Perfect order is the forerunner of perfect horror. (Carlos Fuentes)

If I weren’t the epitome of the Eternal Optimist — and if I didn’t believe utterly in the cyclical nature of all things (yes, sanity WILL return) — I’d be despondent right about now. I’d feel as if my earlier post about the needless (but deliberate and profitable) complication of marketing was just so much howling at the moon. And I’d be mixing a Drano Cocktail over the present state of my chosen profession.

“Gee. What has you so down in the dumps, OB?” I hear you ask. Well, I’m glad you did. It’s this gem from MarketingExperiments (you have to wonder how many of their experiments succeed). I wasn’t able to locate anything like a tag line or a marketing slogan on the MarketingExperiments site. But it’s a safe bet it’s not anything like this: “Making shit simple since 2011.” And it’s a safe bet because of statements like this:

Our Conversion Index analysis is based on the well-known Conversion Sequence heuristic. This empirically derived framework brings structure and clarity to analysis of the conversion process and directs the focus and prioritization for optimization energy. The Conversion Sequence is expressed as follows: C = 4m + 3v + 2(i-f) – 2a © [emphasis theirs]

Setting aside the convolution of that mathematical equation, let’s conduct a simple test: Since MarketingExperiments contends the Conversion Sequence heuristic is well-known, by a show of hands, how many of you are familiar with it? Hmm … that’s a little disappointing.

Okay. One more test: By a show of hands, how many of you know what a heuristic is? Dang. I was expecting at least one. Maybe the copyright symbol at the end of the Conversion Sequence threw you off.

And speaking of off, it’s hard to know exactly where MarketingExperiments’ wheels came off. But they definitely started to wobble here:

MarketingExperiments’ research analysts utilize a uniform test protocol and series of heuristics to help analyze real-world data and create new single- and multi-factor tests that can reveal further discoveries. 

It seems to me that if the point of your uniform test protocol and series of heuristics to help analyze real-world data and create new single- and multi-factor tests is to reveal further discoveries — rather than to improve your marketing — you might be on the wrong track. And if your Conversion Sequence needs to be expressed as a mathematical equation — rather than a simple declarative sentence or two — your approach may leave a little to be desired.

But what do I know? I’m just a simple marketing guy.

Image by geralt, courtesy of