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80s babies, like yours truly, will remember an old (awesome) cartoon called “Dexter’s Laboratory”.
It’s about a boy genius, Dexter, who’s constantly interrupted and terrorized by his older sister, Deedee.
Kid’s today don’t even know what they’re missing. But they have programming kits for infants and flyable Legos now so they’re prooobably better off than we were. But I digress…
There is an episode I will NEVER forget for as long as I live. Alex and I randomly remembered it the other day and still laughed about it.
Dexter wants to perform an experiment to teach himself French while he sleeps. He attaches a (giant) machine to his head and pops in a French lesson record on the turntables.
Except, the record scratches & sticks on the words “Omlette du fromage” for the whole night, and when he wakes up those are the only words he can say for the entire episode.
We then get to sit back and enjoy the antics as he gets both the Nobel Peace Prize and his life destroyed on the same day, all over those words.
Anyway, the burden to be successful in all our ventures can be overwhelming. Lots of times it creates a kind of “fear of failure” which ends up with us not even starting on tasks or getting our business off the ground.
But, there’s a great hack we can use in our business that makes decision-making a lot less painful.
We can take a page from our friend, Dexter, and apply the “scientific method” to our business endeavours.
The truth is, not everything we try will be a success. We’re going to fail much more than we succeed. The important part of the process is that we need to learn from our mistakes so that we can get some big wins.
The scientific method provides a simple framework for learning from our mistakes. Here’s what it looks like, along with an example of how we’ve used it in our business:
Define the question
Can Facebook Ads can help grow my traffic?
Form a hypothesis/theory to explain or answer the question
Facebook Ads will grow my traffic if the right people see them.
Perform a reproducible experiment to test the hypothesis
We will create 2 ads with:
The same image
The same ad copy content
Both ads get routed to the same page
2 different audiences who reflect our target market
[IMPORTANT #1: only ONE variable is different in the 2 ads so that when we analyze the results we know any differences are caused by this one factor]
We will run the ads simultaneously for 2 days and analyze the results afterward.
Assess and learn from the results
Overall both ads performed poorly, but some new traffic was gained.
We learned that it’s likely that one of the variables we didn’t change (like the image or the ad copy content) probably needed tweaking since neither audience responded very well.[IMPORTANT #2: We will use the results from this experiment to tweak and optimize future experiments. That way, we reduce the chance of repeating the same mistake blindly.]
Rinse and repeat
When using the scientific method, you’ll get so drawn into the process because it gives you such a great handle and good insight into what you’re doing.
You’ll be looking forward to failing so much and the wins will be down to a science (pun intended).
What’s your first hypothesis gonna be?
Omlette du fromage.
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