Test and Measure Your Way to Marketing Success!

As any marketing professional worth their salt will confirm, successful marketing is based around a process.  A process where you test and measure everything you do, refining it until it’s as effective as you can get it.  Do you test and measure your marketing activity?  It’s the only way to guarantee best results.

Here’s how testing & measuring works!

You test (or try) a new idea and then you measure the results you get. If your business uses mail shots, test a new headline and measure what feedback you get.  Then compare it to what your previous headline generated.

If, for example, your new headline generates a 10% increase in enquiries or sales – keep the new headline and dump the old one!  Then, test a different offer or guarantee in the mailing.  If the new offer or guarantee increases your response rate by 20%, keep it.  If it reduces the number of positive responses you get, get rid of it and test another offer or guarantee.

Over a relatively small number of mailings, you can dramatically improve your results by testing, measuring and adapting.

This constant tweaking based on testing and measuring is the only way to improve your marketing results. But remember – you never start off with perfect marketing!

Your aim is to leverage your marketing so you get the best possible return from your investment. This means it is always a work-in-progress – never perfect!

Paralysis by analysis

One of our coaches spoke with the owner of a small business last week, who had some really exciting ideas for marketing her services.  The problem is, she has had these great ideas for over a year and still done nothing with them!  When she was asked what was causing the delay, she replied; “I’m a perfectionist.  Everything has to be just right before I begin.”

Ironically, the perfect way to begin your marketing is to decide what you want to do and then JUST START!  Once you know you have a good idea or you see a good marketing opportunity, get to work immediately!  One of the reasons many small businesses fail to achieve the sales success they want, is that they can often suffer from so-called ‘paralysis by analysis.’

By examining everything in too much detail and then waiting for every condition to be just perfect, they either do nothing at all or take so long that the opportunity has gone!  Do you fall into this category?!

Only change one thing at a time

When using the test & measure approach in your marketing, it’s really important that you only ever test one thing at a time.  If you change more than one element, it’s impossible to see what caused the change in your results.

So, if you currently run an advertisement in a magazine or website, only change one component of that advert then measure the difference in the response you get.  If you change the size of an advertisement and also the wording or design, you will not know what created the increase or decrease in your results.  So… one step at a time!

Measure everything!

It is very important that you measure your feedback accurately and fully.  This means you need to measure the negative response as well as the positive ones.  An email marketing exercise that generates 10 replies, from people who do not become clients, is NOT a zero response rate!  It is proof that 10 people read your email and were motivated enough to call or email you.

If you sent that email to 5000 people, it’s also proof that 4990 people DIDN’T feel motivated enough to call or email you – and that’s just as valuable in planning your next move!

What is said in their responses to your marketing is equally important. For example, if they say that they expected your fee or price to be lower than you quoted – they are telling you clearly that you need to put more value into your marketing message!  Measure everything and then, when you test the next time, use that feedback to improve your results.

Testing and measuring is so important that you must make it a habit.  So why not start now – look at your existing marketing for an opportunity to test & measure… and drive better results!