When’s the last time you really experimented with your digital marketing? Can you remember when you last experimented in terms of your message and your content? How long has been since you ran experiments in “evaluating different audience targeting, frequency, or optimization regimes for (your) campaigns?”
I put the last part in quotes because it came from this article in the Harvard Business Review.
Written by a “researcher in Facebook’s Ads Research Team,” the author found that “many (marketing) firms are used to non-experimental approaches to advertising measurement, such as marketing mix models, and hesitate to adopt experimentation-based measurement in part because they overestimate its complexity.”
Now, you don’t have to be a big, fancy online advertising company to reap the benefits of experimenting with your marketing.
Even as a small business owner, by experimenting the right way, you can grow (and grow upon) your customer base.
Make Sure You Have a Work Environment Where Experimentation Can Take Place
You may have read the linked article and thought: “well gee, experimentation sounds pretty great. Why don’t we have more of that in our company?”
Too often, that comes from the top.
If the CEO and other executives make it clear that “the boat shouldn’t be rocked,” (so to speak) then it’s less likely for experimentation to take place.
That kind of attitude can trickle down to others, even those in the more creative fields.
Inertia can set in, particularly for established companies.
Through example, executives can let others in the company know “hey, this is a place where you can try something out.”
Experimentation Can Be Big, Small, or Small That Later Grows Into Big
The risk of experimentation, of course, is loss. Lost time, lost money, lost effort, etc. But, it’s more important than ever to experiment. Circumstances change quickly (2020 should be a clear enough example of that).
A company that isn’t agile enough to experiment in the “better times” is less likely to be prepared to shift during leaner ones.
When I say “experiment,” I don’t mean “change your entire marketing/core values overnight.” Sure, you might be in a position where you want to make sweeping or even radical changes in terms of your marketing.
However, for many companies, it could be a question of tweaks, here and there.
Incorporating video marketing. Starting a podcast and growing it. Or, to use a topical reference, it might be making videos that show what’s best about your company for the holiday season.
Each of those are “experiments,” particularly if you haven’t done much with them before.
By incorporating some experimentation, some changes into the day to day work of your company, you help to ensure that the company will grow.
Don’t Give Up on Experimentation
By its very nature, experimentation doesn’t guarantee successful results.
Moreover, (and sometimes more frustrating) the results may not be seen for some time.
How many stories have you heard over the years of one company trying something, failing, and then realizing years later that those experiences were able to power them to some greater success?
The most frustrating words in the last sentence, of course, are “years later.”
Using examples from the last paragraph, you have to keep trying them and believing in them. Unless there are very rare, specific circumstances, your company’s video marketing and podcasts, etc. aren’t going to be enormous successes from the very beginning.
It’s possible they might struggle for a while to reach an audience (or any audience).
But, by continuing to put good, solid effort into them, and never giving up on them, you can use them to add customers. Maybe none today, but a few tomorrow, and still others the day after that.
That’s how growth works.
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