Read “Does it Work?” And Get Your Marketing Focused on Results


Marketing and advertising professionals will learn how to use data to improve marketing results when they read "Does it Work." Small businesses will find it helpful when looking at the end results of their marketing campaigns.

Does it Work

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I’m currently binge watching all of the “Mad Men” episodes. And one thing that strikes me is how clearly the ad agency connects increases in sales to their ads.

Data and Process can Allow Magic to Happen

Do you find yourself struggling with having done marketing activities, campaigns and programs and wondering if it was worth it? Then you’ll enjoy reading “Does it Work: 10 Principles for Delivering True Business Value in Digital Marketing” by Shane Atchinson (@shanepossible) and Jason Burby (@jasonburby).

The authors hold leadership positions at Possible, a digital marketing agency with more than 1,100 employees and 25 offices across five continents. They boast some of the most creative minds on the planet. But more than that, they are focused on doing marketing that works — that achieves the desired result.

As the book explains:

“Data and process can never replace imagination. They can’t remove risk or do your homework for you. They can, however, create conditions that allow magic to happen.”

4 Steps and 10 Principles for Better Results

“Does it Work” looks at four steps needed in every marketing campaign. These steps include to:

  1. Set goals — Does it Work? Goals are a series of specific objectives that you set both for your business and every project or campaign that you do.
  2. Inspire brilliant creativity — Use data to inspire creativity. Use data to identify and area where an ad could achieve something — not hinder creative, but make sure that it’s brilliant and effective.
  3. Measure the results — Use measurement to determine what’s working.
  4. Make a difference — The only thing that matters in the end is if you’ve made a difference or a positive change.

The book is also divided into 10 principles that must be considered when implementing a campaign. And a separate chapter is dedicated to each of these:

  1. Business Goals are Everything: Specific outcomes you want to achieve.
  2. A Collective Vision: Share goals and get on the same page to avoid misunderstandings and failure.
  3. Data Inspires Creativity: Instead of being encumbered by data, use it to inspire creativity.
  4. Find Unicorns: Look for employees with a balance of talent and personality that’s made for dealing with a changing world.
  5. Culture Predicts Success and Failure: Create a culture that keeps great people.
  6. Measure What Matters: Don’t just measure the obvious, look for measurements that show achievement of goals.
  7. What it’s Worth: Figure out the potential value of activities before you do them.
  8. Never Stop Improving: Test and change and keep improving as you track progress toward the goal.
  9. One Size Fits No One: Segment and segment some more until you have connecting a specific offer to a target customer.
  10. Framework for Innovation: Establish an environment that is open to massive change.

Will “Does it Work?” Work for You?

“Does it Work” is written by executives at a large agency for the CEOs of companies who run marketing campaigns, develop creative ideas, hire creative people and have to manage an organization with many moving parts.

As a marketing professional, I found many of the points interesting. As a small business owner, you’ll find the most valuable element of “Does it Work” is its unrelenting focus on the end result of the marketing campaign.

Let’s face it — you don’t want to be one of those memorable ad campaigns that everyone talks about, but can’t remember what product the ads were selling. You want to make sure you get “mad” results from any marketing activity that you do.

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Ivana Taylor Ivana Taylor is the Book Editor for Small Business Trends. She is responsible for directing the site’s book review program and manages the team of professional book reviewers. She also spearheads the annual Small Business Book Awards. Ivana publishes DIYMarketers, where she shares daily do-it-yourself marketing tips, and is co-author of "Excel for Marketing Managers."