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When Science Meets Marketing

May 09, 2020

This blog post was originally published by Meiro. See the original post on their website.

“What’s measured improves.” – Peter Drucker

Have you ever thought about it? That the only way to improve anything is to measure it first? Because only when you measure your current effort, you’re able to say if your new effort is better or not. Without effective measurement, there’s nothing to compare. By now it’s probably very obvious to you and I see you nodding your head. But do you know how to apply this simple and powerful technique consistently to improve your marketing?

Brand vs Direct marketing

When it comes to marketing, two schools of thought have been fighting for the last 100 years. First one is called brand marketing. It’s best defined by the old adage:

“I know that half of my marketing works. I just don’t know which half.”

Big companies are putting millions of dollars into marketing campaigns all over the world. Part of it is working. But which part?

Enter direct marketing. The second school of thought. This approach was essential in building international brands like Colgate-Palmolive or Goodyear Tire Company and many others in Fortune 500. Even David Ogilvy’s secret to success in brand marketing was actually based on direct marketing principles. So what are they?

Surprisingly, it’s all based on the scientific method – the best problem solving technique ever invented. It is the backbone of all the innovations and cool technology you see around the world. Without this method driving our progress, there wouldn’t be any cars, airplanes, internet, smartphones or flushing toilets. We would still be living on the trees. Here’s how scientific method works with a simple example to show you use it all the time to solve your problems:

  1. Make an observation. All inventions in the world start from observation. What naturally follows is curiosity. For example, you’re driving your car and you observe your temperature warning light is flashing. You know that your car is starting to overheat. Obviously you’re curious to find out more.
  2. Ask a question. Curiosity begs a question. Here, 5 wives and 1 husband formula (why, what, where, when, who or how) can help you a lot to come up with the best question. When you ask ourselves this question, you are naturally motivated to find the answer. Following the example above you’ll probably ask yourself: “What causes my car to overheat?”
  3. Form a hypothesis. This is an educated guess that comes from the information you already know about the topic at hand. In the car example, you can make a hypothesis that your thermostat stopped working. Another hypothesis could involve the radiator and yet another one might be that the fan belt has broken.
  4. Do an experiment. The only way you can prove that your hypothesis works is to verify it with a test. Here you should start with the easiest thing first. For example, you want to verify if your hypothesis about the broken fan belt is correct. Because it’s the easiest part to fix. The experiment is very simple – you replace it and see if your car still overheats.
  5. Analyze data and draw a conclusion. This is the final step. By now you should have enough data to either accept or reject your hypothesis. In the example above after fixing the fan belt you find out that your car doesn’t overheat anymore. So you accept your hypothesis about the broken fan belt. Problem solved.

How to use the scientific method in your marketing?

That’s the million-dollar question. To help you tackle it our data consultants have adopted a scientific method to help you create breakthroughs in your marketing.

  1. Make an observation. Try to take in everything that’s happening around you and your market – who are your customers, how your product satisfies their wants and needs, how are you different from your competition and how your market develops. Here are a couple more areas in your marketing that you can observe how it performs – customer experience, lead generation, website traffic and conversion, customer lifetime value, sales cycle length, marketing cost, customer retention and content creation. Your curiosity will get triggered naturally. For example, let’s say you sell jackets on your website, and you observe that you spend too much money on marketing.
  2. Ask a question. With your curiosity triggered, ask yourself a question. The best is to choose an area of your marketing where you can either make the biggest impact or it’s easiest to improve. Do some background research how other companies approach your question. Get inspired. No need to reinvent the wheel. You can use 5 wives and 1 husband formula to generate question ideas. Coming back to the example above you might ask: “Where does my marketing budget go?”
  3. Form a hypothesis. This is a simple guess or solution on how you can improve your marketing. Let’s say you realise that a considerable chunk of your budget goes into retargeting customers on FB, who haven’t bought from you yet. Your hypothesis for your jacket e-shop might be: “I want to stop sending FB ads to people who already bought my jacket.”
  4. Do an experiment. This is where our company flagship product – customer data platform, comes very handy. It allows you to streamline data from all your marketing platforms (Goggle, FB, website and 40 other sources) into one simple dashboard. Then you create a highly customized audience, upload it back into the marketing platform of your choice and send them your next campaign. In the case of jacket e-shop, you will upload all your customers who bought a jacket and upload them into FB ads. Then you automatically exclude them from your next retargeting campaign.
  5. Analyze data and draw a conclusion. After running a test for a while you will get enough data to draw a conclusion – if your hypothesis really solved the problem or not. In the example above you might realize that not only do you save 10% on your marketing budget, but also improve customer experience at the same time. Because don’t you just hate it when you buy something like a jacket, and the ad for the same one just keeps following you? Worst of all, the same shop might even offer you a better price than you originally paid.

Scientific marketing

We are entering a new era. For the first time in marketing history, we have a chance to end the 100 year old fight between brand marketing and direct marketing. Not only that. We are able to use the best strategies from both and combine them into a new discipline – scientific marketing.

Our company has created a breakthrough technology that finally makes scientific marketing possible. So you and your company can live in a world where:

  • You can attribute virtually all marketing efforts to sales generated
  • Your marketing department will turn from cost center to profit center
  • You as a marketer will earn much more respect
  • Your profits will become more predictable and consistent

We are looking forward to creating this exciting new world together with you.

Dot Digital PH is a digital marketing agency based in the Philippines. We offer social media marketing, web design and development, content creation, pay-per-click ads management, and digital marketing strategy and consultancy.