Marketing Secret #32 TEST, TEST, TEST
WARNING - THIS IS A RANT!
The importance of this topic can’t be stressed enough. Whether you're just starting out or an experienced hand at marketing and advertising, everything you do you must TEST, TEST, TEST!
This is a common scenario...
You have “THE GREATEST IDEA EVER IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND!”
The one brainstorm that will end your financial problems overnight.
It could be a seminar, or a TV ad, or a direct mail piece, or brochure, or whatever.
You just know that it is going to be a winner!
How do you know this?
Well, your partner agrees with you; When you bring it to the office and share it with your employees they also agree that you have a winner. Everyone you talk to sees that you will be retiring in the next few months.
You then decide to get things moving. The advertising people are brought in; the graphic artist is hired, the printer is contacted and new websites are being developed as we speak.
All the steps are falling into place. You have spent a pretty hefty chunk of cash, but it will be worth it. This is the break you have always been waiting for!
Finally, the deal is in gear. Things are going to explode. And you wait. And wait some more. Nothing. Nothing is happening what is going on?
Two days later, you are very depressed. The whole thing was a big disaster. All that money down the tubes. What went wrong? Everyone agreed that this was a big winner. How could this happen?
What went wrong here was not the idea or the actions taken. The problem was very simple, yet something that people ignore over and over again.
PRECONCEIVED NOTIONS AND BLIND FAITH IN “EVERYBODY’S” OPINION!
You see, the fact that you and “everybody” think that this idea is a stroke of genius is basically irrelevant. You and your sounding boards may be well intentioned, but there can be no validity placed on your opinions.
Do Small Tests!
A small test, yet big enough to see if your idea has the slightest bit of merit.
- Easier to manage
- Can test multiple times
- Allows for slight change and variances
Ask Other Businesses!
If you belong to any business networking groups this is a great way to test if your idea appeals. Based on their response will let you know if you are onto a winner. If they do, you can fine tune your pitch by seeing what questions are asked, and what the people who call are most interested in.
Keep in mind, you must be aware of what is happening to the marketplace, and react accordingly. But here’s a ten-star tip:
Never assume that the way you think is the way other people think!
I have seen it many times before. You were so sure you had a handle on the marketplace; your 'people' what 'get-it'; and you message was 'on point'.
Or, the reason why it didn't work was because the customers just didn't get it.
Don’t ever feel bad that an idea didn’t work. This lesson is as important as finding what does work! You will not waste any more time or money on ideas that have bombed.
Thomas Edison tried thousands of compounds for the filament of his electric light. Every one that didn’t work was logged and no more time was spent on that material. He was always sure that knowing what didn’t work was just as important as what did!
Never Test More Than One Changed Variable At A Time!
Test! Test! Test!
There is much you can test in your marketing, within smaller numbers.
- Different headlines
- Different marketing platforms
- Different dollar values
- With and without images
- Different formats
Make one change at time. For example if you want to test whether including the value will make a difference or not, then run a split test where one ad is with the dollar value and the other is without.
If you test a headline, do not change the publication or the location in the publication. If you test a phone number, do not change the headline. And so on.
If you mix up variables in tests, how do you know which thing is working or not working?
Please don’t forget this point. It is very critical to testing success. Next.
You should not have to spend over $100 to test an ad. You’d be surprised how many publications will run ads very inexpensively. I’m telling you…oh, if you’ll excuse me.
Once you are gaining success - rinse and repeat! If it they aren't working, make another change and move on.
One more point about advertising...
I can’t guarantee you that every headline will work. That’s why we are always giving you so many examples and coming up with new ones all the time. But I do guarantee that the direct response, emotional formulas we show you are the only ones proven to work, year-in and year-out, for decades!
So if one headline doesn’t get it, you’ll have to test until you find the one that does work. It is out there. I promise you that the emotional approach is the only one that has ever been proven to be successful!
To summarise: Be creative and to take your ego out of the equation. Testing is the most important way to be a smart survivor! Don’t ever feel like something is a failure if it doesn’t work. No matter what you do, you’re not seeing failure or success. You’re just seeing results. Nothing more. Nothing less. Just results.
If the results are bad, then you need to adjust what you’re doing. If the results are good, then do more and bigger of the same thing!
The bottom line is this: The only true measure of your idea is what the market tells you with real, live testing! All the conjecture in the world will not replace a well-designed test!
And please remember, you have to test everything new and you must continue to test against things that work – to see if you can find something that works even better!
If you need advice, guidance or support with your marketing strategies, reach out to us at
firstname.lastname@example.org or book a 15 minute no-obligation call with one of our team.