“If only we could get more people to give and do so more regularly.”
” Let’s devise a test. ”
The HiPPO (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion) in the room says, “More people will give if we change the landing page to have more/less…text/pictures/fields.”
“Great, we’ll do that test”, says the non HiPPO in the room. This person, who’s also an Agitator reader, and especially keen to get beyond one-size-fits-all quietly but confidently adds these points,
- a lot of choices are made by people wanting to reflect who they are
- and since people are different
- we probably need different landing pages
ZZzzzzz….ZZZZzzzzzz. Mr. HiPPO, are you asleep? “Argh, sorry, I must have dozed off. My goal is to keep things simple. And if need be, simpler than possible. Harrumph.”
The enterprising, intellectually curious staff person realized the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) method in this charity was overly focused on the second “S”. But she’s got a Conscientiousness personality and felt duty bound to share the research she’d done with a behavioral science agency (rhymes with TonerChoice).
That research identified the Personality profile of their donor base and provided details on how to target a messaging to each group. And they had purchased Personality Tags for a mere $.15 per name so they could identify who is who.
And so, while simultaneously updating her resume, she shared this matrix highlighting the organization’s three most prevalent, Personality defined, donor segments. She noted these groups need different messaging, imagery and even form field names.
The room fell silent…because everyone had left about five minutes ago.
While this parody is (slightly) divorced from reality it still nails how 99% of our testing plans assume everyone is the same. We’ve softly pleaded for the A/B test with its random nth assignment of humans into one of the two conditions die a quick death. We’ve also lamented it’s unlikely to happen. So maybe this post is just more windmill tilting.
However, we tilt because we care. We care that our sector wastes an enormous amount of time and money on testing to nowhere, with test ideas divorced from why people do what they do and methodology that mistakes the lead standard for the gold standard by using the random nth to split people into test and control groups. In so doing, we violate a most basic maxim of humanity: we’re different.