Apply more science to your marketing | Local company

The MODERN marketer must be part Einstein, part Picasso. In today’s world, we need to apply more scientific rigor to our campaigns and executions to measure results and document ROI. No matter what type of business you run, marketing is its cornerstone. It involves anything your business does to allow a potential customer to hear about and interact with your business.

Whether it’s paid advertising, social media, content creation, or blogging, these strategies are aimed at building awareness of your business and attracting potential buyers. They fill the top of your sales funnel with leads that can be nurtured throughout their buyer journey.

However, not all marketing strategies are created equal. Depending on your business, some may be very successful, while others may not be as successful. So how do you assess whether your marketing strategy is delivering results? And how do you maximize those results?

By applying scientific rigor through the scientific method.

What is the scientific method in relation to marketing?

The scientific method is what researchers and scientists use to identify and solve some of the great mysteries of science through experimentation. In simple terms, this involves:

• Identify a problem,

• Formulate hypotheses or create a theory that aims to explain and solve the problem

• Create an experiment to test the theory you propose

• Test your theory

• Analyze your results and refine your testing process and assumptions.

This same method can be applied to marketing to improve your marketing campaign. Applying the scientific method to your marketing leads to data-driven marketing that can help you better determine your marketing ROI (return on investment). Simply put, you can really hone in on what works by relentlessly testing to find a winning formula for your business. Too many marketers jump from campaign to campaign without capturing or analyzing data or optimizing the next campaign. As a result, certain mistakes from previous campaigns are bound to be repeated and in the ruthless world of the hyperconnected consumer, this is unacceptable.

So how exactly do you apply the scientific method to your marketing strategy for maximum results?

Identify and create your marketing objective

The scientific method is about solving problems and questioning what seems to work. Most marketing goals are created to solve specific problems such as increasing a company’s revenue or customer base, building brand awareness, or testing a new product idea.

Likewise, if you want the measurable results of your marketing campaign to help determine your return on investment, you’ll need to be as specific as possible.

In this case, it is not enough to say that I am looking to increase revenue by 20% or perhaps reduce ad spend by 40%. The more specific a marketing objective, the easier it is to accurately analyze and improve existing strategies. It is essential to create specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound (SMART) objectives.

A good example of a specific goal is to increase new customer revenue by $100,000 per month using a quarterly subscription model, by the end of the third quarter.

The more specific you become, the better able you will be to dissect your strategy and figure out what went wrong if you didn’t achieve your goal. Remember, the point of applying science here is to help you really analyze your data and measure your performance.

Develop a marketing strategy with a central hypothesis

A hypothesis is basically a guess or a proposed solution to your marketing objective. In fact, any idea you have about solving your problem or achieving your marketing goal can be considered a guess.

Chances are, no matter what marketing challenge you’re trying to solve, someone has probably tackled the same problem successfully. This is where interaction in forums and groups becomes useful. Forums like Reddit, Quora, LinkedIn, and Facebook groups are great places to interact with other business owners and get information.

For example, you may find that some in similar industries may have tried Facebook or Pinterest ads targeting a particular demographic with catastrophic results.

Considering these opinions will reduce the amount of testing you need to do to optimize your marketing strategy. Plus, you’ll reduce the time and cost of potentially flawed strategies based on the experience of others. Of course, there’s no substitute for collecting empirical evidence on your own, but using insights from research can help you refine your hypothesis and, ultimately, your strategy.

Execute or test your marketing strategy

For most marketers or small business owners, executing your marketing strategy is the most fun part, especially when it’s working as planned.

Always keep in mind, however, that this is only part of a larger process of using science to find what works best for your marketing and will help you better demonstrate your return on investment on your marketing efforts.

Manage your expectations and be sure to set performance metrics along the way so you know early on if you need to adjust your method or not. This is especially important when money is involved, for example, with paid advertising campaigns.

It’s also important to give your strategy enough time to “mature,” especially with unpaid inbound marketing campaigns like social media and blogging. Marketing strategies that involve organic reach take time, so be patient and make sure your strategy is multi-pronged with a mix of short and long term, organic and inorganic tactics.

Often, marketing teams or business owners give up on such strategies too soon or don’t even try them at all because they require a large initial investment of time. For example, most successful bloggers spend between six months and a year building their audience and traffic to their destinations without making any money or before eventually becoming profitable.

The point being, realistic timelines and tracking the right metrics are important. If you’re not sure what metrics will help you determine if your inbound marketing campaign is successful, three inbound marketing metrics that should be important for every business are (i) costs and acquisition rates, (ii) conversion rates and (iii) engagement rates.

Since non-paid campaigns rely on organic reach, your schedule for automatically measuring and improving your results will not be fixed, but rather an ongoing process.

The Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Commerce and Industry thanks Bevard Nelson, co-founder and CEO of Caribbean Ideas Synapse for contributing to this article.

Watch out for Part II next week.