Balancing Experimentation and Optimization

experimentationHere’s the truth about marketing content: It’s all experimentation.

Optimization is about hedging your bets. By taking the time to align your content with your data, you can increase the odds that you will be successful in your next campaign, but there are no guarantees. The bad news is that you’ll never really find that “sure thing” that you’re looking for, but the good news is that this perspective can free you up to take risks and learn new things about your market, because after all, it’s all experimentation.

It’s a question of how far you are going to deviate from what has been proven to work in the past, and it’s a matter of applying what you’ve learned, but never getting so settled into it that it becomes a rigid, unbreakable routine.

Finding the right balance is about maintaining flexibility. Whatever you may know about your market today, that might not be the way things are tomorrow. If you sell pipe tobacco, for instance, you’re mostly selling to the 40+ crowd, baby boomers and retirees. But who’s to say that smoking a pipe isn’t going to be the next big thing that hipsters latch onto, and that you’re not neglecting a major demographic simply because you don’t want to take the risk of deviating from the style of marketing content that has always worked for you in the past?

They say not to fix what isn’t broken. Well, the telegraph wasn’t broken, and yet, here you are, reading a blog post on the internet. The horse-drawn carriage worked just fine, but you probably don’t have one in your driveway. Experimentation is how we gather intel on the market, it’s how we spot trends before those trends get a write up in trade magazines, when they’re already in full swing and we’ve missed the chance to be early adopters.

This being said, if you only hand your press release writing service bold and daring new assignments, you’re going to miss out on the prospects and customers that you know are already there for you. There’s no set formula for how to divide your marketing budget between the relatively safe marketing and the exploratory marketing, the only rule that is set in stone is that if you’re not trying to discover new demographics and find new ways to reach them, your competitors will always be the ones making first contact.

Gilbert S. is a writer and artist who lives in Bluewater, New Mexico, with his wife and his dog, Sir Kay.

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