There’s an old adage, half of your marketing budget IS NOT working…the problem is, you don’t know which half. The only way to know is to examine the analytics of each campaign and keep tweaking to improve performance.
The man who first brought
analytics to our profession wasn’t initially a marketer. In fact, he was an Oxford dropout, a chef in Paris, a door-to-door salesman during the Great Depression, a pollster for George Gallup, a spy for British Intelligence, a farmer in Amish country, then, at the tender age of 38 he became an ad man.
David Ogilvy is considered by many to be the father of advertising. His obsession with research and information-based marketing changed the world of advertising. I’m reading one of his earliest books, Confessions of an Advertising Man . He is credited with many things, including honesty and candor in advertising. According to Ogilvy , “The consumer is not a moron, she’s your wife! Don’t insult her intelligence. You wouldn’t lie to your wife, don’t lie to mine.” He also believed that “unless your campaign is built on a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night.” For him, a big idea had to last 20 years or more. One of his least known but greatest successes was the Dove (soap) bar. He created the image of the one-quarter cleansing cream that doesn’t dry your skin that is still in use today. And Dove is the largest-selling soap brand in the world.
On the analytics front, I was watching an interview with Ogilvy on the David Susskind show . Ogilvy talked about research. He was constantly challenging assumptions. For instance, he said, do you know how many families say grace before they eat? This was back in the 1960s. Most people assumed it was low, 3-4%. So Ogilvy researched it. He found that the actual answer is 67%!!! What a dramatic difference. It’s a great example of how dangerous our assumptions can be.
For instance, many businesses we talk to don’t track the analytics for their email or enewsletter campaigns. They assume traffic is sufficient. But how do you know which part of your enews is working and which isn’t if you don’t measure? We now have data that shows us how important a video tutorial is because we measure…obsessively. Our clients also tend to have open rates and click-throughs that are much higher than average because we can guide them on where to make improvements. Cut out the non-performing portions and substitute something new and hopefully more engaging.
The bottom line is…marketing is a constant testing process. Do A, measure it, do something different with the pieces of A that don’t produce results and then do B. Measure and repeat.