We’ve been doing a lot of testing in different campaigns and it got me thinking - this is very similar to what I learned in third grade as the Scientific Method. You find, you try, you analyze. That’s the Scientific Method! So, I broke down each step to see if it matched up completely. And of course, as predicted, they complemented each other quite well. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to use the Scientific Method in Digital Marketing.
Make an Observation
In digital marketing, we are consistently observing behaviors on pages, email performance, and social reach, just to name a few. We look at one thing one day and find something that could possibly be updated. Then, we look on another day and find something completely different that could be changed. So, it’s best to observe often. Once we find that thing, idea, etc. we then move to the next part of the method.
Question and Gather information
We are also finding ways to make things better. We are always in the research phase. What are others doing? What’s the average in rate for opens/clicks/views? The list goes on and on. We are constantly reading other blogs, articles, and listening podcasts to find new ways of doing things. This is very “scientist” of us marketers. All scientists (and marketers) have a continuously curious mind that is always thinking or asking questions. Stay curious!
Formulate a Hypothesis
Then we form a hypothesis off the question we posed. Did we send the email at the appropriate time? Did we forget a keyword in the landing page? Did we miss a step in the process? What could be done better to improve conversion rate? Just a few examples of all the questions that could help form the hypothesis. Just as the scientific method, this is the step that doesn’t provide the answer, but furthers the investigation.
Formulate Predictions and Experiment
After careful information gathering and finding the perfect hypothesis, we can then start our experiments. We test our ideas. Just like in science, your test must be in a controlled environment. In marketing, that translates to testing one thing and one thing only. If you make too many changes, then you won’t know the catalyst meaning what made your audience react. You can only test one variable to know that it truly works. That’s why marketers have A/B testing, not A/B/C testing.
Gather Data and Analyze
As your experiment is running, check the analytics. During this step, you might find various results. One of those results might mean that your experiment worked, and it’s time to retest in other areas to see if you found the exact solution. If the experiment was not successful, it’s time to start at the beginning and try another angle or pose a new question, and gather more information.
Can you believe how well these two methods matched up? Scientist have been using this method since the time of the Renaissance and it still applies today in the digital world. If you are having trouble in your marketing efforts, try using this method. It’s best to start simple and make small strides to meet your goal.
Let us know how it works for you! We would love to hear your experiments!