In my previous MarketingExperiments Blog post, I presented 3 steps to take in laying the groundwork for value proposition testing. In that post, I covered brainstorming value points, identifying supporting evidence and categorizing information into testable buckets.
While the lessons learned through these steps are valuable, the real prize comes from the ability to use those discoveries in a value proposition experiment. However, there’s still much to be considered before you’re ready to launch your first test.
So in today’s post, I will continue where we left off and explain the next step in developing a strategy for a solid value proposition test.
Before you begin to think of the ways to express your value proposition, you first have to understand the limitations created by the channels utilized to build your test.
We will always aim to find that perfect channel – the one that provides you with everything you ever wished to know about your customers – but oftentimes, that channel doesn’t exist and we have to settle for good enough.
Today, we will dive into four areas you need to consider in order to identify that ideal channel for testing:
- The amount of traffic the channel has
- The motivation of visitors within the channel
- The need for an image
- The ability to split visitors
Consideration #1. The amount of traffic in the channel
The first consideration you need to make is the amount of traffic into your channel. This is because in value proposition testing, we often have to duplicate a portion of the content between treatments in order to provide enough information to communicate value for the product or service.
Though necessary, this duplication of information can often lead to treatments performing similarly in a test because they are perceived similarly by visitors. Because of this, it’s important to run tests within channels that have high traffic levels.
The more traffic a channel has, the larger sample size you will have from the tests, and inherently, the faster real trends can emerge from your data.
Some examples of high traffic areas where I’ve witnessed value proposition testing take place include PPC advertising – both banner and text – as well as on homepages and product pages.
One caveat here worth mentioning is the challenge with reaching validity when it comes to highly specialized products.
Though it would be nice to learn something about our niche audiences for those highly defined and specialized products, if you don’t have sizable traffic visiting those respective webpages (thereby entering the channel), you may not be able to reach statistical validation in a reasonable amount of time.
I would love to be able to include the ideal number of visitors you need in your channel, but that number is only one of many variables that impact the time needed for you to reach a sample size large enough to reach statistical validation.
What I can tell also tell you is the more visitors you have, the more flexibility you have with regard to the number of treatments you can run, the conversion rates you can reliably work with, and the amount of variables you need to change to measure a difference.
Consideration #2. The existing motivations of your visitors
The second consideration is thinking about the existing motivation of visitors to your channel.
It’s very important to know if visitors are sufficiently motivated to pursue the product or service you’re promoting. It doesn’t make sense to offer a winter coat to someone living on the equator.
It also doesn’t make sense to try to sell that same coat to someone living in the Arctic Circle and then compare the responses between said prospects as apples to apples.
Those customers are way too different to generalize their responses across an entire product or service market vertical.
For a general example, it’s OK to test the value proposition of a car company in an advertisement posted on a website for auto enthusiasts.
But the same ad likely wouldn’t be as effective on an informational website for new mothers. Though you would likely see interaction with both ads, the mixing of markets would act to muddy the results of your test as the interaction in both places is teaching us about largely different audiences.
Consequently, instead of concentrating on learning what your ideal customer values about your car company, you would instead be mixing the views of your real prospects with the views of someone who may never look at another one of your advertisements, let alone buy this year’s new model.
The main takeaway here is always make sure that the visitors to your channel are all similarly motivated to learn more about your product or service. You can’t track clicks if no one is motivated to click.