Everything you need to know about marketing you learned in fifth grade.

Want to spot an ineffective marketer? Look for the person who thinks they’ve got it all figured out. The best marketing strategy starts with admitting you don’t know the answers — and then testing, learning, and adjusting until you find them.

In other words, every campaign is an experiment, and the experiments you did in fifth grade set you up to be the smartest marketer in the room. Follow the steps of the scientific method, and you win:

1. Always start with a question.

Start with what you don’t know, like: What’s the best way to increase conversions? How do we drive brand awareness? How can we generate leads? How do we increase open rates on our next email campaign? For every question you come up with, follow the steps below.

2. Do some digging.

Pull together some research: What do you already know? What answers are already out there? Look at previous campaigns. Snoop on competitors. Factor in trends. But don’t get stuck here too long. Once you have a few solid insights, move on to step three and start testing what you know.

3. Make your guess.

Now develop a hypothesis. Make sure it’s specific and measurable, so you can test it accurately. Something like: “We believe we can increase open rates at least 15% on our next email campaign by using personalized subject lines.”

4. Design your campaign (aka your experiment).

Never create a campaign without building in the opportunity to test and learn from it. And, for best results, test only one variable at a time, so you can truly understand whether that hypothesis worked or not.

Include these factors in your planning:

  • Identify your target audience.
    Is this message directed at prospects? Current buyers? Lapsed customers? Are you targeting people with certain characteristics? (ex/parents? runners? bird watchers?) With Clario you can be hyper-accurate with your targeting, further increasing the chances of success.
  • Choose the appropriate marketing channel(s).
    What channel is this target audience most likely to respond to? Email? Display ads? Texts? A catalog? Again, Clario can answer this question for you.
  • Develop your messaging and creative.
    If your hypothesis is related to which creative or message will work best, design at least two versions to test.
  • Create a control group.
    Many marketers skip this step, but this is critically important: If you want to accurately understand the results of your test, you’ll need something to compare them to. Isolate the factor you’re testing, and create an audience you can test against. For example, if you’re testing whether personalized subject lines drive greater interaction, create one audience with personalization and one without.
  • Establish a time limit.
    Identify how long this campaign will run and what period of time you’ll be testing.
  • Determine your KPIs (key performance indicators).
    What exactly will you be measuring with this campaign? What numbers are you trying to hit? What does success look like? What are you trying to learn? Be clear and specific.
  • Set up proper tracking and measurement tools.
    Never run a campaign without tools in place to track and measure your results (ex/UTM parameters, tracking pixels, foot traffic, etc.). As long as your data is trackable, Clario makes the next three steps easy.
5. Watch the data.

Using Clario, you can easily monitor the performance of your campaign, by tracking and analyzing everything from click-through rates to purchases.

6. Draw your conclusions.

Did the evidence support your hypothesis? Great. Use that to build your next campaign. If not, why? And what’s your revised hypothesis?

7. Share your findings. And repeat.

Loop in your team (and your Clario coaches) so future campaigns can reflect these learnings. The Clario platform will automatically include this data in future models, continually increasing the accuracy of every audience you build.


Once you’ve worked those seven steps, you’ve officially become one of the smartest marketers in town. (This is not an overstatement. Most brands aren’t doing this at all. Even the giants.) But don’t stop there. Now start over at step one and become a marketing hero, as your results progressively improve over time.

Want to build smarter campaigns?

Clario makes it easy to be the best marketer in any room.

Get 30 days of free CDP coaching.

Most brands are underutilizing their CDP. We offer 30 days of free coaching so you can be sure you’re optimizing your investment, no matter what CDP you have. Boost your ROI, no strings attached.