The State Of Online Testing 2010

After keeping busy all summer and early fall with client meetings, events, and absorbing repeated acquisition announcements, it's great to be home again and conducting research!

Most notably, my latest round of research on the topic of online testing, titled "The State of Online Testing 2010," published this week.  This document is the output of a survey conducted with online testing users alongside the "The Forrester Wave™: Online Testing, Q3 2010" research process.

As you may be aware I'm a huge proponent of online testing.  I think it is an underutilized and highly effective site optimization tool, with a wide array of applications.  I frequently find myself uttering the rallying cry "Test, Test, and Test some more!" and I often refer to online testing as the wind tunnel of site optimization, a contained and structured environment for evaluating the content, promotions, and customer experience components of the online marketing mix.
















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What did we learn about the state of online testing? The report showcases the data in it's full glory, but here are some highlights:

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Where Can You Go For Preference Management Support?

In recent inquiries and in one-on-one meetings at our Consumer Forum last week, I’ve had several discussions about the preference management landscape. We’ve written about the trend, but many of the questions relate to the players in the market. Given that I am unlikely to have time to write a landscape report in a reasonable timeframe, I figured I’d outline how we view the market and highlight some of the players.

Conceptually, I divide preference management into managing compliance versus managing preference. I don’t have a problem with compliance management — I would strongly urge companies to focus on it. But I don’t think of it as true preference management.

Compliance management can be further divided into a) complying with legal requirements, and b) complying with consumer requests relating to how you communicate with them. Legal requirements are pretty straightforward and in many cases channel specific — CAN SPAM for email communications, The National Do Not Call Registry for telemarketing, The Telemarketing Sales Rule for telesales, etc. Not complying with these laws has legal ramifications, and we usually find legal departments playing some sort of role in governance and compliance.

Consumer compliance usually relates to opting in or out of communication. That “opt” is sometimes done with the company directly — think “unsubscribe” or opt-in pages for email communication — and sometimes through third parties such as the DMA and many of the catalog opt compilers like, Catalog Choice, and the DMA’s DMAChoice.

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