There’s an old saying in marketing circles; “we know we’re wasting half of our marketing budget, we just don’t know which half.” Marketing has long been hard to quantify. This blog post kicks off a three part series that will demonstrate how to test business signage as a marketing tool. Today we will discuss the theory of testing a marketing strategy. Next will touch on how you can apply the theory to your business, and the final post will be a case study.
When you are making decisions for how to allocate your marketing budget for the upcoming year(s), you will want to make sure that you are investing in avenues of marketing that will be the most effective.
If you have decided to purchase a sign, or signs, as part of your marketing budget, you will want to make sure that you are getting the most out of that purchase.
Identify a Problem, or Target
To create a marketing test, you first have to identify a specific problem that you want to solve. Is your business not making enough sales during the afternoon? Is there a certain product or service that you cannot seem to sell? Pick that problem out, and gear your marketing campaign towards it.
Why is it important to pick out one specific target? Marketing is tricky because there are so many different variables that could influence who purchases what, at what time. Targeting one small issue makes it easier to isolate the factors influencing that problem.
Build a Solution that Targets Your Problem
Now that you have a specific problem, design a response to target that problem. When you are designing your signage, make sure that it addresses the specific problem that you have identified. A targeted solution ensures that you will be dealing with as few confounding variables as possible when determining how effective your signage is. If you do not do this, it is very hard to determine what actually caused an increase, or a decrease, in sales.
Test it Out!
You should have existing records of subscription rate, or sales, over a set period of time (R1). This should be a period of time before you put up your signage. After establishing which period of time you will use for your existing subscription rate, implement your new, targeted signage.
After a period of time the same length of time as your base rate from which you determined R1, collect your data on how many subscriptions you sold. An extremely simple equation to see how much of an increase (I) in sales you have made is
Remember to account for other variables that could be influencing your subscription rate, such as the time of year. If you take R1 from the month of December and R2 from February, you will likely see a decrease because of the holidays taking place in R1, or conversely, a false positive if R2 is measured over the holidays. Depending on what your business sells, there will likely be other seasonal changes to account for as well. Different products see spikes and declines in sales over the course of the year, so make sure that you are well aware of these trends before selecting your test periods.
To correct for differences over quarters, try comparing R2 to the same period in previous years. Depending on your line of business there might be other confounding variables as well. Sit down and think of all of the things that influence your business and include them in your considerations to ensure accurate data.
Next week we will talk about how to apply this theory to your business, and put to practice your business signage solution!