The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 3 months ago

How Marketers Can Optimize Testing & Reap the Rewards

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

You’ve been doom-scrolling through your social media feed far too often lately and somewhere along the way, between silently refereeing flat- and hollow-earth arguments and signing petitions to bring back Knight Rider, you come across an obnoxiously immature joke that has you in stitches. Later, in a quiet moment before a meeting, your manager overhears you tell the joke — he cracks up. You’re instantly his new favorite. Filled with confidence, you try it on your CEO a couple days later… and she fires you on the spot. You tested it and it worked; how could everything go so wrong?

Today’s guest, Tim Parkin, Presiden t at Parkin Consulting, says this is a trap most marketers fall into when it comes to testing — without understanding why something works, they fail to gain the deeper insights from testing that can truly transform their business.  

In this episode, he shares:

  • How to go beyond simple A/B testing and gain deeper insights
  • Why most marketers get testing wrong
  • How to set yourself up for testing success 

Now that you know how to conduct killer marketing tests, are you ready to learn how to hone your business’s competitive edge or use data to prevent revenue leaks in your business? Check out the full list of episodes: The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for B2B Revenue Executive Experience in your favorite podcast player.

You're listening to the BDB revenue executive experience, a podcast dedicated to helping executives train their sales and marketing teams to optimize growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies, were tools and resources, you've come to the right place. Let's accelerate your growth in three, two, one. Welcome everyone to the B Tob Revenue Executive Experience. I'm your host, Chat Sanderson. Today we're talking about why most marketers suck at testing how to improve it. To help us, we have with US Tim Park in, president of Park and consulting, an agency focus on helping companies improve their marketing teams in ninety days or less. Tim, thank you for taking time and welcome to the show. Chad. Thank you so much. I'm really excited to be here and to have this conversation excellence. We always start with kind of an awfwall question, just for the audience to get to know you a little bit better, and I'm always curious to learn something you're passionate about that those that know you only from work may be surprised to learn. I'd have to say magic press,...

...the digetation to be exact. Card tricks is my forte slight a hand. Yeah, exactly. As a young kid I was into a magic club even, and so I'd something I've carried with me, you know, into my adult years and I still to this day perform magic, you know, a conferences, a client meetings, and it's been a wonderful networking tool. So I highly recommend learn a card trick or two. It'll change your networking trajectory. I'm a huge magic fan. Have you ever read the books lights of mind? I don't believe I have. No, I need to check that out. It's a yeah, it's I'm going to pull it off my bookshelf for real quick or give you the subtitle. It is what the neuroscience of magic reveals about our everyday deceptions. Wow, there's so much to unpacked there, you know, it is actually I was asked to perform at a college course one time and after I had performed a couple tricks, they the professor than it was a creative thinking class and he said now let's break down how these tricks work and the assumptions that you're making and how we're thinking about these things incorrectly, because that's what magic is, it's deception. So yeah,...

...that book sounds really interesting. Yeah, it's a great rate. I'm a bit of a neuroscience Geek Myself, so at that was why I picked it up. But it's great read, great rate. But, and I could talk magic all day, but we're here to talk marketing. We're here to talk marketing. So would love to know you know, when we're talking about testing and marketing, just for context, what does that really mean? Get and let's give the audience a high level understanding so we can go macro out to micro on this. Yeah, let's talk about what it is and then and then why it is. So obviously what it is testing is when you run an experiment, when you want a test, you're comparing two alternatives to see which one performs better, which one gives you a better result. So it could be email subject lines. We're testing two different subject lines to see which one gets, you know, better response. They could be two different landing pages, you know, could be two different ads. There's lots of different things you can test. But that's the what is testing. But think the bigger question, the more important question, is the why of testing, and this is where most people get it wrong. Testing will lead to better result because you'll figure out which one gets you better results. But that's not...

...why you do testing. The real reason why you do testing is to learn something, is to gain insights, and it's not just the results that you're after. That's the byproduct. The real results you're after is understanding. Why do people respond to this better? Why does this drive about result? Because then you can take that and wrap that into right, fold it into all of the other marketing you're doing. And so why do you think testing is so challenging for markers? Why are that not better at it? There's so many reasons it's challenging from markers. One of the biggest is that the information out there is outdated and also very basic. You know, if you read blog post, if you google testing or AB testing or anything like that, you're going to guarantee you run across some article it says you should test the blue button versus a red button. You know, and you're talking about neuroscience here, Chad, no one is going to make a big difference in their life based on whether it's blue or red. You know, a simple button, and so you have to think bigger. We have to think different about that. So the assumptions we have and the education out there around testing is very basic, very rudimentary and oftentimes just completely incorrect, and so there's a...

