Many years ago, I worked with a client named Trevor who had extensive experience with direct marketing. I met with him at his office and he explained how he used to send flyers with different designs and different phone numbers. He was able to measure the effectiveness of different campaigns based on which phone number got more calls. He applied the same ideas to his website, presenting different content to different users and measuring the response he received. In this way, he refined his approach and could make decisions based not on instinct but instead on what actually worked.
With the help of my friend and colleague, Yannick, Trevor used Google tools for this A/B testing and refinement.
Now I could try to convince you about the value of this approach. I could try to convince you about having a methodical data-driven approach to decision making. But that’s not why I’m telling you this story.
Sometimes clients get overwhelmed with all the communications/marketing options they have now. Sometimes they fall in love with something because it’s new or “digital”. (I’ve been guilty of this too.) And yes, “digital” and particuarly the Internet have given us all kinds of great ways to connect and do business. My whole work day involves facilitating those connections for my clients.
But what did I learn from Trevor’s use of A/B testing? I learned that we’re looking for human connection. I learned that we can adapt our techniques to take advantage of the latest technology. But the underlying concept remains the same. We’re looking to connect.
I’d like to encourage you not to fall in love with tech because it’s new. I’d like to encourage you to see how to best authentically connect with your audience/clients/etc. I can help you find how to do that. But let’s remember the why and that doesn’t change.
I’ve been building websites for over 20 years now and the technology and style have changed dramatically in that time. But what hasn’t changed is the human need to connect, to communicate, and to convince.