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Beauty and the Beast of Testing

The beauty of testing is the ability to track data back to the most granular level – campaign level, adgroup, keyword, publisher, creative, landing page – for the purpose of analyzing results. Our job as marketers is to learn our audience, learn their behavior, their intention, and the effect that our ads and landing page verbiage/imagery has on purchasing habits.

We look to landing page imagery – does a single person or a couple resonate most with our audience? Scratch that, what about a clean cut quote box? Or how about a blue background with a white quotebox.. or a white background with a blue quotebox? The logo and phone number.. right hand side or left hand side of the page? There is a multitude of options to discuss and potentially test.

We can analyze within different time frames – how does our weekend audience perform relative to our weekday audience? Is there a week over week difference or a month over month difference? Does time of day influence purchasing habits?

Ad copy is the key driver in ushering users to the landing page.  We know that headline is the most influential piece for attaining clicks, but what about the description lines? Will the placement of, for example, a savings amount in the 1st line of ad copy persuade a user to click more so than in the 2nd line of ad copy?

The list of testing options is endless.

However, after endless amounts of testing and analysis on each piece of the testing puzzle, I’ve come to one big conclusion…

The majority (not all, but majority) of data is reliant on 1 thing. Propensity to Purchase.

It is an obvious fact that keywords lower in the propensity to purchase funnel will inevitably render more meaningful testing results – (i.e. if users are already ready to purchase, which piece will encourage them along the path in a quicker fashion?).  I am referring to those campaigns, keywords, users that make up the majority of our audience and reside in unknown places within the purchase funnel. I call them.. the Beast of testing.

The different data pieces we collect may prove irrelevant if our audience is not in our desired point of the funnel.  Our ad copy could be perfect, our landing page divine, but if a user is not ready to purchase, they will not purchase.  That could render our perfectly acceptable testing verbiage and imagery as ‘irrelevant, ineffective, and unsuccessful’.

Conclusion: Be AWARE that propensity to purchase plays a large role in testing.  Of course, testing is beneficial and crucial to running any successful campaign, but always take into consideration that your audience will need to be in a certain state of mind to invest into your offering.

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