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Testing: Reveal Marketing Mistakes Before They Cost You Big $$$

August 30, 20234 min read

Testing: Never Make A Major Marketing Mistake Again

      In his classic book Think And Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill lists one of the major causes of failure as people’s “preference to act on opinions created by guesswork or snap-judgments rather than facts”.

             Likewise, marketing decisions based on what you think will work rather than what the marketplace is willing to respond to are some of the main causes of small business failure. As an owner of a small or medium-sized business, your livelihood depends on your ability to determine which messages will effectively attract new customers and entice your current customers to come back for more.

             You can make these determinations by putting every important marketing question to a vote by the only people whose ballots count: customers and prospects. This “voting” takes place in the form of small, inexpensive tests.

             A market test is different than a questionnaire, a survey, or a focus group. These methods don’t necessarily reflect your customers’ willingness to put their money where their mouths are--results are usually skewed toward what the prospects think you want to hear.

              Testing, on the other hand, allows you to find out which headlines, offers, prices, etc. the market will respond to before you spend a fortune on advertising. By testing the effectiveness of certain parts of your ads on small but representative samples of your market, you can learn what works and what doesn’t. The results are reliable because each marketing question is answered with cash, check, or a major credit card.

             The ultimate purpose of testing is to demand maximum performance from every marketing dollar you spend. You will find that one approach will always substantially out-perform all others. Unless you test, however, you won’t know which approach is the best one.

           

ITS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE, BUT. . .

 

            You’re probably thinking that this concept of testing sounds so obvious that everyone must already be doing it. The fact is that over 90% of your competitors continue to haphazardly run whatever advertisements “seem to be pulling well lately.” Your methodically tested and calculated marketing efforts will separate your business from your competition , and win you greater marketshare in the process.

             In short, every aspect of your marketing can and should be tested--advertising mediums, placements, headlines, prices, offers, packaging, sales presentations--everything.

             Through the process of diligent testing, you ensure that you will never make a major marketing mistake. It’s impossible. If an advertisement or promotion fails in a small-scale test, you either adjust it and test again, or scrap it for something different.

             By testing, you take the guesswork and conjecture out of advertising. You should be very scientific with your marketing--keep experimenting until you find what really works.

TESTING 1, 2, 3. . .

           

            Like I said before, when you test one marketing variable against another, you will find that one always outpulls all others by a significant margin. A price of $19 may outpull $21 by three times. A certain headline in a Facebook ad might out pull another one by as many as 21 times! That’s 21 times the result with no increased expense.

             As you test different approaches, carefully analyze and tabulate the results. Software available today allow for any business to track their results across a myriad of metrics and demographics. When you find something that outpulls everything else, that becomes your “control”. Once you know what works best, you can test other variables in your marketing mix.

             For example, once you find a headline that works well in a Facebook ad, you can then start to test it on different platforms...Google, Next Door, Instagram...etc. Test day of the week, time of the day, test different demographics. Just be sure to test no more than one variable at a time, though, or you won’t know what effect changing each one of the variables has.

Experience can show you what types of things tend to work best, but only testing can empirically prove what works best in every single situation.

Start immediately to test every ad you run against another one with a different headline or price or layout. You're basically sending two relatively well-matched digital salesmen out with different messages and see which one works best after a week. Test new and different ways to implement your Unique Selling Proposition until you find one that works best.   

            Yes, it takes longer to test than it does to not test. But by scientifically testing every facet of your marketing, you’ll find that in the long run your advertising will be more effective, make you more money, and help your business grow more rapidly.


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