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Pretest Tool Case Study - Finding a New Control


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This case study reviews the success a midsize, disease focused charity had applying the DonorVoice pretest tool to solve a tricky marketing problem, find a new control package and save a ton of money along the way.

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Pretest Tool Case Study - Finding a New Control

  1. 1. This is a tool used BEFORE any live, direct mail testing to pre-identify the best test ideas, those mostlikely to compete with and beat the control. Non-profits greatly reduce cost by NOT mailing testpackages likely to perform poorly and increase net revenue by increasing volume on likely winners.The pre-identification of likely winners and losers is done in two parts 1) First, surveying donors who are representative of those who will receive the actual mailing, showing them visuals of the direct mail package and measuring preference using a very specific and battle tested methodology. 2) Using the survey data to build a statistical model to assign a score to every single element that was evaluated.This methodology is well established in the commercial sectorand used by large, consumer companies (e.g. Coca Cola, GeneralMills, Proctor & Gamble) to guide product development formany of the sodas, cereals and detergents on grocery storeshelves.Building a successful direct mail package is conceptuallyidentical to a winning tube of toothpaste with size, shape,message and color considerations to name but a few of themoving parts you need to consider. A midsize, non-profit in the disease and medical research sector, had an acquisition control package with a family (whose child had the disease) who no longer wanted to featured. The organization faced a serious marketing challenge, identifying not just a new family to feature but one that could compete with the current control. They had several different families open to the possibility and a wildcard option of a researcher in the field. The cost to live test all the possibilities plus the control, even with their relatively small panel sizes (10k per), was going to be $46,000 and they only had budget to test 2 concepts against the control.DonorVoice used the pretest tool with a sample of house file donors (to evaluate renewal implications)and a universe of donors representing their acquisition target. We evaluated all the test options and,because this survey testing environment can accommodate far more “moving parts” than could ever beafforded or logistically managed in live testing, we also included prospective taglines the organizationwas considering as additional test elements.
  2. 2. The results identified one test family with real potential to beat the control and another with achance to be competitive. Conversely, it identified the rest as likely “losers”, including the one theorganization staff considered to be best.The organization, with only enough budget for two test panels, elected to believe in the voice of thedonor as represented in the pretest findings even though their own personal preference andinternal, conventional wisdom would have led them to test different families.And the results?  The Pretest tool identified Test A (one of the families) having a high likelihood to beat the control and it did.  The Pretest Tool identified Test B as being competitive with, but still behind the control – exactly what happened in the live test.  Savings from not producing & mailing all 6 test packages against the control $46,000  Anticipated annual revenue increase with rollout of better performing control $72,000  Peace of mind with having a control beating, new acquisition package that would NOT have been identified without the pretest tool Priceless “We are extremely pleased with the information gathered from the DonorVoice testing, which allowed us to solve a tricky marketing dilemma with a reduced level of risk”Contact info: