By Jenny Shaw: Client Relations Intern

In this month’s article, “Applying A/B Testing to Traditional and New Media,” Absolute’s Media Director, Grant Christian, explained what A/B Testing is, how to do it and why it’s important. To make sure you got the most out of this insightful piece, let’s break it down into five parts:

  1. WHAT IS A/B TESTING: As a reminder, A/B testing is the practice of comparing two or more things against each other (e.g. ads, web banners, photos, etc.) to see which would result in the more successful advertising campaign. And A/B testing isn’t just found in the world of marketing/advertising – this technique has been used in all sorts of fields, ranging from video game design to the film industry, thus proving how useful it really is.
  2. A/B TESTING TIP #1 – VARIATION: When running your two ads, make sure they’re noticeably different in some way. This could be through the coloring, the messaging or maybe even the actors that are in your commercial. The comparison can also be as simple as the subject line in an email; whatever you choose, differentiation will help you get a clearer picture of what audiences prefer. However, it’s important to note that during your actual test to ensure focus on one specific comparison at a time so your results don’t get muddled.
  3. A/B TESTING TIP #2 – BE AWARE OF TIME/MONEY: To be honest, A/B testing can end up costing your company some time and money. Your test should run for at least a month, and you’ll probably get the results you need after no later than three months – so be sure you’re allotting yourself enough time to create and run both ads. Plus, to make two completely different television ads might mean your company has to shell out a few extra bucks and spend a few extra hours. A/B testing may be a bit time consuming and pricey, but in the long run, it’ll end up helping your company instead of hurting it.
  4. THE VALUE OF A/B TESTING: It’s hard to predict what consumers will respond to, but with A/B testing, you can actually see what your audience likes. Plus, this can provide advertisers with insight into potential patterns of what consumers seem to like and help with the creation of future ads. Plus, there’s no limit to how many times you can run an A/B test. After the first round, if your audience prefers Web Banner B over Web Banner A, you can run the test once more with Web Banner B vs. Web Banner C and continue the process over and over again to see which ad ends up being the most interactive.
  5. A/B TESTING IN ALL TYPES OF MEDIA: A/B testing is typically used in online campaigns, but it can actually be used for any kind of media your company is looking to advertise with. Online ads can be tracked with custom URLs via Google Analytics™, whereas television ads can be tracked by things like the number of phone calls being made or the number of video views if the ad is then placed online. Print advertising falls in between the two because it can be tracked both by a custom URL and the number of phone calls.

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