One of the ways smart brand marketers make dramatic improvements in program results is testing. You can test almost anything: brand names, slogans, promotional offers, pricing strategies, the media you use, creative approaches, and so on.
While there are numerous ways to test, a simple way that can help you make quick decisions about what's working is the "A/B" test. The basic premise of an A/B test is to test only one thing at a time, keeping everything else the same, so you can analyze the difference in response, if any.
With an A/B test, you randomly divide an audience down the middle and test one variable against another. For example, suppose you want to test a product's price in an online ad. Set two different prices and create two different versions of an online ad, keeping everything the same except the price and a call to action, which is specific to each price (it could be a unique promotional code, for example). Tell the online media provider you are running a test and you want to randomly run the ads with the same number of impressions for each. Then analyze the response to the ad codes to see which price worked best. If you have a clear winner, you can then consider "rolling out" the winner to a larger audience.
You can use the A/B strategy to test just about any variable in any medium. It will help you learn what's working; in fact, it will allow you to minimize your risk by testing something across a small segment of your audience and then rolling out the winner to a larger audience segment.
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