We’ve been checking out a new online testing platform called Zipinion. Like some others on the market, Zipinion allows you to throw a couple pieces of creative up against each other to see which one comes out on top. Currently in beta, the product is pretty straight-forward. You can upload 2 images, 2 pieces of copy (up to 100 words) or singles of either. Nothing ground-breaking there.
What is titillating, though, is how you get the feedback. Once you upload the creative you’ve chosen to duke it out, the Zipinion platform starts showing it to people instantly, and feedback comes back in real time, right away. Zipinion guarantees that in an hour you’ll get 100 results, 95% of which will have written feedback.
You buy “polls” using ZipChips, which we thought was downright clever. 1 ZipChip/poll is $25, and the price gets better the more you buy, all the way up to 100 ZipChips for $1,500 at a 40% savings.
We tested this with some existing Google AdWord copy that we wanted to try to beat. We took the current ad and wrote some opposing copy, then uploaded it. We asked simply “Which of these Google search ads would you be more likely to click on?” Respondents viewing the ads then choose which one they prefer, and can give written feedback. Our understanding is that respondents get paid a little more if they leave feedback rather than just clicking a choice. We sat in our conference room and watched the feedback roll in.
What started as an experiment with a new product quickly turned into more like a championship-boxing match. We were shouting at the screen, cheering when our new ad eeked ahead, booed and shouted insults at the feedback when we feel behind.
“That’s hardly scientific” I think I just heard you say, and you’d be right. It will never beat hard user data. But what it can do is give you a very quick, anecdotal snapshot into how a piece of creative might draw reactions. Our test, for example, gave us an insight we didn’t expect. Though both ads did just about as well — 49% old add vs. 51% new — what became quickly apparent is that each ad was appealing to a specific type of user. One ad was value focused, with a on offer for free product on sign up. The other was benefit focused, calling out several product benefits and leaving out the offer altogether.
The respondents who chose the value ad made comments like:
“I prefer to know the dollar amount I am saving.”
“The word “free” attracts me!”
“It has the dollar sign and the word free which makes me want to click on it.”
While fans of the benefit ad said:
“I am always on edge about anyone that is claiming to give me something for free.”
“sounded more legit, less like a scam”
“Text 1 felt hard sell and didn’t say anything about the quality of the service”
This reinforced for us the idea that different consumers care about different things. No shock there. What this helped us discover, however, is some new concepts to try, to see if we can’t shake up the people who might have been turned off by the previous ads.
This is where a tool like this comes in very handy. For us, the ability to rapidly iterate and get general qualitative feedback is valuable. I can see this platform informing internal creative debate, settling some stalemates with clients, and helping to vet new ideas. The fact that you can toss up some creative and get real-time feedback from 100 people in an hour is full of utility. And if you get an office pool going you can make a little cash betting on the winner. It’s like an in-house digital media sports book, only less smoky.
What it won’t do is take the place of detailed analytics, quantifiable user testing, or the willingness to try something we think will work despite what 100 people say in an hour. Some things need clear data and/or guts.
But for the tie-breakers, the new ideas, and the rapid iterations Zipinion can be a useful tool. Check it out for yourself at zipinion.com.
About GDD Interactive
GDD Interactive is a boutique digital design and marketing firm. Our unconventional but consistently effective approach to customer acquisition and loyalty through outstanding user experience design can be seen in practice across the interactive universe, digitizing brands and driving online revenue for the companies you know like Pep Boys, Conn’s, RadioShack, MetroPCS, T.G.I. Friday’s, and Home Advisor; national non-profits including The NAACP and National Geographic; as well as a select group of innovative emerging leaders.
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