Shouldn’t Marketing & Communications be called a Practice?

Open Up and Say "Ahh!" via sunshinecity

I’m all for changing the name of AgencyND to PracticeND. You know, like a Doctor’s Practice.

I wish more people thought of marketing like a physician’s practice. If you are like me, I go to my doctor expecting some answers (most of them I already know – less stress, more veggies, more sleep, less fun stuff, etc…) but if something is really up, I also know what he is going to say.

“Let’s do some tests.”

And I don’t question the tests. They are going to help him make a diagnosis and maybe find out what is wrong and how to fix it.

Sometimes it requires more tests than normal. But we do them and he tries to figure out what those tests mean.

Marketing and Communications is a lot like that. Even veteran professionals (which the agency has a lot of) don’t know every outcome of every piece of the communication pie. That’s why it is good to test and review the outcome.

But most of the time, there just isn’t money for both the communication piece we want (brochure, flyer, website, etc…) and a way to test it. We just move forward with the piece and “hope” that it works.

I’m glad my doctor doesn’t let me choose just to treat myself instead of testing what could be wrong.

Testing is important in communications today – and there are a lot more ways to test that don’t cost nearly what they did a few years ago.

Testing your website for effectiveness and navigation (Kate Russell is great at that). Testing your email send before it gets out to your entire target audience (Chas can help you with A-B testing with subject lines and content).

Most of our printer vendors allow for variable printing on direct mail pieces.  Talk to Tim Legge, our print director, about that.

I’m no doctor but I definitely know that no one is a communications genius and nails it 100% of the time. What appeals to me might not appeal to the audience I’m after – I don’t think like a married, 30-something female with three kids (no matter how much my wife thinks I should) or a tenured professor in engineering.

We will give you best practices in communication and marketing. We will suggest testing but it’s up to you to include it in your plan.

How important do you think testing of your communications is?


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Don Schindler. Don Schindler said: Why can't marketers be more like doctors? […]

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