Imagine making a simple change to the way your ads are presented and that one simple change earns you an extra $200 million in revenue a year. While most companies don’t have revenues anywhere approaching that of Google and wouldn’t entertain fanciful notions of earning an additional $200 million annually, they can make data-driven decisions like the tech giant and increase their revenues accordingly.

‘5o shades of blue’ is how the project, led by Google executive Marissa Meyer when she was the company’s head of product, has been described. And while it has been mocked by many, few can deny the benefits that it’s delivered.

By identifying which shade of blue is most appealing to users, Google was able to entice users to click their ads, increasing their revenue in the process. As Google UK’s managing director Dan Cobley told the Guardian, “In our search we have ads on the side, little blue links that go to other websites: we had the same thing on Gmail. But we recognised that the shades of blue in those two different products were slightly different when they linked to ads.”

Data-driven decision making

Because Google is committed to data-driven decisions, rather than asking “the chief designer or the marketing director to pick a blue”,  Google instead chose to run experiments to find the right answer. According to Cobley, “We ran ‘1%’ experiments, showing 1% of users one blue, and another experiment showing 1% another blue. And actually, to make sure we covered all our bases, we ran forty other experiments showing all the shades of blue you could possibly imagine.”

Through these experiments, Google identified which shades users prefer by determining which shades they clicked on most. The outcome of the experiments? Users preferred a purple-tinged shade of blue to a slightly greener shade of blue, so Google made a decision and implemented the shade that users found the most appealing.

A/B testing for success

This form of testing is known as ‘A/B testing’ and it’s something that every business, including yours, can use to make data-driven decisions that add real value to your digital marketing efforts and increase your chances of success. A/B testing is simple and involves showing users two different versions of a website (or a web page, headline, ad, etc.) to see which one performs better. If this is something you’re interested in, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Bambrick Media is an established digital marketing company in Brisbane. SEO PPC and Social Media Marketing are our core service offerings, so if you’re ready to take your digital marketing efforts to the next level, we’d love to have a chat about your digital marketing goals at a convenient time. Please get in touch with the team via our Contact Us page.