Marketing strategies can act as a playbook and are usually a very carefully curated plan, laying out every detail of what to do to create success.
Having a defined plan is great and you should never underestimate its power.
But it’s not inevitable that every strategy will lead to success.
Burying your head in the sand, ploughing along with everything crossed, and hoping for the best simply will not work.
Knowing is half the battle.
You need to take steps to test whether your strategy will actually work - both before you roll it out and during.
Your plan should be constantly evaluated and be ever-changing and evolving to suit the business and, most importantly, the consumer.
To help you, we’ve compiled our best practices for testing.
To test, or not to test
There are a whole bunch of test types used in the marketing world to clarify what works and what doesn’t.
Examples of some commonly used test techniques:
- A/B testing - the strategy is tested on two different items whether it's audiences or images or even headlines
- Test marketing - the strategy is launched to a small test market
- Alpha testing - a test is done within an organisation
- Beta testing - a test is done with some selected customers
Using a test is a great way to gauge how consumers feel, how your target audience feels and how a particular, more niche audience would feel about your marketing approach.
Testing the water prior to the launch of a campaign can help minimise the risks (and save some pennies!), as if there are any niggles from the test they can be ironed out and solved before a full-scale launch.
Another additional perk to testing is that it can create a little bit of a buzz before the main event.
But testing does not stop once your marketing campaign is up and running… that is only the beginning.
Testing to measure the success of your campaign as you go is crucial to understanding what is working and what isn’t.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again - measure, measure, measure!
Measure where you are currently and really monitor your progress towards your goals.
The best way to do this is through paying attention to the data you are collecting and repeatedly reflecting on those critical questions...
Are you meeting your business goals? Are you achieving your marketing strategy goals? And are you hitting those planned milestones?
And do all of this regularly to keep yourself in-check.
By finding out these answers you will be able to tweak, adapt and change your plan if you are not on track.
You will be able to see where you should be putting more of your energy and efforts based on what’s working well, and where you may be wasting your time and funds.
Your testing activities should generate lots of valuable information, which can help with planning for the future and even more success!
Hopefully we have convinced you that testing the effectiveness of your marketing is crucial, as it can provide you with some invaluable insight into whether you’re on the right track or need to go back to the drawing board!
How do you know something is working if you don’t measure it? And testing gives real insights into what could be done even better.
Have you read our previous blog - ‘Top Tips to Execute Your Marketing Strategy’? Catch it here.