Bringing “Big Testing” to the Marketing Department

big_testing_3-parts_600by Angela Guess

Scott Brinker of Search Engine Land recently argued that in order to fully take advantage of Big Data, the CMO must shift marketing culture toward “big testing.” He writes, ” For years, testing and optimization have been niche practices in the marketing department. A/B testing with a few direct mail pieces in the past. A/B testing with a few landing pages in the present. But, most marketing programs have been run on intuition. But now, big data is opening the door to the executive suite for a more hybrid analytical-creative method. The questions big data raises — okay, how do we use this data to grow our business?— have an answer: broadly embrace testing and controlled experimentation as the new ‘operating system’ of marketing. The answer is big testing.”

He goes on, “What exactly does ‘big testing’ mean? Its bigness is a function of three things: First, big testing is about experimenting with big ideas. This is best captured in an article by Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup: learning is better than optimization (the local maximum problem). It actually points out that most landing page and website optimization programs, while useful in some ways, are not very helpful at learning how to build a better business. ‘The right split-tests to run are ones that put big ideas to the test,’ he writes. ‘For example, we could split-test what color to make the ‘Register Now’ button. But how much do we learn from that? Let’s say that customers prefer one color over another? Then what? Instead, how about a test where we completely change the value proposition on the landing page?'”

Read more here.

photo credit: Search Engine Land

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