The Three Biggest Internet Marketing Secrets: Testing, Testing and Testing!

Internet Marketing

Q: In your opinion, what are the biggest success secrets on the Internet today?

A: The answer probably has to do with a personal experience. Some believe that it is all about content.  They say that “content is king”: providing lots of valuable information on your site is a great strategy to generate awareness, interest and new business. Others believe that “if content is king, context is queen!” They argue that content becomes much more relevant if we better understand our audience and their intentions. On the other hand, we have been advocating in this column that success on the Internet is all about viral marketing and word of mouth!

However, more and more people, like e-marketing consultant Dragan Varagic from the Internet Group, argue that “the three biggest Internet Marketing secrets are – testing, testing and testing! The more I know about the Internet, the more I realize that we should never take anything for granted, but rather test and continuously improve everything”.

Q: Why testing?

A:  Testing is a great way to quickly evaluate our existing programs, but also to discover new opportunities. The Internet provides a great way to test and measure marketing ROI.  The popular saying by John Wanamaker, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half”,  doesn’t have to be true any longer, as we now have the tools to measure, test and improve our marketing programs.

 

Q:   What can be tested?

A: Anything from the first business idea or concept, to a product prototype, micro-website, or even a phrase used in your marketing communication. Andreas Schleich, from Vancouver’s digital marketing agency SnapTech, says that Internet marketing professionals “literally live by testing” today.  His particular focus is testing various elements in marketing campaigns such as different online advertising messages, or different versions of web pages in order to convert prospects to leads, and leads to customers.

 

Q:  Should testing be part of the overall marketing strategy?

A:   Yes, testing and experimenting should be central to your overall strategy. Consider testing things much earlier during the product development cycle. Learn from Google, the world champion of beta testing.  Google’s own approach is called “Agile Creativity”  (http://www.google.com/think/playbooks/agile-creativity.html) and it is suggesting to “move fluidly from idea to experimentation, getting to the ‘build’ faster even if it is buggy or seems unfinished. Launch prototypes of executions that are 80% finished to assess marketability and see their real-time impact (or lack thereof)”.

 

Q: What are the best online tools for testing?

A: Here are a few tools to start with:

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BizTech Q&A is our answer to the most common technology questions related to your business. Email us your questions at questions@biztech101.com, and we will respond.

Cyri Jones teaches at Capilano University and BCIT and is the co-founder of ZEN Launchpad. He blogs at www.24posts.com.  Ivan Surjanovic is a marketing faculty at Capilano University and CEO of iPower Lab. He blogs at www.whereispuck.com  and tweets on www.twitter.com/whereispuck.

Written by Dr. Ivan Surjanovic and Cyri Jones, 
adapted from BizTech101 column in Business in Vancouver

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