easy as a…b…multivariate?

The scene: a small conference room full of marketers, the problem, one of them wants to “test” things.  Everyone smiles, nods, knows it needs to happen and then walks away happy no real plan in place and no idea what the plan should even be.   Where do you go from here and what do you do with it all?

Start off by adopting a framework for testing and a methodology.  This is a step all too often skipped.  Think back to the days of elementary school science fairs…scientific method anyone?

  • Formulate a question – What are you testing?
  • Develop a hypothesis – Which if the items being tested will be well received?
  • Predict the results – Make some assumptions
  • Perform your test – Do work!
  • Analyze the results – Measure, measure, measure

First, decide what kind of test you are going to do, here are a few options for you:

A/B or Split testing: This involves two versions of the same thing (be it a web page, email, asset, etc.), the plan is to divert half of your test subjects to one version of the asset and half to the other.  In this scenario you make a single change in the two versions, variations could be as simple as changing the color of something, placement of a call to action, font being used, day of the week an emails is sent, the possibilities are endless.

Multivariate testing:  The process that allows testing of multiple variations in the same test.  In a mutivariate scenario you make many different changes in an attempt to find the biggest impact the fastest across your experiment.

The important thing to know here, if you are doing mutivariate testing on a landing page/web property you will need substantial traffic to find real answers.

Next, set up your test.  Depending on what tools you are using you can go crazy at this stage.  If you are running web tests there are literally tons of great software tools available to test with from Google’s own testing tools available through Google Analytics to KISSMetrics to Optimizely or even native apps inside Marketing Automation Platforms.  If you are running an email test you might need to build out some programming inside your automation platform but at this stage in the game you have to put all the pieces together inside the technology.

Where do you go from here?  Wait and see..that’s up next.

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