by Mike Moran
Do It Wrong Quickly might strike you as strange advice, but interviews with leading Internet marketers reveal it as a common theme.
Internet marketing book
Do It Wrong Quickly
Make Internet marketing pay off
Instead of killing yourself as you spend months obsessing over everything that could go wrong with your new campaign, it’s cheaper, faster, and more effective to just try something.
Marketers have become careful over the years, because getting a TV commercial wrong is career death. Because it costs so much money, requires so much lead time, and is so hard to change, TV advertising is the pinnacle of the “do it right at all costs” approach.
But the Web is different. All digital media is different. You can buy paid search ads today and change them tomorrow if they’re not working. Experimentation and fast changes are the only way to find out what’s right:
- Listen to what your customers say. The Web, and Web 2.0 in particular, gives your customer a printing press to express opinions that you’d never have heard back in the good old days. Customers are already having a conversation about you, using blogs, wikis, product ratings and reviews, message boards, social networks, and even hate sites (if you’re really not listening). This conversation is happening—are you listening?
- Watch what your customers do. The Internet is the biggest direct marketing play of all time. You can measure the response of your customer to everything you do. By carefully designing your experience, you can gather feedback based on every click. Your customers are voting with their mice—are you watching?
- Respond—quickly. Accept the fact that none of us can predict what our customers really want. We’re not setting out to do things wrong, but we can accept that we are doing it wrong most of the time. The point is that we need to find out that it’s wrong and fix it—fast. It’s amazing how smart you’ll look when you respond to what your customers say and do.
These changes are not easy in many companies. Careers are ended with big mistakes, so admitting you don’t know what customers want and you’d like to experiment to find out—that might seem like a career-killing move. Do It Wrong Quickly is full of practical advice and stories from leading marketers on how to change the way your company does its marketing.