Saving production vs. rapid development and testing

Many of people have asked what my handle “save production” means.

Since my background is in online marketing/product management/bd, I’ve developed a ruthless focus on asking two questions around nearly all marketing and prod dev:

– What is the goal or value?

– What is my effort level to attain this?

Even in San Francisco, we live in a world where UI and web development resources are precious resources, not commodities.

The ability to understand what is needed to be done vs. the ROI is critical to scaling business where code can be rolled out by you (or your competitors) on a daily basis.

Hence, being a slave to data and coalescing this to what is needed vs. a certain effort level threshold is both a necessity and a talent.

However, this appears to be contradictory a common (and mostly correct) axiom of “test and iterate, test and iterate.”

By inventorying historic product development vs the ROI attained on a per project basis, this can be reconciled. Too few companies do this however and it’s the missing link in really understanding and scaling marketing departments and program.

For example, 1 out of 5 new pieces of creative may lift CTR and profitabilty. If the cost is 3 manhours per creative and x dollars, what was the ROI. A simple index can allow you to put in some very scalable solutions.

A quick aside here (if I had a side column it would go there), rapid production and testing is probably the biggest differentiator between online marketing and offline marketing. Whereas an advertisement online can be:

– produced in 2 hours

– distributed 1 hour after that

– built for $100 – $1000

– typically costs $5,000 to test

– and can be directly measured

A typical offline advertisement can be:

– produced over many weeks

– distributed only quarters in the future

– built for somewhere between $20 and $100K

– tested for $400K or more

– and can only be indirectly measured

These staggering factors should not be overlooked.

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