We’re told hindsight is 20/20. But hindsight doesn’t always tell you where you need to go. In fact, when it comes to research, it only tells you where you’ve been. On the other hand, Foresight research tells you where you need to go, sets you on the right path, and lets you continually check-in to make sure you are always headed in the right direction.
Marketers looking to plan their next ad, message or campaign traditionally have relied on hindsight, or legacy, research. They look at how things have performed in the past to inform what they do in the future. But traditional legacy research is expensive and time-consuming, and it gives you a snapshot of just one moment in time, which by the way, is already behind you. It may have little to do with what’s in front of you.
We know of what we speak. Feedback Loop’s crackerjack marketers recently undertook a revamp of our digital presence. As the effectiveness of agile, iterative, foresight research for marketing became crystal clear, so did the tangible results of our campaigns.
“We would’ve been completely wrong.”
Jolene Pierangeli was surprised. A seasoned marketing consultant, she was charged with overseeing Feedback Loop’s marketing changes. As was her usual practice, she looked at previous ad campaign history and website traffic to gather data to use in planning the company’s website redux. “Typically, in marketing, you look at how banner ads or display ads perform in other locations,” Pierangeli said. “You take into account personas and the demographics for your audience. Then you use that data to make assumptions and decisions based on what you know — but that legacy data isn’t necessarily right.”
Feedback Loop exists to provide rapid consumer feedback, so Pierangeli didn’t have to rely solely on that legacy data. She did what Feedback Loop tells its clients to do: She tested.
“In a week, we got a month’s worth of lead guarantee.”
Feedback Loop launched a content syndication program. The company handling the promotion said it should take a month to reach Feedback Loop’s guaranteed lead goal. Before launching the promotional ad, Pierangeli and Baker tested the advertising and messaging for their promotion using the Feedback Loop platform. For the ad, targeted at both marketers and product teams, Baker created one version using a cartoon treatment and one using screenshots. The majority of the audience-tested chose the screenshot version. That’s the one they launched.
Feedback Loop got their entire lead guarantee in one week.
For the next iteration of the ad, targeted at marketers, Baker tested three concepts with the Feedback Loop platform: one with cartoons, one with screenshots, and one with a combination of both. The third option — a combination of styles — was chosen by 46% of respondents, so that’s the ad they’ll be launching.
“You already know going into it what your consumers want.”
The lessons she learned by using Feedback Loop for Feedback Loop changed how Pierangeli looks at marketing campaigns. “When marketers build out a campaign plan, they typically build out a first draft, revision time, second draft, final draft, then launch date,” she said. “Unfortunately, a lot of times after a launch, the campaign does not perform and deliver the number of leads or MQLs or conversions to opportunities that marketing needs to build the lead funnel and help sales convert. That means marketing will have to go back and add new content to their campaign or do other types of activities. Basically, they’ll have to do more work in order to get to their goal.”
By building rapid consumer research into marketing processes early on, marketers can save themselves and their teams hours of work down the road and, potentially, prevent failure of a launch. Testing in the Feedback Loop platform only takes a couple of hours, and it can de-risk decisions, whether it’s what color to put on your website or what messaging to use for a promotion. You don’t have to wait weeks or months for traditional research methods to produce insights that are already in hindsight when you finally get them. A little foresight goes a long way toward ensuring you launch successfully.