Running With The Winner

Having just acquired a software tool for advanced split testing of marketing messages, I was pretty excited when a new client came on board that seemed unsure which of their selling points was going to get the most traction.

The software allows for quick, multivariate analysis of a dozen factors or more- making for as many as 4 million variations! It tracks time-in-script, conversion rates for up to three outcomes, and much more.

Well, after having tweaked all the bells and whistles, we started our calls. On the project was one of my more experienced agents with over 20 years of B2B telemarketing experience.

The first thing he did was to short-circuit my split-testing plans by zeroing in on what he felt was the best message. Getting positive response after positive response, he just ran with it.

At first I was annoyed; but, then it occurred to me that the whole point of split testing is to find a message that gets attention and brings about action. All that had happened here was that my agent found the winner right off the bat- saving us time and obviating the need for split testing altogether.

The message here is to not allow yourself to be trapped by plans and theory- or fancy tools. Thinking out of the box takes different forms and if your best laid plans are laid to waste- for the better- then rejoice and take advantage of the situation.

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    An important note: Running with the winner early on requires that you know in advance the optimal conversion rate you can expect to achieve when everything is going right. If you don’t know the true potential of your campaign, you may mistakenly settle for something less. This is called knowing the difference between the local and global fitness functions. More about this in a later post.

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