A Case for Research: How Empirical Data Saved the Day
Even great marketers get sucked into the weeds sometimes. It’s easy to jump straight to tactics and start talking lenticulars, dye cuts, mobile apps, special folds, logos, web pages, textured paper, etc. That’s the stuff that gets you noticed, right? Well, sort of. It’s also the stuff that costs companies thousands in production costs and even more in missed revenue.
Our advice — all marketing deliverables should be tied to the not-so-glamorous part of marketing: research and testing. Even if you’re under the gun to deliver now, allot some time to this crucial step to ensure your campaign is on good footing. Whether you consult your in-house researcher (or ours), mine data from your analytics and CRM, or do an A/B test, the business intelligence you gain from this step can be indispensible.
Case in point: CSK presented three concepts to a client recently. Then, we facilitated an online focus group to validate the client’s internal concept survey and recommendation. Surprisingly, the concept that resonated best with the target audience (our focus group members) was not the one the client recommended. Good thing we found out before we plastered it on 24-foot billboards. Additionally, the focus group felt the color pink was too juvenile for our target audience. However, they ultimately chose a pink concept because the stronger message overshadowed negative responses to the color. With this information in hand, we can make smarter design decisions founded on empirical data.
So often, we let our guts do our bidding or concede to popular opinion (or the highest paid person’s opinion) instead of testing our hypothesis and evaluating the results in a scientific manner. The easiest way to settle any disagreement or ambiguity on campaign concepts, headlines, imagery, etc., is to let your customers tell you the answer.
Share your testing insight with us.
Stephanie Santos is an integrated campaign manager at the CSK group with more than a decade of marketing communications experience in B2B and B2C. She is a wife, a mother, a closet poet, a lover of live music, a former Coastie and a humorist at heart.