Inventing and reinventing the wheel (constantly) when it comes to marketing is the only way to stay fresh and at the top of your game. But it’s not always easy to think of new ideas, especially when the old ways seem to be working pretty well.

As marketers, we seem to have a way of thinking that has become part of our blueprint, and it can be uncomfortable to try something new, especially when there’s no guarantee that something new will actually work. Of course I am not trying to suggest that you should throw away all your old tactics (particularly if they have been beneficial to you in the past), but it’s always good to have a mix of old and new so that you don’t get stagnant. This is especially the case now since (as any good marketer knows), doing the “same old same old” is just an invitation to the competition to blow right by youHere are some tips to get you on the path to changing your way of thinking about marketing to plan for something different in 2021. 

Win-Loss Analysis is Actually a Win-Win

Win-loss analysis is when an exit interview is conducted with a sales prospect after he/she has evaluated a product and has either gone through with the purchase (a win) or not (a loss).  This is a very important marketing tool to help “close the loop” and improve the pre-sales, sales, and post-sales process with actionable insights. Win-loss analysis is a hands-on approach that will help pinpoint exactly why your customers chose you, or decided to go with your competition so that you can improve: 

  • Your offer: Information about missing features that end-users need can give your product development team insight to make your offer better. 
  • Your marketing messaging: Knowing whether or not your messaging resonated with your target audience can help you improve your value proposition and how to communicate it across channels. Sometimes prospects find a disconnect between your messaging and the product, and that’s always good to know too!  
  • Your sales process: Was the customer put first? Did they feel that your sales team was well-equipped/informed about the product as it related to their needs? Knowing this will help your sales team deliver a winning product demo in the future. 

Implement A/B Testing

Most of us are familiar with A/B testing, but how often do we really do it? It’s important this be engrained as a habit whenever we are running an email marketing campaign or online advertising campaign so that we can get the best results possible. By isolating one variable at a time, we can really see what messages resonate most with our target audience, or which images attract the most clicks. What’s key is not changing several variables all at the same time — otherwise you will not be able to pinpoint the exact reason why one message worked better than another. Running several ads at the same time and then redirecting your budget into the one that performs best is a great way to optimize and improve ROI.   

Conduct a Survey

As with win-loss analysis, speaking directly to your target audience (which may consist of current customers or potential prospects) and getting their feedback in the form of a survey, can enable you not only to use this information to suit your own (marketing) needs, but also as an opportunity to generate new leads. Designing a survey as a way to gain insight into the market can also help you create new and interesting content that you can then share with respondents (in the form of an infographic, for example). Make sure that if you are going to go this route that you develop survey questions that have multiple-choice answers (for easy data aggregation and analysis). A survey should not last more than 5 minutes to complete, so keep the number of questions to under 10. 

Final Thoughts

At the end of any year it’s always a good idea to assess what went well, and what enhancements can be made moving forward. Of course 2020 has been a strange year in more ways than one and no-one knows what 2021 reserves for us all! By focusing on the positive and finding ways to consistently tweak and improve as a marketer, we can stay at the top of our game to ensure continued success. 

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