How should we segment? And how do we know which version of an ad is best?

Ok, ok, so I know those ^ are two totally separate topics… but I wanted to touch on them both today, as they were the subject of two more presenters I saw last week (and if I do them all separately I’ll be writing about the Melbourne ecommerce Conference forever!).

Adam Blakney, MD of Bold Discovery, presented on ‘Segmentation with purpose: A workshop’. I noticed a theme beginning to emerge when he spoke about ensuring that segmentation is anchored in what’s important to your business – Col Kennedy had spoken previously about the importance of identifying your business’ purpose – or why you do what you do – I wrote about his presentation in my previous post, here. Adam also spoke about the need to think of your market segments as ‘communities’ instead.

Adam’s next main point was that we all like to work with what we know, but that it is much more important for businesses to figure out what they DON’T know, and then find some answers. He also pointed out that while big data was immensely valuable for figuring out what people are doing, you still have to talk to people in order to figure out why they are doing it. This, of course, is where market research such as focus groups and in-depth interviews can provide invaluable insights.

The last point that Adam made was to encourage the use of testing what you think you have discovered in the market. Which is a great segue into the next presentation I want to talk about…

Mark Baaste is a Director of Consulting at First. His presentation was entitled ‘Don’t trust it, test it: 5 hidden tests you need to perform to unlock hidden profits’. Now unfortunately this was the last presentation, and I was a little brain-dead by this stage, so I didn’t write down his 5 hidden tests! But I do remember him talking about A/B testing, or testing two versions (for example, of an ad, to see which performs better) and he recommended a website called WhichTestWon. This site gives some really interesting test results, and also allows you to guess which of two versions (usually of an ad or a webpage) produced the best results – some are surprising!

Source: Which Test Won?
Source: Which Test Won?

I think for me, one of the big eye-openers of this Conference and Expo was the sheer number of organisations out there that are dedicated to helping other businesses (for a price, of course!). As a past small business owner (and potentially a future one) this was of great interest to me. Thanks to the internet, however, there is actually an awful lot of free information available on-line… if you know what you are looking for 🙂 And of course that’s often the hardest part – figuring out what it is that you need to know!

Did you check out WhichTestWon? What did you think?

Would you like to own your own business in the future? Can you see yourself using the services of a company that can help you with things like ad testing, or would you do it yourself?


4 thoughts on “How should we segment? And how do we know which version of an ad is best?

  1. This was a really insightful post Pagan, I had never thought about interpretation of big data in that way.

    I completely agree that businesses (mostly small) often focus on what they know best. They also often think of digital properties and digital marketing as ‘free’. If small businesses realised the digital world is something that cannot be ignored (and definitely isn’t free) we would have many more proficient small businesses.


    1. I agree that small business must realise that digital marketing can’t be ignored. But they also need to consider the ongoing monitoring required, if they decide to take that path. (I mentioned this in my last post: – there’s also some interesting stuff in the comments). I guess it’s just about smart allocation of your marketing budget, whatever the size!


  2. I am glad marketers are being advised to move to better understanding their consumers rather than selling to consumers. But I think the old saying “Paralysis by Analysis” can still be applied today because there is SO much data out there. Unless you really know what you are looking for.
    The WhichTestWon website was really insightful, I just did a test and found that people in general prefer the extra fluff on a product description to make a purchase decision. Less isn’t necessarily more haha.


    1. Very good point Paolo – it can be easy to be afraid to take action because you don’t know ‘enough’ yet – sometimes you just need to bite the bullet and DO IT. I suppose (hope!) it gets easier to call ‘enough’ with experience! I’m glad you tried WhichTestWon – it’s fun but also useful!


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