Thursday, April 24th, 2014

To the Bat Cave! Your Own Secret Conversion Marketing Laboratory

Sometimes it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission

Warning: this information will make you a more successful marketer, but may also put your immediate job in jeopardy.

science experimentTo be a true hero, you must have two things:

  1. An arch nemesis
  2. A secret

Unfortunately for those of us in marketing, our nemesis is often the organization in which we work; that Dilbert inspired, plodding structure full of people that think they know how to market. Such a beast is often resistant to our most powerful weapons, such as positive results.

The best way to defeat such a daunting foe is through patience and stealth. As marketers, we must build our strength, our knowledge and our skills.

Your Secret Lab

I propose that you consider building your own secret laboratory, your own Xanadu. This is the place you go to explore new marketing strategies and ask questions that others may not have the guts to ask.

Questions like:

  • What if we used more copy on our landing pages?
  • What if we tried an interesting headline?
  • Would audio or video increase our conversion rates?
  • Will social media work in our business?

These are the questions that take time to sell internally, especially when you don’t have the data. These are the concepts that IT is designed to thwart.

It’s time to unshackle yourself. Build your own conversion laboratory.

Rules of Engagement

Now, as heroes, we want to do good in the world. This means doing no harm to our organization’s brand. We don’t want to work against our organizations already plodding attempts to communicate.

We want to minimize cost – most of us aren’t Bruce Wayne – and maximize automation. This will make our time in the lab most productive.

I cover all of the guidelines in my Search Engine Land column Setting Up Your Own Conversion Lab, Part 1.

Beakers, Bunsen Burners and Mass Spectrometers

We are fortunate to have many of the tools needed in our lab available for free or at low cost.

You will need tools to:

  • Create and host content of many types.
  • Put measurement equipment in place
  • Heat up your experiments with traffic sources
  • Select the right content management system to host your experiments

I make specific recommendations in Your Secret Conversion Lab, Part 2.

Cape and tights are not required

It may be tempting the done a hero’s uniform once you begin to feel the power of what you learn in your lab. Honestly, It’s best to stay under the radar.

Let us know which tools you find in your lab in the comments, and please share any interesting results you get from your experiments.

Brian Massey

P.S. Want to know what to test in your lab? Get my Notes from the Lab and see what I’m up to.

Photo courtesy hberends

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