Split Run - Meaning & Definition

Published by MBA Skool Team in Marketing and Strategy Terms Last Updated: July 06, 2023Read time:

What is Split Run?

Split run is a technique in which different version of the same illustration, wording or advertisement are published in different editions of a magazine or newspaper such that no single reader in the same geography receives more than one version of the advertisement, etc.

Split run is an advertising scheduling technique which is usually used to measure and compare the effectiveness of various ads for the same product or the advertiser. This helps the advertiser know which the best ad for that product is or which advertisement yields the best results. The origin of thi9s phrase is Canadian where a Canadian edition of a US magazine had Canadian advertisements but there was no change in the editorial content, i.e. there was no Canadian editorial content.

Split runs were started off in print media initially, but today it is nearly impossible to measure the effectiveness of different ads only through traditional media. Hence social media is also used for split run testing today, given the wide penetration of social media into our lives today. This method of comparing two different ads is similar to A/B testing, when we are talking about the internet as the medium. This is because the two ads can be considered to be two variables - A and B. In social media testing, analytics can be used to measure how much traffic is brought to your site from each of these variables A and B. Through analytical data, we can also look at who is viewing which ad, and hence we can measure how much the ad is actually reaching out to the target group, and not just any audience.


Hence, this concludes the definition of Split Run along with its overview.

This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team which comprises of MBA students, management professionals, and industry experts. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

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