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Home > English > Marin University > Marin On-Demand > Training: Creative Testing

Training: Creative Testing

What You'll Learn

In this article, we'll show you how to:

  • Use the Platform's A/B testing tool to compare the performance of two or more ads (creatives) to see which perform better.
  • Understand the various advanced settings available for creative testing. 
  • Filter the grid to analyze the results of your A/B creative testing. 

Did you know? You can use A/B creative testing to discover which of your creatives are underperforming compared to the rest of that particular ad group. 

What is creative testing?

Creative testing is a built-in Platform feature that gives you the confidence and control you need to make smarter decisions about your creatives. It allows you to easily compare the performance of one creative to another, giving you valuable real-world data you can use to improve your campaign strategy.  


You can use the A/B testing tool to choose from a number of criteria by which to test your creatives. For example, you can compare them by conversions & impressions, clicks & impressions, Return On Investment (ROI), and many more. Once you've chosen your settings, you'll be able to use the A/B Testing filter in the main Creatives grid to check the status of your creatives at any time. You can filter for WinnerLoser, or a Draw. You can also use the View Builder to bring the A/B Test column into the grid and see the per-creative results at-a-glance. 

Note that to get the best results from creative testing, we recommend that you have your ads set to Do Not Optimize: Rotate ads indefinitely in your group-level settings. To learn more about ad rotation settings, check out our article Ad Rotation Options with Google.

How the Platform calculates winners, losers, or a draw

When determining Winners and Losers within an ad group, the Platform will check the selected criteria (e.g. Conversions / Impressions) for each creative, then compare the result against the average for the other creatives in the group. If there is a statistical difference between a creative and the group average, that creative will be marked as a Winner or Loser. If there's no statistical difference, it'll be marked as a Draw

Note: A draw can also mean that there's not yet enough data for the Platform to declare a winner; for example, if the thresholds or confidence level haven't been met.

A note about Confidence Level

When setting up your creative testing, you'll notice the Confidence Level section of the settings page.

It works like this: When comparing a creative against the average of all other creatives in the group, the Platform will use your chosen Confidence Level to determine if there is a significant difference or not. The Platform uses an algorithm known as the Student's T-test to calculate the statistical confidence level between two values (for example, the conversion rate of two creatives). If you're not sure about this setting, we recommend leaving it at the default value of 90%. 

Best Practices 

Before we dive into the details of setting up your Creative Test, let's take a look at a few best practices.

  • If you're testing across muliple campaigns or groups, tag your creatives with dimensions in order to determine aggregate best performers. 
  • When you have a winner, pause your losing creatives and continue the testing process. 
  • Your publisher group-level settings should be set to Do Not Optimize: Rotate ads indefinitely


Note: Any differences between ads will cause Marin to see these ads as distinct for testing purposes. This includes capitalization in headlines. 

See it in action

Join a member of the Marin Software team as we explain how to use the Platform's creative testing tool to make better decisions about your campaigns and the creatives you're using in them. 

Click the play button to get started.  (Length: 3:22). 



How to

There are two parts to using creative testing with the Platform: A/B testing setup and analyzing the results. We'll go through each of these below.

Setting up your creative testing  

The first thing to do in order to use creative testing with your campaigns is to set up the testing criteria. To do that, just follow these simple steps:

  1. Click Admin in the upper-right.
  2. Head to the Optimization tab.
  3. Click on the A/B Testing link in the left-hand menu. 
  4. Once you're on the relevant settings page, you can use the A/B Test Metric drop-down menu to choose the criteria by which you'd like to judge your creatives. There are plenty of options available, and the one you choose will depend on your unique business goals. Feel free to discuss this choice with your Platform representative for the best results.

  5. Next, click into the Advanced Settings section and make any changes you'd like here. You can select the amount of days' worth of data you'd like to use for the test, as well as altering the thresholds for impressions, clicks, and conversions. Adjusting these settings can help you tweak the testing to meet your specific needs.

  6. Click Save and you're all set to start gathering data for your A/B creative testing!

Analyzing the results of your creative testing  

Once your creative test has been running for your chosen period of time, it's time to check the results. You can do this from the main Creatives grid in a couple of different ways. We'll explain each of these below.

  1. From the main Creatives tab, look at the Filters section on the left of the screen.
  2. From the A/B Test section, you can choose to show All of your test results, or filter specifically for Winners or Losers. These values are decided based on the criteria you set in the steps above.


You can also use the View Builder to see the results of your creative testing live in the grid. Just follow these steps:

  1. From the main Creatives tab, click into the View Builder.
  2. From the Advanced section of the View Builder, click the relevant checkbox for the A/B Test column.


  3. Finally, Save your new view and the A/B Test column will appear in the grid with the relevant results shown.


Try it yourself

Sometimes the best way to learn is to simply try something out for yourself, which is why we created the interactive section below. It's a totally non-live environment which gives you the chance to try out creative testing without having to make any changes to your data. Your progress won't be recorded and everything is off the books, so feel free to take your time. 

Get started by clicking below. 


Want to know more?

This Training article gives you everything you need to know to begin using creative testing with the Platform, but there's still more to learn. Below we've linked a few related articles that may provide added insight as well as some troubleshooting help too.

Click a link to read the article now. 





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