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Is Marketing Testing the Missing Link in Your Plan?
Vince Giorgi / Hanley Wood Marketing / August 25, 2013
Take a minute and pull out your organization’s marketing plan and budget. Now scan down to the line item labelled marketing testing.What’s that? There is no line item for marketing testing?
That’s what I was afraid of.
With absolutely no data to back it up, I’m going to venture a guess that testing marketing might be today’s most underutilized tool for improving marketing.
I see and read quite a bit of research on what marketers are doing with their strategies and budgets. I can’t remember a time when I’ve read how active marketers are, or how much of their budgets they spend, testing marketing communications tactics for relative performance against alternatives.
IMPORTANT: We’re not talking about test marketing here. That would be taking a new product or marketing message and putting it in front of a subset of your target audience to gauge their reaction and acceptance. And we’re not talking about market research, where you’d go out and interview or survey members of an audience, to better understand their needs, preferences and buying behaviors.
We’re talking marketing testing. The sort of testing where you might send one email subject line to half of your list, and a different subject line to the other half. Or, as part of your ongoing content strategy, you might offer an ebook as your call to action (CTA) on one landing page, while you offer an on-demand webinar or a product demo on a second landing page. Then you measure and compare results, to see which generated more downloads or registrations. More “conversions.”
Here’s the deal: If we’re not testing marketing in this way, it’s virtually certain we’re leaving leads, audience engagement and money on the table.