how do I know if a channel is successful?

Good question.

Thanks, I wrote it myself.

Okay, I’ll talk about the question.

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The process we follow at Hedgehog is quite simple at its core, with more complex variations available when looking to scale and understand the brand positioning of us and our clients in the live market.

So, where do we start. First things first – Future State.

What do I mean by Future State? Where do we want to be in the future. Where do we want to be in 3, 6, 9, 12 months from now? 

 

  1. Do we want to be turning a profit in our new business in the next 6 months? 
  2. Do we want to increase sales by 150 percent?
  3. Do we want to be known as the industry leader in [YOUR INDUSTRY HERE]?

 

Those are just a few examples that Hedgehog and its clients have had. Think about your Future State with reason and purpose – it is now forming the basis of your marketing channel activity.

So, how are we going to understand whether we have achieved our Future State? Enter, Metrics. Some of our Future States come with metrics built in, and even if so, there’s likely a bunch of metrics that sit underneath that core metric. 

It’s time to start building our Metric stack. What metrics will define our success in achieving our future state?

Let’s take one of our above Future State examples through –
Future State: We want to increase sales by 150 percent.
Metrics: Cost Per Acquisition to be under $X, Time Spent Ongoing to be under Y.

Okay, now we have an understanding of where we want to go with our idea, product or business. And, we have an idea of what kind of input we’re happy to make to achieve our desired end outcome.

We understand our desired Future State and we understand our required Metrics to achieve to get there.

Now, we need to start testing the effectiveness of each channel. It’s tempting as a founder or a stakeholder for a challenger brand to want to test and determine quickly. It’s also equally tempting to let your test run for too long. I generally like to run any channel test for 1-3 months to give it the life it deserves.

I tend to look at channel testing similar to ‘testing’ an employee. Employees are often given a 6 month probation term to learn about the business, structures, culture processes and expectations (Metrics). They probably won’t even understand the business back to front until they’ve been here for 9-12 months, though.

Now, channels don’t need as long as employees – but we should think of them in the same vein. They require time, different strategies and differing tactics to make them work for us.  

In summary, measure the success of your channels by setting a desired future state and the required metrics you’re asking your channels to achieve to get there. If your channels can’t hit those metrics – then stop focusing on them. If your channels are hitting those metrics, then it’s time to scale and optimise those channels for as long as possible.

but wait, there’s more.

Before diving straight into which channels you’re looking to test, it’s important to patch your funnel up from the bottom up. I’ve headlined this section in caps, because it would be remiss of me if I hadn’t drawn your attention to it.

In short – there’s no point telling people all about your product if we can’t get them to take action. We need to figure out how to ask our audience to take action, before we start to tell them about what we’re trying to sell. If we can’t figure out how we’re going to retarget them, ask them to convert, ask them to consider our product and ask them to become aware – then we’re not going to get very far in the sale.

We’ve written a full post on this, which you can find here.

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