From those promoting global corporations down to those crafting ads for the smallest businesses, advertisers of every size know that choosing the wrong words, colors, or images can harm the effectiveness of a particular advertisement, potentially scaring away the very people they’re trying to entice. For this reason, advertisers spend a great deal of time, money, and effort trying to make sure their ads are as effective as possible.
But how can you know beforehand if your ads really will be effective, and not just a waste of time? By testing their ads against one another in a process called multi-variant testing, split testing, or A/B testing.
Even a simple small business can learn a lot from the big guys. Sears department stores posted a tiny, 4% climb in sales recently (thanks to Kmart) while at the same time Pier 1 Imports claimed an increase of sales that reached a little over 12%. The high end store, Neiman Marcus, posted sales that showed an increase of 4.5% but Barnes & Noble, the low priced booked store, had sells fall much greater than anticipated. Zale Corporation, (the one that sales diamonds) said it had sales fall over 9% and Costco bragged of a 9% increase in store sales last month.
Even the experts are not in agreement as to the state of the economy. Some say the worst is still to come. Some state that we have not only hit the bottom, but have started the up hill climb out. With such confusing messages being expressed from the numbers, where are small business owners to turn?
As a small business owner, one of your keys to survival is learning how to interpret the mass amount of information that is coming at you all the time. This is a little bit art and a little science. It is experience, however, that will help you decipher the complex code of economics.