Stefan Bongartz · 5 min read

We live in a quantified world. This has been one of the paradigm shifts of the past decade. People track daily steps, hours of sleep, and level of activity. And this is just the beginning. The motivation behind all this is to get a deeper understanding of things. In this case our own human health behavior. Data collected can be of great help to discover patterns, if we are aware of the noise in it. Patterns interpreted with care can lead to improvements. This simple approach of pattern interpretation and improvement can be translated to life, business, and even marketing.

The danger of planning

In today’s super-connected, highly dynamic and exponentially complex environment it is impossible to estimate what will happen tomorrow, let alone next month or even next year. It is harder than ever to predict future marketing trends. Even more problematic is that we cannot rely on marketing insights that were once true. Change seems to be the only constant.

"At Kohldampf we are not planning at all."

We do not develop marketing strategies in theory that will be outdated the moment they are printed (and please stop printing, a saved PDF that hardly anyone reads will do the same job). We are also not naive. This is why we employ the most sophisticated and logical empirical tool there is: trial and error. The beauty is randomness.

The beauty is randomness

If you want to go from A to B you can go down a planned route. Do not confuse planned with paved as the fast-changing online marketing space is unknown territory. Planned is what corporate managers do with multi-year business plans and project developers with architectural projects (think Berlin Airport BER). Everyone who has built a house knows the emotional drain. Just stop planning. It is inhuman.

Test for the best

In order to go from A to B, let’s say, to decrease the cost per lead from 60 to 25 euros, for example, we use hypothesis testing on a continuous weekly basis. We test for the best messaging, target groups, marketing channels, creative designs, placements, ad formats, you name it. We call this smart budgeting. Instead of large advertising budgets to bet on the next hit, we use small testing budgets. Why put all eggs in one basket when you can diversify and double down on actions that proved to have worked? In the times of our current reality, these dynamic environments have continuous disruption built in. Facebook disrupts MySpace. Instagram disrupts Facebook. Tiktok disrupts Instagram. You get the idea. Shopenhauer’s Creative Destruction at its best.

"Smart Budgeting is the future of Marketing."

The protection for our clients against this kind of marketing disruption is our steady hypothesis testing with a trial and error approach. It is actually more than an approach. We call it our growth hacking DNA. Decisions are not made on gut-feel or ego. We never stop at the current improvements we have achieved and we’re all aware that it is only temporary. Continuity is the secret. Our quantified tracking method allows us to observe and spot patterns with statistical relevance as a guide to spend budgets effectively.

We are Kohldampf. Stay Hungry.