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You Want Fries with that A/B Test?


Here at Brooks Bell, our team of testing and optimization experts routinely creates strategic testing roadmaps for clients. Our methodology includes a test matrix, which we use to guide strategy, weigh tests, and inform decisions. It’s safe to say that there’s never a shortage of test ideas. Our team members—account, development, analytics and creative—regularly assemble in brainstorm fashion to develop testing ideas with great success.

You may not have the benefit of a diverse testing team with whom you can bounce testing ideas and strategies to determine your testing roadmap. If you are the Lone Testing Ranger, or perhaps your team is not sparking the tests that win, you don’t have to look too far to be creative and come up with a set of very sound testing ideas. As you’ll see, you can train your mind to uncover worthwhile tests by examining the abundant marketing world around you.

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A golden example

We are surrounded by hundreds of extremely successful, B2C companies. For most of these companies, effective marketing is key to their success. One great example of enormous marketing success is McDonald’s.

If we simply stop and take a few minutes to think about the marketing history of McDonald’s, we can generate an amazing list of test ideas in a very short amount of time.

There are multiple marketing strategies from recent McDonald’s history that we can focus on, but for this example, I’m going to focus on slogans.


Slogan #1: I’m lovin’ it
The angle: The perspective of the consumer–passionate and positive.
Test idea: Try copy that invokes a user’s passion for the product, or creates optimism about the brand. Go with dramatic photography or imagery that supports the notion of great happiness with the product.

Slogan #2: You deserve a break today
The angle: We (McDonald’s) are exactly what you (the consumer) need, today!
Test idea: Position your company/brand as the answer to the customer’s problem. Focus on your customers primary needs and wants. Photography and imagery should convey customer satisfaction.

Slogan #3: It’s a good time for the great taste of McDonald’s
The angle: Now is the time to take advantage of all of our goodness. Provide positive reinforcement of your product, accompanied by the immediacy of “now.”
Test idea: Messaging around the idea of “What are you waiting for? Hurry up and take action now.” This would work well with time-sensitive campaigns, such as the upcoming holidays. Imagery might incorporate bursts or ribbons to call attention to the sense of urgency or immediacy.

Slogan #4: What you want is what you get
The angle: Delivering customer value, customization
Test idea: Position the messaging from the perspective of “we’ve listened, and we’ve created this [product/service] for you. It’s all about you. Use imagery that infers customization, or the product in the hands of the customer. Consider delivering real customer value by developing features or tools on your site that truly deliver customization – such as a “Personal Shopper lightbox” as my talented cohort, Victoria Morehead suggested in her post “Conversion Amplifier: Getting personal with Your e-Commerce Customers” 

Slogan #5: You want it, you need it, you gotta have a taste
The angle: This one is self-explanatory!
Test idea: This is about consumer psychology. Try some “in-your-face” messaging appealing to the desires of your consumers. Convince them that they cannot go without your product. Consider promoting heavily all of the features that are irresistible. And while you are at it, break out and dust off your book on consumer psychology. There are hundreds of tests to be discovered!

While these tests may not have blown your socks off, every one of them is valid and worth considering – and is somehow tied to tactics used by an extremely successful company. As this exercise has hopefully shown you, it’s fun and easy to open your mind up to new testing ideas. You don’t need to look too far for great examples that have worked for others in the past. With a little bit of creative thinking and research, you may just take your testing program to new heights!

P.S. – Curious to know my personal favorite marketing tactic of McDonald’s? I’d have to say it’s the pure genius of the Dollar Menu. What testing ideas can you extract from that one?