Marketing is a versatile, competitive world, and when developing your marketing plan, odds are you will not get it right the first time. You need time to learn about the demographics, geography, and psycho graphics of your customers before your marketing can really be effective. That is why it is important to not stick with your first plan, as you will need to change it frequently for one reason or another.
A good phrase to live by in marketing is, “Learn from your mistakes.” Sometimes testing happens naturally. Some of your marketing campaigns will fail, but instead of getting discouraged, analyze what went wrong. Maybe you advertised through the wrong medium, or to the wrong demographic. Collect all the mistakes you have made and really look at them; do not try to forget or ignore them, you have to face your mistakes if you want to be successful.
If you hate making mistakes and want to get it right the first time, there is a way, and that is market research. However, full on market research is incredibly expensive and small businesses cannot afford it, but light end market research is possible. Basically, you just have to look at the demographic of your competitors and make that your demographic. It’s not that easy, though. Demographics may vary between businesses of the same nature, and that is where testing comes in. You need to test if that demographic works for you, and if it does not, you need to test another demographic.
You should not spend a lot of money on market tests. The purpose, after all, is to find the medium and demographic through which you should advertise or market. For example, if you have a website, you might want to try out banner advertising. Don’t spend a lot of money at first, only spend a little and see the ROI. If the conversion is good, you know you will want to keep advertising through that medium. Executing so many marketing tests is time-consuming and costly, but it all pays off when you finally develop an effective, recyclable marketing campaign.