I love it when marketers do A/B tests of Google AdWords ads for the first time and act like they split the atom.
Split-run tests -- where circulation is carved up to test different advertising approaches -- are hardly new. People like Claude Hopkins (1866-1932) were running A/B tests of different ads when Teddy Roosevelt was president. Hopkins told marketers everywhere about his findings back in 1923 when he released Scientific Advertising.
Too bad more marketers didn't grab a copy.
I've been involved in split-run tests of headlines, offers, positioning, colors, short copy vs. long copy, and even ad size. It's amazing how easy it is to see double- or even triple-digit differences by running projectable tests.
Yet the vast majority of marketers -- including direct marketing people -- speculate rather than work with facts. They retire successful ads because they think they're "tired." They replace what's made big bucks with what's new because they don't "like" the earlier stuff.
Don't imitate the know-it-alls who don't know it all.