Test and Learn to Drive Success

Marketing success doesn't happen overnight unfortunately. You've got to work at it. In fact, even when you do have a win, the work doesn't stop if you want to maximise your profitability and desired outcomes.

The reality is, no matter how big your budget or how beautiful your creative messaging is, media performance fluctuates. Why? The results are directly tied to consumer behaviour, and humans are unpredictable.

We're exposed to multiple marketing messages along the path to purchase. From awareness to conversion; potential buyers are faced with different messages, on different channels, at different times. As marketers, our role is to understand the influence of each of these touch points, and how they work together to ultimately achieve your business objectives.

The team here at Agnes are going to let you in on a key recommendation. Adopting a test-and-learn mindset is not only smart, but key to driving incremental growth and media efficiencies. Here's why.

Marketing measurement was never easy – and it’s getting harder

Deploying measurement strategies that accurately ‘connect the dots’ between an initial impression (or click) and conversion (or sale) has always been difficult, but even more so now that the data around ad impressions is becoming more opaque.

Many advertisers have, for years, relied on the correlation to causation model. That is, because the touchpoint (impression or click) happened on the way to a conversion (sale), then it's assumed that touchpoint did its job. Last-click attribution goes even further to assume the most recently viewed ad did all (or at least most of) the work in converting a sale.

Of course, this is all a 'best guess'. It certainly doesn't fully reflect the true incremental value of your marketing efforts. In fact, a recent Meta study found that last-click models undervalued marketing on Facebook and Instagram platforms by an average of 47%. More concerning is that this misalignment between true business value and reported value gets worse as you move up the funnel.

Getting your approach right often relies on how you measure, with there being incremental and non-incremental tactics. Failure to apply the right tactic can mean advertisers miss out on a potential 64% average improvement in cost-per-conversion, according to Facebook IQ research.

Applying the test-and-learn approach

Testing to derive learnings from media performance allows constant optimisations that will ultimately enable brands to reach their business objectives more efficiently. This is because even the smallest insight can assist brands in better understanding their potential customers; enabling you to drive the actions and behaviours you need to meet your conversion targets.

Partnering with a measurement specialist agency like Agnes means you can navigate this constantly-changing landscape and run valuable experiments to see what succeeds.

“Agnes works with brands to ensure we are constantly testing different tactics to drive incremental performance whilst feeding learnings back to the business. Measurements of such tests are key to ensure the results are being reported on correctly, to then derive insights which can inform ongoing marketing strategies,” says Charlotte Ward, Agnes Founder and Director.

Research shows that advertisers that apply a test-and-learn approach end up running more cost-effective campaigns. Those who ran at least 15 experiments on Meta over the course of a year, for example, experienced 30% greater ad performance compared to those that didn’t experiment at all. Furthermore, advertisers who also ran the same (or more) number of experiments during the previous year saw a 45% increase in ad performance. These figures clearly indicate the power of consistent, ongoing experimentation through testing and learning.

This is why all businesses need to understand: that the test-and-learn approach never ends. As Emma Popping, Strategy Director AUNZ at Media.Monks wrote for AdNews: “To be a data creator, you must feel comfortable sticking to a continual briefing mode. You’ll constantly create, learn and adjust in an ongoing cycle to measure changes in opinions and views – ensuring your creative output remains relevant in the process. When done right, this approach frees you from assumptions that limit creativity.”

Using test-and-learn to your advantage

The truth is that the marketing landscape has evolved significantly, and it will continue to do so. That means businesses and advertisers need to be prepared for more changes to privacy laws that make connecting the dots between impressions and conversions even more challenging.

The good news is that working with an experienced partner like Agnes Media, who pride ourselves on our measurement-first approach, can help illuminate what makes your on-channel strategies successful (or unsuccessful) so you can then act upon the results and implement the best tactics. Moreover, we can help you develop a holistic mindset around measurement by constantly testing and learning from a variety of strategies.

Want to apply the right tactics to help your marketing campaigns soar? You need to master the art of test-and-learn. Speak to the measurement-first experts at Agnes Media on (02) 8593 3290 or email hello@agnes.media to start a conversation.