...challenge around the data being inaccurate. But what things should they be measuring and what outcomes should they be expecting? Other thresholds they should be aiming for? Was that look like? The best place to start is you have to have benchmarks. You have to know what is normal look like so that when you do a test, you know did it exceed that or did it, you know, perform below that? So you have to have benchmarks, you know, as a rudimentary level, before you begin testing. And then in terms of what to measure, again, it's going to depend on the type of test that you're running, but you really obviously want to measure the outcome, the result. So whether that's, you know, something basic like clicks, to to get more clicks from more opens, in which email open rates a now or going to soon be a thing of the past, but clicks, so responses, or if it's sales and conversions, and that's really the ideal outcome, right, is we want more leads, we want more sales, we want more revenue. So that's often the primary objective of an experiment and the thing you should be measuring. But how you measure that, you know,...

...obviously needs to be taken into account. And so the outcome of a test, a successful test, as I mentioned, is a learning, an insight. What did we learn from doing this, whether or not we got a positive result or not. If I were in a test and we say two creatives, we want two different creatives, and one does really well and one does really poorly, who cares that one did well and one did poorly? It's why did one do well and why did the other too poorly, and what can we learn from that? And that really is the outcome that you should be expecting from a test. Every test, whether or not you to positive result or not, you should have some insights, some learning that you can adapt, document and share with your team to say now we've learned a little bit more about who our customer is, how they respond to things, how they see the world, the right messaging to use, the right creative, those sorts of things. So that's the ultimate desired outcome of any experiment, any test. And what's the risk for marketers if they're not doing a factive testing or they're doing it poorly. What's the risk to the company...

...any and what potential impact if we're if we're not testing or we're not doing it well? It's huge. It's a massive if you are not testing at all, then you are on a steep decline and your competition is going to be skyrocketing ahead of you. You know, the only way to coast is downhill, and so if you're not testing, you're coasting downhill fast. And if you are testing but you're not doing it properly, then you're confusing yourself and you're in this you know, fog where you can't see the way forward because your results will never be clear. You won't be getting those insights. You'll be making decisions and investing in testing which is, you know, not necessarily cheap, and wasting time and wasting money and not moving forward. So not testing or testing improperly can be a killer to your marketing and your organization and it'll get you absolutely nowhere. So you have to be testing. If you're not, that step one, and then you have to be doing it methodically and properly. Otherwise, why do it at all? And what role does being persistent play and the success of marketing testing because you know you get...

...to test results, they're not exactly what you're hoping for, and then maybe you kind of pull your foot off the accelerator a little bit. Talk a little bit about why it's so important to be persistent. PERSISTENCY is absolutely critical in testing, because no one test is going to define the future of Your Business, the future of your marketing right. You're not going to test one thing and say, Aha, we've hit on success, this is now viral and we have all the leads and all the scales we need. We're done. We can never test again. So testing is a matter of compound growth, just like investing, and you have to keep testing things to learn more and more and to incrementally improve your results. And one test, whether or not it gives you a positive result or not, will lead to other ideas for other tests or other insights that you can then challenge or explore. So it's really this branching mechanism. If you can imagine that, that one test opens the door to five or six other tests and then you need to test those things and it's really about, you know, imagine you have a blindfold on and you're in a maze. That's how I see testing, you have to try to walk through this maze and you're going to hit a debt end...

...you're going to hit a wall. That's when a test doesn't deliver what you thought it would. Then you turn around, you feel your way around to the next you know part of the maze. So as you go through this, if you can build this map in your mind as you test, testing helps us answer those questions. Where are the walls and what is the right path forward? So that's why persistency is so important in testing, because it allows us to build that map, to build that understanding of our audience, our market, our customers. So then we know in the marketing that we're doing what's going to be effective, to have more confidence in that and to be able to put more dollars behind things knowing that the results will come. So persistency is absolutely critical. And also all of these compound, right. So if you run a test and you improve your results by let's say ten percent, you know not that significant, but if you do that you know seven times, it becomes significant. And so the more you can test, the more you can have little winds those add up to become massive winds. Can you illustrate for me an example of a marketing team that that got it right and the way that, you know, the outcomes that they received as...

...a results or pivots they might have made. Yeah, I'll give you two examples. You know. The first is with the client who had a, for lack of better term here, funnel, a sales process on their site that was working well. It was converting, they were happy and you talk about benchmarks, it was meeting their benchmarks. Things were good, but we looked at it and realize that there's room for improvement. And again, you know, you want to talk about neuroscience. I love this stuff because a lot of marketers think that you have to follow marketing best practices. But when looking at their funnel, which was basically you come to the home page, you would click to read about a program they offer, this is a trade school, and then you would go to apply to that program. To make sense, you got to learn about the program and you apply for when we talk to customers and we look at the data, we realize a people weren't sure if this program was right for them at this time in their life, if it would, you know, do the right things in their and their journey forward. And so we actually added a page to this process. So instead of three steps, was now four steps, and most marketers right there would say, wait a minute, that's not right, you can't make the process longer. Right, it's going to kill conversiions. But we add a...

