Agile Marketing

Hallmark 2: Experiments Not Missions

Can You Ever Overdo Experimental Marketing?

It’s a great question, because there are certain experiments that you can run that could be horribly alienating to your customers. For example, if your dowdy life insurance agency is considering a titillating ad to run on YouTube, I might say, “Go slow.”

There are definitely risky behaviors in digital marketing that might not be your best first experiment. But most things you do are not so risky. You can try them and take them down if they don’t work.

When I was at IBM, I remember testing a change in Russia and other smaller markets to see if it worked, because testing it in the US would have gotten too much attention to reverse if it was bad. You can usually find a way to test things under the radar.

But what if you really do alienate people? What if you screw up and do annoy someone? Or even a lot of someones? The way this plays out depends a lot on your response. If you just take the offensive material down and pretend it never happened, don’t expect people to be impressed. You might find the conversation to be decidedly negative and perhaps even grow worse, all because you are not responding, so it looks like you don’t care.

On the other hand, you might apologize. You might answer as many of the negative comments as you can, no matter where they are found on the web. You might continue the conversation so that you really understand what ticked people off, so that it truly will never happen again. 

Next time you screw up, pay attention to what you do next to mend the relationship rather than running away and hiding. Then try your next experiment now that you are a little smarter.

NEXT, we’ll explore if you can over-experiment in your agile marketing.