data collection

The Optimize release implies a larger organizational act for marketers, as the number of tools that can be used with Google Analytics expands.

Beyond syncing AdWords and YouTube metrics into certain Google Analytics reports, users can also look at Google Search Console for search data information and can use tag manager in applying a data layer for capturing metrics.

That sounds like a lot of tools in one sitting, but it only means marketers must draw upfront what their expectations of their measurement needs are.

Marketers can also benefit from Google’s altered capacity for analytic reporting as well.  Earlier this year, for example, Google introduced a free version of Google Data Studio as a data visualization aid. 

It does not take much to envision a combination of Google Optimize and Data Studio to make quick graphs from an A/B result.

4. Better align CX to revenue

Finally a free Optimize solution is a reflection of the growing importance of customer experience to revenue. By many estimates, customer experience and personalization will be the top two digital trends in 2020. 

A joint Forbes-Sitecore whitepaper by Walker identifies customer experience as the top business differentiator by 2020, overtaking price and product. Conducting A/B test will be crucial in discovering how customer experience can be improved from app and website refinements.

Testing Google Optimize Beta

The jury is still out on how the Optimize beta features work, be it with other Google offerings or in comparison to the GA 360 version, which will continue. I just signed up for the beta — you can do so here — and I plan to provide a review once access is granted.  Google expects to release the beta over the next month.

But once Optimize has rolled out, overall marketers should imagine their role in their corporate team being stepped up to the big leagues. 

Title image by Geoff Scott