What is the one approach you can take that will turn any marketing effort from a failure to a success?

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Hi I'm John Durso, president of Crosshatch Creative. And this is be bold, be smart. All about inbound marketing for consulting firms. Today we're going to talk about the one approac that any smart marketer can use to turn failure into success. We're gonna talk about a way that we've actually used that to turn one of our own failures into something that's working really well for us right now.

The Approach

This is actually very simple: It is hypothesis, test, analyze. Hypothesis, test, analyze and so on. And you repeat this process really ad infinitum because every time you do that you're gonna learn a little bit more, and you're going to be able to optimize your campaign. Which is really like compound interest. Done over time it adds up to a huge effect.

Case Study: Ourselves

Let's get into the way that we use this as an example. So we were doing well when we had a free consultation with a prospect. We were pretty good at working with that prospect and actually transitioning into a client relationship.

First Iteration

So our goal was to have more free consultations. So we actually created this ad for a free consultation. We created a corresponding landing page. Very straight forward, text on the left, form on the right, landing page for free consultation. And we paid to drive traffic to that landing page. What we found was that people were clicking on the ads, but they weren't signing up for a free consultation. We got zero results. So why is that? They're clearly interested or curious because they're clicking the ad. It was very clear what it was for, but they're not signing up. So we created the hypothesis that they were not signing up because they weren't comfortable enough with our company yet to actually spend the time. Because it does of course take their time to be a part of a free consultation.

Second Iteration

So we decided to test this hypothesis by fleshing out the landing page. We're not gonna change the ad, but we'll put a lot more about our company on the landing page. We'll put pictures of our team. We'll put little bios and names. We'll do a little bit more about what we do. Even present part of a past project. And then we'll have the form and benefits of the free consultation itself. And so we did that. And we drove the same ad traffic there. And actually again, no results. People were clicking on the ad, but nobody was actually filling out the form. So we have to adjust our hypothesis. We tested our old one and now we see that this new data kinda debunks our old hypothesis. So we need to think of something else.

Third Iteration

So what we did was create a new hypothesis that people actually no matter what just weren't ready. They just didn't get to know us enough from a single landing page in order to reach out for a free consultation. So how do we test that? Well we decided to put something in between the ad and the free consultation. And that was an e-book download. So we spent quite a bit of time producing this e-book. We wanted to make sure that it was actually valuable because they're getting to know us through this offer.

Success!

So what happened when we ran the ads to the e-book that then had the thank you page with the free consultation, was that we actually saw a lot of results from the e-book downloads first of all. So we weren't just losing people that didn't want the consultation. And then out of the people that had downloaded, we actually were getting a percentage of people that signed up for free consultations that we would then talk to and continue with our normal sales process. So this was a success. We had proved out our hypothesis seemingly. I say seemingly because we still wanna test more.

Continuing to Optimize

So how do we go further with this hypothesis now that we seem to have data that backs it up. What we did was created more interstitials between the e-book and the free consultation to see if getting to know us more did indeed again increase the number of consultations that we got once they had gone through the previous steps. And so doing this more and more has proven more effective, and that's where we're now.

We went from not having any results at all, just paying money for nothing, to now this being the core of our marketing and the way that we actually get new business today.

So now that we got these results where we know that people with only the e-book in between. And mind you they haven't even read the e-book by the time they're signing up for the free consultation. They've just downloaded it because they're presented with the thank you page right away. So it was a very interesting result from this experiment that showed us that yes it really is just feeling more comfortable with our company. What we're doing now is providing more of those opportunities to get to know us before we offer the free consultation. And it does lengthen the sales cycle or really the marketing cycle, but that's fine because it produces more results at the end with the same amount of dollars we're spending driving traffic through this. And so this has gone from being an initial failure, in the sense that we didn't get any prospects from our initial efforts, to becoming one of the key ways that we actually get in new business today.

Summing Up

So let me distill all of this down into how you can apply it. First, actually form a hypothesis that informs the tactics and strategy that you're using. Then do a test that will actually either debunk or confirm your hypothesis. That will either support or disprove it. Run that test, collect the data and see what happens. Was that supported or was it not? And then adjust based on that data. Repeat that and you will get a successful marketing campaign.

For more tips on how to become a better marketer, subscribe to this video series. Comes out every week. Be bold, be smart. All about inbound marketing for consulting firms. Thank you, I'll see you next week.

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