You recognize the saying “correlation doesn’t equal causation”? Entrepreneurs are notorious for equating correlation and causation.
We’ll see an enchancment in a advertising and marketing marketing campaign and work backwards to search out the correlation, then assign causation to the outcome. We used one designer through the first marketing campaign and it bombed. We introduced on a brand new designer for the following marketing campaign and voila! The marketing campaign exceeded expectations.
It’s simple to say:
“The second marketing campaign’s design was higher optimized to draw the clicking and as soon as we obtained customers to our touchdown web page, the associated visuals have been higher at changing them to leads.”
To which I’d say:
“That’s good, are you able to present me the info?”
If the marketing campaign concerned the very same content material, promotional copy and viewers focusing on — and the one distinction was the design, then perhaps you can begin to construct an argument concerning the design.
Acknowledging the Function of Serendipity in Advertising and marketing
Besides, you ran the campaigns one after the opposite, so what about time-of-month or time-of-year variations? This is the reason an A/B check requires you to alter a single variable (e.g., your button label). When every little thing else is equivalent and one button label outperforms one other, you may make a superb case for causation (i.e., it was the button label!)
I consider there’s a sure wildcard issue that’s accountable for some advertising and marketing outcomes: serendipity.
Merriam-Webster defines serendipity as “the school or phenomenon of discovering precious or agreeable issues not hunted for.” A associated phrase I’d use right here is “randomness.” In different phrases, some advertising and marketing campaigns carry out “simply because.” Or, they carry out primarily based on elements which are sudden and out of your management.
Listed here are two examples.
Social Media Advertising and marketing
I consider that what makes a tweet go viral is serendipity. A consumer with 200 followers tweets. An influencer with 250,000 followers occurs to see it and retweets it. Now, many others see it and begin commenting on it. If the Twitter algorithm may converse, it will say, “Hmm, this burst of exercise is attention-grabbing. I have to bump this increased in individuals’s feeds.”
In lower than 12 hours, the tweet has 7,500 retweets, 10,200 likes and 1,275 feedback. That first retweet set some snow down a hill. The snowball obtained larger and larger because it rolled down. However what if that influencer wasn’t round to retweet to her 250,000 followers? It’s attainable nobody would have seen it.
I noticed one thing related occur to me. I tweeted a pun about retargeting. My tweet obtained nearly no engagement. I made a decision to take the identical tweet and schedule it in a social publishing device for 2am PT the following day. I used to be asleep when it auto-tweeted and after I awoke, I noticed that it had generated a superb quantity of likes and retweets.
(Facet word: Twitter as soon as allowed you to tweet the very same factor. It doesn’t enable this anymore.)
Others have been awake, noticed the tweet and engaged with it. By the top of that day, it had turn into considered one of my most-engaged tweets of all time. See the serendipity right here? Two equivalent tweets, one executed throughout regular working hours, the following executed in the course of the evening.
Why did the latter accomplish that nicely?
Associated Article: How one can Navigate Blind Spots in Advertising and marketing Campaigns
E mail Advertising and marketing
Each different Friday, I ship out an electronic mail e-newsletter referred to as “Content material Nook.” Listed here are the e-mail open charges for the previous a number of points: 30.7%, 36.8%, 33.2%, 31.5%, 34.4%, 52.0%, 33.2%, 32.4%, 38.9%.
One quantity stands proud from the pack: the 52.0% open fee.
Yay! Greater than half of my listing opened the e-mail. In fact, I had to determine what precipitated this — you understand, discover some causation and the correlation to go together with it. I didn’t give you a lot. The strategy I took with the e-newsletter didn’t change in any respect throughout this pattern set.
My “From” line and preview textual content remained the identical. Wanting on the Topic traces (i.e., an vital issue) didn’t flip up something significant. I used a Topic of “A enterprise thought.” for the e-mail that obtained a 52.0% open fee. Perhaps that piqued the curiosity of some subscribers, however I’m undecided.
I are inclined to have a core group of “regulars” who learn my e-newsletter and searching on the electronic mail with the 52.0% open fee, I did discover subscribers who don’t usually open the emails. I chalk it as much as serendipity: similar to the influencer who occurred upon a tweet and retweeted, a bunch of individuals occurred to be of their inbox when my e-newsletter arrived. They opened that one, however didn’t open subsequent newsletters.
Associated Article: 7 Components That Decide E mail Deliverability
The Serendipity within the Room
Chalking issues as much as serendipity would possibly make entrepreneurs nervous. It’s like a boss saying, “Hey, good job on that marketing campaign! How did you do it?” and responding by shrugging your shoulders and saying “Dunno.” However simply because it’s vital to name out the elephant within the room, I urge entrepreneurs to name out the serendipity within the room.
Acknowledging serendipity is best than reverse engineering causation. For instance, I may have determined that 2am PT is the very best time to tweet and that mysterious three-word topic traces work greatest. However that is likely to be misguided.
Lastly, when you acknowledge serendipity, return to outcomes the place the info is extra clear, like in an A/B check. While you sleep comfortably that your causation is air-tight, double down in your bets and the world is your oyster the following morning.
Dennis is director of content material advertising and marketing at DNN, contributing creator to the e book “42 Guidelines of Product Advertising and marketing” and is editor of the DNN weblog.