One key discipline of successful direct marketing has been to test marketing communications tactics to continually improve results. There is now an alarming trend according to a recent survey that we conducted among business-to-business marketers who are readers of Sales Lead Report.
Only 24% of the marketing professionals surveyed said they usually or always test their marketing communications tactics before rolling them out.
The survey was completed by 280 of 940 subscribers who received and read a special edition of the enewsletter Sales Lead Report.
When asked if they test marketing communications tactics before rolling them out:
- Less than 5% (4.5%) said they always test;
- Less than 20% (19.5%) said they usually test;
- 27% reported they occasionally test;
- Nearly 34% (33.7%) said they seldom test;
- 15% (15.2%) said they never test.
In other words, nearly half of the survey participants (48.9%) said that they seldom or never test marketing communications tactics before rolling out their campaigns.
When asked about the reasons for not testing:
- More than 50% (50.7%) said they had no time for testing;
- Almost a quarter of those surveyed (24.8%) said they had no budget for testing;
- More than 16% (16.3%) said they had no systems for tracking test results;
- Just over 8% (8.2%) said they had no need for testing.
The survey further showed that fewer than 5% (4.6%) said they always test and more than 19% (19.5%) said they usually test marketing communications tactics before rolling them out.
Based on those who do test:
- A little over 41% (41.1%) percent said the audience was the most important thing to test;
- Nearly 39% (38.7%) said the offer was the most important thing to test;
- Almost 15% (14.9%) said the copy was the most important thing to test;
- Just over 5% (5.38%) said the media was the most important thing to test.
Successful direct marketers have always touted the value of testing in making the scientific decisions about their campaigns. In today’s economy, sadly, testing appears to be considered an optional activity; one that is used only for very large campaigns or when prospecting for new audiences.
This is an alarming trend. Eliminating testing because of cost is like playing Russian Roulette with your marketing campaign. Sometimes you’ll be safe, and the campaign will bring results. But you’ll never really understand why. And unfortunately, one major marketing failure could put a massive hole in your growth strategy. †
Think long term vs. short term to reap the sure-fire benefits that testing will give to your marketing campaign.
About the author
M. H. “Mac” McIntosh is described by many as America’s leading authority on inquiry handling and sales lead management. He is president of Mac McIntosh Incorporated, a sales and marketing consulting firm specializing in helping companies get more high-quality sales leads and turn them into sales. To request a free subscription to his newsletter, Sales Lead Report™, phone 800-944-5553 or 401-294-7730, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.salesleadexperts.com.