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How to Make Your Agile Marketing Work Smarter with Testing

After days, weeks, and months on end, your marketing campaign is finally ready to see the light of day. You've picked it apart incessantly and tested every element to ensure it's in optimal shape.

That's when the real test—public opinion—starts, right? Pump the brakes for a sec. Even post-launch, there's so much more a team can experiment with (messaging, design, cadence, etc.) to optimize a marketing campaign without disrupting its flow.

Team looking at analytics

For some, tests immediately activate anxiety and supercharge sweat glands. Marketers test things — like campaigns — to help them learn, grow, and create more business value. We have access to limitless data, and it's critical to analyze key metrics and create an environment accustomed to examining and acting upon the insights they gather.

Put Everything Under a Microscope

A McKinsey & Co. study rated companies’ marketing analytics and agility capabilities on a scale of 1 to 7. The results revealed that being three points higher on the scale corresponded to 1 percent higher profits, proof that constant examinations positively affect the bottom line.

Testing environments help marketing departments identify critical experimentation opportunities. These three steps can help your team embrace this concept:

1. Begin buy-in up top.

Ninety-four percent of executive respondents to a McKinsey & Co. survey expressed dissatisfaction with how their companies innovate. For any systemic or cultural change to be effective, the people in charge need to OK it. If you are the leader of your team, it’s up to you to convince your team that testing is critical to success.

If you're a contributor, internally muster support before pitching it to the larger group. Your team members will go all-in easier if they feel like they were able to contribute to your strategy.

2. Identify a testing opportunity.

Find something to test repeatedly to uncover incremental gains. Flesh out a clear hypothesis, identify benchmark metrics, and establish parameters for statistical significance. Then, lay out a follow-up plan that implements your results.

You can also use platforms such as GetFeedback to send out short, agenda-free questions and gather feedback before officially rolling out changes. Detailed user testing with tools like SurveyGizmo costs more, but it can be a worthwhile investment to conduct experiments in a controlled environment.

Additionally, ensure your test is dramatic enough to demonstrate a change in behavior. For example, a good CTA is a great way to drive conversions, but don’t split hairs by comparing “sign up here” to “join now.” Lyft uses "apply to drive," which is far more personalized and focuses on the end result of clicking. Ditch the same-old, same-old and look for every opportunity to gauge a response.

3. Rinse and repeat.

Encourage your team to always be testing and constantly looking for growth hacks and performance enhancers. Challenge your team members to reach for more ambitious goals as they progress and maintain the stance that results are never final.

One way to do so is to house your website's digital experiences in a testing environment. Your developers can put new animations, forms, and plug-ins through user testing and stakeholder review without affecting your public site or exposing your audience to unfinished work.

There will always be new elements to introduce or old elements to remove. Acknowledge accomplishments, make sure to foster a team that sees failures as a learning opportunity, and always immediately follow up with a new hypothesis to test. A team that’s insatiable for results always gets them.

Now, to get you to learn how Pantheon can help you develop quality testing, should we simply say “learn more here,” or would “take testing to the next level” be more effective? You tell us.

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Topics Growth & Scale, Testing & Optimization

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