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Welcome to Josh Baker's Practical Advice for Optimizing Your Internet Marketing blog. Here you will find internet marketing optimization and online strategy articles full of tips, tricks, discussions, and thoughts to help you take your marketing and business to the next level of success.
Feb
21

Deconstructing a Marketing Test Hypothesis

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A marketing test hypothesis is a powerful and necessary part of your marketing optimization program when running tests. I am going to take you through creating a simple hypothesis.

A hypothesis clearly states:

  • What you are testing 
  • What your control and experimental groups are 
  • What outcome you predict will happen (based on an educated judgment) 
  • What is the alternate outcome 
  • What you will need to track specifically in order to prove or disprove your test prediction.

 
Let’s look at a hypothesis more closely.

A hypothesis is clear and specific, testable, and can be proved right or wrong.

Look at these differences between a prediction, a question, and a hypothesis:

A Test Prediction: Not asking for a phone number on my registration form will increase registrations.    
A prediction is the outcome you expect – more or less your educated guess of what will happen.

A Test Question: Will not asking for a phone number on my registration form increase registrations?

A Test Hypothesis: Paid Search traffic reaching my registration form that does not ask for a phone number will  produce more registrations than Paid Search traffic reaching my registration form that asks for a phone number.

A hypothesis states with conviction what results you expect to see from your test, both from your control and your experimental group – it is here that you will state your test prediction.  And since we know that a hypothesis has to be able to be proven either right or wrong, we only have 2 possible outcomes – either my registration form that does not ask for a phone number increases registrations over my control that does ask for it, or it doesn’t produce more registrations(or a tie).


And finally, let’s break down the above marketing test hypothesis to show specifically what it explains:

  • Paid Search traffic reaching my registration form that does not ask for a phone number is the experimental group
  • Produce more registrations is the outcome we expect from the experiment and what we want to track
  • Paid Search traffic reaching my registration form that asks for a phone number is the comparison or control group.

If you wanted to run this test with multiple panels each having a different form field requirements (size), you could in reality replace phone number with less fields:

Paid Search traffic reaching my registration form that has less than 7 fields will produce more registrations than Paid Search traffic reaching my registration form that has 7 fields. ” 

You are still testing your hypothesis of that less fields will produce more registrations than your control of 7 fields, but you will determine from your testing which length is optimal to rollout with if your hypothesis is true.

With your completed hypothesis you can now execute your marketing test to your website visitors and let them prove or disprove it. If they prove your hypothesis to be true then you did a great job with your hypothesis’s prediction, if they disprove it, you still have learned something (make sure you take away lessons from each test!) – The test is not a failure, just try again after formulating a new hypothesis.

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