Experimentation isn’t an add-on: Why you need a strong A/B testing solution in your data stack - Mixpanel
Product Foundations

Experimentation isn’t an add-on: Why you need a strong A/B testing solution in your data stack

Frederic De Todaro Chief Product Officer, Kameleoon

Best-of-breed product analytics solutions like Mixpanel are extremely valuable in that they do the best job at revealing how your users are behaving on your web and mobile apps. After all, getting firm data on where any sticking points exist in your product is the first step to A/B testing improvements.

But, to implement that kind of product experimentation properly, you’ll want to stick to the same standard you have for your product analytics. That means reaching for a leading A/B testing tool instead of opting for a feature-light “suite trap” add-on to your analytics. Do the latter and you’ll find yourself wondering why A/B testing software doesn’t work like you thought it would and need. 

Here are five benefits to choosing a leading experimentation tool that integrates with a leading product analytics solution.

#1 Easy access to A/B features and data can create a culture of testing

A/B testing and experimentation require buy-in from multiple stakeholders. The most successful companies have “cultures of experimentation,” not just lone CRO strategists. To build a culture, experimentation solutions need to offer features like Simulate, QA, Share, and reporting dashboards that make it easy to go from one test a month to 10. 

Beyond culture-building benefits, relying on a high-performance A/B testing platform means your company won’t have a single testing owner worrying about…

  • What they’ll tell sales when a flicker effect spoils a qualified lead
  • How they’ll explain to marketing that traffic is down because an experiment added extra time to the page load
  • Telling (and re-telling) stakeholders how much longer a test needs to run to gain statistical significance—and why

#2 Experimentation solutions need to be dynamic enough to work for marketers, developers, and product managers 

The use cases marketers and front-end developers face are very different than what many product managers experience. These types of users will want to optimize sales funnels and acquisition strategies using a smart graphic or CSS/JS code editor. Besides not wanting to need a developer to help them easily build custom tracking goals, marketers’ KPIs are going to look very different than the ones a product manager will have. 

If you don’t use an A/B solution that offers both simple testing tools and the kind of powerful and customizable features that your highest-level team members need, you’ll wind up pulling in developer resources to manually test, target, and track experiments anyway.

#3 Once testing UX, you’ll soon want to experiment on website and mobile app products and features

A/B testing and personalization is a powerful practice that is proven to separate slow from fast-growth companies around the world.

Even if an add-on A/B solution helps you test front-end elements, it won’t be able to support you with feature and functionality tests like optimizing your product recommendation algorithms on the back-end. These types of tests require a full-stack, or server-side, solution.

In addition to dozens of vital A/B test functions, a great A/B testing solution must offer a diverse array of updated SDK languages (to optimize server-side) and have the developers in place to keep them updated on a regular basis. Otherwise, you stall out.

Plus, feature experimentation today is increasingly converging with feature management. To test features and provide instant feature updates requires the optimization solution to have a specific architecture that supports complex IT needs like web server caching and proxy management, to name just a few. Without this advanced architecture, the solution won’t be able to deliver the feature flag capabilities necessary to manage different rollout scenarios or cope with the technical debt that comes with the practice. Simply put, the wrong tech will keep you trapped, not letting you test and update your product experiences quickly and easily.

#4 Knowledgeable customer service is still the best feature

Even if a product analytics A/B add-on has some of the experimentation solutions you need, you will still be missing the technical and customer service support that we all know makes a huge difference in retention and usage rates. Creating a test is relatively easy compared to setting up a test with the right KPIs and targeting.

When you need a consultative ear or have a technical question related to your experiment or feature flag, you’ll want the quick and informed support that only a product solution that focuses on experimentation can provide. 

#5 APIs and integrations make building tech stacks simple, powerful, and more valuable 

Smart brands build ecosystems so they can use the best dedicated solution versus staying stuck in a suite. Any A/B testing tool, at a minimum, must be able to easily connect to your customer data platform and analytics solutions. Great ones will also connect with CMS, email, and other helpful mar-tech—e.g. messaging, call-tracking, etc.

Why get locked into one solution when the best make it easy to integrate with the best? The last thing you need is to have your data and time stuck where you can’t use it to grow your business. 

Build a powerful optimization program the right way

Companies that are insight-driven by A/B testing are 5.5 times more likely to report 20% growth rates than others that are not. When you choose your product analytics solution, make sure it integrates with a leading A/B testing solution. Clumsy one-size-fits-all add-on solutions will only disappoint you and your company. 

About Frederic De Todaro

Frederic is the chief product officer for Kameleoon. HIPAA, GDPR, and CCPA compliant, Kameleoon is a secure and easy-to-use A/B testing, full stack, and AI-powered personalization platform that helps marketers, product teams, and developers maximize customer engagement and conversion. 

Kameleoon is a proud Mixpanel partner. To learn more about how the two sides build insights-led programs, please visit our integration page.

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