154 – Test Everything

Marketing must match its product, both the content and the method. Sometimes, “not marketing” at all is the best kind of marketing. We never know. Never believe someone who claims to tell you the right way of marketing a product. If a business must reinvent itself every five years—and introduce new products every year—and come out with multiple advertisements for each product—that puts marketing on the more extreme list of things that need constant reinvention.

Some skills and theories never change, such as color theory and typing speed. But, non-changers are few. Think beyond the billboard itself. Is a visual ad even necessary? What about strategic logo placement or contributing to a needy open source software project? To some extent, the best products market themselves.

Of course, when you have a hammer in your hand, everything looks like a nail. That explains the marketers who want everything to be done via one specific action plan of, say, social media. Those marketers happen to be familiar with that particular marketing avenue: social media. Stay shy of such people, they want to sell you something.

In order to know if something works, it must be tested. Whether in product development or software development, flaws are found by trial, error, and stress. Tradition carries beauty and wisdom, but even traditions can be tested and come out wanting. It is the test, not the tradition, that proves a thing valuable.

Writing endless blog posts just because everyone else is writing endless blog posts doesn’t mean consumers will have more time to read every piece of blogosophere spam—though many copywriters would have us think so. Copywriting is useful, but not over-useful. Stay focused on your mission—on your pivotal purpose.

Marketing “lets people know”. We market ourselves all the time. It’s called “fashion”. Economic recessions zero impact on cosmetic sales. That doesn’t prove makeup is a “need”, but that individual marketing is a marketable “need”. The same physiological programming that drives people to spend emergency money on hairspray also drives those same people to post pictures and “statuses” on the “bragosphere”. We know that because recessions test markets. Test everything and everything will make more sense.