Signal CEO Mike Sands says CMOs are in a bind. The bar set for them is high, and the number of months they’re given to hit their marks are so low that there’s little time for them to test what they’re doing and optimize results.
“The biggest issue is the time involved in setting up the test,” says Sands, himself a former CMO of Orbitz. “It would take me many months of negotiations to develop build cycles with my IT department. The budget was there, we could call in vendors fairly quickly on a test, but it might take six months to put the program in place. CMOs are in their jobs two or three years. They don’t have time to run one test a year.”
Sands says Signal Tag, a feature of the new Open Data Platform that the company recently launched, allows users to tap into Signal’s user interface and create an equitable customer split for a test by entering rules into the engine instead of coding manually. Non-technical users are able to configure “tags” or “web beacons” that breaks them free of lengthy IT cycles, Signal claims.
Survey Monkey, which served as a beta user of Signal Tag in a test of two retargeting vendors, reported a 33% reduction in customer acquisition cost as a result of its findings. “Signal gave us an advanced tool for obtaining granular insights into customer behavior, helping us to reduce customer acquisition costs and strategically increase the ROI on our targeting campaigns,” says Gallant Chen, director of online marketing at SurveyMonkey.
“Splitting your audience for a clean test between two vendors is a hard technical problem,” Sands says. “What we’ve been able to do is let marketers go into our rules engine and get very granular about the customer sets they want for their test groups and do it without IT’s help.”
Sands asserts that the payoff for CMOs could be four to six tests a year instead of one.