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Research shows most effective means of testing value propositions

Published on October 22, 2012
Tags: Usability, Internet Communication

In trying to gauge your own marketing success, it can be very useful to know which value propositions will be most productive and give the highest return on investment for your company. But how do you begin a true and productive testing campaign?

Earlier this year, MarketingSherpa launched its Lead Generation Benchmark Survey in order to discover the most effective means of testing value propositions. Some of the participants in the survey were asked which methods they felt were the most effective and compelling for website visitors. 64% of the respondents said that they felt landing pages were effective, with email marketing campaigns coming in a close second on 51%. Just 40% said they felt other types of website pages were effective, with 36% supporting pay-per-click advertisements such as those displayed by Google Adwords. In contrast, just 16% of respondents said that they felt offline advertising - such as direct mail and print advertising - was effective.
Respondents were asked to select up to three of the categories, allowing them to choose what they felt were effectively the three most effective methods of marketing. Interestingly, the order of the options seems to closely follow the inherent associated cost, with landing pages being effectively free, working down to costly offline advertising at the bottom of the tree. Was this factor borne in mind by the respondents when considering the options? After all, the cost of a marketing campaign will have a direct effect on its profitability and perceived effectiveness. As business owners continue to feel the pinch of the current economic climate, was the inherent cost of marketing campaigns perceived to be abnormally negative, leading to an artificially downgraded view of its effectiveness? The permutations and perceptions abound, but as with any survey which is built on the opinions of its respondents, the true underlying causes can never be fully known.
In terms of testing conversion factors, the results of this survey seem to bear similar results. Landing pages and email marketing campaigns often come out on top in terms of conversions with offline marketing and pay-per-click campaigns ranking lower. Although the new data may not be groundbreaking, it does give a fascinating insight into the beliefs and perceptions of marketers and business owners which, in itself, can be incredibly useful in terms of planning marketing campaigns. After all, marketing is all about perception and it should not be dismissed as a factor purely because it is ‘unscientific’ or unimportant.
Value proposition can be very easily tested through using landing pages. With virtually unlimited options in terms of testing the content of these pages, marketers can test continuously in order to find the ‘sweet spot’ which will maximise conversion rates, lower bounce rates and increase profits for the business. Of course, these things are all notoriously hard to do with the slower and more rigid medium of offline advertising. However, 16% is not an insignificant figure, so offline marketing clearly does still have its own appeal for many.

By Chelsey Evans

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