Market Research: A/B testing, Big Data, and Ultra-targeted Marketing
We have already explained in this blog what A/B testing is, and how powerful it can be. Let’s now go one step further and see how A/B testing masters use it to create ultra targeted messages.
Big Data, demographics and sociographic
Social Networks are a gold mine of information. Social Networks give anonymized information like gender, age, location, profession or even income. These are classical demographics that every marketer knows and maybe uses. But what’s new is that these Social Networks give you plenty more information. Interests and behaviors are a new set of data that are accessible.
Ultra targeted marketing
By using the Big Data possibilities of Social Networks and the power of A/B testing you enter in a new area of marketing.
You can now optimize your marketing campaigns with ultra targeted messages. Each country or region has its own subculture. Each region has its own humor. With A/B testing you can now detect which message or humor works best for each subculture.
You can adapt the tone of voice for different genders, age ranges or professions. Not impressed yet? You can go further by targeting certain behaviors and interests and mixing them with other criteria. You can combine for instance income data with geolocation and address customers with highly localized messages.
Store visits campaign even allows you to track if someone has seen an ad before visiting a store.
Furthermore, technological developments (such as iBeacon, RFID, NFC) allow marketers to send highly targeted messages to their target group such as in-store promotions based on the customers location. This means that your marketing campaigns become extremely relevant to the viewers. They take into account their subculture, their humor, and personal style.
From digital to offline
Does this work only for online marketing? Of course not. A/B testing is something that existed long before the days of digital marketing. Mailings used A/B testing for optimization.
In 1960, David Ogilvy, the father of advertising already explained the power of such methodologies. And at that time there was no internet, no digital screens.
You can run A/B testings offline but often these will generate large setup costs. At Enigma, we often use online A/B testing and Big Data capabilities from Social Networks to do our market research. With our online tests, we are able to create models. You can then use these models in the offline world. If consumers reacted better to a certain type of imagery or copy online we can then use this one for the offline campaign.
Using Big Data and A/B testing to win an election
This sounds all theoretical and perfect but does it work in practice? Oh yes! It even helped us win many elections.
In the campaign for the new Gotthard Tunnel in Switzerland, we got fantastic results. We were able to customize the website for each linguistic region of Switzerland. The arguments shown on the French version of the website were not the same than those on the German version. We discovered that topics like security were important for the German speaking side of Switzerland. But in the French speaking region, it were the economic factors that were important for the public.
By doing so, the campaign website was relevant for each community. It was relevant because it took in consideration its particular fears and interests.
In the same campaign, we also tested out which way of presenting the same argument worked the best. Therefore, we designed a broad variation of emotional to factual ads – all representing the same argument. Our testings allowed us to narrow down the audience, to increase the CTR (click-through-rate) and reduce the costs by showing the target group more and more relevant ads. By doing so, we were able to generate a gigantic number of discussion, which even lead to the integration of our ads in major national newspapers and TV shows.
This is the demonstration that Big Data from Social Networks and a good A/B testing strategy can win elections. And the bonus is that it creates free advertising in classical media.
You can use A/B testing and Big Data too
There is this myth that you have to be a huge company to use these powerful tools. That’s completely wrong. Through the digital revolution, access to these tools is no longer reserved for the elite. Startups and small companies can also use the power of A/B testing and Big Data while only investing a small amount of their budget.