I’m a bit of a fantasy nerd in my spare time, and there’s a quote from one of my favourite series that got me thinking about marketing advice.
“We base our assessment of the intelligence of others almost entirely on how closely their thinking matches our own. I’m sure that there are people out there who violently disagree with me on most things, and I’m broad-minded enough to concede that they might possibly not be complete idiots, but I much prefer the company of people who agree with me.”
― David Eddings, Belgarath the Sorcerer.
Do you ever find yourself reading an article about how to improve your marketing, simply to confirm your own opinions on the subject? I know I’ve done it plenty of times. Comforting though it may be, it doesn’t actually help me know that I’ve found some advice, or a marketing strategy, that’s actually going to improve my skills as a marketer – it just lets me know that I’ve found a writer who shares my world view. So, if you’re in that boat too, how can you find out what really works in marketing and what doesn’t?
Our best marketing advice in three simple steps
Step 1: Test
Test everything you do on your audience: different content styles, different messages, different fonts – and gather data on how those different options worked.
Step 2: Listen to your data
After all, the data you’ve collected is the only data in existence that’s about your audience specifically. That makes it far more valuable than any surveys, reports or other marketing advice out there.
Step 3: Act on it – then repeat
Once you’ve tested your strategies and have the data to prove that they’re working, trust them. It’s as simple as that. But remember to keep testing what you’re doing. As your market and audience grow, or the environment they’re operating in changes, you may need to refine your strategies or create new ones.
Of course, we aren’t suggesting that you should never read another marketing article again. What we’re saying is that, helpful and inspiring as these articles may be, they’re no substitute for getting out there and gathering your own insight into what works and what doesn’t in marketing.