Coming up with a marketing strategy by using data

One of the key stages in marketing is identifying the product’s key message and target audience. But how do you do that when you’ve just created a product? Do you just pick the best sounding message and roll with it? Do you spend hours mind-mapping on a white board?

iMindMap

We didn’t know either. It took us a couple of months after launching our product to identify one single message. How did we do it?

Gathering data and testing.

In the very beginning we were asking our initial users a lot of questions. Why do they use the Stack? What feature is the most useful? Why do they follow other people on the app? Why do they stack an article? It helped us narrow down our KPIs.

However, we weren’t sure which message was more attractive. Which KPI could turn into a slogan and will be the perfect tweet?

For months we were using the slogan ‘Read Smarter’. Not surprisingly, after asking users we found that it was too ambiguous. It wasn’t clear what ‘read smarter’ meant and what made our app unique.

We decided to do some more testing. The best way to do that was to directly promote a variety of messages to different audiences and see which one was best received.

We targeted three different audiences — people interested in tech, business and general news across the UK and US, with three different messages. We ran the campaigns simultaneously for iOS and Android at the same time with the same budget. We budgeted £5 per day for each campaign as the purpose was to see what message would be more attractive than the others. This is a summary of our campaign targeting.

As a result of our testing we decided to go with the slogan ‘The articles you can’t afford to miss’ as it performed well across different audiences. It also summarises what Stack offers — it gives you the articles about topics that you find interesting and you can’t miss them amongst the Twitter noise. All the latest articles about the topics you love are in one place.

Please comment if you have any questions or advice to give us. Next week we’ll write about specific pretotyping methods you can use to test your business or product ideas.