Losing never feels good, but that doesn’t mean it lacks value. In fact, you can often learn more from a painful but necessary loss than you can from a series of “good fortune” wins.
Best Practices Aren’t Set in Stone
What works for Company A won’t necessarily produce positive results for Company B. In fact, the opposite often proves true. This is why businesses can’t always rely on third-party testing; they need to conduct their own A/B testing to figure out what strategies work best for their business.
Additionally, A/B testing and other strategies don’t always produce consistent results for the same company. Changes in seasonality, market trends, and economic conditions can cause fluctuations in data. And just because you’re basing your tests on “best practices” doesn’t mean you’re using the right benchmarks. Best practices evolve and shift just like every other aspect of marketing.
Listen to Your Users
If your efforts fail, you can take a few minutes to lick your wounds and mourn the failure. However, you must then turn to your users. What can they tell you about a failed redesign, a botched campaign, or a wrongheaded assumption?
Just because a test fails doesn’t mean you can’t learn from it. Hunt for common denominators that might teach you something new about your target demographic. Analyze the data from new angles and throw out old hypotheses. Most importantly, start thinking about your next test and how you might shift the variables to create a more favorable result.
Winning Isn’t Everything
When you lose, you can tweak a few factors or start over with a completely blank slate.
Losing doesn’t mean you can’t walk away with valuable information or data. You’ll learn what works and what doesn’t when it comes to testing strategies, and you’ll gain valuable insight into your target market. Avoid viewing a test or a campaign as a win-lose proposition; instead, always search for the key nuggets of information you can extract from the data.
You Need a Backup Plan
If you’re prepared for a loss, you never truly lose. Maybe a test or campaign doesn’t turn out the way you expected, but you’re prepared with the next steps. In other words, you need a plan regardless of how a test turns out.
If you succeed, you need a way to capitalize on the data you collected and launch further testing. If you lose, you need a way to change your strategy so the loss doesn’t result in wasted time and effort.
Testing Never Stops
In CRO and other areas of digital marketing, testing isn’t a one-off deal. You’re constantly testing so you can better understand your audience and the market. When one test concludes, another launches.
The important thing is to be intentional about every test you conduct. What do you hope to gain? What knowledge do you want to gather?
If you have this information in mind, no test ever turns into a complete failure. It’s always a building block for future success.
Just because you lose from time to time doesn’t mean you’re a loser. In fact, frequent losses indicate a positive thing: you’re constantly trying. For more information about making the most of SEM and digital marketing, read the case study Helping TravelStore Become an Online Entity.