The 5 Ingredients of a World-Class Marketing Hypothesis

5 ingredients marketing hypothesisI recently had a young Optimizer ask me, “How do you turn analytics data into a hypothesis?” My answer was probably unexpected: “You don’t.” My curt answer was meant to alert this young pup that a single input isn’t enough to form the basis of a good marketing hypothesis.

Today’s post will overview what I believe are the 5 key ingredients of a great marketing hypothesis. Plenty of posts I’ve read have instructed you how to leverage the Scientific Method to write a Conversion Optimization hypothesis. They usually instruct you to make sure it’s provable/disprovable, clearly stated, based on a specific Key Performance Indicator, etc.

This is all good advice, but assuming you know all that, I want to cover the inputs. These inputs, IMO, are the difference between a legitimate hypothesis and a world class hypothesis. Some of these 5 key inputs are probably obvious, but a few may have evaded you. Or, perhaps you thought it was “uncool” to have them as inputs?

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The Steps of the Scientific Method (for Marketers)

photo of scientist in labThe marketing world, especially the online marketing world, has made great strides in recent years moving towards being more scientific, more data-driven, more evidence-based, etc. in its approaches.

The ability to run live experiments on  web pages (e.g. A/B/n split and Multivariate) has made being “scientific” about conversion optimization much more feasible, so hats off to those software vendors that continue to bring us those abilities.

So while we all “talk the talk” of testing our landing pages and shopping carts, I sometimes get the impression that we’d “walk the walk” even better if we had more solid backgrounds in science and especially in the Scientific Method as it pertains to experimentation.

I was guilty of not paying attention in science classes, and not focusing much on science courses in college. In fact, I think I’ve learned more about the Scientific Method in my work on Conversion Rate Optimization than I did in school!

If you could use a primer on how exactly the Scientific Method should be used to run a test on your website or other marketing touchpoints, I’m going to break down the scientific steps in very marketing-centric language. Continue reading