While it’s impossible to determine whether your campaign will cause a sensation, there is a way to measure whether these new aspects of your strategy are effective.
If you want to know whether certain components of your campaign are worth the effort, consider conducting a marketing experiment.
Marketing experiments allow you to predict the effectiveness of marketing methods before they are implemented. Read on to learn how to experiment and discover the types of experiments you can run.
What is a marketing experiment?
Marketing experiments are a form of market research. Your goal is to discover new strategies for future events or to verify existing strategies.
For example, the marketing team might create and send emails to a small group of readers to measure the participation rate before adding them to the marketing campaign.
It should be noted that marketing experiments are not the same as marketing tests. Marketing experiments are for discovery, and testing confirms the theory.
Why conduct marketing experiments?
You can think of conducting marketing experiments as insuring your future marketing efforts. This is a way to minimize the risk and ensure that your efforts meet the expected results.
Imagine spending hours searching for the perfect gift. You think you have found the right one, but then you realize that it does not match the taste or interest of the recipient. The gift comes with a receipt, but there is no money-back guarantee for marketing activities.
Experiments will help you better understand your audience so that you can optimize your strategy for better performance.
How to conduct marketing experiments
- Brainstorm and prioritize experimental ideas.
- Find an idea to focus on.
- Make an assumption.
- Collect research.
- Choose your indicator.
- Perform experiments.
- Analyze the results.
Conducting marketing experiments includes conducting research, constructing experiments, and analyzing results. Let’s complete the seven steps required to conduct a marketing experiment.
1. Brainstorm and prioritize experimental ideas.
When conducting a marketing experiment, the first thing you should do is to start with a series of ideas.
Don’t know where to start? Look at your current priorities. What is your focus next quarter or next year?
From there, analyze historical data. Was your past strategy effective in the past? What is your low performance strategy?
As you delve into the data, you may discover which strategies may be most effective, and you still have unresolved questions. From there, you can determine the underlying causes behind the low performance and start brainstorming ideas for future experiments.
You can then rank your ideas by relevance, timeliness, and return on investment so you know which problems to solve first.
Record your thoughts online, for example Google FormsFor easy access and collaboration.
2. Find an idea to focus on.
Now that you have an idea log, you can choose one to follow.
Ideally, you can organize your list based on current priorities. Therefore, as your business grows, your priorities may change and affect the way you rank ideas.
Suppose you want to increase the number of subscribers by 1,000 in the next quarter. You are still a few weeks away from the start of this quarter. After checking your data, you noticed that once users land on your landing page, they will not convert.
Your login page It will be a good place to start the experiment. It is related to your current goals and will bring you a huge return on your investment.
Even unsuccessful experiments, those that did not produce the expected results, are very valuable because they can help you better understand your audience.
3. Make a hypothesis.
Assumptions apply not only to scientific projects. When conducting a marketing experiment, the first step is to come up with a hypothesis that you want to test.
A good assumption login page It can be any of the following:
- Changing the CTA copy from “Getting Started” to “Join Our Community” will increase registrations by 5%.
- Removing the phone number field from the landing page form will increase the completion rate of the form by 25%.
- Adding a safety badge on the landing page will increase the conversion rate by 10%.
This is a good hypothesis because you can prove or disprove it. It is not subjective and has a clear measure of achievement.
A not-so-good hypothesis will deal with several elements at the same time, which is not specific and difficult to measure. For example: “By updating the photos, CTA and copy on the landing page, we should get more registrations.
This is why this doesn’t work: when experimenting, testing multiple variables at once is not enough, because it’s not clear which changes will affect the results.Assuming also not mentioned how The elements will change and it will not constitute victory.
It takes some practice to formulate a hypothesis, but it is the key to building a robust experiment.
4. Collect research.
After creating the hypothesis, start collecting research. Doing so will provide you with background knowledge about the experiments that have been carried out and understand the possible results.
If needed, researching your experiment can help you revise your hypothesis.
Suppose your assumption is, “Changing the copy of CTA from “Getting Started” to “Join Our Community” will increase the number of registered people by 5%.” You can do more market survey Validate your thoughts around you User portrait And whether they will resonate better through a community-centric approach.
It’s helpful to check the competitor’s landing page and understand the strategies they used during the research.
5. Choose your indicator.
Once you have collected the research, you can choose the path you will take and the metrics you will measure.
For example, if you are running an email subject line experiment, the open rate is the correct metric to track.
