Spreadsheets are Evil – Monitor and Measure

Making marketing spreadsheets – their results are fickle.  A spreadsheet  will tell you anything you want to hear.  Tweak up the conversion rate, noodle with the average order price, and factor in the lifetime value… you can make millions (in the spreadsheet) without breaking a sweat.

Every marketing campaign needs a goal, needs to be monitored, and most importantly… needs commitment.  Noodle with the spreadsheet all you want… at the end of the day, only results matter.

Whether you are doing PayPerClick or direct mail, you need to monitor and measure.
Commitment is always hard.  The right thing to do is to use a spreadsheet to explore options, decide on pass/fail criteria (unemotionally) and then go for it.

Pulling the plug on a marketing campaign is of course always an option, but better (MUCH BETTER) to decide up front the expected returns (or losses) and ride it out or pull the plug according to plan.  If the plan is six touches, then early results may be misleading.  Zero after five does not necessarily mean you should bail.

Decide up front the risk, and follow through.  It is the only way to get smarter.  If you think you might bail after five touches with zero response… then architect that into the plan.  Think through all forks in the road and plan for them.  Do things on purpose.  React mode is always scarier then executing a plan.

Swirling gut feel and instincts into pure numbers is still the correct answer for successful marketing.
 
It is a thinking game.  If it was anything else, everyone would be rich.
Adding just a little bit of order to the chaos of life makes everything just a little easier.

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