Which A/B testing and Personalization solution fits your organization?

Over the last couple of years, there has been an explosion of different solutions and tools to help a marketeer in their day-to-day job. When it comes to Conversion Rate Optimization tactics like A/B testing and personalization, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. However at The Reference we believe that it’s essential to select the right analytics and optimization tools for your organization.


Therefore, we apply theses principles:

  • We use well known and leading technologies with sufficient market share, available resources and well documented training material.
  • We select future proof technologies with a clear vision and a challenging roadmap of new features and possibilities.
  • We verify that technologies can easily be integrated and connected with other solutions (ex. open architecture, API driven, Cloud based, etc.)

We are convinced that both the Google Analytics 360 suite and Sitecore fulfill these criteria. Next to the “Google Premier” partnership, the “Sitecore Platinum” partnership gives us front-row tickets to the solution roadmap of both Sitecore and GA360. This position gives us a unique overview to compare both solutions and to understand how Sitecore and GA360 can differentiate and enrich each other


Why Sitecore?

The power of Sitecore can primarily be found in the combination of content management and experience management. A solid Sitecore setup is key to fully benefit from all the features in Sitecore such as content management, profiling, personalization, A/B testing, multivariate testing, marketing automation, etc. 

Some typical scenarios why you would use Sitecore as a marketer (for Conversion Rate Optimization):

  • A/B testing is part of the content management process
    When you change or add new content, Sitecore will automatically recommend you to test your modifications. Adding or testing new variations is literally part of the content input process. For multiple changes on the same page, you can use the multivariate testing capabilities.

    In addition, Sitecore can automatically publish the winning variant of a test. As a result you don’t need to go back and forth between different systems to release and publish the best performing version.

  • Sever-side adjustments
    With Sitecore, A/B testing, personalization and Analytics is server side. This means that the source code that your browser is loading is not manipulated with JavaScript to show different content (a.k.a. DOM manipulation). 

    Client-side content changes can create a short delay in the page load. If the testing scenario creates a significant change in layout or appearance, the client-side adaption can be noticeable by the end user. With Sitecore’s server-side testing, you don’t have this limitation.

  • Full control
    With every solution there is a certain point that you want to go beyond the out-of-the-box functionalities. With Sitecore you have full control of the data and what you want to do with it. In some cases this will require some development, but you have the required tools to implement more advanced scenarios such as: personalization based on CRM data or other input you gathered from a specific data sources. 

Why Google Analytics 360?

The transition of Google Analytics to Google Analytics 360 is more than a name change. With GA360 you have a collection of solutions that helps marketers in different digital challenges:

With Google Optimize a solution to test and personalize content has been added to a wide range of other Google products. 

Some typical scenarios why you would use Google Analytics 360 as a marketeer:

  • Ease of use
    Optimize is easily installed with the Google Optimize container and like most A/B testing technologies, Google Optimize has a point and click wizard to change content. The interface to change content is exceptionally easy and fast. It’s perfectly possible to change content without any technical knowledge or experience. However, be careful when you want to change big parts of the layout. All content is changed client-side, so large adaptations can be noticeable by the end user.

  • Enhanced reporting 
    GA has a large amount of dimensions, metrics and reports out of the box available. These dimensions and metrics are also available in Google Optimize and gives you the ability to do deep-dive analysis of the testing and personalization scenarios.

  • Advanced experiment targeting and personalization
    Google Optimize has a broad amount of out of the box conditions to target specific audiences. You have all the available target rules that you would expect from an A/B testing and personalization tool. The ability to include JavaScript variables, query parameters, first-party cookie and data layer variables gives you the flexibility to implement more advanced scenarios. But what makes Google Optimize truly unique, is the ability to include Google Analytics Audiences based on AdWords and DoubleClick data. This gives you the power to extend a personalized experience based on your (paid) campaign data. 

  • It’s free
    To a certain level Google Optimize is free. This is interesting to develop some first learnings in A/B testing and personalization. However there are some limitations with the free version. For example: you can only run 3 simultaneous experiments or you can only include Google Analytics Audiences with the paid version. If you want to run multivariate tests, there’s a maximum of 36 combinations in the free version.

It’s clear that both Sitecore and GA360 have their unique vision and approach to Conversion Rate Optimiziaton. Whether you should use one or the other really depends on what you want to achieve, which data you want to use and what you want to measure. We believe that both solutions are complementary in enriching your digital strategy with valuable insights and tactics.

We are happy to assist you in the right tool selection for your next digital challenge. Register now to our Google lunch session on May 17th and learn more! 



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The Reference is nothing without its customers. Melexis is the stock market-listed global player in the semi-conductor and sensors industry for whom we facilitated future company growth by updating the brand, building the completely new corporate website and giving shape to the use of online channels. Read more about this client.