What comes to mind when you think of fearlessness? I think it has to do with creativity, innovation, bold design, inspiring copy, and going for the extraordinary rather than the good enough. But if you’re creating a brand image, campaign, and customer experience, a lot is at stake and you need to account for your impact on revenue, engagement, and conversions. Too often this means taking the safer, less interesting route — and your customers can tell. But with 10 years under my belt as a UX designer and 3 years working directly with clients as a Conversion Rate Optimizer at SiteSpect — the first full stack testing solution — I’ve learned a thing or two (actually, five) about taking risks. And there is a straightforward, guaranteed way to market fearlessly without putting your bottom line at risk. What do you get in return? Higher conversion rates, more user engagement, and a lift in revenue. Here are five ways to introduce fearlessness into your marketing program.
1) Test and Measure with a Purpose
Too often, marketers don’t take risks because they imagine only the worst possible outcomes. But, if you never try, then how do you really know what the outcome will be? The first step to fearless marketing is to face the facts and know the impact of everything you do. This is where testing with a purpose comes in. Your purpose should always be to know the actual (versus possible) outcome of a change in digital experience. With that knowledge in tow, any marketer can have the armor to innovate confidently.
2) Move Incrementally
As a marketer, to accurately measure the impact of everything you do, you need to break every big action down to its component parts. For example, if you try two variations of a new promotion for a summer sale, and one variation leads to 60% more complete purchases, what factor helped customers get through the funnel? Was it the placement of the graphic on the desktop page? Was it the specifics of the copy? The color of the text? Without knowing, you’ll be afraid of the whole experiment and have no actionable way to capitalize on the successful variant. The better option: test innovative ideas in controlled environments. Take big risks but take them one at a time.
3) Start Small
Test your ideas on a small segment of customers first. If your innovative design leads to a 100% increase in conversion, that’s great, you expand! If instead it leads to a 50% drop in conversions, then you didn’t disrupt your overall earnings significantly, and your broader customer base still enjoys a consistent experience. The customers who got the “losing” variation will have the winner back as quick as you can press the button. This is crucial if you want to be bold.
4) Have a Quick Action Plan
Speaking of pressing a button, make sure you can implement changes to your campaigns or control the traffic flow to your site with a click. By now, you’ve done everything right: you started small, you tested every step of the process, and now you have some results. Have a way in or out that is easy, quick, and manageable. This way you can constantly improve the customer journey. Then, you can truly take risks without getting stuck at any stage along the way. This means maximizing revenue and minimizing — or eliminating — loss.
5) Analyze, Organize, and Take Another Leap
Finally, to really be fearless in marketing, you have to keep on learning from your customers and trying new things. If you’ve made it this far, you have a ton of data to draw on, a wealth of creative ideas, and smooth system for implementation. Fearlessness and intelligent caution are not mutually exclusive. With all of these steps in place any marketer would have the tools to stay secure while you innovate fearlessly.
Kate Orchard works directly with SiteSpect users as a CRO to help them get the most out of the platform and their brand. She also happens to be a real life Commodore, and we think that gives her an extra heir of mystery and authority.