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The Engine That Steers All Marketing Efforts: A/B Testing

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The Engine That Steers All Marketing Efforts: A/B Testing

Posted by Leah Faul

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6/16/15, 11:03 AM | Comments

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“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand, they listen with the intent to reply.” 

Steven R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:  Powerful Lessons in Personal Change.  

Good leaders, good marketers, and good business owners … They all know the importance of listening. Listening is key, key to leading, key to marketing, and key to effective anything. (Click to Tweet) The problem is, listening is hard in the world of digital marketing -- AKA Instant Gratification Land.   

Business Owners and CEO’s require instant results from their marketing heads.  That makes listening impossible -- Right?  Well, yes.  If you believe listening is sitting on a patio, with a sweet tea and hours of free time.  And, let’s be honest here, you aren’t the one who needs to learn to listen, the individual running your marketing efforts is.   

Get your marketing team listening properly 

The question is: Who is your marketing team listening to?  Don’t just emphasize listening; emphasize who your marketing team is listening to.  Don’t force them to listen to your demands, (unless you are demanding that they listen more to their target market).  Emphasize to your marketing leader that your company’s marketing MUST be driven by what your target market (that person you want to win over) wants.  They must be a slave to the demands of your company's target market.  You need to insist on it.  The effectiveness of your company's marketing depends on it. Instead of demanding that your website developer listens to what color green you want the free trial button to be, insist they listen to what color the website visitor wants it to be.  

Take a step back from the business.  Look at the results you have seen in the past year.  Really look at where you started a year ago, and where you are now.  

What you’re missing when you’re not listening 

We think we might know where you wound up in that little exercise, especially if, (teaser alert) your company is not A/B testing.

Everything IS getting done.  But nothing is getting done better.  It’s just getting done.  Does this sound familiar?

This, my dear results-obsessed business leader friend, is the key to mediocrity for your business. The kiss of death in the marketing world.  Just doing “something” in marketing, is the exact same as doing nothing.  Well, worse really.  If you do nothing in marketing, at least you don’t have to pay for it.  If you just do something, you end up paying to create the same result that you would have gotten by sitting and watching an entire season of Scrubs, nothing.   

If you don’t listen in marketing and make adjustments accordingly, you will surely find yourself winning the status of: 

  • Just another tweet in an overloaded Twitter stream
  • Just another blog filtered into the Gmail “Social Box”  
  • Just another Facebook update lost in an ad-saturated News Stream
  • Just another website on the bottom of page one search results 

Just because you have done something, doesn’t mean you have done something worth doing.   

It’s time for a new approach 

Something has to be done differently in marketing or your voice does not get heard, your website does not get seen, your article does not get read. 

This seems to be the storyline of the same predictable horror flick most digital marketers are caught in.  Yes, we know our blog is not getting read.  We know our website is getting unnoticed sitting on the second page of Google’s  search results.  We know the same six people like our Facebook posts, and three people that work at our company retweet our well thought out (okay, well not really) tweets.  We know this.  Right? We are all dying a slow and miserable digital marketing death.  The problem is, very few seem to know how to escape the nightmare.  There is however, hope.  Hope in a tool designed to help you listen, understand, and still continue to get more done.

Marketers need to stay on a cyclical roller coaster of feedback driven change to improve results. (Click to Tweet)  

This effective marketing roller coaster is called A/B Testing.  It will mess your hair up, it will thrill you, it may even flip your stomach at times, and make you reach for the nearest trash can, but one thing it will do for sure is:  Get you off of the boring choo choo train slowly puttering around the theme park just looking at all the exciting rides that everyone else is on, (AKA competitors pulling the profit your company deserves). 

What is A/B testing? 

Let me break A/B testing down quickly for you.  In its most simplistic form, A/B testing is: 

  • Identifying something you want to improve  (a web page, a button, even a font color)
  • Creating two options for improving it
  • Using both solutions to your problem in equal amounts
  • Measuring the effectiveness of the two options
  • Ditching what doesn’t work
  • Implementing the change that gets the best result
  • Finding something else to A/B test

Listen, but not just with the intent to respond.  Listen with the intent to understand.  Listen to the results of your A/B test, understand why, and alter your approach to become a more effective marketing machine all the way around. 

A/B testing has the power in digital marketing to drive results. (Click to Tweet) 

Power

[pou-er]

noun 1.  the ability to act or produce an effect 

Your marketing team is given power, the ability to act and produce a result by listening through A/B testing. A/B testing can be built into your marketing team’s efforts and become an engine humming away in the background steering all marketing efforts.  And that, my friend is the engine of a vehicle that will drive you to the land all digital marketers want to live in, the land of data driven results. (Click to Tweet)   

If you are interested in trying out A/B testing or improving how you are already doing it, check out our free Bayesian A/B Test Calculator or send it to your Marketing team head and start listening better to your customers today.  

Bayesian A/B Test Calculator

   
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