MaryEllen Tribby repeated the same five-word phrase at least three times last week. So I started to think that it must be really important. And it IS. The five words that she’s been trying to knock into the heads of the ETR team can help your company grow.

Here’s the story…

ETR’s editorial/marketing team had gathered in MaryEllen’s office for a Peer Review of two pieces of sales copy – both promoting the same product. The promos got equal ratings in the formal review, so we went on to an informal discussion about them.

The team was split. Some liked one promotion better. Some liked the other.

“This promotion is a little ordinary,” Jon Herring said about Promotion A. “I like the other one because it’s unconventional.”

“Sure, it’s contrarian and out of the box,” Marketing Manager Jessica Kurrle said about Promotion B. “But the other promotion really speaks to our audience.”

It was getting pretty heated.

That’s when MaryEllen stepped in.

“Listen up, guys,” she said. “What you think doesn’t matter.”

That shut us up pretty quickly.

“The only thing that matters is how this sales promotion performs when we mail it to our subscribers. So let’s test them both and see what happens.”

You can love a sales promotion or a marketing campaign or a product. You can think you’ve got the best thing since the iPhone. But until you test it to your market, what you think doesn’t matter.

Repeat this phrase every time you think you can read your market’s mind: What you think doesn’t matter.

Then get out there and test.

[Ed. Note: Testing may be one of the most important things you can do for your company.  You can learn more about the best ways to market your product in MaryEllen Tribby’s and Michael Masterson’s upcoming book, Changing the Channel: 12 Easy Ways to Make Millions for Your Business. We’ll let you know as soon as it’s released.]
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