Local Sales Direct, Digital Scientific Method

Local Sales Direct, Principle 1: Characterizations

Characterizations are “observations, definitions and measurements” of the subject. Think of these as your baseline performance statistics.

  • What’s the CTR and conversion rate?
  • What’s the current hero image?

By truly understanding your starting point, we form the basis of measuring the effects of change on the program. Many times we “test” without having a performance standard by which to measure success, so when we look back, we still can’t determine if the test was successful, so we test again.

Local Sales Direct, Principle 2: Hypotheses

Hypotheses are suggested explanations of a phenomenon or a reason assumption suggesting possible correlation. Not to be confused with predictions (an equally important part of the Scientific Method), hypotheses seek to provide answers as to why things happen, which can then be experimented against in order to determine its accuracy.

Potential digital marketing hypotheses could be:

  • Active shoppers are more inclined to convert and buy than passive shoppers (search marketing anyone?)
  • Consumers respond more to brands they are familiar with
  • Consumers won’t spend more than five minutes checking out from a shopping site

Hypotheses are the key to unlocking new thinking. Developing and testing new hypotheses improves the marketing for our clients and pushes results further.

Local Sales Direct, Principle 3: Predictions

Predictions are often mistaken for hypotheses (I know, I do it myself), but whereas hypotheses seek to explain why behavior happens, predictions predict what will happen based on change.

Some examples of digital marketing predictions:

  • By changing the call to action, our CTR will improve 50 percent.
  • If we remove steps 3 and 4 from the order process, conversion rates will improve 10 percent.
  • Search re-targeting will have a 20 percent lower CPA than behavioral targeting.

Clients are seeking this type of thinking from agencies or digital departments. If we set forth on a test, we should have some expectation of what will happen (or we would not propose the test, right?) By establishing the predictions prior to the test, we create goals for defining success of the test; thereby lessen the requirement for perpetual testing.

Local Sales Direct, Principle 4: Experiments

Experiments obviously ,are the tests themselves. When conducting the experiment, there are two important factors:

  • Control Group: This segment doesn’t change and is used as the barometer by which to measure the effect of change.
  • Variable Isolation: Variable isolation is the practice of isolating a single variable and changing it to determine its impact on the prediction. It is this isolation that allows for tests to be conducted successfully. Without isolation the ability to prove causation is severely limited and often leads to re-testing.


Loca Sales Direct  Scientific Method is alive and well within the digital (and direct) marketing landscape. It is a powerful tool in driving performance forward.

Hypotheses and predictions really begin to show what should be tested, whereas characterizations and experimentation show how to test.