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Why Marketers Need to Put A/B Testing by the Wayside Content

April 20, 2015 No Comments

Featured article by Cory Munchbach, BlueConic

According to eConsultancy, 87% of companies currently using A/B and multivariate testing are running between one to five tests per month. While A/B and multivariate testing has been known to improve the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, newer tools and methodologies that can be implemented today have evolved to become more effective and informative than their predecessors. Many marketers don’t realize that traditional methods of testing waste valuable time and, even worse, obstruct conversion rates. In order to stay competitive, marketers need to leave both A/B and multivariate testing behind.

Marketers have come to rely on A/B and multivariate testing, but don’t actually realize what the testing does – or more accurately, fails to provide – for their company. The testing approach involves sending traffic to all pages, including poorly performing ones, in order to determine which pages perform optimally. In short, a brand essentially chooses to share lesser content with a portion of its audience. For an enterprise that continuously produces strong content, the differences seen would be inconsequential; but for companies who need a content boost, putting out mediocre materials could prove costly.

There are better ways to test and optimize that anticipate your customers’ wants and needs through a marketing stack or CRM software. This option can provide deeper insights into the consumer. Here are three reasons why enterprises should ditch A/B and Multivariate testing now, because it:

Doesn’t put your best foot forward

A/B testing involves sending traffic to poorly performing pages or variants as a part of the testing process in order to determine which options are best-performing. If marketers test and optimize in real time instead, they can immediately start sending the majority of visitors to the better performing variants, while still testing various options in order to get the most optimal results.

Wastes time by prolonging poor variants

A/B testing slows the time to actual conversion, as the weak variants are tested longer than necessary to determine a winner. If variants that lead to strong conversion and those that lead to weak conversion each receive half of website traffic, visitors’ conversions will be significantly slowed. This wastes time and in this scenario, could cost up to 15 percent of conversion versus optimizing in real time.

Is limited to an average visitor who doesn’t exist

A/B and multivariate testing give marketers a limited view of the customer, as they only test the average online visitor rather than a specific individual or robust segment. Defining the audience by segmenting into a number of complex categories gives marketers a more comprehensive understanding of the customer, which in turn allows them to send more targeted messages and offers.

With so many new technologies available to marketers today, agility – the ability to adjust messaging content in real time in response to an individual’s intent – is the true differentiators that result in increased productivity and better outcomes. While testing is becoming more outdated, don’t abandon the concept altogether; with the most up-to-date technology and tools, marketers can react in real-time with valuable content. Talk about the perfect outcome.

Cory Munchbach PR 200x300 Why Marketers Need to Put A/B Testing by the Wayside Content

Cory Munchbach is the director of product marketing at BlueConic where she is responsible for guiding the company’s product vision and messaging to deliver the best results for clients. Prior to joining BlueConic, Cory was an analyst on the customer insights practice at Forrester Research, covering the intersection of marketing strategy and technology and an expert in the marketing technology landscape. She worked with user and vendor clients globally and was quoted frequently in industry-leading publications such as Forbes, AdAge, MediaPost, MarketingWeek, and AdExchanger. Cory is a Boston College alum and proud Boston native.



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