We usually don’t give it much thought, but we test just about everything in life. When car shopping, we test-drive the vehicles we’re interested in before making a choice. When buying clothes, we try them on in the dressing room. Even when grocery shopping, we taste samples before we buy something new.
Time and time again, we prove that people like to test things out before they make a selection, yet some businesses still embark on costly marketing campaigns with little to no clue what the outcome may be. They spend considerable time and money on developing strategies, but frequently fail to test them out before putting them into action. Instead, they hope that the new advert or social media campaign will generate a response.
A better idea is to go with an initial test run of a marketing campaign, before committing an entire budget to it. Even the most seasoned marketers don’t know with absolute certainty what will work, especially when it comes to a daring new strategy. Spending 10% to 15% of the campaign budget on a miniature version is much safer and allows you to test for the outcome.
Of course, testing is only truly useful when the results are measured. Why conduct a test in the first place unless you plan on following through and analysing the outcomes? It would be like test-driving a car but not comparing the fuel efficiency, comfort or engine performance to that of your previous vehicle or other cars you were considering purchasing. It wouldn’t be very reasonable.
In business, careful measurement of a test marketing campaign will provide the essential information needed to determine whether or not it’s worth launching on a bigger scale. The results will, of course, determine its success. For example, a test newsletter mail-out campaign posted to 500 households gets 10 responses, each that result in a $150 sale. The 40% margin will add $60 from each sale to the business’s profits, resulting in more than $600 overall. If the average cost of each newsletter sent out was approximately $1.00, or $500 total, the business made a profit of $100. Those numbers indicate it could be considered a success!
For each marketing idea you’ve got to promote your business, start off cautiously and test it out before a full launch. You may be excited, but testing and measuring will save you considerable time, money and frustration in the long run.