In last week’s BMA Milwaukee keynote presentation, Dave Cluka of Briggs & Stratton made some compelling arguments for an agile approach to marketing and using A/B testing to improve customer experience. Agile marketing uses short-term iterative projects to drive results, giving you the opportunity to react more quickly to user feedback.
Even if you’re not ready to completely overhaul your digital marketing strategy and go agile, there are a few philosophies that you can easily apply to the work you’re already doing.
A big splash isn’t always best.
As Cluka put it, marketing isn’t always about hitting a home run – a steady string of singles can still win the game. While a splashy redesign will have a big impact on your audience, staying in tune with their needs and frustrations is what really matters. In between major overhauls, keep your finger on the pulse of how visitors are interacting with your site and make adjustments to improve their experience. These smaller projects can add up to a big return on investment. (To put it another way, if you are consistently losing items in your closet, you don’t move to a new house – you install some shelves.)
Metrics aren’t one-size-fits-all.
Many organizations focus on high-level web stats, always trying to grow traffic and click-through rates. While these metrics are certainly important, there might be other metrics that are more significant to your company. Briggs & Stratton used a more subtle metric to guide their projects: whether customers were able to accomplish what they came to the site to do. Think about the purpose of your website and why people visit, and look for ways to improve their experience on your site. Are important resources easy to find? Is it easy to reach out to your customer service department? Are your most popular products front and center? First determine whether your audience is getting what they need from your site, and then start making small adjustments to make sure they do.
Data deemphasizes opinions.
Many marketers believe they know best and let their opinions get in the way of what their visitors want and need most. Through testing and analytics, you are able to set aside personal bias and see what really resonates with your audience. Try a variety of messages and see which one has the best response. Experiment with different page layouts or placement of callouts to find the most effective design. Write different versions of headlines and PPC ad copy and review click-through and conversion rates. The results might not be what you expected and you may need to shift gears, but you’ll be more effective in reaching your audience.
Agile marketing is about making small adjustments until you get it right and finding ways to improve your customers’ experience little by little. Ascedia uses an agile approach with our web design and development projects, but we also apply these principles to our marketing services work. Content marketing and search strategy is an ongoing process of figuring out which messages resonate most with your target audience and refining your communications to make the biggest impact. By remaining focused on continual improvement and making small adjustments on an ongoing basis, you’ll be able to make an even bigger impact with your digital marketing strategy.