Marketing Tests: Strategic or Tactical?
By Kerry Guard
How Do You Properly Run a Marketing Test?
We were chatting with a prospective client the other day when she made the following comment.
I like this proposal. Let's run a test for the next six months to see how it performs.
"That sounds great," I found myself saying "But, we want to align on whether this is a Strategic Marketing test or a Tactical Marketing test."
In our opinion, the difference between the two is:
- Tactical Marketing tests: These tests pit one marketing line item against another in a survival of the fittest. Two may enter -- only one will leave!
- Strategic Marketing tests: These tests focus on a testing a larger strategic direction -- investing stronger in brand marketing to widen your prospective customer funnel, for example -- than a battle royale test of two tactics.
The client asked us how we approach determining the type of test. We mentioned using the following three guidelines:
- Success Criteria: How will success be decided? Is there a single metric success is judged upon, or are there a series of metrics involved?
- Test Length: What is the appropriate test length in order to declare a winner? Understanding statistical significance of the data produced will help answer this question.
- Action on Findings: Does the client plan to make widespread changes based on test results? That's likely a strategic test. If findings determine a small portion of marketing efforts, that could likely be a smaller tactical test.