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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Marketing From Your Gut

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The nice thing about marketing is that it's both art and science.  I was recently reminded of this while I was cleaning out some of my web browser bookmarks.  As someone who's constantly bookmarking different websites, my list seems to grow daily.

I was reminded of a great site that actually tests different creative and shows you which one produced better results.  In addition to being sucker for data, I know that sometimes marketing is something where you have to go with your gut.  Although I wouldn't recommend that strategy as your full-time credo, there is something to be said for going with what feels right.

Okay, now the moment of truth.  How good is your gut?  Check out Anne Holland's Which Test Won Blog and try your hand at determining which creative outperformed the other.  By way of full disclosure I don't know Ann personally but am a big fan of her blog.  On a regular basis she provides insight into marketing creative and shares performance results.

What this means for you
From my perspective, I believe that I never doing enough testing.  Don't get me wrong, its great fun to see if one can find the "winning" creative but the reality is that a larger message is being communicated here.  How often do you test your creative?  Are you learning from each webpage, every email?  If you're like me the answer is no.  Personally I think I'm getting better with the concept of testing but I'm not there yet.

Each time you plan a campaign, think about doing multiple versions of it.  Printing post cards?  Create version A and version B.  Considering some new web pages?  Use Google Website Optimizer and plan a couple versions of copy or designs to test.  For me, the easiest way to start has always been to simply test a headline or subject line.

This may seem too simple but the reality is that headlines and subject lines account for a large percentage of readership.  Prospects can't read your message if they don't open your email or envelope.  Break down each of your campaigns into specific components and consider which can be versioned or tested.

Take the next step
As is true with an marketing initiative, you must begin by taking action.  I hope this post at least opens your mind to the possibility of doing split testing or multi-variate (testing multiple elements simultaneously) testing.  The goal is to always measure and improve upon your marketing.  This enhances your return on investment and ultimately the profitability of your marketing programs.

Let me know what types of tests you're running and what type of results you're seeing.  I'd be happy to share them with the rest of my blog readers!


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