Playing the Field: Why A/B Testing Is Absolutely Essential
Let me pose to you a hypothetical.
You’re at happy-hour with some of your friends and there are a couple of good-looking girls who’ve caught your eye. You approach the first girl, engage her with a little small-talk, but unfortunately she doesn’t show any interest towards you and walks away. Tough luck. It’s alright though. You dust your shoulders off and find the other cute girl you saw earlier. You approach her with the same demeanor, engage her with similar small-talk, BUT this time you buy her a drink. You keep chatting for a little while, everything is going smoothly, you even get her number before she has to leave. Way to go, you just completed your first successful A/B test. Now you just need to do it a thousand more times to confirm whether buying a woman a drink helps you get her number.
The importance of A/B testing in marketing is finding out what works best. Everyone can assume what works best, and that experience and intuition is important. But until you actually execute a strategy you have no idea how successful, or unsuccessful, it might be. A/B testing allows you to figure out if a serious tone resonates with your target market as opposed to a humorous or laid-back tone of copy. You can test different versions of user experience for your website to find out, what color button gets more sales or which layout is more intuitive. The possibilities of A/B testing range from testing subject lines all the way to naming and branding.
With high client expectations and limited budgets, A/B testing is a savior. How could you comfortably execute a strategy based solely off of hope? How do you know the right move when you can’t afford expensive focus groups and intense market research? There is too much pressure riding on every campaign to not A/B test. All good PR agencies and creative marketing agencies A/B test to see what executions and strategies work the best. It’s not hard to see why people choose to A/B test different strategies as opposed to shooting your shot and hoping for the best.