...step before you choose a program. The talked about the industry and it would paint this picture for the user of this is the right industry for you and it's growing and there's so much opportunity to be promoted and it's a stable, you know, career and all those sorts of things. And so what happened as a result of that is then people, when they got to the program details page, they read about the program they're already sold on the program because it's going to give me this whole new life that I wanted. And so they converted tremendously more, faster and cheaper as a result of this, because they were primed for this program. And so we improve the conversion of this by three hundred and eighty nine percent, which is just absolutely astronomical, by adding a page to the process, one page. So it's simple things like that that if we hadn't tested that, you know, it may not have worked we hadn't tested it. We would be okay with the status quote. We've been okay with hitting our benchmarks, and that's the other problem with not testing and not testing consistently, is you can climb to the top of the mountain and you can feel like you've conquered the world until you turn around and look behind you and realize there's a mountain ten times taller. And that's the...

...fallacy of marketing and not testing is that we we start to breathe our own exhaust we start to look at the competition and see what they're doing and think we're doing all right. But until you test it, you don't know if there's something better out there. And I guarantee you there is something better out there all right. So tell us more about park and consulting, what you do there and how you arrived at this point your career. I'm an independent consultant, so it's just me and, as you mentioned, I helped marketing teams accelerate growth and optimized performance, and so I've been doing this for over ten years. It's been a wonderful journey and actually started, as I mentioned early on, as a kid wanting to do magic and I thought I'll be a professional magician. Right when I realize that you have to work nights and weekends when you're doing magic. I quickly got out of that programming and so I was a programmer and software developer for many, many years, and my background technology combined with my passion for Magic and people and Behavioral Psychology, you know, those two things intersect and form marketing. So I made the lead from technology into marketing and never look back and just grateful and passionate about marketing.

I think it's changing every hour and every day and I love the ability to work with wonderful companies, wonderful clients and help them, you know, solve problems. At that intersection of people and Technology. That's awesome. All right. So let's change direction a little bit. We ask all of our guests two standard questions the end of each inner interview. The first is simply you are a prospect for sales people. No doubt right somebody's trying to sell you something. So I'm always curious to know, when somebody doesn't have a trusted referral into you, what works most effectively for you when somebody's trying to capture your attention and earn the right to time on your calendar. This is a really interesting question chat and I think is so relevant because a lot of people say personalization, and I think that's important just to get a foot in the door. But what really does it for me is personality. If someone can not only personalize the message but also show and demonstrate their personality, whether it's that they have a sense of humor or whether it's self deprecating, I don't know what it is, but when I see it's a real person and...

...not just some salesperson who has, you know, filled in the blanks to reach out to me, that really stands out. And so having a personality, I think, is a lost art in today's work right there's so much just cold outreach and things that nature. But have a personality. Remember there's another human on the other side and you really connect with them and that will always open the door for me. Awesome. And so last question. We call it our acceleration in sight. If there's one thing you could tell marketing professionals or sales professionals, one piece of advice you could give them that you believe would help them hit or exceed their target, it's what would it be and why? This may be counterintuitive, but in my work with clients and companies, and you know many of them are hundreds of millions of dollars and a billion dollar companies, you would be shocked at how many of the fundamentals are being missed in terms of decisionmaking, in terms of process, in terms of marketing skills, and so I really think there is a renaissance needed, a return to fundamentals. And if you just go back to the basics, back to the fundamentals and don't believe that you're above that, it has been transformative for myself, for my clients, and I think so many people are...

...missing the mark here that we need a scale back, focus and revisit the fundamentals and it'll transform everything. Perfect Tim and for listeners interested in talking to you more about these topics or potentially hiring you, where do you want us to set them? What's the best way to get him in touch with you? Linkedin is great. I'm very active there. You can also find me on my website at Tim Parkincom and if you want access to all of my intellectual property, videos, worksheets, templates, all that stuff. Same stuff I use my clients. You can text the word grow to eight, four, four, three, one, one, thirty two hundred and I'll get you all that stuff for free. Awesome. That is a great offer. Thank you so much for taking time. It's in great having you on the show today. I appreciate Chad. Thanks so much. All right, everybody, you know the drill. It's as it for this episode. Hey, this a be to be red exactcom share with friends, family co workers, for like what you here do his favorite. Leave this review on itunes. Until next time. We at value selling associates with you all nothing but the greatest success. You've been listening to the BB revenue executive experience, frants.

To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show on Itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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