AMiable Solution #225: Unpredictable
This morning I heard a well-known local weatherman say on the radio that he’s no longer surprised by this winter’s crazy weather. In other words, he’s gotten used to having no idea what’s going to happen next.
Have you ever felt that way about your marketing promotions? You used to think you knew what to expect and then--BAM!--the lack of response or sluggish response to a previously successful or predictable campaign leaves you scratching your head.
As a marketer, you’ve done what weather predictors have done for thousands of years: make observations and predict behaviors based on past patterns. Sometimes it works out, and sometimes it doesn’t.
Don’t let it get you down.
Although weather forecasting has come a long way since the Babylonians days of cloud-watching, forecasters still sometimes get next week’s weather activity wrong or miss something entirely.
What does that mean for you as a marketer? Should you just throw your hands in the air and give up?
Not at all. Despite all of our best efforts, we can’t always predict what someone--a customer, a prospect, a member, or a donor--will do. People are just unpredictable that way, and there are often circumstances beyond our control or our knowledge affecting our audiences’ decision-making processes. So what can you do?
Continue tracking customer, donor, and member behavior and look for ways to draw out more feedback and insight from your market. People do surprise us sometimes, but they generally follow patterns of behavior. Check the timing of your promotion against previously successful campaigns. Look at what’s going on in your industry. Keep observing and predicting, and really study and analyze those promotions that don’t perform according to plan.
Re-evaluate your sales process. Make sure you understand how your audience evaluates and buys a product or service, and then make sure your marketing strategies, offers, and copy fall in line.
Compare apples to apples. If you’re comparing this year’s response to last year’s, make sure the campaigns you’re comparing are identical: same offer, same format, same costs, etc. If the campaigns are different, or if your costs or the offers are different, then one campaign might naturally create a better response than the other.
The bottom line? Don’t give up. Even if you didn’t get the response that you expected today, we can guarantee you this: the sun will rise again tomorrow.