Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Test&Target - How it works

Test&Target information flow

The following diagram shows the flow of information when you use Test&Target to determine which targeted offers to display to your site visitors:

  1. A customer requests a page from your server and it displays in the browser.
  2. A first party cookie is set in the customer's browser to store customer behavior.
  3. The mbox on the page calls Test&Target.
  4. Test&Target displays offers based on the rules of your campaign.


Omniture Test&Target technology is based on "mboxes". Mboxes are wrappers that go around the content to be tested.

Mboxes are the area on your Web page where content is displayed.

One key to understanding Test&Target and what it can do for you is understanding mboxes. An mbox is a "marketing box," a portion of your Web page that can be configured to show different content in different situations. An mbox can also log the behavior of visitors to your site.

Mboxes are defined in the code for each Web page and are controlled with the Test&Target admin interface.

Mboxes are essential to campaigns and tests. You decide whether any mbox can do one, both, or none of the following:

  • Display and swap content for visitors.
  • Log visitor behavior in real-time.

Test&Target architecture

With mboxes in place, pages that are rendered allow Test and Target to apply new content to be shown in that wrapper and displays it to the user when appropriate. Every T&T request on the page will trigger a call to Omniture, which will look for the content variations tied to that specific wrapper ID and then serve the content by dynamically inserting it into the wrapper, overwriting the default content.

The following diagram shows the different elements of the Test&Target system:

  1. A call to mbox.js is added to the page after the body tag.
  2. Mbox wrappers are added around the content you are targeting along with a javascript call: mboxCreate.
  3. When the page is rendered, the javascript call fires. This javascript call sends a request to Omniture’s servers.
  4. Omniture’s servers look up the mbox that initiated the call. They find the content associated with that mbox, then return it to the user.
  5. The new content renders in the mbox wrapper, overwriting the default content.
  6. Test and Target drops a cookie on the user’s computer to track the test they saw and their later behavior reporting the findings back to T&T.
Brief explanatory video on Test&Target:

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