Super Shoes Integrates a Rapid Test and Learn Process

The marketing team at Super Shoes, a self-service retailer of business, casual and occupational footwear, understands the secret to continual improvements in their direct marketing relies on testing. Every element of every campaign, regardless of channel, is subject to improvement. Testing helps identify the optimum audience, the most powerful offer, the most compelling copy, design and format. Testing allows a refinement of approach, insight about the target audience and improved results. What if Super Shoes could get powerful insights of what would work before going live?


Super Shoes had already segmented like groups, motivations and purchasing behaviors, and collaborated with Quad on a clearly defined one-to-one strategy to apply to their direct mail campaigns. They know who their best customers are and recognize that Quad’s application of persona marketing drives even deeper personalization leading to incremental lifts in response. Utilizing QRelevant, our web-based content management system, their hyper-personalized marketing campaigns delivered one-to-one customization through an extremely efficient workflow.

The challenge before them was to swiftly and precisely predict how the appropriate product mix, offer, format and other details could impact response rates and overall results.

AMTP uncovered a cost-savings opportunity by identifying the less expensive format as a better driver for ROI.


We introduced Applied Marketing Test Process (AMTP), a rapid test and learn platform that statistically tests the potential impact of a variety of package variables on consumer response before going to market. Using AMTP, we predicted which format would generate the highest ROI.

This process greatly accelerates progress and reduces test and learn time assuring higher success rates at lower costs. Through AMTP, we determined which product mix, offer, format, product details, and even the number of products shown would be the strongest winners. After the study, Super Shoes decided to test two formats, a postcard and a selfmailer using two personas: influencer and trailblazer. AMTP projected the postcard would outperform the selfmailer, and the study forecasted the postcard with a specific product mix would have the highest return on investment. The AMTP platform takes into account the costs associated with each format.


Not only were AMTP’s predictions spot-on, but both the selfmailer and the postcard outperformed Super Shoes KPI baseline by 200%! Persona, creative, offer strategy, and list segmentation also aligned to what AMTP had forecasted it to do, determining one segment would perform better than another based on the creative treatment.

By testing two formats, and overlaying the 2 personas and incorporating a list strategy where we segmented the customer file into Trailblazers and Influencers, AMTP successfully proved out the winning combinations. Taking into account the cost of each – all in cost is part of the study – AMTP determined the postcard would be the winner, and even though the selfmailer had a higher response rate, the postcard ended up having the greater ROI. As predicted, the higher response rate of the selfmailer didn’t outweigh the additional cost, proving they could mail a less expensive piece without hurting marketing performance.

Employing the insight of what will work before going live, AMTP reduced the testing process time, shortened Super Shoes’ time to results and continues to assure higher success rates at lower costs.

Quad’s preliminary testing platform allowed us to efficiently qualify the potential of variables prior to executing a live event. By doing so we were able to successfully optimize our highest performing elements while also mitigating waste.

Matthew Willard, Marketing Director, Super Shoes