The Importance of Customer Centricity in Evolving A/B Testing


When we talk about A/B testing, we often think about it on a test-by-test basis. While this singular focus is beneficial, it overlooks testing’s role as an ongoing system for optimization.

At MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2015, Courtney Eckerle, Manager of Editorial Content, MarketingSherpa, sat down with Lauren Wagner, Senior Manager, and Tessa Srebro, Lead Generation and Marketing Associate, both of VolunteerMatch, to discuss how to utilize A/B testing to constantly evolve programs.

Lauren and Tessa’s company, VolunteerMatch, is a nonprofit organization that is the world’s largest volunteering network. It also has an interesting funding model. The company sells a Software as a Service (SaaS) product to companies to help fund its organization and, so far, this model has generated almost $1 billion in social value each year through its work with nonprofits and volunteers. VolunteerMatch is also more than familiar with the benefits of testing, as evidenced by the subject line test it ran with MarketingExperiments.

Watch the excerpt below from the MarketingSherpa Media Center to learn how keeping up with current trends and thinking like a consumer can help evolve your testing and your company.


Keep up with current trends and your customers

Keeping up with current customer trends is one of the most important pieces of advice Lauren Wagner gave when asked how to keep a company’s A/B testing constantly evolving. Be sure that you’re keeping up with current trends in the marketplace, but don’t forget to take the time to learn about your customers.

Lauren suggested paying attention to what your customers are interested in and adapting to their needs and interests.

Lauren advised marketers to “continue to look at the space that you’re working in and seeing, you know, what are people talking about, what are the trends that they’re talking about so that you can continue to take your emails and continue to kind of mold them and change them and shift them to what those people are really looking for and are really interested in.”

By utilizing this mentality, VolunteerMatch saw a shift in the departments it worked with and was able to adjust accordingly.

“The employee-engagement, employee-volunteering space has kind of shifted over the years from, you know, sitting in marketing departments, sitting in corporate responsibility departments, sitting in human resources departments,” Lauren said. “For us to kind of shift the way that we’re approaching the benefits of employee volunteering from each of those different places in a company really has to evolve and change over the years.”


Think as a marketer and a consumer

Tessa Srebro highlighted one of the biggest and often underutilized advantages marketers have: Every marketer is also a consumer. Instead of only looking at campaigns and advertisements through a marketing lens, question what ads are working from your point of view as a consumer. Tessa explained that when she sees an ad that impresses or interests her as a consumer, she then asks herself why that’s the case. This approach has led to great marketing insights.

“I’m kind of looking for things that I can take from other marketers to my own organization. I’m constantly analyzing the world around me in that way,” she said.

She then added, “Human nature doesn’t change. So if you have these skills about what sorts of messages are going to appeal to a person, whether through emotions or logic or all of that, that’s timeless. Human nature is not going to change.”


You can follow Kayla Cobb, Reporter, MECLABS Institute, on Twitter at @itskaylacobb.


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Online Testing: How a B2B SaaS nonprofit increased clickthrough on landing page by 291% [MarketingSherpa case study]

Lead Management: How a B2B SaaS nonprofit decreased its sales cycle 99% [MarketingSherpa case study]

The Writer’s Dilemma: How to know which marketing copy will really be most effective [More from the blogs]

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  1. Chris Hooker says

    Teresa is right on the ball on this. ‘We’ are them and ‘they’ are us. If we don’t, or can’t accept and work with this concept we are doomed.
    We must develop communities not markets. Sure, they may be virtual communities but without them we might as well give up now.

  2. Bryan says

    Good to see a non-profit taking their marketing to the next level. If I could, I would work only with non-profits. It’s amazing how GOOD some of them are at marketing and how BAD some of them are. The gap is WIDE.

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