Likewise, in marketing you want to avoid wasting large sums of money on activities that don't pay off. When trying any new marketing activity, it's always best to start small and scale up.
Within the Watertight Marketing network, we talk about starting at "functional and not embarrassing". This is your prototype. If you need a piece of marketing to fill a gap, then start with something functional and not embarrassing and build on it later.
Your prototype marketing activity should be used to test three different things.
Sometimes it becomes obvious that an assumption is incorrect. At other times it can take much more investigation.
2. Messaging and copy
It's crucial to remember that, even if you are exactly like your target audience, you won't respond to your company's messaging in exactly the same way as prospective customers.
You already know your products and services inside and out. You're already "sold" on the idea. But your prospects are not. Therefore, they'll hear your messages from a different perspective and may respond differently. Not always of course, but don't assume they'll think what you think.
3. Think about the next step
Sometimes the reason the activity didn't work is actually because the step AFTERWARDS is ineffective.
This is why it's important to put a number of measures in place around an activity so that you will spot where the process is falling short.
other factors to consider
What if the activity is not as effective as expected?
Should you extend the campaign? Do you need to tweak up your messaging?
Be careful not to send good money after bad: always go back to the numbers and work out if any extra investment is going to be worth it. It may be better to cut your losses and learn from it.
What if the activity is too successful?
Celebrate the bugs
I remember asking him why he was so happy to have found a bug in the software and he answered, "There are always bugs in software, no matter how hard you try to eliminate them. But I've found one and we'll fix it, so that means there'll be one less bug when we send it to our client."
I try to take this attitude with marketing. Of course you will check and test everything before you launch it or send it out to prospects. However, a typo or broken link will always inevitably slip through the net sooner or later. It's inevitable, as you scale up your marketing. But when someone comes back pointing out your error, fix it and celebrate – that's one less bug in your marketing now!
If this sounds interesting, please drop me a line. I'd love to see if I can help.