Jeff Bezos, CEO, and Founder of Amazon once said:
The above statement can’t be more relevant when it comes to investing in an advertisement campaign using any advertising channels. In the early days of Amazon, the company did an experiment to know if it would be worth the cost to place advertisements on television. So they looked for two markets with a good blend of the customer demographics they target, and they found Portland and Minneapolis to be the best. They ran a test for 16 months, which is much longer than most companies would experiment. But Bezos said that Amazon was “unbelievably fixated on it” and that it was a “long, expensive test, but we were really determined to understand this for our company once and for all.”
While the ads did give Amazon a slight bump in sales, Bezos determined that it is wasn’t enough to justify the costs. So while this experiment was lengthy, it proved helpful for Amazon’s strategy.
Experiments help to break the silos of stereotypical thinking. Conventionally, all major organizations around the world know and invest in ‘what is going to work.’ Year on year, same decision is made when it comes to advertisement spend with some minor tweaks here and there. Such conservative approach creates silos that throttle innovation. Going by the hard-coded principle of media selection may put you at a risk of losing out on opportunities to build a stronger brand at much cheaper cost. This is where experimentation comes in. Experimentation does not force you to put all your eggs in one basket. Selection of a few innovative unconventional advertising channels (by investing a small portion of your total marketing budget) followed by a rigorous result analysis may open an entire blue ocean of marketing opportunities.
A perfect marketing recipe, there is none. We are living in a rapidly changing environment. Ideas that were relevant yesterday aren’t anymore today. Specifically, one of the advertisement channels is adopted by many, it loses its charm. Consider a simple scenario. There used to be a time when there were only a few hoardings on roads. Every single advertisement put on roadside hoardings used to draw a fair share of consumer attention. But now, after the mass adoption of this medium of advertisement, there is a hoarding at every 50 meters of distance (At least in metros). Consumer attention is so finely divided that there is hardly any advertisement which enjoys the privilege of sticking in customer’s subconscious. Marketing recipes which used to generate good results may need some new condiments now. What condiments? Experiments would tell.
We, as marketers, are trying really hard to bring in new innovations in ways we communicate with our target audience. But the majority of times, we are stuck at what we are going to communicate and the creativity in it. For our efforts to be fruitful, we need to find our best-fit mediums and be very proactive about it.
Experimenting with new mediums of advertising channels may help us do our jobs better.