Great marketing needs great data: Testing and analytics in marketing
The best marketing decisions come from good information about user. But getting that data can be a challenge. Robin Tooms talks to Daniel Cotlar, Chief Marketing Officer at blinds.com about how they test their marketing decisions.
Robin: Hello, and welcome to this edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies. I’m Robin Tooms, Vice President of Strategy at Savage, and my guest today is Daniel Cotlar, Chief Marketing Officer at Blinds.com. Daniel, welcome back to Brandonomics.
Daniel: Thank you, Robin.
Robin: Well, I am so glad that you’re here talking today about marketing. Now all marketers really want to get better insights to make better decisions, and how do you do that at Blinds.com?
Daniel: I think if you were running a store, you wouldn’t want to run it without knowing how many people are walking in and what they’re doing. The advantage of an online store is that you can know all that in much more detail. So there’s so many tools out there for A/B testing and for analytics and for user testing. It’s not important which tool you use, but that you have a process and you really use that information. We rely on it heavily, and you want to start with the tests, and you want to start with doing tests that are the most important parts of your process. For us, that’s the big pages, like the home page and category page. Before we start to do a test, we want to consider two things. First of all, am I going to be able to understand whether it’s successful or not, and secondly, even if it is successful, is it going to matter? You don’t want to do something that will be just a flash in the pan.
Robin: So tell me this idea of testing has to be a brave concept. You have to be willing to accept the results and the outcomes that you’re going to get. So what does that mean?
Daniel: Some companies, they operate by the HPPO rule.
Daniel: HPPO stands for “highest paid person’s opinion.”
Daniel: You don’t want to be that kind of company where something can just be overruled because somebody doesn’t like it. We don’t have an ownership and a stake in one version or the other. You have to be willing to accept whatever comes out. We’ve had very important tests that have delivered no result, like whether to show something in a grid form or a list form, or navigation, big things, and then small things that we learn from customer service that somebody didn’t know about a feature on the page. We added a few words or a button color change, and those made big differences. So you have to really be willing to accept results. One more thing is our marketing department is themed as a laboratory, and we call ourselves the Idea Lab. In fact, we have a test tube in the office with these marbles in it. So we’re filling up the – every time we run a test, we fill up the test tube, and whether it’s a failure or a success, we still put a marble in. We put a clear marble in for a failure and a colored one for a success because even failures are teaching us things.
Robin: So that’s good. So that brings about that culture of being able to test because you’re rewarding no matter the outcome.
Robin: I appreciate that. Thank you so much for sharing that.
Daniel: Thank you.
Robin: This has been another edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies.
Blinds.com is the largest online window covering store in the world. At its heart, it is a passionate customer service and marketing company that connects the community to home décor trends and high quality window coverings. It’s been featured in numerous magazine, newspaper and radio publications.