7 Rules to Testing in a Down Economy
5. What's the Big Idea?
When it comes to creative concepts, look for ways to test big ideas. Is there a way to reposition the product or service so people think about its value differently? You might glean ideas from how your competitors are marketing, or even better yet, look at other industries to see how folks are marketing.
In addition to the creative concept, format also can make a big difference—from both an impact and cost perspective. While letter packages continue to be top performers for many programs, we devised a self-mailer for an insurance client that beat the control and saved the company thousands of dollars in production and mailing costs. You'll be a hero if you devise a more streamlined approach that beats the control.
Also consider testing the look and feel. Will a promotional approach or more official approach work better?
6. Timing Could Be Everything
An often overlooked element is timing. Be flexible, and stay on top of current events, trends, seasonal issues, etc., and how they affect your target audience.
For example, if you are trying to reach landscape professionals and offer them a demonstration, it's better not to mail to them during their peak spring/summer work period—or after a disaster or other surprising current event. Instead, be flexible enough to change your strategy or postpone your mailing.
7. Test, Test and Test Some More
Testing will get you to relevancy faster than anything else. In bad economic times, focus more heavily on your current customers, and test smart upsell/cross-sell tactics in direct mail. But now is when you can truly gain market share, good will and sales.
It's no mistake that two of the companies who are doing well now test a ton: Amazon and Netflix. This should be a lesson to all who think that testing is too expensive, don't have the time or think that their marketing is doing fine without it. Testing is an investment in your future success.