June 24, 2015

Matched Market Testing

Maybe you want to test whether a series of digital strategies work in retail stores. Have you considered matched market testing?

I realize this is an old-school topic. Oooooooooollllllldddd school. But valuable.

Here's the concept. You don't want a customer who received "Strategy A" to stagger into a store where "Strategy B" is being executed, ruining your carefully designed test. So you execute tests within a market ... you test "Strategy A" in Kansas City ... you test "Strategy B" in St. Louis.

Match markets based on a combination of demographic attributes, population density estimates, and merchandising preferences. There are all sorts of markets that naturally pair up with each other:
  • Seattle / Portland.
  • San Francisco / Los Angeles.
  • San Diego / Phoenix.
  • Dallas / Houston.
  • Pittsburgh / Cleveland.
  • Minneapolis / Chicago.
  • Des Moines / Omaha.
  • Baltimore / Washington DC.
  • Charlotte / Atlanta.
  • Tampa / Miami.
Now, things don't always end up that way ... you'll have surprises ... Minneapolis / Austin or Jacksonville / Louisville or Boise / Tucson. Regardless, your target customer and your merchandise assortment, when clustered properly, will yield an appropriate matched market strategy.

Show of hands ... how many of you are executing matched market testing?

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