Warning: This post may make you extremely uncomfortable. Read at your own risk.
Today, there is virtually no reason not to have your pulse on the effectiveness of your marketing strategy. Data abounds, and to even the most casual business owner, this data can open up keen insights into where your marketing time and money is working for you, and where it is not.
To illustrate, I want to describe a strategy we are deploying on a web site right now, and this approach is saving us hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars normally wasted in the startup phase of any business model. The philosophy and steps behind this strategy is the same as you would read in practically any college marketing textbook: Devise, Implement, Test, Interpret Data, Revise and Repeat.
The real difference with what we are doing (across multiple marketing and advertising channels, such as Social, AdWords, SEO, Content) involves close micro-step evaluations of key drivers. Quite simply, rather than wait for an abundance of data, we are making swift course corrections based on tightly prioritized goals, using tiny-yet-measurable data samples.
This strategy requires that we ask difficult questions about our assumptions, letting none of them remain as sacred cows. Instead, we rather assume that we know nothing about what may work, and rigorously test every aspect of a business model, from messaging to offer to price point. And we are doing this rapidly.
Here’s the kicker: We are able to do this based on almost real-time data, in increments of fewer than 100 visitors to our web site.
It’s pretty exciting, and I believe it will lead us to circumvent the normally expensive and time-intensive process new businesses must endure when launching something new.
So the question I have for you is: What do you think you know about your business marketing metrics? Do you know what is working and what isn’t? How do you know it? And how long and how much is it taking you to find out?