Don’t Guess. Test before You Invest.

Yeah, I know, you’ve heard this a thousand times. But are you listening? Are you hearing?

Now more than ever – with the economy crimping budgets, the number of strategic options exponentially growing and the demand for measurable results ever increasing – testing is mandatory.

And yet…

Marketers continue to invest meaningful dollars into campaigns they are uncertain will work when they could just as easily test them first. Print advertising, radio advertising, TV advertising, online advertising, direct mail, e-mail, publicity, blogger relations, even trade shows and events – everything can and should be tested before diving headfirst into the water.

Because what worked yesterday, may not work today and may not work tomorrow. We are currently living and working in a period of unprecedented “media” change. Virtually every day brings a new channel, a new opportunity and another way to spend (and potentially throw away) money.

Consider your own experiences over the past year. Should our organization have a Facebook account? Can social media work in our B2B environment? Can we use Twitter to market our products? Is newspaper advertising a bad investment? Should our CEO write a blog? Do enough people follow traditional media to justify a publicity campaign? Can we still build brand with online advertising? If we do PPC, do we still need organic search? Are trade shows going the way of the dinosaurs?

And on and on and on. And the answer is: Yes, no, maybe.

For many organizations, budget limitations can severly hamper their ability to establish and maintain a truly diversified marketing mix (they can’t do everything). For others, budget is not an issue at all. But for both, the quality of your investment will determine the value of your return.

There is a better way: Test first, act second.

I’m a living sunset
Lightning in my bones

Push me to the edge

But my will is stone

‘Cause I believe in a better way

Fools will be fools
And wise will be wise

But I will look this world

Straight in the eyes

I believe in a better way
I believe there’s a better way

Jim Sweeney

Jim is a veteran of the agency industry and the founder of Sweeney. He is uncommonly passionate about the idea of creating and implementing insanely great marketing campaigns that achieve insanely great results. He pioneered the full-service, full-circle agency model and continues to forge new ideas in an ever-changing industry. And he is accessible to everyone about anything, seemingly all the time, serving as a mentor to all agency personnel and clients.