The Marketing Blues


What’s giving marketing the blues this time of year when the sun is shining and the weather is sweet? Preliminary results of an A/B test we are running.

Marketing is no stranger to unexpected A/B test results, like last year when our testing revealed that men don’t like buying software
from women, in our blog post Selling Software, Sexist Google Data and what the actual Hell, Peopleelling Software, Sexist Google Data and what the actual Hell, People.

Luckily, the current head scratching data that has been presented to us isn’t of the sexist kind. It’s of the “that’s impossible sort.” Obviously not impossible, because it’s happening, but I have zero rhyme or reason as to why two converting pages on our website, when graphically treated similarly in an A/B test, compared to their original counterpart are displaying much different qualitative results.

Add a shade of blue they said (the voices in my head), it symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence. Blue is considered
beneficial to the mind and body. It slows human metabolism and produces a calming effect they said (Google search of color psychology).

So I added blue.

And ran two separate A/B tests on our homepage and on our products page, hypothesizing that the blue products page and the blue homepage would yield similar results. You know, perform better than the original or not. It simply did not occur to me (probably thanks to all the space the voices in my head were taking up) that the original design would be winning over the variation on one webpage, and on another webpage the variation would be winning over the original. Huh?!?

So the preliminary results for the products page, which has not budged in over a month now, says that the webpage with blue overlay [the variation] has a 94.6% probability of outperforming the original, while the homepage with the blue overlay has a 14.4% chance of outperforming the original.

What gives?

I could throw our crazy theories that only cephalopods, crustaceans, rabbits and squirrels were somehow randomly given the blue variation on our products page and since they only see blue and maybe one other color that is why it converted at a much higher rate than the original. Or I could argue that since our demographic is predominately male, and 8% of men (and 0.5% of women) are color blind, the blue variation played no part in their decision making process on our homepage. I could attest that our customers are optimists and the negative space (white space) on the original didn't jibe with their glass half full mentality, thus failing to make fruitful conversions. Or, I could go back to my marketing hut and stop the crazy conspiracy theories and simply rerun the test.

I’d like to hear from you. What do you think gives?

About Jana Schmid
Jana has been working in the marketing profession for over 10 years. She joined the CodeWeavers marketing department in 2010 and has earned oddities such as the Margaritaville Tahiti Frozen Concoction Maker and a lifetime supply of sparkling water for her performance as Marketing Director. Contact Jana at and learn more about her professional accomplishments on LinkedIn.

About CodeWeavers
Founded in 1996 as a general software consultancy, CodeWeavers focuses on the development of Wine – the core technology found in all of its CrossOver products. The company's goal is to bring expanded market opportunities for Windows software developers by making it easier, faster and more painless to port Windows software to Mac and Linux. CodeWeavers is recognized as a leader in open-source Windows porting technology, and maintains development offices in Minnesota, the United Kingdom and elsewhere around the world. The company is privately held.

The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.

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Theodore Dubois
Theodore Dubois
Posted 2016-07-12 16:20
Intuitively, I'd say that the text size is more important than the background.
Rællic Systems
Rællic Systems
Posted 2016-07-12 17:24
The image of the guy looking into the camera and smiling is friendlier than the image of the guy looking at his computer.  The smiling into camera image appears in both victors in the A/B test.  Coincidence?
Rællic Systems
Rællic Systems
Posted 2016-07-12 17:25
Whoops, I guess I was wrong and have bad short-term memory.  It really doesn't make sense.
Julius Schwartzenberg
Julius Schwartzenberg
Posted 2016-07-13 15:35
I think we just need to accept that some people are turned off by guys in pink shirts. I'm not really sure why myself either, but I think it was just a fad which is over now.

Another thing to research... which other companies use a lot of blue in their logo/styling....
Jana Schmid
Jana Schmid
Posted 2016-07-14 09:59
Interesting theory. I should a/b test shirt color. Thanks for the idea!
Alivenet Solution
Alivenet Solution
Posted 2018-09-23 23:40
I think this is one of the best blog I ever seen.
Best Regards: Digital Marketing
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