Bright Ideas

Recession readiness hack: Experimentation – your secret weapon

During a recession, prospects behaviour and selection processes may be different. What has worked well previously may not be as effective within the current climate. Taking an agile approach to your marketing will help your teams adapt to market change more easily and quickly. A key aspect of this is experimentation.

For many marketers, when they think of experimentation they think of A/B testing, and this is one mechanism for continually improving your activity. But experimentation goes beyond this. For example, look at trialling ads across different social platforms to determine which site generates a higher number of quality leads, or look at trialling different pieces of content to see what resonates with your audience.

True experimentation starts with defining hypotheses and developing a framework and series of tests that can prove or disprove these. Understanding how these changes are impacting reach, engagement and conversion and providing insights to inform your activity and how your marketing needs to adapt accordingly.

Start by establishing an experimentation framework so that you have defined your hypothesis to prove or disprove and have set out the data points you will measure (KPI, timeframe, segment etc) to assess impact. When you are experimenting don’t throw everything up in the ai, you already know or have some understanding of what tactics, channels and topics are working with your audience. Think about what risk you are willing to take – put 60- 70% of your efforts into activity and tactics you understand and tinker with the tone of voice, images or headlines, 20% of your effort into testing brand-new tactics, adjacent audiences or more radical changes to messaging or images; finally think about putting 10% of your effort into high-risk tests such as bold new messaging or calls to action. Take the time to explore your learnings – bring the team together at the end of the sprint or experiment cycle to run a retrospective and extract all the learnings you can to drive optimisations and support the next wave of experiment setting.

Experimentation can provide data and more confidence in the decision-making process, particularly when looking to invest more in a challenge or approach that is generating results but don’t be afraid to divest if something isn’t working. Make sure you give ample time for your activity to run and generate meaningful data to inform strategic decisions on the allocation of budget. To get the most from experimentation leadership needs to foster curiosity and enable a growth mindset within the marketing team and wider business.

Advertisers who run 15 experiments per year reap proven positive impact over the long-term seeing 30% higher ad performance in the same year.

Agile marketers swear by experimentation to help them fail faster and it is an important tool in their arsenal to rapidly validate assumptions, test ideas, tactics, channels, messaging and even propositions to optimise marketing performance and deliver ROI for their businesses.

“Embedding experimentation into our marketing approach has helped us take a data-driven approach and allows for continual improvement to optimise and drive better outcomes from our campaigns and activities.” Dan Meek, CEO, LIW

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Alexandra JefferiesRecession readiness hack: Experimentation – your secret weapon

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