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Don't be embarrassed to use "Fast Failing" in Your Marketing Strategy


So much about marketing has changed in the last ten years – from the increase in video, the addition of podcasts or webinars/webcasts, to the ever-changing rules about Google’s ranking. Once the marketing strategy is approved, it is more critical than ever to have flexibility in the execution to “fast fail” rather than to expect that every tactic performs as expected – and new, emerging ideas should be tested as soon as feasible.


As social media platforms have evolved, many businesses struggled to find the right voice or content for each channel. Today, it is not necessary for businesses to be on every channel – it’s more critical to pick the best one based upon your business and do it well. But always be alert for the next shiny object and be prepared to test to determine if your audience engages with your content on that channel. Facebook started as a must-post channel ten years ago. Now that may not be useful to engage with business-to-business audiences. Find a post and test it on all channels and assess the audience that engages with it using your analytics/KPIs. If the buyer or the referral sources aren’t engaging, you’re probably in the wrong channel.


Fast failing also includes adjusting the length and topics for a podcast, testing content in different media outlets, and A – B testing for email. If your marketing dashboard has analytics for each content channel, you can assess the open rate, page views, and new followers as you adjust. Given the amount of time it takes to craft and gain approval for many marketing tactics, it’s best to assess by quarter rather than by month and start with multiple headlines and leads that can be approved at once and tested across multiple platforms. Podcasts and webinars, for example, could be longer during the pandemic when people had more time to listen but now, most clients/prospects want concise information in an entertaining, yet short commitment.


Content that is shorter and provides a more personal experience garners a higher level of engagement and has a greater likelihood of being shared. Marketers walk a fine line between being helpful and sappy, especially in professional and financial services. People crave personality over hard sell, and when your brand connects at a personal level, you’ll see engagement overall increase.


The final benefit of "fast failing" is the budget. Having built-in flexibility in budgets that allow changes by quarter will serve marketing leaders well – keeping powder dry when your analytics point to improvement in one channel over others. As long as you can point back to the marketing strategy, adjustments in execution can offer quick wins without an increased budget.

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