Monday, October 23, 2006

QualPro Applies Multivariate Testing to Marketing

As loyal readers of this blog know, multivariate testing is one of the techniques I feel are critical to advancing the art of Customer Experience Management. This is because MVT allows systematic analysis of the factors affecting the outcome of a process. Without a systematic approach, it’s impossible to understand or predict the long-term impact of changes in the Customer Experience. This means that each change is essentially an independent test, rather than part of a continuous improvement (that is, optimization) cycle.

QualPro ( is a consultancy specializing in MVT training and consulting. The company’s roots are in the industrial engineering world of statistical process control. It has a delightfully, if unintentionally, retro Web site that describes the math in QualPro’s MVT system as more complex than a “Polaris Missle”. (In case you’ve forgotten or were not born yet, Polaris was the first submarine-based ballistic missile, developed in the late 1950’s.)

But time hasn't stood still at QualPro. They have applied MVT to advertising and marketing, for clients including AutoNation, Lowe’s, Staples, and even those new-fangled “cellular” telephones from Cingular Wireless. The benefits are to replace intuition about what works with hard data, and to test dozens or hundreds of variables in the time traditional methods would take to test just a handful. QualPro cites savings in the tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars.

That's real money, even in 2006 dollars.

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