With an information overload and the splurge of mobile, social media or internet, in 2017 we can clearly experience a sudden drift, as marketing (traditional or digital) is becoming the new research and development (R&D).
Using digital marketing tools marketers can easily analyse consumer patterns and response across different channels
They are now empowered to enjoy the leadership role in defining customer preferences, to meet their demands, in order to drive the business further. Taking an example of a car manufacturer brand, using digital marketing tools its marketing team develops a report highlighting customer behaviours on online and offline channels, revealing that certain model is getting more responses. With this R&D report, they are in a situation to take informed decisions and increase production of similar models to meet the growing demand and keep customers happy! In 2015, Apple and Google remain the two most innovative companies because of their effective R&D methodologies globally.
Ways to Turn Marketing Into R&D
If you do not have a dedicated R&D team to purely conduct research and development, you can have a marketing team to internally analyse new potential services before they release them to your customers or clients. Check with your clients if you can help them from their branding to developing a coherent marketing, content or inbound marketing or social media strategy. For example, if you are a content marketing agency and over the time, your clients start asking you to help them have their own books written and published. What can you possibly do, if you do not have a team in place?
Initially you might feel perplexed with this new demand, but if your team can try to start writing a book for your internal leadership only, give it a test and if it turns out to be good, you can send out a proposal to your clients for the same. Once you start offering new and innovative services to you clients, this will help to transform your marketing personnel’s into no less than a dedicated R&D department. To fit your marketing vertical into a testing department, begin by asking yourself a few questions mentioned below:
1) What exactly are we trying?
You are merely testing your internal team capabilities to showcase their best of talents. How they can jump onto innovative ideas before actually mapping the goals? How you can have a list of new and relevant service offerings for your clients? The main goal here is to test the team ability to help you make profits and exploring how this new transition will actually work to move the customers further in the sales funnel.
It’s important to have an understanding about what you are actually testing and why you need to have you marketing and other leadership department’s work together for this common goal. This understanding of what you're testing and why brings your marketing and leadership teams together and keeps them focused on your goals. With that groundwork, marketing can begin transforming into R&D to answer those motivating questions.
2) Testing the success or failure?
Similar to your content marketing strategies which are based on your content metrics or goals, any other testing can also not be understood without measuring its success. As mentioned in the above example, here every team member was tested for their ability to write a book proficiently or not. So here the metrics would be the time consumed by each member on the project. It’s important to evalu ate the costing and improvement measures required for the same. Success would be defined if it’s completed within a timeline and budget with the possibility of being approved by the clients.
3) Know your time and investment : Tips on Digital Marketing Tools
Apart from your goals, it’s important for you marketing team to have a clear idea of time spent and money invested in the research and development to know how much it may cost your company and after testing the effort put in the new services, you can quote the budget to your clients.
Set true expectations and let your clients know that your first book or product or service was an experiment which turned out to be successful and they will be the first project to expand this service with. Keep their expectations realistic, as keeping them in disguise won’t help and might make a bad name for you in the industry.
3) Taking the next step?
It’s important to know that your client behaviour will be different from your internal employees, and when you gain confidence in your services, try with A/B testing to have a clarity about how actual clients relate with your new service and processes before you devote resources introducing it to all of them. And if your new research and development are able to clear the testing process, succeed in execution and have successfully achieved the goals.
Cheers! The next step, should include rolling out this new service idea to all your clients, agreed?