An Online and an Offline Marketer Walk Into a Bar …

So, an online and an offline marketer walk into a bar. But tired of always drinking the same old beer, today, they really want to figure out which of the drinks on the bar’s shelf are going to be their new favorite.  The objective is to maximize their enjoyment rate.

How do you think the online marketer will go about that vs. the offline marketer?


Click to find out!


So the offline marketer does what she always does. She goes around to all tables in the bar. She makes a note of who is drinking and what are their demographics. She also rates how happy each drinker appears to be. While she is at that, she surveys the people how they would rank their drink and how many they have had.

Then the offline marketer groups that data into buckets by demographics. She figures out which bucket she falls into herself. She rank orders the 15 drinks consumed by the people in that bucket by their apparent happiness. She orders the top 5 drinks that she predicts she will like best and has a sip of each.

Before too long she figures out that her new favored is going to be a Hefeweizen. It seems slightly nicer than her regular beer. Neither particularly happy nor disappointed she heads back to her friend, the online marketer, to see what she came up with.

But what should she find? The online marketer is flat out under a table, totally wasted, with a big grin on her face, and her empty wallet flung into a corner.

What happened?

Says the online marketer: mmmvvtt.

Offline marketer: Hae?

Online marketer: Mmmmvvt.

Offline marketer: What?

Online marketer: Darn you, MVT, …, I did multivariate testing. And now I am very happy.



The moral of that story was not to insult friends of multivariate testing from vendors such as Interwoven/Optimost. But rather to highlight that online and offline marketers each have developed sophisticated methods over time. But they have not shared these methods with each other.Well, it’s high time for the sharing to begin now! I wrote the Multichannel Marketing book in the hopes of helping with that goal.The online marketer has loads of data. The offline marketer may have a few better analytical approaches. They should drink together, shouldn’t they?

1 Comment on “An Online and an Offline Marketer Walk Into a Bar …

  1. Very well said Akin.
    They need to start working together ASAP if they had not. Customers don’t view a brand as offline or online but from a holistic point of view. To them a brand is a brand, a nonline dimension.

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