For the login page, you may track the number of submissions during the test. If you are experimenting on a blog, you may be concerned about the average time on the page.
It all depends on what you want to track and the questions you want to answer through experiments.
6. Perform the experiment.
Now is the time to create and execute experiments.
Depending on what you are testing, this may be a cross-functional project that requires collaboration with other teams.
For example, if you are testing a new landing page CTA, you may need a copywriter or UX writer.
Everyone involved in this experiment should know:
- Assumptions and goals of the experiment
- Timeline and duration
- Metrics you will track
7. Analyze the results.
After running the experiment, collect and Analyze the results.
You want to collect enough data Statistical significance.
Use the indicators you decided in the second step and draw a conclusion whether your hypothesis is correct.
The main indicator of success will be the indicator you choose to focus on.
For example, for the landing page example, will the new copy result in an increase in registrations? If the conversion rate meets or exceeds the target, the experiment will be considered a success and you should implement the experiment.
If unsuccessful, your team should discuss the underlying cause and then return to the drawing board. This experiment may stimulate the idea of testing new elements.
Now that you know how to conduct marketing experiments, let’s look at a few different ways to run them.
Examples of marketing experiments
You can conduct many types of marketing experiments with your team. These tests will help you determine the effectiveness of all aspects of your campaign before launching the entire campaign.
A/B testing It is a popular marketing method in which two versions (randomly divided into two halves) of a web page, email or social post are shown to the audience. This test determines which version performs better for your audience.
This method is useful because you can better understand the preferences of users who will use your product.
Find below the types of experiments you can run.
Your website can be said to be your most important digital asset. Therefore, you need to make sure it runs well.
If your bounce rate is high, the average time on the page is short, or your visitors are not browsing your site the way you want, it may be time to experiment.
2. Landing Page
Landing pages are used to convert visitors into potential customers. If your landing page performs poorly, running experiments can generate high returns.
The advantage of running tests on the landing page is that usually only a few elements need to be tested: your background image, your copy, forms, and CTA.
Try different CTA You can increase the number of people interacting with your content.
For example, don’t use “Buy Now!” To attract customers, why not try “Learn More”.
You can also test different colored CTAs instead of copies.
4. Paid Media Events
There are many different methods Experiment with ads.
Not only can you test ads on various platforms to see which platforms are most appealing to your audience, you can also experiment with the types of ads you create.
As a major supplier of GIFs in the workplace, animated ads are a good way to attract the attention of potential customers. These may be useful for your brand.
You may also find that short videos or static images work better.
This Instagram ad comes from We really are not strangers Use multimedia to make your posts stand out. If you are testing PPC ads, try to diversify these ads to attract the interest of a wider audience.
In addition, you may put different types of copy in your ads to understand which language will drive your audience to click.
To maximize your Return on ad spend (ROAS), experiment with your paid media activities.
4. Social media platforms
Do you have Social media sites Don’t you use it? For example, lifestyle brands may prioritize Twitter and Instagram, but implementing Pinterest opens the door to an undeveloped audience.
You may consider testing the hashtags or visual effects you use on certain social media sites to see how they perform.
The more you use certain social platforms, the more iterations you can create based on your audience’s reactions.
You can even use your social media analysis to determine which countries or regions you should follow-for example, my Twitter analysis, The location of most of my viewers is shown below.
Or, if I see that most of my audience is from India, I may need to change my social strategy to ensure that I cater to the Indian time zone.
When experimenting with different time zones, consider creating specific content for the audience you want to reach.
Your copy-the text used in marketing activities to persuade, inform or entertain the audience-can determine your marketing strategy.
If you do not keep in touch with the audience, your information may not resonate. Maybe you haven’t fleshed out your user role, or you have conducted limited research.
Therefore, it may be helpful to test what tone and concepts your audience likes. A/B testing is a great method, and you can also conduct surveys and focus groups to better understand your audience.
Email marketing Continue to be one of the best digital channels for developing and cultivating potential customers.
If your open rate is low or your unsubscribe rate is high, it’s worth experimenting to understand what your audience responds best to.
Maybe your subject is too impersonal or unspecific. Or the content in your email is too long.
By using various elements in your email, you can figure out the right strategy to attract your audience.
Ultimately, marketing experiments are a cost-effective way to understand how new content ideas will work in your next campaign, which is critical to ensuring that you continue to please your audience.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in December 2019 and has been updated to be comprehensive.