We’re not talking about requiring the ability to do A/B testing, research, or any kind of focus group. Although those are often not a bad idea, and if you have the ability, I highly recommend doing so.
When it comes to testing, we need to move away from the idea or concept of “testing” being something done one time before launching a new campaign, product, service, idea, etc. By thinking like that, we are doing a disservice to the potential that we have to constantly measure, adapt, and grow to become better. Not only with business in general, but in digital marketing as well.
Testing involves time. It involves patience and focusing on the longer-term goals over short cuts and quick results.
So, we’re not saying, if you can’t test something before launching, don’t do it.
We’re saying, if before you even launch you know you can’t test or measure quality results on it ever, don’t do it.
Of course, just about every person wishes they could launch something in digital marketing and see the results they want in a few days. But that’s not the reality of today’s world.
Real results are rarely “sexy”.
In fact, real results take consistent work and tweaking over time; trial and error until you find what works and is sustainable for your business. Which is why most people miss the opportunity to grow their business with real results.
I think Thomas Edison summed up results (in any facet or area of business or life) well:
“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
That’s why we push thinking before doing anything marketing-related in your business. Going against the current of a popular athletic brand company, Don’t Just Do It. Not without putting some thought into it (or hiring someone who will help you put some thought into it).
Ask yourself the following questions.
- Are the things you’re implementing measurable?
- Are your marketing objectives geared towards long-term, sustainable growth?
- Have you put the world of searching for shortcuts in marketing behind you?
- Do you have the intentions to measure results, adjust your plan, implement said plan? And then repeat this cycle over time?
If you answered yes to most or all of those, then you’re probably in a good spot to move forward. Full-speed ahead! But if not, let this be a sign that you need to take a step back. Take time to rethink through some of these things.
So, why are we so adamant on having outcomes that can be measured and therefore digital marketing plans that can be tested?
Because measurable outcomes are crucial in today’s digital world! The digital world is constantly changing, growing, and moving at a very fast pace. And quite frankly, you don’t have time to waste on programs that cannot be measured or give you feedback on directions to pivot.
Again, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, if you can’t test it, don’t do it. The reason being that measurable outcomes help you:
With anything in life, we have things set in place to measure how we’re doing. If we are trying to lose weight, we measure progress with the scale, progress photos, or how our clothes fit. If the goal is to get better cooking, we might measure progress by the decreasing number of burned dishes, better tasting goods, or how comfortable we are getting in the kitchen! Right?
Okay, the same thing goes for digital marketing.
To assess how your marketing programs and activities are going, you need something to measure progress with. And in order to measure progress, you have to have something be measurable in the first place!
For example, when creating marketing or business objectives, a good rule of thumb is to create SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based. Now, you don’t necessarily have to create “SMART” goals for every digital marketing thing you do. You do need the outcomes to be measurable so that you can tangibly see progress (or lack thereof) made.
Once you measure your outcome and results, you can measure them against standards, goals, or ideals, adjust and implement your plan, and start the cycle again—therefore, testing over time!
Know What’s Working and What’s Not
Progress, or lack thereof, can be really telling within digital marketing. But you’ll never know what’s working and what’s not if you don’t look at results over time. Random points of data are unconnected dots that can never tell the full story. You’ll always be missing pieces and therefore never able to fully know how you’re doing with what you’re implementing.
But when you track your results, you can collect many different data points. Then over time, you start connecting those dots to get a full picture of your progress or lack thereof. That’s when you begin to find out and know what is working and what’s not.
But just like in life, if you quit on something too soon, you can’t really see how you’re doing, Or what you were doing right or wrong. The same thing goes with digital marketing! Don’t quit a tactic or plan too soon without first giving it time to measure results. This allows you to figure out what is working and what needs to be adjusted. That’s when you begin to build a super strong digital marketing plan for the future growth and success of your business.
Keep Up with Current Consumer Trends
Measuring results and testing over time helps you keep up with current consumer trends.
Now you might be thinking, how does tracking over a long time help me to keep up with the constantly changing consumer trends?
We get that may seem counterintuitive. But it’s not.
You see, once you begin to measure progress over time, and see what’s working, you can begin to understand what consumers want or are trending towards.
That’s why you need measurable outcomes so that you can begin to know and get a grasp on what consumers are trending towards (and how close you are to meeting or reaching those). The truth is, trends rarely change overnight. While they do change quickly and often, it’s likely months or weeks, not days or hours.
So, if you keep trying to find short cuts or switch up your digital marketing tactics every few days to the latest and greatest idea, you’ll have no consistency to measure. You won’t know if a “success” one day was because of what you did that day, what the consumer trend was, or the fact that you picked up a heads-up penny off the sidewalk earlier. I’m kidding on that last point, but still, I think you get the idea.
Consumers are not going to care that the quick results program you paid a lot for promised a ton of leads, conversions, click-throughs, etc. in. only 5 days. They’re going to keep moving in alignment with what they like and away from what they don’t like, regardless if that’s towards or away from what your company is doing.
By having measurable outcomes and testing your digital marketing tactics over time, you can begin to see what aligns with consumer trends and what doesn’t and adjust accordingly for success!
Manage Your Business Better
Last, but not least, if you start to get aligned with consumer trends (based on measured results), you can much more easily and successfully manage your business.
As Chris Ingham Brooke, Founder and CEO of Pub Ocean, says:
“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it — you need the tools to be able to measure how everything you touch, from creating content to making design changes to topic choice in the newsroom, has the power to affect and positively influence revenue”
Now, Pub Ocean serves digital publishing clients. but the same principle idea relates to you and whatever your business offering is.
If something cannot be measured, then you cannot adjust as necessary or pivot towards a more successful direction. You won’t be able to manage or maintain business growth very well.
In other words, without measurable outcomes, you’ll spend all your time building digital marketing plans, and no time measuring or managing—which are 2 of the most important parts for marketing success and growth.
But when you track your results over time, you start to see trends, adjustments to make, and things that work or don’t work. Then, you can start to hone in on your business’s digital marketing plan. You can begin to craft targeted, accurate and attention-grabbing digital marketing strategies and plans. And these things, added up over time, mean success for your business!
Measurable outcomes not only help you steer your digital marketing (and therefore business) in the right direction, they allow you to be successful for smooth sailing in that direction!
Measurable Outcomes for the Win
I hope by now you can see the importance of having measurable outcomes and why you need to know you can test something before implementing. Otherwise, don’t do it – it’s most likely a waste of your time.
Whether you’re planning to do blogs, emails, paid media, advertising campaigns, a new website, etc. make sure you can measure outcomes over time and adjust as needed. Whether it’s you doing the work or someone you hire.
I promise you; it’ll make your business so much better when you do!
If you are looking for a program that actually gets results and pays attention to adjusting and testing plans and strategies over time – let us help! Our Magnetic Growth Program has options for targeted paid media, blogs, emails and more. We are serious about doing things the right way, keeping your long-term goals in mind (no shortcuts here), and having outcomes that are measurable!
Reach out to us and let us show you how we can help you!