Every day of our lives we succumb to more and more advertisements. Unconscious or not, we are always judging everything we see and think to ourselves, “Wow, what a creative ad. I sorta want that thing”. Or the opposite, “Wow, that thing is annoying and wasting my time here. I wish these ads were showing me value!” Well… Maybe not the last part. But that’s what we as consumers want from a brand: value.
Now you may be thinking: Why is A/B testing the hero? Or what even is A/B testing?
A/B testing is something we see everyday of our lives and we often never know. I think it would be best to describe it by looking at our favorite products.
Let’s look at mountain dew. Everyones favorite soda to talk about.
This ad represents 1 flavor with 2 different colors. A – the green bottle, and B – the red bottle.
It put power in the hands of the consumers to choose what their favorite is, something we don’t see often. This A/B test was mutually beneficial, like they should all be, giving consumers the red shock flavor they liked, and the company increased sales at a fraction of the cost of other mediums.
Most of the time A/B tests are happening without us even knowing it i.e. that’s why it’s called the ‘hidden’ hero. They’re are giving users the best experience possible by letting the data speak for itself. With programs like Google Analytics developers and marketers alike can have real-time information on what advertisement/landing-page is performing best.
What is important about this example is not only that 4x as many people chose version B, but that it has a clear trackable difference: the ‘Buy’ button at the top left corner.
Digital marketers have a distinct edge over many traditional marketers because the fun doesn’t stop there. With real-time tracking of advertisements, landing-pages, and banner ads we can constantly improve what we have to give the user the best experience. Web designers call this UI/UX or User Experience Design. Very few things in life do we get to try, fail, and improve on innumerous times. How would you like to be able to turn in an assignment multiple times until you got 100%? Or Talk to that special person using A/B testing pickup lines until they comply.
A/B testing can be enormously successful and far cheaper than many other optimization attempts. Some companies saw an increase as much as 368.5% more leads by A/B testing their websites.
So a few quick tips to successful A/B testing
- Do not track too many things at once: You need to know specifically what’s working, and what’s not.
- Start with Google Analytics – They have free tools that will allow you to do it like the pros.
- Remember basic marketing research principles – Have a big enough sample size and run the tests at the same time.
- Do a whole bunch of them – Optimization is key!