Why AI is Better Than Split Testing And How To Use It

Companies always strive to optimize their conversion rate – this is an important and widely used strategy. They run hundreds of tests and experiments per year to optimize customer experience. And they mostly do it through AB testing or split testing. But the problem with split testing is that it’s just not that efficient.

Companies have been limited to this type of testing for decades. But these tests rarely produce any positive results and companies don’t have the resources or the traffic to run the required number of tests to really get the results they need. It’s still an important tool for decision making and optimization but in the field of conversion rate optimization, it could still be much better.

One of the Artificial Intelligence goals in digital marketing is to provide the right message at the right time but it sometimes goes wrong. We have all been haunted by an ad all over the web – an ad we are not even interested in.

This happens because marketers have to decide when and where the message will appear through human guesswork, which can be wrong – as we all know. Those guesses do come from a lot of testing but it’s a slow process.

Artificial Intelligence has transformed the world

Artificial Intelligence vs AB Testing

From the IT department to customer service and so on, it changes the way we think about ads.

A recent study has found that 46% of the customers say that an ideal experience would involve websites with ads that are only relevant to them and as much as 58% has stated that this personalized approach improves their vision of the brand.

However, the split testing relies heavily on past behaviors, patterns and preferences of similar people.

Artificial Intelligence technology is there to change that – both the way we test and the way we serve the ads. Google has launched an Artificial Intelligence tool that adjusts to searches and saves the advertisers a ton of time. Another company, Bidalgo, has launched Creative Artificial Intelligence which makes it easy for marketers to learn about what their customers want.

This is going deeper and deeper into media and the buying process, especially online advertising.

Artificial Intelligence can predict what your customers will want

Artificial Intelligence vs AB Testing

The Artificial Intelligence tool from Bidalgo scores various elements of the ad, based on all of the parts of the customer journey. It also compares the performance of different ads and messages, as well as images. Advertisers may be flying blind in a lot of occasions because even if you see a pattern you don’t know why it’s happening. But Artificial Intelligence can help advertisers understand both what and why as well as allow them to break down some variables.

Without Artificial Intelligence, advertisers would need to apply split testing by changing just one variable and then running variations against the original and other variables to get the winner. Then the circle moves on when they have more variables to test. But Artificial Intelligence is able to do dozens of things at the same time. This is a faster way and a better way to create ads.

Artificial Intelligence may have some answers when it comes to the “why?” of preferences

Artificial Intelligence vs AB Testing

Many companies are adopting and learning more about machine learning and Artificial Intelligence, data is pretty thin still. However, this information will come soon. As soon as that happens, marketers will be able to compare trends and find what’s common with all of them. Artificial Intelligence can’t yet understand the psychology of things but it will be able to in the future.

Humans still create ads but this could change in the future. Last year, the first robot creative director was launched. They fed the robot’s Artificial Intelligence with outstanding ads and the robot came up with an ad with a dog flying around in a business suit. This ad was actually preferred over the human made advertisement.

The conceptualization should, however, always be left to humans because they are by far more creative than a robot. Humans can work on ideas and creative parts while a robot or Artificial Intelligence would work on testing and analyzing.

Testing limitations of split testing:

  • Resource constraints – Many companies don’t have enough money to afford more people to work on testing and analyzing the behavior and patterns.
  • Increased constraints – Companies also struggle with having a sample large enough to provide for a statistically significant result. They have to dedicate both traffic and the time to test a variable which all works really slowly.
  • Split tests often fail – About 10-20% of all of the split tests done result in improved performance. The rest fails. This means that you can only select certain hypotheses to test and even then it might fail

And Artificial Intelligence comes with certain advantages which are easy to recognize:

  • It can increase the productivity – Artificial Intelligence can automatically evaluate many different hypotheses at once and allow a single person set up an experiment as large and complex as hundreds of AB tests. This allows a single resource to accomplish more than split testing was ever able to accomplish.
  • It can learn faster – A single experiment will allow you to see the information that would otherwise take hundreds of split tests to learn. It’s months in real time and it means that you would have missed many things.
  • There are more chances of improvement – Testing more hypotheses at once gives you more chances to fix and change things and your team doesn’t have to prioritize on variables they need to test.
  • It can optimize full funnel – Artificial Intelligence is built to create many changes across the funnel and different pages. This can help you understand how the changes affect your conversion rates at the bottom of the funnel and how it performs in overall. Full-funnel optimization speeds up the process and creates a better experience for everyone.

