Examples of Multivariate Testing in Marketing

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Mark Huber

In a previous post, we talked about what multivariate testing is, and how it helps with selling. To review, this sophisticated marketing science gives you more insight into what’s going to work best to attract customers and grow your business. That’s a big help when you want to make sure that your company continues to grow sales pipeline and revenues.

Here are some examples of how multivariate testing can be applied to marketing.

New Audiences and the “Smart” Sales Funnel 

One situation where a good multivariate test can increase conversion and revenue is with a new audience segment.

Take a look at this article detailing a project by Jawbone, a maker of wearable devices for personal fitness.

In this case, we’re talking about a celebrity endorsement on the “Oprah’s Favorite Things” list. Now, Oprah Winfrey is a big name, and getting that attention from her is going to drive new people toward your products. So what does multivariate testing have to do with it?

Reading through the story, you can see that Jawbone’s marketers came at this from a particular angle of new audience education and personalized marketing content. By presenting many different options, and looking at specific metrics, the company was able to take better advantage of the opportunity in question.

Multivariate testing can help you to set up a sales funnel that’s more than just a simple path. When you get more involved marketing tools on board, you’re able to make better deals all the way through the process.

Creating the Perfect Ice Cream Sundae – or Marketing Email

The value of multivariate testing is about combinations.

Suppose a company is trying to design the perfect direct email campaign, and focusing in on one initial email with its content and layout. Let’s make it a company with a cutting-edge product – a smartphone app that helps with residential and commercial real estate. How do the business leaders get people to try it out?

Over at Mailjet, Bea Redondo Tejedor  points out how this is likely to go. Marketers can look at every aspect of the email, to try to tie them together in the best possible way. They’ll see which “flavors” go together and attract the customer’s attention. By contrast, they will also see which flavors don’t go together at all. A particular call to action may be jarring after a given headline. With good multivariate testing, marketers get to the bottom of how to optimize their content – and that adds enormous value to a campaign.

The Retailer’s Seasonal Schedule

Here’s another case study that shows the value of multivariate testing.

A retail shop in a small town (called Bob’s Family Store) sells all sorts of convenience items. The business also has an online store where e-commerce marketing is a major driver for the business.

In both of these aspects of the business, the business owners are looking at the calendar to figure out when best to target their audience in the community. They’re doing particular kinds of marketing on holidays and weekends. Before Black Friday, they’re busy for a week solid pushing a ‘buy local’ message to take advantage of that one big shopping day.

This is another situation where multivariate testing can make all the difference. This local retailer needs their messages to be optimized. They need to pack the biggest punch possible on certain days, and at certain times of the day.

This page from Marketingland goes into more details about using multivariate testing to work on an annual or seasonal schedule – pointing out that it might come down to something as simple as different “Buy Now” or “Sale” buttons online around holidays like Easter, Christmas, Halloween or Thanksgiving. The piece also points out that “reducing barriers to purchase” is one of the best ways to streamline conversion and boost the deal-making power of a business.

Selling Tech Services

Retailers are generally most interested in multivariate testing to reach their consumer audiences – but multivariate testing is rapidly moving into the B2B domain.

In this particular case study, a hosting company performed multivariate testing on it’s content to significantly improve lead conversion rates.

In a blog post, one of the business leaders reveals the key results in terms of conversion rates that run the gamut from 2.7% to an impressive 7.5%.

You can see how the company, Hawk Hosting, played with particular title content, bullet points and graphic design in order to get these hard results.

These case studies give you a window into how much small design changes affect customer mentality.

We know that marketing is a complex science – but now detailed multivariate testing can tell us a lot more about how that very complex science works.

The case studies above all have a common takeaway: multivariate testing can take a lot of manual effort and time to complete.

Multivariate Testing for Demand Generation

Unfortunately, many companies don’t have the in-house staff and the time to set up and run multivariate test campaigns, so they settle for relatively simple A/B testing. A/B testing can improve conversion rates, but it will take longer to see results.

Forward-thinking marketers are therefore taking advantage of next-generation demand generation solutions like metadata.io, that use machine learning and artificial intelligence to automate multivariate testing, and free up marketers to focus on higher-value activities.

Stay tuned for an upcoming post in which we’ll show some of the results that Metadata customers are generating using the Metadata AI Operator to optimize their demand generation efforts. 

Meanwhile, let us know if we can help you add multivariate testing to your demand gen efforts!

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