I just got off the line with another Master of Response…
His name is Donovan Kovar, and if you don’t know him, that’s mostly fine by him.
He doesn’t play the “guru game.” Instead, he works behind the scenes with his clients, helping them develop their online marketing.
He’s worked with a ton of smaller niche businesses. He also ran Perry Marshall’s website for seven years, and has developed campaigns for Ryan Deiss’s Digital Marketer brands.
Donovan does a lot of things for clients. He’s probably best-known for helping them buy traffic. But he and his team also develop messaging, do copywriting, build funnels, and a whole lot more.
One concept Donovan mentioned during the interview was particularly interesting — and I want to share it here…
(By the way, this interview will be added to the Masters of Response interview series on BTMSinsiders later this week. Members will get instant access plus an email as soon as it’s available.)
This may be THE single most valuable marketing skill…
And I’m not slipping into hyperbole when I say that.
There are a lot of things you can get good at in marketing. Copywriting. Traffic. Offers. Market targeting. And so on…
But if you don’t get this one thing right, you’ll come up short. And, in fact, everyone who is good at any of the above are ONLY good at it because they have at least a rudimentary understanding of this one skill.
Donovan’s term for it, which I like, is…
That is “research and development.”
It’s the freaking foundation of Scientific Advertising, the single-most important book in this history of modern advertising.
When you hear marketing geniuses like Gary Bencivenga, Jay Abraham, Dan Kennedy, and others speak, they’ll often allude to it if not mention it outright.
And nearly every great marketer I’ve ever met will frequently reference this as one of the secrets to their success.
If you don’t understand testing, you don’t understand marketing…
Let me explain.
If you want to know what actually works to generate response in marketing, you have to follow this process.
You put something in front of representative members of your market, and measure response.
You put it out there. They respond or don’t respond. You track them as a group. And you determine whether or not you have a success.
Want to know if something works better?
You put advertisement A and advertisement B both out there. Split traffic roughly equally and randomly. Track results.
Assuming you’ve created significantly different ads, you’ll eventually get results that are significantly different. Meaning, you’ll recognize that either advertisement A or B generates more response than the other.
Yes, there are details about how to do it. How to do a random split. How to run two ads side-by-side. How to use a basic tool to check statistical significance.
But the tech has advanced to such a level that if you can use Facebook, you’re probably capable of using it.
The bigger challenge is making sure you’re doing it in the first place…
Most marketers (including me) don’t test enough…
You don’t have to be a copywriting genius to create advertising that converts.
You just have to try things.
Let’s say you’re working with a new client, in a new market.
You’re trying to generate leads for them.
You can’t assume you’re going to get it right, right out of the gate.
This is where Donovan’s concept of “Marketing R&D” comes in. Your first goal is to figure out what works, and really get it working well.
Then, you can scale it.
But first things first.
So you have a hypothesis. You think, if I put this ad in front of these people, and drive them to this page on my website, I’m guessing they’ll convert.
So you try it. Maybe it works. Maybe it doesn’t. But you have a starting point.
Then, you test against it. If I try these three different ads in front of the same people, driving them to the same page on the website, I may get some different results.
Maybe two are about equal, but one does about 50% better.
Then you look at that ad, and decide to use it as an inspiration to test another landing page that matches it better. You test two different versions of the landing page, and the second performs 10% better.
But actually, because you already got a 50% bump from the better ad, you’re up to 165% better results than your initial test. (It compounds.)
Then, you tweak your audience targeting, and get another 40% boost.
Again, because each improvement compounds on top of the rest, this actually increases your results to 231% of your initial test.
What does that mean?
Well, let’s say that with your initial test, you had to spend $2 to get $1 in sales.
If you’d simply tried that, you might have considered it a failure, and given up.
But with a testing attitude, this minor optimization of your initial campaign is suddenly spinning off $1.15 for every $1 invested.
Now imagine if you constantly innovated and worked on improving. Not just these three simple steps, but developing a much more sophisticated system.
You might find a way to make $3, $4, $5, even $10 or more for every $1 spent on advertising.
You can’t read minds, and you’re not that smart, so you can’t just dream this up…
A marketer with good experience will usually create better first tests. In other words: because I have a lot of experience, I can often create campaigns that are more likely to be profitable right out of the gate.
But practically anybody, with any experience level, can test two things against each other, and keep doing what works.
Success is often a process of finding out what doesn’t work, and avoiding that, and finding what works, and doing more of it.
Do that enough times, and you’re going to get better.
If you’re testing copy messages, you’ll get better.
If you’re testing landing page designs, you’ll get better.
If you’re testing offers, you’ll get better.
Just keep testing, and keep testing, and keep testing. Develop a little personal library of what works, and use that as your basis for your next tests, and your next.
You don’t have to be a brilliant copywriter. You don’t have to read your market’s minds. You just have to be willing to keep testing.
You’ll find a lot of things that don’t work. You’ll find some things that totally bomb.
You’ll also find a ton of things that get middling results.
Then, you’ll start to find some winners. And occasionally, you’ll hit a breakthrough that you’ll talk about for the rest of your life…
Join BTMSinsiders now and you’ll get the rest of Donovan’s insights when the video is published… Plus instant access to over 60 hours of training content based in tested, proven direct marketing.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,