Your marketing gut feeling is dangerous

  • Amy van der Plas
  • 23 / 10 / 2019
Leestijd: 4 min

Your marketing gut feeling is dangerous. Yes, you read it correctly. Because it can lead you completely astray. For instance, predicting how your target audience will react to a certain message may not be correct at all. Even if you know your target audience so well. Your current content approach may work fine, but have you ever investigated whether it could be even better by testing things you think don't work? Does that sound contradictory? Welcome to the wonderful world of experiment marketing!

More roads lead to Rome

Although you may be well off with your current content strategy, more roads lead to Rome. To discover the most efficient path, it can be useful to test multiple routes. Experiment Marketing is - briefly explained - collecting insights on a small scale that you can use on a larger scale to generate more impact. It allows you to tweak target groups, test messages, determine tone of voice, adjust platform choices, etc., among other things. Each of these variables plays an important role in the impact of your content. Time to align them to your own advantage by experimenting / testing.

Take it from us: you have assumptions

If you want to start Experiment Marketing, you have to "catch yourself" with every assumption you make. And that's pretty irritating, because suddenly nothing is what it seems. For example, if you assume that your target audience is not amenable to message x, then you are making an assumption. But it goes much further than that. You assume that the timing of your barbecue post on Facebook works best during hot days. You assume that your Dutch content (with slight adjustments) is also suitable for Flanders. You assume that higher frequency/repetition makes the message stick better. You assume that your newsletter should not only be informative. You assume your logo should be on every visual, etc. Just imagine how many assumptions you make in a day. Not normal, right? The good news is: every assumption can be tested. That is then the variable of the experiment.

A sample in the real world

The great thing about Experiment Marketing is that it is not tested in a "clinical" environment. It is your target audience: the consumer or your business relation who provides you with (in)direct feedback. In other words, Experiment Marketing is a sample in the real world. By testing on a small scale, you can predict with more certainty what the change of 1 specific variable will do to your target group on a large scale. And that is useful for achieving big successes or for definitively ruling out certain directions.

In short: Experiment Marketing gives you insights you need for more impact. Does that mean we need to test ALL variables or assumptions to get that impact? Theoretically, yes, but practically, absolutely not. Then you make it unnecessarily complex, costly and time-intensive. Often, before a major launch, campaign, transition phase or transition, the difference can be made with Experiment Marketing. Besides, Experiment Marketing works (for me, at least) as a kind of thinking-reflex. It more often questions the beaten path, your marketing thinking pattern or gut feeling. Nothing wrong with an extra critical eye!