One of the main reasons I work in digital and what attracted my attention way back in the late 90s (that long ago), was the transparency. I always thought that there was something missing tracking calls or actions generated by offline campaigns. Of course, tracking and analytics have come a long way from when we used WebStats and call reports to try and get to the bottom of just how effective our campaigns had been.

‘Test and Learn’ is a phrase I first coined in 2004 when managing a large utilities client. When we inherited the account, we found that there had been a high volume of digital marketing campaigns taking place – without really understanding the impact.

One of the first things we implemented was a clear digital strategy, managed by named individuals. ‘We did that last year and it didn’t work’ or ‘Not sure how effective that spend was’ were phrases of the past. 

Core digital campaigns were set up to acquire customers within a target CPA (cost per acquisition) and we knew, by using the performance data and analytics, what worked well, and how to optimise to ensure ongoing effective budget spend.

‘Testing and Learning’ – applying what we’ve learned to inform future activity.

Out-with this core activity, we set aside a quarterly test campaign budget and importantly recorded all campaign metrics and performance in a central document. Some campaigns performed really well, some not so well. But at least we knew and could log these outcomes.

It is always refreshing to come across clients who are keen to test new channels or platforms. Because of the transparency of all digital channels, we can pretty much understand in some detail what worked and why, as well as what didn’t.

So, testing and learning in the digital world is one of my favourite things. And something that I encourage all clients to consider.