One of the first computer games I ever played was Chuck Yeager (this was around 1990).
Chuck was a test pilot. What made him famous? He was the first pilot to have exceeded the speed of sound at level flight. This was way back in 1947.
The PC game we had put you right inside the cockpit (without the danger of being a test pilot).
You could fly different planes. My favorite ones where the SR71 (or Blackbird) and F16 Falcon. Later we got our hands on a F16 flight simulator. A story for another day.
Why is this important? They do not build thousands of planes BEFORE they have not had a successful pilot. And in this pilot phase, they change a lot of things.
These changes are from the test pilot and the measurements they take. Data helps them make informed decisions on what to do next; where they should improve and what they should change.
Business is exactly the same. Not every campaign, product, services or clever idea will work. It is the nature of business.
20 years ago it was a lot harder and more difficult to know if something will work. You had to wait a lot longer. If you needed to reach the market you had to book a radio advert weeks in advance.
A newspaper classified ad was the fastest way to reach the market; 2 maybe 3 days (no wonder they did so well!). If you wanted more exposure you needed to advertise in magazines; or TV. For local areas you used flyers and pole ads.
Higher end products justified a sales team. Calling on clients from the white pages or business lists. You could also do direct mailing.
Today, you can create something and go to market very easily, and quickly. And change it on the fly as you get feedback from the market. The market votes with their wallets (and their clicks).
Where do you start? You start with putting a focused campaign together for your business. Most people believe after a campaign is build, they are done. That is not true. It is only once you have gone to market when you will see results (good, bad, or nothing … all of these are results). From there you make changes. Adjust it. Left, right, up and down.
Some industries just work better than others.
The #1 factor I found is called a bleeding neck (there are 5 power disqualifies; a bleeding neck is one of them … more on that later). Here are three examples;
- Car service. I took my car for a service today. Why? It is on a service plan. I have not reached the millage, but I need to take it for a service BEFORE the 18th of April. There is an urgency.
- Your geyser bursts. You switch off the water and phone a plumber. This is very urgent. They need to get there ASAP!
- Wedding dress. After trying on wedding dress number 36 you have not found what you are looking for. Luckily it is still 8 months before the wedding. No urgency.
How do you improve your marketing? You create it. You go to market. You look at it. You measure it. You talk about it. You change it. You tweak it. You improve it.