Marketing Challenge: Retest or Roll With It: Answers

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Cameron MacDonnell is unsure as to whether his campaign test results are an anomaly. Should he retest or just run the campaign as is? Read the full story and provide your advice.


Peter Mendelson, 
Chief Revenue Officer, 
Pond Lehocky 

Since only a measly 3% of the responders to the 30-day call-to-action group became repeat customers, and since this represents a significant decline from the normal 60-day group, MacDonnell absolutely has to retest. Testing will confirm whether Just Pets tapped into discount junkies who are always looking for the next deal. If so, this would be nothing more than a short-term win and, if perpetuated without further testing, could seriously diminish the lifetime value of a Just Pets customer.

Kevin McPherson,
General Manager, Communication and Marketing 
Services, Xerox

MacDonnell should retest the campaign with two different offers: One with 30 days as the expiration and the other with 60 days. Then he'll be able to compare the results. The first test was not a good comparison because there was no control group. There may be other factors at play; for example, list quality, seasonality, compelling graphics, or message. If MacDonnell feels confident, then he should do an 80/20 split favoring the shorter window; otherwise, he should go with a 50/50 split. With only one variable changing, he'll be confident going forward.

Michelle Faretta, Marketing 
Consultant, 360 DIRECT

MacDonnell didn't seem to really think through how his target market would purchase. He didn't create any added value for those customers; just a quick way to enjoy a discounted purchase price. In today's market
people are looking to build a relationship—and he didn't truly convert them. MacDonnell should run the campaign again and focus on tailoring the promotion to the individual, thus creating a personal relationship with the brand. He should look at prospects' individual website search behaviors and send along some educational information targeted to those behaviors as part of the campaign. For prospects whose behavior implies that they're cat lovers, for example, tailor the experience to direct them to a page on the site that includes a cat meme or an explanation of the benefits of a certain product for cats. Generating a personal relationship in this way will generate repeat buyers. 

Robert Barrows,
President, R.M. Barrows 
Advertising and Public Relations

MacDonnell really should use The Barrows Popularity Factor. It's a formula that will allow him to quantify the relationship between advertising and sales.The Barrows Popularity Factor reduces the relationship between advertising and sales to its lowest common denominator, namely:

How much did you sell (in units)? / How much did you advertise (in gross impressions)? 

The answer will be a rate of return on gross impressions (the number of ads multiplied by the audience per ad).

Once MacDonnell quantifies his rate of return on gross impressions, then he can...determine the best way to spend his advertising budget.

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