Creative testing, also known as A/B testing, is a method of comparing two versions of something to see which one performs better. From website design to email marketing campaigns, there are many aspects of marketing that use these tests.
Despite the broad uses of A/B testing, this guide will focus on creative testing in the context of digital advertising. There’s a simple reason advertisers invest a lot in their A/B testing practices: A/B testing can have a significant impact on an ad campaign’s success.
An A/B test doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, the simplest form of an A/B test is to create two versions of an ad and show each version to the same group of people. Campaign managers can then compare the results and see which worked best on their audience.
Factors that can be tested in an ads include headline, copy, images, and call-to-action (CTA). By testing different elements of an ad, advertisers can fine-tune their campaigns and maximise their return on ad spend (ROAS).
Concept testing is a type of creative testing that helps you test new ideas before they are developed into full-blown campaigns or products. Unlike A/B testing, which involves measuring the performance of two finished ad, concept testing is useful to refine an idea and make sure it has the potential to be successful before fully developing it.
There are a few different ways to go about concept testing. If we were trying to test the concept for a new ad, the creative team could simply ask people their opinions on the idea and the data could be collected through surveys or focus groups.
Another technic used by marketing managers, and the one we’ll be discussing further in the guide, involve testing a creative concept directly with their audience instead of asking focus groups. By measuring the performance of a simple version an ad, a marketer will be able to collect data to help them decide if the idea would work before making a full version of the ad.
Ultimately, concept testing is a way to gather information about an idea to see if it is worth pursuing. By testing an idea early on, you can ensure that when the official campaign launches in the future, it’s based on proven results instead of
Creative testing is important because it allows you to see how your audience responds to different types of content. This can help you to fine-tune your message and make sure that you are connecting with your audience in the most effective way possible. The knowledge of the right message can save you a lot of time and effort in the long run, as you will be able to focus on creating content that is more likely to be successful.
Many teams use weekly creative test meetings as the starting point of any strategic marketing discussion. By making these meetings take place on a regular cadence the performance of their campaigns can be understood by the whole team and it ensures that the team stays data-driven.
As marketing departments become more sophisticated, the creative testing process also becomes more advanced. It is not uncommon to see creative teams run multiple ongoing tests and have strict processes around the reporting of results and implementation of learnings.
There are four main benefits of creative testing:
Advertising agencies are certainly aware of what creative testing is. Many agencies use A/B testing as a way to improve their creative output. Not only is it a tool used to guide their strategy, but it also plays a role in how they communicate with their clients.
Testing helps guide creative strategy by constantly experimenting with different elements. By knowing which element works best, those lessons can be applied to future projects with the client. The creatives develop will overtime become more effective in resonating with their target audiences.
A/B testing also plays a role in communication since it provides tangible evidence to support the agency’s decisions. This is important when trying to persuade a client to sign off on a certain idea. By being able to show that a certain change led to an increase in conversion rates, it becomes much easier to get buy-in from the client.
Overall, A/B testing is a valuable tool for agencies to use in order to improve their output and we’ll be discussing specific approaches more useful for agencies, as well as for in-house teams in the upcoming sections of our guide.
In addition to being used as a tool for improving creativity, concept testing can also be used as research. What if you had a specific question about your audience’s preferences, how would you go about a getting an answer to your question?
For example, suppose you wanted to know if your audience is more interested in using your product in the morning or in the evening. You could use an A/B test comparing an ad that showcases your product in those two different settings. By seeing which ad performs best you would have a good idea of your audience’s preference.
By running your ads with enough ad spending, you can achieve statistical significant results on your audience’s preferences. In other words, you can say with confidence whether one your customers were more interested in learning about your product when it was showcased in the day.
In the following section of this guide we’ll be going into more details about the benefits of A/B testing. We’ll also go through an example of what an ad creative testing process would like in your organization.