We marketers like to think that we just know what our clients and their clients want. We crunch the numbers and back up our hunches with piles of spreadsheets, graphs, demographics, and other data in order to show that we have done our due diligence. In truth, all of this is helpful information but ultimately all of this leads to an educated guess at what will work. There is only one way to know what will truly work and that is to rigorously test everything with the target audience and make changes based on the real data that comes from the actual targets. Tim Ash, author of Landing Page Optimization, notes that he is consistently surprised at which landing pages end up being the most successful even with years experience in varied industries.
This is where looking for small failures, even in good campaigns, can whip a bad campaign into a good one and a good one ultimately into a great one. One of the most exciting opportunities that advertising in the interactive space offers is the ability to tweak ad copy, landing pages, creative, and other campaign elements with great speed and with relatively little cost.
World class runners spare no expense to have their stride analyzed and golfers to have their swing critiqued to in order to find minute weaknesses. We too should be relentless in our pursuit of an even more effective campaign and focusing on where the campaign has failed is the road that will lead to the most success. I think Henry Ford said it best, “Failure is an opportunity to start over, this time more intelligently.”