Back in the olden days of traditional marketing and advertising, if we had the client budget, we would test our campaign on a small sample audience to measure and understand the consumer reaction.
To be honest, much of this was based on ‘gut feel’, no matter what words we used to pitch it to our clients.
Nowadays, with the advent and quick rise of digital marketing, this means we can accurately measure consumer behaviour like never before. So how come many marketers still gloss over this, and run headlong in with large budgets and crossed fingers?
Perhaps it’s the lack of understanding or the lack of time or maybe they are just bringing their traditional media habits with them.
The golden rule is that digital marketing without testing and measurement is simply just wasted marketing. It is akin to buying lots of computer equipment, and not even considering the IT security aspects to it all.
There are a plethora of tools available to us digital marketers to measure conversions, clicks and more.
Everything from display ad networks, to search engine advertising right through to email campaigns, we can measure performance, and test ad creative against ad creative, and continue to reach for better response rates or improved engagement.
“There’s never been a better time to be in advertising, and there’s never been a worse time.” – Aaron Reitkopf
I always recommend to clients that they should start by running a short digital campaign with a limited budget and at least two different variations. Then they can determine the winner using a simple goal (click through rates, or page likes or whatever the goal), and roll that out as your main campaign creative.
Wait a few days, trial a small variation using a small portion of your budget, and if your variation gets better traction, swap it out.
The trick here is that you should be only trialling small variations, not complete overhauls. I’ve personally seen huge increases through swapping out one single word in a headline, or changing the background colour of a button.
These are literally ten minute changes, and can mean the difference between a less than 2% response rate, and an eight percent return. A 400 per cent improvement in advertising by investing ten minutes? Yes please.
Clever digital marketers handling traditional advertising campaigns are also using this philosophy offline as well. Trial your campaign creative online first, tweak the results and improve it all, and then use your newly inherited knowledge on your broadcast or press advertising, at a larger scale and budget.
Imagine that? Nowadays, a few hundred dollars spent in a clever manner online can drastically improve that offline campaign two, three or four-fold in response rates, saving the client thousands of dollars and meaning the campaign is far more effective than it ever could have been, prior to digital marketing.
Every platform has some method to help you and your clients measure results better, For example, social media giant, Facebook, has their page metrics, Google has their AdWords dashboard, and any reliable email suite has their own email engagement and measurement tools.
They provide these intuitive and beautifully designed tools free with your campaign, and make it very easy for you to review daily.
If you get in the habit of investing a little time and budget at the start of every campaign, you can convert your wasted marketing into a great campaign.