top of page

The ABCs of A/B Testing

Updated: Mar 27, 2023

If you are not familiar with the term A/B testing and you are a marketer or have a product you need advertised - let me introduce the basics. A/B testing is a way to try out different kinds of variables to learn which ad and/or audience is the most beneficial for your goals.

For example, if you were a hair product company with a small ad budget, you would want to make sure you spent your budget on the audience most likely to buy your product and you'd want to use the ad they are responding to the most. The best way to learn this is to set up A/B tests that help determine your best audiences.

P.S. A/B testing can be used for a variety of things including landing pages, logos, etc. For this post, I am referring to advertising campaigns. A/B testing in the modern world really isn't just testing A/B, it's often A/B/C/D/E all the way to Z sometimes! The basics of an A/B test are to change one variable across different campaigns and watch the campaign performance. To be a true A/B test you'd need to do something called de-duplicating your audience so that someone who saw campaign A's ad did NOT see campaign B's ad. If you use Facebook's ad platform it's easy to do this using either their A/B testing function or their experiments section which is even more robust. The big mistake some people make is testing too many things at once; like changing creative and audience between campaigns. How do you know which variable affected performance? I like to start with creative and test with a broad audience and then use the best couple pieces of creative to test against varying audiences. There are now companies that test ad creative for you using an automated system. It's pretty slick! Unfortunately, this kind of software requires a hefty minimum spend (think $50k monthly plus service cost). Worth it for major advertisers. But, if your company has a smaller budget than that, you need an expert buyer to help you ensure your A/B tests are set up properly and the information you gain is actionable. Ahem - we know how to do this ... call us! A/B testing on other platforms like display advertising is also achievable with the right digital buyer. According to my favorite newsletter Marketing Brew, advertisers are typically spending 10-20% of their ad budget on testing. That money isn't wasted either - those who received test ads are still seeing advertisements! If you want more information on what exactly A/B testing is, Wikipedia has a great explanation. Hubspot has a free guide that talks about all kinds of A/B testing models but be ready to share your email and be blasted with sales emails just to get it.

59 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page