It’s hard to believe that A/B testing didn’t really exist before the turn of the 21st century. People would make their best guess and launch ads, websites, and other products without testing actual designs. Now you can use surveys and other A/B testing methodologies to create the most effective advertising before you start spending your precious media budget.
A/B testing – also know as split testing – is a way to test two ideas head-to-head to see what yields the best result. It’s a way to put some analytical rigor behind testing hypotheses to determine which ad is the “winner” for your business.
In a nutshell, split testing allows you to show two identical audiences different versions of something at the same time. Imagine that you’re running a print ad and you don’t know whether it would be better to show an image of your product by itself or an image of someone using the product. You can use a split test to determine which version of the ad could driver better results.
Let’s continue to use the print ad example. Using a survey to A/B test will enable you to weed out versions of the ad that don’t deliver against your KPIs (key performance indicators). As you create different versions of the ad to test, you’ll want to think about the following:
Want to learn how to test out a few concepts before you go live? There are a few important things to do to ensure accurate A/B test results. (Also, before you launch your survey, think about whether you should be running a survey or a focus group.) You can really win at A/B testing when you:
Let’s continue to think about A/B testing the main image in your ad. Here are some of the types of questions you can ask your split audiences about the ad.
Remember, you can be showing different visual designs, copy, and layouts, as long as you test one thing at a time.
If you’re running online advertising, you can also do A/B testing in the wild with live ads. The great thing about a survey, versus live A/B testing, is you can also ask WHY someone chose an ad. You can also get ideas through free response feedback you didn’t originally consider.
Ready to get started? Once you start testing and seeing the impact effective advertising has on your business, you’ll create an insatiable appetite to learn more and continually make improvements for your customers.
Brand marketing managers can use this toolkit to understand your target audience, grow your brand, and prove ROI.
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