Paul Cheney

This 1960s Statistician Can Teach You Everything You Need to Know About the Fundamentals of A/B Testing

January 21st, 2016

I did a training on selling training for the sales team today. It was what Millennials call “meta.”

I was talking about how our training uses scientifically valid experiments to back everything we say in our training rather than best practices, anecdotal case studies or just “expert advice.”

The question naturally arose: “What do we mean when we say ‘scientifically valid experiments’?”

When I answered the question in the meeting, I immediately thought it would be a good idea for a blog post. So, with that said, here’s the answer:

In short, it means that we use the scientific method to validate every piece of knowledge we transfer in the training (and also in our Web clinics and on this blog).

I found myself trying to explain what I learned in high school about the scientific method, and while I was able (I think) to get the basic gist across, I don’t think I did it justice.

Fortunately, after doing a little searching online, I found this guy.

His name is J. Stuart Hunter and he is one of the most influential statisticians of the last half of the twentieth century.

Fortunately, back in the 60s, he recorded some rad videos around experimental designs in a business context. If you can extrapolate a little bit from the industrial context and apply this to a marketing context, it should be everything you need to know about the scientific method, or “what we mean when we say ‘scientifically valid.’”



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Paul Cheney

About Paul Cheney

Paul Cheney, Senior Partnership Content Manager, MECLABS Institute Paul helps turn raw research into easy-to-understand content for MarketingExperiments readers. He earned his B.A. in English literature from Covenant College. Before joining the MarketingExperiments team, Paul wrote grant proposals and fundraising letters for a mid-size nonprofit in New Jersey. He has also worked as a freelance Internet marketing consultant and copywriter for small businesses. In his spare time, Paul enjoys reading, writing poems and dating his wife, Callie.

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