Going deeper into the A/B or split testing, it’s been a useful resource for decades – and an only one at that. It got even more popularity when Google used it to test the number of search results to display.

It’s basically splitting visitors into two groups and showing each one of the groups a slightly altered version of the same thing. Whichever one of those two things gets more attention, wins. Each reaction is recorded and monitored to see if they are performing the desired action. Once groups have been tested sufficiently, you will probably have a definitive solution on which variable performs better in an ad. It enables you to increase conversions without really increasing the traffic – which tends to be less expensive and more efficient.

As mentioned, it has been used and useful for decades. However, everything is being replaced by Artificial Intelligence and so should this tired old method. While it does work, it’s a tedious, slow process that just doesn’t work in the modern circumstances.

And this is where Artificial Intelligence steps in – a knight in shining armor for all marketers and people in advertising. It’s fresh, modern, up to speed, fast and able to multitask. Artificial Intelligence allows you to test and optimize in real time. Any software driven by Artificial Intelligence is built and able to analyze the actions of every single person that visits the website and then offer variations served to each user. This way, you are not just testing A against B or vice versa, but you are testing all of the variables that seem interesting and attractive for testing as well. This would be a terribly complex task for any human, but it’s quite simple for the machine. You can try different combinations – test one image and a headline versus a different image and a headline.

You can analyze the data to see which combination out of all of these gives a better result. Artificial Intelligence uses its power to figure out the best combination for each individual in real time.

Instead of seeing people as equals with same interest like split testing does, it takes various other factors into consideration. This includes demographics, preferences, behaviors and other factors which determine which ad will work best for which user. Artificial Intelligence is also powerful because it allows you to optimize your properties to offer the best chance of conversion to every visitor.

This might seem like a complex job and it might be in most instances, but the software is well worth it as it takes care of everything that you manually would have to take care of. All you need to do is to provide different variables that it can put to test.

In simple English – it’s way faster and way more efficient than split testing.

Split testing is not efficient for most companies. Sure, large companies may be able to perform it efficiently because they have a large sample and resources but I just might be the best choice for all. It doesn’t require a team dedicated to that specific task or any outsourcing which can also be expensive. It does all of the hard work for you and frees up time for creative and strategic aspects of advertising. You can optimise your assets in real time and there is no need to test before you can publish the final result.

It’s also more focused on what each individual would want to see. This creates a more personalized experience and provides more satisfaction to each and every user separately. Split testing assumes that everyone from the audience will like either one or the other variable which is inherently wrong because humans don’t work like that. SUre, a large group of similar individuals may like a similar thing – but each person will have preferences.

Think of it like this – while a better headline decided upon as a result of split testing may increase conversions based on the fact that your audience likes it as a group, just imagine how much they will like and convert on a headline that works for them specifically.

You might focus on colors or images but the real difference is in the better personalization. You can determine what headline is optimal for each person.

With A/B testing you can test one page optimization at the time, but with Artificial Intelligence, you can work on multiple pages which means that your pages will all be optimized for all segments of the funnel equality. So, you can work on the top of the funnel, middle of the funnel and the bottom of the funnel as well as beyond the funnel and optimize your complete journey. This is efficient and it works because you are operating on different fronts and different people are getting engaged at the same time.

So, prepare for the shift from A/B to Artificial Intelligence. It will change the way you advertise.

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