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 a 2.5 year old daughter 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.
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 with 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, then 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 webform 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 stove-top.
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 AdWords 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!
Main Street ROI is a digital marketing agency based in New York City.
Our mission is to help small businesses thrive. With our services and training, we help small businesses succeed with marketing regardless of their budgets.
Since 2010, we’ve helped thousands of small businesses create profitable digital marketing campaigns.
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