Most of you know that I have been hammering away at the idea that interactive marketing’s best approach is to “do it wrong quickly” but Seth Godin has a post that talks about an aspect of experimental marketing that I had never considered before.
Seth tells the story of the marine iguana, who adapted to living in shallow water. Seth argues that the adaptation was successful because the iguana had an environment that afforded the time for the change to take place. He then explains to marketers that you need a quiet market, not a hot one, to experiment.
I think that’s a brilliant point. I’ve been exhorting folks to experiment, to do it wrong quickly, and it is working, but maybe it is working because we are still in the early days of interactive marketing. As best practices emerge, it makes sense that experimentation gets harder because more competitors have more experience and more learning—it’s not a green field any more.
Luckily, I think we are at least several years away from that in Internet marketing, but Seth’s point still stands. Perhaps the best places within your portfolio to experiment are ones where you are sure your competitors are still asleep instead of in hotly contested markets where your competitors respond to your every move.