Market Wisely By Testing

May 25, 2022

In most marketing campaigns, there will very likely be a number of marketing components all working simultaneously to achieve one or more objectives. These components might include different types of advertising, a website, email campaigns, social media, pay-per-click, or even something unique that the business has never tried before.

With so many different components in use at the same time, the question becomes, “What works and what doesn't?” If a particular component is working, then the question becomes, “Is it meeting the objectives that were originally established?” Effective marketing must change over time just as various elements in the overall business must change over time to stay current with the competition, product or services offered, and purchaser demands. 

A strategy to change marketing components is not to simply state, “If revenues decrease, I'll increase marketing expenses,” or “If revenues increase, I'll decrease marketing expenses.” This action would not necessarily provide any intended results.

Test for Effectiveness

Marketing is or should be a work-in-progress. A business must determine which component produces the most positive and intended results. If all marketing components, however, change at the same time, then it is difficult if not impossible to determine which specific change produced the results. Therefore, only one component or variable should be changed at a time. 

Changes can then be reviewed for positive or negative influences based on what the marketing campaign intended to achieve, such as:

·      Did total revenues increase or decrease?

·      Did sales in a specific product or service line increase or decrease?

·      Did customer support requests increase or decrease?

·      Did incoming telephone calls or email requests increase or decrease?

·      Did website visitors increase or decrease?

·      Did “calls-to-action” increase or decrease?

Be Specific with Objectives

If a marketing campaign only has general objectives rather than specific objectives, then testing different components for positive or negative influences will produce only general outcomes since there would be no specific objectives to judge.

For example, if a marketing campaign has an objective to simply increase sales but not by any specific amount, then testing a component for effectiveness will simply confirm whether sales increased or decreased. Since the objective did not state how much the company wanted to increase sales with the marketing campaign, it would be difficult to determine exactly how successful the marketing campaign actually was. Sales might have increased by only an insignificant amount or by quite a large amount. Regardless of the increase, absent specifics, it is difficult to say whether or not the campaign was really successful. Most businesses would probably not be 100% pleased if there was only a very insignificant amount of an increase in revenue.

On the other hand, if the marketing objective was to increase sales by a specific percentage, then there would be no question whether the change in a particular marketing component achieved the intended objective. In other words, if the marketing objective was to increase total sales by 18% from the current quarter compared to the prior quarter, then it is quite easy to determine if the change in a particular marketing component achieved the intended result. Sales either increased quarter to quarter by 18% or more or there was not an increase in sales quarter to quarter by at least 18%. 

When marketing objectives are specific, then it is easy to determine if a component change met the intended target related to sales, customer requests, telephone calls, etc. Being specific allows a business to determine if marketing components are working as intended. If, however, many components are changed at the same time, then individually a component cannot be judged for effectiveness. Although the entire group of components might be producing the desired result, money might be wasted on one or more components in the group that are not producing positive results.

Marketing Decisions

Marketing decisions must take into consideration a multitude of external variables, cost, effectiveness, and the target market or markets that the business is trying to attract. 

After thorough testing of various marketing components, a business can then decide:

·      Should less money be spent on marketing campaigns?

·      Should more money be spent on marketing campaigns?

·      Should component allocation be different?

Businesses can simply “market” or “market wisely” by testing. Make sure that your business is marketing wisely!

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