Design Thinking for Marketing Part 5: Test and Learn

Design Thinking for Marketing Part 5: Test and Learn

One of the great things about digital marketing is the ability to quickly test ideas, concepts, messages and offers to find out which engage the audience, which convert and what just falls by the wayside. 
 
I often recommend using digital channels for this purpose, even if the end campaign is offline. The speed and relative cost-effectiveness of the digital approach makes it a natural marketing synonym for design thinking’s ‘rapid prototyping’ phase. 
 
In the old days of marketing, your options for testing messages or offers was limited to focus groups or more in-depth interview-based research. These approaches still have their uses – but for a quick and cheap snapshot of the likely response, digital is brilliant. 
 
For example, one of our clients wanted to do a letter-box drop as part of a campaign. However, they weren’t sure which geographic areas to target. We sponsored a series of Facebook campaigns targeted at the suburbs in the region and measured the response. It very quickly indicated the areas where their offer got the most traction – and, more importantly, showed one area where it was completely off target. Had they gone ahead and blanketed the whole region, it would have cost much more, and wouldn’t have had the same results. 
 
Another great way to use digital to guide your marketing is by doing a little over a range of different channels – small numbers of Facebook ads, LinkedIn sponsored posts, remarketing, adwords, etc. etc. Monitor the response, and you can quickly see the best performing channels – which is, of course, where you invest your marketing dollars.  
 
Testing and refining your conversion funnel, messages or graphics through A/B testing also delivers great results and insight. Even small changes to text size or position can influence your conversion rates – and you can use this information to refine further. It’s more than test and learn – it’s rapid evolution, with the winning option surviving and going into iterative testing as you improve on the improvements. 
 
Remember, with digital, published is better than perfect. A lower conversion rate can be improved, but an ad that is never set live loses you 100% of the deals. 
 
If you’d like help with your digital strategy, contact us – we love the hands-on approach to marketing where you don’t make assumptions, you test them!
 
Sybil Williams
Founder and Growth Catalyst