The underlying theme of our 2009 Marketing Blueprint clinic boiled down to this: Be prepared to break some rules this year.
That advice might seem odd at a time when many companies are scrambling to find solid ground by tightening expenditures, laying people off, and clinging tightly to marketing practices that have already shown results.
In this economy, most organizations aren’t willing to stick their necks out too far. And that’s exactly why it makes sense for the bold to do so.
After all, if your rivals are playing it safe, and you’re forging ahead with new ideas and initiatives, you’re more likely to stand apart. Aside from those competitive advantages, having the gumption to branch out with your testing, optimization and marketing efforts is what can lead to surprising gains. Failure is certainly a risk, but so is inertia; that’s why we test and learn and test again.
Best practices vs. common practices
One of the keys is distinguishing between best practices and common practices — and understanding that neither are fail-safe shortcuts to conversion gains. In fact, our case studies from this clinic showed how applying the same practices that got a 162% increase for one site yielded a 48% decrease for another site. Keep that in mind if you’re using templates or similar elements across several sites or landing pages.
You can now access the Dec. 17 clinic in three formats for your convenience — note that the research brief includes several links to relevant clinics and free tools:
- View the complete presentation (slides and audio)
- Read the print-friendly research brief with additional links
- Listen to the MP3 version
We can learn from both negative and positive results, but we don’t grow and advance our knowledge by simply repeating the same practices and methods. So even though this 2009 Marketing Blueprint lays out a framework for optimization, it’s up to you (and us) to mix things up a bit in order to discover what really works this year.