You’re no doubt already aware one of the key principles of marketing is measuring and testing. After all, we can’t possibly know if our marketing efforts are bearing fruit unless we can measure the results of what we’re doing.
And once we’ve measured how effective a given strategy is, then it’s only a small step to take to start testing something different and measuring again.
This second strategy is likely to be better or worse than our original. If it’s better then this becomes our new control; if it’s worse, then we keep the old control. In either case we go round the loop again.
By repeating this process over and over again we come to create incredibly successful and profitable marketing systems.
But there are a couple of other reasons for measuring, too, one that cuts even deeper than the idea of “measuring and testing”.
The first is simply this:
Anything measured improves
No one is quite sure of exactly why this is, but it seems to be a fundamental human trait.
One possible explanation is our brains are very powerful goal-seeking devices and we are naturally drawn to patterns (even when they aren’t there, but that’s another story).
So once we start collating data and measuring performance against some arbitrary yardstick, even without intending to, we subconsciously start seeking ways to get closer to the goal.
A good example of this is where tennis players are told to note how close their balls come to a target on the other side of the court, and are also told just to keep serving the balls without consciously trying to get closer to the target.
What invariably happens is while the player is relaxed and merely noting where the
balls are landing, they get ever closer to where the player wants them to go.
With our marketing efforts in our businesses what this translates to is a steady improvement of our results even without us consciously making efforts to make them better.
There is, of course, a positive feedback loop here, too, because as our results improve, our subconscious is given a silent reward, and so starts working even harder for us.
Systems, systems, systems
The second thing constant measurement does for is it forces us to create systems – and systems are the foundational blocks of marketing.
A typical mistake is for business owners to make their marketing ad-hoc and haphazard. So, for example, they might send a postcard to their customers one week and then not do anything further until another whim strikes them a few months later; or they’ll email their list once a month – if they actually remember to do it.
But as savvy marketers we know this is not the best way to get the results we want, since following up frequently and often is the best way to make the most of your lists or prospects, customers, and clients.
And if we’re intent on measuring everything we do, it follows we must be doing something we can measure. In other words, it forces us into good habits (and as we’ve already seen, anything we do and then measure we are going to naturally start doing better and better).
You can never know too much about your market
And the third thing comprehensive and constant measurement does is it give us masses of data.
And you can never, ever have too much data when it comes to your target market because after a while you are inevitably going to see some surprising, unexpected, and unforeseeable patterns emerging.
A good example of this is the entrepreneur who ran a dating site for American men seeking Russian brides. He was struggling to get the business to work because it was a very competitive market and this meant his service was easily commoditised and hard to charge out at premium rates.
All this changed when he looked at the data had on his existing customers and realised 70% of them were truckers. We can speculate forever on why this might be, but it was simply a fact.
This then allowed him to re-invent his entire business as a “Russian Brides for American Truckers” business, and the fact he was then firmly in a specific niche meant not only could he easily increase his prices (to a level 200 times higher then the industry average), but also that his marketing could be much more focused and thus more effective and cheaper.
The important thing to remember though is data is not the same as information.
Data is just the raw material. To get the information out it takes work and effort. That’s the bad news.
The good news is it means very few, of any, of your competitors will do it,meaning if you do, then you will be streets ahead of them right from the outset. And your advantage can only increase as you learn more about your market and you get better at searching through and interpreting the data, and then implementing powerful and effective new marketing strategies based on the information you’re feeding back from your analysis.
CHRIS CARDELL’S KEY TAKEAWAYS
I promise, if you’re prepared to do this, then your business will soar and you’ll be reaping the benefits of your work for years to come. This kind of thing really is 80/20 at its very best and most profitable.
Please share here your thoughts on this article about Chris Cardell, share it on social media and express your views. To learn more about Chris Cardell visit his website chriscardell.com or Chris Cardell’s Media Company, Cardell Media Ltd. There is also an interesting video interview with Chris Cardell. His next life changing event is The Sovereignty Summit with Chris and Dan Kennedy on 29th – 30th of September 2015.