MARKETING AS SCIENCE
I launched my first survey on LinkedIn a little over a week ago. I thought my question was relevant and noteworthy as we enter New Year 2022.
Specifically, I asked, “Do you make New Year’s resolutions regarding your marketing?” The answers participants could choose from were “Absolutely!”, “Some years but not for 2022,” and “No Way!!”.
My survey was not to gain followers and strengthen relationships on LinkedIn. Instead, I want to learn what other marketers do and share the results with the marketing community. I had no ulterior motive.
Well, the results are disappointing. Only ten people took the survey. While I can report the findings—50% report “Absolutely!”, the remaining 50% claim “No Way!!”—these are qualitative at best. Moreover, there are NO comments to shed light on the responses.
Should I conclude that surveys on LinkedIn don’t work! No, this conclusion would be false as many LinkedIn surveys generate high levels of participation. Therefore, I cannot conclude that LinkedIn surveys don’t work. It’s my survey that didn’t work.
Nay-sayers will claim that they tried something and declare that it did not work. Therefore, they jump to the conclusion that this type of activity does not work. No, it may very well be that it’s their execution that didn’t work.
So, what to do? Should I view this as a failure and cease conducting surveys? Not with remaining burning questions about marketers and their marketing. Nor with a growth mindset that I can learn from my experiences and those of others.
Instead, it’s time to create hypotheses about what I can do to improve participation. We marketers need to be like scientists. We (should) develop hypotheses and test them. It’s the way to move from eminence- to evidence-based marketing. It’s a surefire way to make our marketing (or whatever we choose to do) matter more.
What might I hypothesize and test?
- Day and/or daypart: Is there a better day or daypart to launch a survey? I launched the survey on a Sunday afternoon before everyone returned to work following the New Year holiday.
- Frequency: Might reminders through multiple launches of a given survey improve participation? I’m not sure I can provide reminders, but it would certainly make sense to do so, if I can, to increase frequency.
- Reach: Would adding more hashtags improve results? I would expect it would broaden reach, getting more eyes on the survey.
- Reach & Frequency: Did I keep the survey alive for the most beneficial length of time? I made it available for one week. Would it generate more participation if I kept it open longer (e.g., 2-weeks or more)? Less time?
- Attention and Interest: Might I use emojis to capture attention and entice participation?
The hypotheses above are merely a sample. This musing is not about my unsatisfactory survey results and how to remedy this situation. It’s about our need as marketers to be more like scientists. We need to establish a scientific process. If we adopt the practice of scientists, we’ll be able to make our marketing matter more.
Crossing the chasm from learning to application …
Consider adopting the following protocol to make your marketing matter more:
- Define success. (For me, in the case of LinkedIn surveys, success is the level of participation. I’d like to see more than 100 participants in a survey.)
- Start with a hypothesis of success factors.
- With your hypotheses in mind, benchmark what factors are common to success missing in unsuccessful endeavors. (I should have started with benchmarking!)
- Incorporate and test your hypotheses in your work.
- If your hypotheses do not prove true, go back and create additional ones to test.
- Apply the learning to get the results you need or desire.
- Build an evidence-based practice of what works for your marketing.
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Resolve to make marketing matter more in 2022. Please read my most recent book, AVOIDING CRITICAL MARKETING ERRORS: How to Go from Dumb to Smart Marketing. Learn more here: http://bdn-intl.com/avoiding-critical-marketing-errors. It will help you avoid critical marketing errors and, importantly, suggest actions you can take to make your marketing matter even more.
Peace and best wishes in making your marketing and you matter more in 2022,