Tolithia Kornweibel, director of online marketing at Esurance, discusses the firm’s growing commitment to geo-targeted promotions based on their strong performance in tests.
Q Esurance executed its largest test of geo-targeting in the third quarter of last year using Omniture’s Test & Target. Why was the company looking to adopt geo-targeting as a strategy?
A Because insurance is a geographically specific product, the personalization element helps people feel oriented when they land on our site. If someone is searching for New Jersey auto insurance and clicks through an Esurance ad to see a banner on the site promoting great rates on New Jersey auto insurance, they know they are in the right place.
Q How was the test structured?
A We had a new promotional rebate that was available only in the state of California and that we wanted to test broadly. However, we wanted to make sure we weren’t exposing the rebate to people not in California and that it only appeared to new potential customers, as they were the ones eligible for it. At the same time, we wanted to test different creative executions. For example, we had one version of a landing page that had an image of the state of California and another that had a bold headline reading, “California Rebate.”
Q What were the benefits of testing a geo-targeted promotion against creative using an automated platform?
A If we ran the test ourselves, we would have had to invest a lot of internal resources into setting up new pages and coding new functionality to make geo-targeting decisions. Because these features come standard in the Omniture solution, we can run more tests and get more lift in a shorter period of time.
Q What did you learn from the test?
A Quite often, when you do something to a landing page to increase clickthroughs to the next step, you see some degradation on the clickthrough to the step following that. This is usually okay as long as you get enough total lift.