July 17, 2023

Silver Bullets: A Digital Marketer's Deadly Addiction

Using customer problems to drive strategic website updates for our clients has led to A/B test win rate increases of 30%-50%. Yet so many companies totally overlook user research and its importance to driving more strategic, higher converting ads, landing pages, websites and emails.

The lean startup method, popularized by Eric Ries, for launching and growing new products has become increasingly popular. In this approach, the company develops a minimally viable product and then gathers feedback from early adopters. The feedback is used to change their assumptions, product and approach. They proceed to grow the business by conducting cycles of gathering feedback and using that feedback to fine-tune their product and marketing approach. The lean startup method improves the chances of long-term success.

Lean startup principles are regularly ignored when it comes to digital marketing. But if they're good enough for Toyota, why aren't they good enough for your brand and website?!

Customer feedback

Many digital marketers struggle with the idea of prioritizing customer feedback over expert opinions when making updates to landing pages, ads, emails and the website. They believe in the "silver bullet" concept: that copying things you see on other sites or preached by an "expert" as a "best practice" will solve all marketing problems and guarantee success. Thus, they see no need to conduct customer research. However, it's the customers who buy the products. If they don't love them or the purchase journey, they will go elsewhere. They don't care about the CEO's opinion of the website or the ad campaign. They care about having their problems solved and questions answered. In addition, just because one marketing strategy worked well for one product in the past or for a competitor, that does not mean it will work well in the future. In fact, it probably won't. Every product, website and customer base is different.

How to learn what customers are thinking

There are a number of well-tested and proven approaches that user research agencies use to find out what customers think about a website, such as:

  • User interviews
  • User surveys
  • Usability testing
  • Tree testing
  • Card sorting
  • Preference testing
  • Copy testing

Obviously, the best method to use depends on the product or website. For example, tree testing is a good way to test a new navigation structure, but preference testing and user interviews are better approaches to testing a total site redesign. Especially when paired with our usability scorecard!

Asking the right questions

In order to use any customer feedback-gathering approach, it is essential to ask the right questions. If the wrong questions are asked, you end up in a garbage-in-garbage-out situation. The Mom Test is a great reference guide that will help you ask the right questions so you can obtain accurate data about what your customers think about your website and products.

If you are struggling to understand why your A/B tests are consistently losing or why your landing pages aren't converting, surefoot can help. Get in touch here.

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