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This is a really great post. I’m not going to argue with the premise (it is a movie after all!), but I do have some problems with the analysis. Most of the problem with splitting testing is in its application. Most people focus on conversion. In Phil’s pursuit of Rita, its worse: he is focusing on click-through! Focusing on click-through and conversion is easy, but the focus should be on lifetime value. By the end of the movie, Phil has focused on improving the lifetime value of everyone in the town, including himself. Is the movie satisfying because this leads to Rita’s conversion? No, she is just the icing on the cake. It’s satisfying because Phil has learned through trial and error how to be a better person, on improving his lifetime value. Ultimately, split testing is about learning. Even unsuccessful tests help you learn about your market and winning conversion tests need to be weighed against the lifetime value. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have 40 or 50 years to spend on one test.
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Jul 21, 2010