Over the last two years I've spent a tremendous amount of time studying some of the most successful marketing strategies on the Internet and from traditional marketplaces. Most, if not all, of the top marketers test their marketing materials. Those that fail to test their online efforts: web site, email marketing campaign, Adwords campaign, etc. are setting themselves up for failure.
Test, Measure, Change, Retest
The ability to test and measure a web site or a piece of marketing material, e.g. an Adwords Ad, can make a significant amount of difference in your marketing efforts. Tested ads save advertisers money and increase their revenue. Too many companies and individual are turned off by the prospect of repeatedly testing a web site or their ads for effectiveness. Some classic excuses are "we don't have the time" or "we tried X once and it didn't work." Consider your Google Adwords Campaign. Do you test, measure, and retest changes to your Adwords copy and associated landing pages regularly?
The Internet is one of the single greatest testing mediums available to almost anyone. Thanks to live web log analysis and the ability of online interactivity you can test marketing ideas in just a few minutes. One caveat to this that you are giving other an opportunity to see "the cards you are playing." But if you test smartly and regularly the benefits far outweigh the risks.
Testing Outside the Company
Another mistake prevalent to testing of ads, marketing pieces, or web sites is failure to test with the intended audience. Numerous companies test inside the company with their own employees, but this isn't true testing. It is very difficult to understand the user's perspective objectivity unless you are testing with the intended audience. Whenever and whatever you test make sure you make use of real users from a targeted demographic. Someone in the next department doesn't work.
It is possible to get carried away with testing at times so make sure to set reasonable limits. Some testing is far better than no testing at all. From my experience, as it pertains to web site testing, companies are amazed by user feedback derived from web usability testing. Objective user feedback can give companies information and insight they might have never considered. Dollar for dollar testing your advertising or web site shouldn't even be a discussion, just do it. Provided the web site or ads are tested properly, they'll always perform better than untested ads.
Want to get more great info? Check out the articles below:
- Choosing the Right Online Market
- Tracking Your Advertising, Old School
- Watch Your Pay Per Click Advertising
- Building Trust and Credibility with Follow Up
- Web Centric Marketing and Marketing Leverage
- Get Your Marketing Message Across
- Do You Test Your Web Site Often Enough?
- The Event Promotion System
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