Six staffers are dedicated just to A-B testing – road testing different variations of web page design and architecture to see which has the best consumer feedback. Such A-B testing in 2008 discovered that just by including a photograph of the Obama family on the front page of MyBarackObama.com they raised almost $3m more in small donations. The Chicago team is now using a tool developed by a start-up called Optimizely that allows for far more sophisticated testing.
“Facebook is now ubiquitous,” says Dan Siroker, a former Google digital analyst who joined Obama’s campaign in 2008 and now runs his own San Francisco-based analytics consultancy, Optimizely. “Whichever candidate uses Facebook the most effectively could win the war.”