Split-testing fundamental to success, says IHG

Hotel chain's director of marketing talks about how the brand is using data to improve its social media marketing strategy

If marketers aren’t running split-testing on Facebook ads, they're not doing Facebook correctly.

That was the message from director of marketing at InterContintental Hotels Group (IHG), Lee Siefken, at ADMA’s Data Day 2018.

Lee said given the importance of mobile and social media media in today’s marketing environment, both from a B2B and a B2C standpoint, a split-test approach is fundamental.

“A rule of thumb is never ever run one campaign with one creative because you are leaving money on the table. If you’re not doing this [split-testing], you’re not doing Facebook ads correctly. It’s fundamental,” Lee said.

“As an example, you’re running a campaign and you’ve built yourself a series of three audiences based off your audience profiles. You know enough about your audience to know what creative works. But I can guarantee you, you need to have three or four different creative formats; there needs to be a number of different options.

“So pick your audience, then use three different images, and that’s one test. Then, decide on an audience and have one image and three different types of copy. Create a series. Don’t go too out of control, but make sure you’re testing the areas you know have the greatest impact, and that are going to have the greatest result."

Testing also requires optimisation. Lee recommended assessing performance after a couple of days via data and evolve accordingly.

"Make sure you test creative format as well: Video, static image, carousel. As much as I’m the biggest video champion in the history of marketing, I’ve done tests where I will invest huge money to create videos and then I run splits tests, and the static image out performs the video," she said. 

“That’s the importance of split-testing. You can’t argue with the data, it just reinforces you have to test and give different options, because sometimes the result will surprise."

IHG uses this data to reinforce mobile and social media. Similarly, Lee advised using the data within your business to build a more powerful Facebook advertising strategy.

“You can build really powerful audiences and align with what you do on social with what you do with your normal loyalty strategy,” she explained.

“Use data to increase targeting and personalisation, and looking through a data lens. Once you load that data into Facebook, you can have the best audience in the world. One of the magical things about that platform  is it allows you to test different audiences, as well as call-to-action and creative."

Split-testing and data-driven optimisation have "been enormously effective" for IHG, Lee said. "Facebook is without doubt one of the most powerful channels. But it doesn’t work in isolation, it has to work within a broader strategy," she said. "But if you were trying to really break in and make a difference on mobile and social, this is one of the golden bullets.

“Of course, you can have the best audience in the world, but creative is fundamental... if you want to run a social campaign, you can’t without a great grasp of copywriting and creative execution, which is very difficult. Because how do you find someone who is analytic and who can also make great creative and great copy?

“The changing face of marketing is wonderful, measurability makes it easier to show ROI in many ways, but it is challenging the skillset of today’s marketer." 

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu      

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

More Videos

More Brand Posts

As an ex employee of 4 years during the growth of the company, I can say that the new management has benefitted the company tremendously,...

Harry

How JobAdder's CMO is bringing the human truth to B2B rebranding

Read more

So many words, so little business benefit.

Brett Iredale

How JobAdder's CMO is bringing the human truth to B2B rebranding

Read more

This article highlights Gartner’s latest digital experience platforms report and how they are influencing content operations ecosystems. ...

vikram Roy

Gartner 2022 Digital Experience Platforms reveals leading vendor players

Read more

Ms Bennett joined in 2017 yet this article states she waited until late 2020 to initiate a project to update the website. The solution t...

Munstar Cook

How Super SA put customers at the heart of its digital transformation

Read more

Its a informative post thanks for sharing

Galaxy Education

The people and process smarts needed to excel in omnichannel retailing

Read more

Blog Posts

The 15 most-common persuasion mistakes

As workers across the country slowly head back to the office, many of us might have forgotten how to deal with one another in person and the best way to persuade someone in a working environment.

Michelle Bowden

Author, consultant

5 commonly missed opportunities when marketing to multicultural customers

The latest census data shows Australia has become a majority migrant nation for the first time. According to the new national data, more than 50 per cent of residents were born overseas or have a migrant parent.

Mark Saba

Founder and CEO, Lexigo

Post-Pandemic Business Playbook: An Opportunity Unlike Ever Before

Covid-19 created a shift in the customer and economic-based reality unlike anything most of us have ever experienced. Customers have changed from routinised pre-pandemic shopping behaviours to frequently purchasing new brands and suppliers.

Ofer Mintz

Associate Professor of Marketing, UTS Business School

Sign in