Much of today’s marketing is shaped with quick and easy access to data. This allows marketers to alter faltering campaigns before too much time and money is sunk into something that doesn’t work. However, our ability to get information so swiftly can also lead us to act rashly and shut down something that might be successful if given the time. Moving too fast can lead you to miss out on opportunities to impact consumer behavior. To avoid this outcome, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Before launching a campaign or a test, or new materials, define an appropriate test period. Balance the need to be agile and decisive with the need to get the right data. What are the appropriate metrics? How much time is needed to get reliable data? The answers to these questions will help create the right timeline. In addition, you need to be flexible based on the information you get once things are live. Have a plan and be ready to tweak it as you learn more.
Make sure you are looking at the results at different stages of the consumer’s path to purchase. Look at both front-end and back-end data. For example, if you conduct a head-to-head test, an option with the better initial response rate might not be the real winner. A lower response rate can be countered by a much stronger conversion rate.
After the results are in and the appropriate actions have been taken, there is still more that can be done. Keep an eye on the long-term retention rates to see if something that may have not done as well at first actually produces a strong long-term value. Perhaps the given execution fills a niche or hits a smaller target more effectively. This is rare, but it does happen.
By all means, marketers should leverage the reams of quickly accessible data to be responsive. Listen to the market and react, but make sure you are listening to everything the market is telling you – and try not to react before knowing the whole story.