B-to-B Insights: Test Your Way to Success
In the past decade, many of our clients have come to us in similar predicaments. They have to get out in the market quickly, and they either have no control package or the results of their current control have been deteriorating. They must hit their sales numbers, and need direct marketing to feed the sales pipeline. If we can help them find a winner quickly, they tell us, they’ve got resources set aside for a consistent rollout.
To help these clients solve their problems, The Kern Organization has developed its own methodology for multivariate testing. Called ControlFinder™, we employ this methodology to help clients test multiple offers, multiple creative approaches and multiple media sources, all at once. How do you know when you need this type of multivariate testing program? When there is no control. When there has been no testing, prior testing has failed, or when there is no meaningful performance data for lists, packages or offers.
Step One: Designing Your Test
The first step of your test program will determine the key success drivers: Which media channels will work for the offer? Which creative appeals will work for each list source, given a stated offer?
To illustrate this step, let’s consider a 25,000-piece program for a client I’ll call ACME. Here are the key assumptions driving the test program:
• ACME’s total market universe is estimated at 75,000 suspects. However, with limited information about campaign performance, the company has budgeted only a 25,000-piece test.
• Given a conflict between sales and marketing, we need to test a postcard and a letter package format.
• The sales manager thinks the sales leads generated so far from direct campaigns aren’t qualified. Therefore, we need to test three offers: product focus offer vs. a third-party educational offer vs. an educational offer with an incentive for immediate response. The sales manager has told the marketing leader, “I want to prove that our product is so good, it will sell itself.” So he’s demanded a test that promotes only the product. The marketing department knows better and would like to demonstrate the benefits of an early buy cycle educational approach. So it’s requested tests of a few soft offers involving an executive report prepared by an independent third party.