Specialized Bikes: Harnessing Optimizely to Power Personalization Campaign Targeting

Two Specialized road riders coming through a curve

The Challenge:

Specialized Bikes, a worldwide brand for performance road and mountain bicycles, approached our agency, to help promote an onsite buy one, get one road tire campaign called Let’s Go Dutch.  In addition to A/B testing promotional content messaging through Optimizely, we identified an opportunity to serve personalized content to previously interested road tire shoppers on the site.

Given limited internal dev resources for this promotion, as well as abbreviated project timelines, roboboogie stepped in to make nimble changes on their site; serving messaging and hosting site changes through the Optimizely dashboard.

Specialized bike riders in back of truck with their bikes

The Solution:

Target marketing through Optimizely’s personalization features

In the two months leading up to the campaign, the roboboogie team collected a personalization target list by setting up a ghost experience to determine which users were actively looking for tires. Users who met the criteria under that experiment were added to a custom audience in Optimizely. The users who made it into this audience then saw a unique promotional content bar during the final BOGO campaign, giving them extra visibility into road tire deals.

Specialized bikes buy-one-get-one offer for Let's Go Dutch campaign

Utilizing Optimizely for testing, goal tracking and CMS (content management system)

Utilizing Optimizely as not only a test tool, but to push content as a CMS allowed the team to promote and implement tested messaging on appropriate road tires, instructing users on how to participate in the sale on the campaign tire pages on mobile and desktop nimbly, without the assistance of an occupied Specialized development team.

Specialized bikes road tires on shopping site

The Impact:

  • Road tire inventory sold out in less than a week –  months ahead of expected sell-out date. (Additional product added shortly after and has continued to thrive through personalization and added messaging.)
  • The strategic messaging addition boosted add to carts by 11.4 percent on desktop and 7.3 percent on mobile.
  • Personalization efforts boosted add to carts by 18.1%, and overall site sales by 21.4%.
  • Revenue generated through personalization experimentation alone has provided more than four times the monthly combined cost of Optimizely platform and roboboogie agency services.

And most importantly, a happy Specialized team, excited about ramping up personalization efforts due to impact of personalization efforts with the Let’s Go Dutch campaign.

Learn more about roboboogie’s target marketing and personalziation services here.

Written by Jedidiah Fugle & John Gentle

Top 5 Attributes of a Successful Experience Optimization Scientist

Analytics on a laptop screen close up
event badge sitting on a computer

Some say the process of learning how to learn, is more valuable than what you learn. As founder of a digital experience optimization agency (roboboogie Inc.) who fell madly in love with digital marketing after earning a BS in Geology, this certainly rings true to me. By studying a natural science, I learned how to be a scientist and I now follow a scientific method to improve digital experiences. So, does that make me an experience optimization scientist? I hope so.

I was reminded of this last week while attending Opticon, Optimizely’s annual gathering of CRO thought leaders, marketing executives and optimization practitioners. The highlight of the event was Optimizely’s announcement of their latest product, Optimizely X. Optimizely X builds on the solid foundation of its current A/B testing and personalization tools to create a comprehensive, cross channel experimentation and optimization platform. Optimizely X combines A/B testing, real-time dynamic product recommendations and content personalization, with full stack tools for experimenting on responsive websites, mobile apps, and even T.V. The product UI is intuitive, easy-to-use and a potential game changer for smart marketers looking to embrace the power of cross channel optimization. With the announcement, Optimizely is challenging brands to ‘Experiment Everywhere’, a challenge that we at roboboogie team take seriously, and practice daily.

So, what does it take to be successfully optimization scientist and ‘Experiment Everywhere? I thought I would explore this idea by first identifying the attributes of successful scientists.

Be curious

Sure curiosity can kill felines, but it is also a powerful catalyst for innovation and progress; a critical starting point for any new hypothesis. Don’t be afraid question everything and test new ideas. Follow your curiosity, it might just lead you to a pot of conversion gold.

Have patience

Any methodology worth following takes proper planning, patience, and dedication to the process. Marketers must commit to securing skilled resources, frequently come up with new test hypothesis, design and build experiments, monitor them, allow enough time to gain statistical relevance and taking time to do a careful analysis. Phew. Now rinse and repeat again and again and again.

Stay open-minded

Remember, good ideas can come from anywhere in your organization. Yes, even from your boss. A good scientist opens his/her senses to the surroundings, observes customer behaviors, and asks plenty of questions, while always being open to hearing the answers no matter how odd they sound.

Commit to the craft

Do not force experiment results into a preformed opinion. Be honest with what you’re observing and learning. Not all experiments are wins, but you will always learn something valuable. Take time to analyze the results and use those learnings to inform your next experiment or make a positive change.

Be Creative

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, ‘Science does not know it’s debt to imagination’. Don’t be afraid to push the boundaries and try new ideas. Dig deep into your imagination. Head out to the desert to find you soul. You might be surprised with what you find out there.


In optimization, many minds are definitely greater than one. Collaborating in cross-decipline teams gives you broader insights and fresh perspectives on new opportunities and discoveries you might otherwise fail to see.
So, think you have what it takes to be an experience optimization scientist? I am certain you do, after all you discovered our blog. So, get out there, be brave and test everything.

Thanks for the inspiration Optimizely.


John is the Founder and Lead Experience Designer at roboboogie Inc, a Portland, OR based digital design and optimization agency. roboboogie is helping innovative brands such as WACOM, Nike, Specialized Bikes, Universal Technical Institute and The CLYMB.com significantly increase online sales and conversions.