I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “throw spaghetti against the wall and see what sticks.”  It’s a common way to describe the process of testing many different tactics at the same time in order to identify what works (sticks) and what doesn’t work (falls to the floor).

It’s a nice analogy to visualize the process of testing, and with two young children at home, I’m sure to get some live demonstrations soon. :)

However, there’s one problem with this saying.  What happens if you try to throw uncooked or very under-cooked spaghetti against the wall?  None of it will stick!  You’ll just end up with raw spaghetti strewn across the floor.

In other words, if you’re trying to test multiple “uncooked” marketing tactics at the same time to see what “sticks,” then you’re going to be disappointed by the results.  To make matters worse, you’ll come to the conclusion that none of the tactics work for your business even though they were doomed from the start.  Again, uncooked spaghetti never sticks to walls.

So what does a fully “cooked” marketing tactic look like?  Let’s take a look…

Are You Throwing Spaghetti At the Wall & It’s Not Sticking_ Here’s Why

Clear Description of the Final Dish

Before you start cooking spaghetti, you have a clear description of the final dish you’re preparing.  It might be spaghetti and meatballs or just plain spaghetti with butter (my favorite as a kid).

Likewise, before you launch a marketing campaign, you also need to have a clear description of what success looks like at the end.  In other words, what is the goal?

But you can’t just set a broad goal; it needs to be a S.M.A.R.T. goal:

  • Specific: Be specific and quantify your goal.  Don’t just say, “more leads” or “more sales.”  Instead, write down an actual number as your target.
  • Measurable: Since you defined a number as your target, then you must have a way to measure that target so you can see if you hit your goal.
  • Attainable: Aim high, but don’t be unrealistic.  Use research and historical data to project an attainable goal with your marketing campaign.
  • Relevant: Make sure the goal will actually make a difference to your business.  For example, increasing Facebook likes is not a relevant goal for any business.  That may be a KPI (key performance indicator) worth tracking, but it’s not the goal.
  • Time-bound: When is the deadline to hit your goal?  If you don’t set a deadline, don’t expect you or your team to have any real urgency.

Ingredients Are Properly Measured

Cooking spaghetti is not complicated to cook, but let’s say you’re also making a sauce from scratch.  That will require measuring out ingredients to ensure the seasoning is balanced.  Too much or too little salt and the dish could be nearly inedible.

Fully cooked marketing campaigns require proper measurement and tracking as well.  For example, to track all of the leads and sales you’ll likely need all of the following tracking tools:

  • Google Analytics to track website traffic and form leads from each marketing tactic.
  • Call tracking to track phone calls from each marketing tactic.
  • CRM (customer relationship management) tracking to track your offline sales funnel.  This will allow you to see how many offline sales were generated from each marketing tactic.

Timer Is Set

Finally, when you’re cooking spaghetti, you must set a timer.  Otherwise, you could end up with overcooked, mushy noodles that nobody will be happy to eat.   The exact time is a factor of how much you’re cooking, the size of the noodles, and how hot you set the stovetop.

Your marketing tactics need a timer set as well to ensure they are fully cooked.  The main variable that determines the time required is your sample size.  For example, if you’re testing Google Ads and you only get 50 clicks on your ads, then you do not have enough of a sample size to determine if that tactic will work or not.

Once you determine a sufficient sample size for your test, then you can use that number to calculate how long to set the timer.

Only Cooked Spaghetti Sticks

Remember, only cooked spaghetti will ever stick when you throw it at the wall.  So before you launch a new marketing tactic walk through the 3 steps above.  There’s nothing more frustrating than investing time and money into marketing tactics only to find out later that your results are inconclusive!

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