True Confessions of a Digital Marketer #1: “I Go With My Gut”

Hands up, digital marketers: how many of us absolutely, truly do pre-live research into our target audience for our websites and landing pages before they launch? Be honest now.

First, let me qualify—pre-launch research is NOT:

  • Looking at your competitors’ sites and copying appropriating paying homage to the copy and design elements on their pages that you wish you’d thought of first

  • Asking five of your friends what they think of your mockups

  • Debating with your colleagues and coming to consensus about what to say or do

  • Going with your gut because it’s never steered you wrong ever since you ditched that weird blind date who ended up getting arrested for that weirder thing that made the newspaper

Your gut is your stomach. Your gut is a sense. Your gut is specific to you. Your gut has good and bad days (more kombucha, less burritos, okay?) Most important: your gut is not the actual thoughts and feelings of your target audience.

It’s not about you. It’s about your customer.

We’re marketers. We’re human. But we do ourselves, our careers and our brands a disservice when we fall into the confirmation bias trap or stop asking questions.

You know what isn’t susceptible to emotion (or indigestion)? You know what delivers answers? Data. Real analytics. Actual feedback.

So why aren’t more of us doing the pre-live website optimization research that can set us ahead of our competitors (and earn us accolades and year-end bonuses)?

It’s expensive. It’s time-consuming. And let’s face it: maybe we secretly don’t want objective analysis that could contradict what we say or think. Nobody likes to feel they’re not good at their job.

But what if we could be better at our jobs without spending a lot of effort? What if there were a way to look like a digital marketing genius without the time and expense of traditional A/B or multivariate testing? What if there was a highly predictive way to validate our gut feelings and get customer feedback before we go live?

Obviously there’s an answer, or this column wouldn’t exist.

That highly predictive way is called WEVO. With it, you test your pre-live pages for design and copy elements on more than 100 real people from your target audience. With it you can:

  • Better personalize your pages for your most valuable customer personas

  • Get curated verbatim feedback about how they felt about your page, so you can address any conversion issues before you risk real customers and real revenue

  • See predictive analytics and benchmarks for how your page will perform against competitors or even your different design ideas

And get this: all that only takes five to 10 days to do. So you can rely more on your head when it comes to making the website optimization decisions with the highest chance of success. After all, no guts, no glory.

About Janet

Janet was the first CMO of Constant Contact, and part of the team that created much of what is known as inbound marketing today. She has also held leadership marketing roles at what is now 3M MicroTouch and HP. After creating HSG, a product and marketing consulting firm, alongside fellow entrepreneur Nitzan Shaer, they soon realized that market research is long, expensive, non-actionable, and does not work at the pace of digital marketers. As a result, they created WEVO – the first company to optimize website experiences before going live. WEVO uses target audience testing to diagnose web pages without the need for live traffic. With actionable, validated insights, WEVO enables you to pinpoint reasons why customers aren’t converting, empowering marketers with a low-risk way to uncover why people take action.

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