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Tips & Tricks for Building Your Experimentation Program

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Website testing is a powerful tool for advancing your business because it provides data that can help you make better decisions, or save you from making bad ones. The impact of data at your organization depends upon your consumption rate—your “data diet,” if you will.

Juicing

Consider your daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Imagine that data is the nutrients you extract from the produce. Maybe you’re a juicing guru, drinking your data by the gallon. Or you consume data inadvertently, counting the strawberry filling in your Pop-Tart as a serving of fruit. (Extreme example, but you get our point). The juicer enjoys high energy levels, an immune system boost, and other benefits, while the breakfast pastry lover may anticipate a wellness hurdle or two further down the road.

Your data consumption levels have similar correlations—the more you incorporate into your daily routine, the stronger the health of your business.

Teams that are already in the practice of “consuming” data on a day-to-day basis are healthier, particularly when it comes to optimization, one of the most proactive activities you can take on for your business. Businesses who regularly leverage data adopt testing much more easily than those that make decisions based on intuition alone.

Although qualitative insights are important, the trend towards data-driven enterprises is unstoppable. In a recent survey, 78% of all marketers report feeling pressure to become more data-driven*. Leveraging web experiments for data collection is a manageable method of using a website to find answers to well-defined questions.

Take our quiz to see where you fall on the data-driven spectrum:

Quiz: The Data Diet—How Much Do You Consume?

  1. ___ True or False? I never make a business decision based on intuition alone.

  2. ___ True or False? I ask questions like, “What do the data tell us?” discussing design, strategy, or other decisions about creative.

  3. ___ True or False? At meetings, when making a strategic decision, I ask “why?” and question the team’s tendency to operate a certain way.

  4. ___ True or False? Uncertainty does not intimidate me.

  5. ___ True or False? I keep tabs on website metrics like pageviews and monthly unique visitors, and I know which pages on my site receive the most traffic.

  6. ___ True or False? I have invested in maintaining the quality of the data my team / company collects.

  7. ___ True or False? I use reporting from my internal systems to make projections about team and product performance at my company.

  8. ___ True or False? I know the breakdown of my website traffic by referral source, such as search, paid ads, social, or a blog.

  9. ___ True or False? I am aware of the current conversion rates on my website.

  10. ___ True or False? I regularly report on key performance metrics with my team.

  11. ___ True or False? I feel like I must understand the business impact (ROI) of the projects I am working on.

  12. ___ True or False? I prioritize investment in customer acquisition channel by ROI.

  13. ___ True or False? I learn from my mistakes.

  14. ___ True or False? I have calculated the lifetime value of my customers.

Score your quiz: Add up the number of “true” responses. Are you:

0-5: Intuition Indecision. You’ve grown accustomed to making decisions with a handful of people in the room, deliberating back and forth over which changes will be beneficial to to goal at hand (if there is one). Start moving your company towards a more data-focused mindset by reading up on CRO terms and ideas, and by outlining a funnel on your site with corresponding conversion numbers.

6-10: Bits, Fits and Starts. You and your team members use data points sporadically to help support big decisions, but the day-to-day decisions are left up to intuition. Start to bring data points into weekly meetings, or try a simple A/B test on a piece of marketing collateral (like an email) to demonstrate the power of testing different variations.

11-14: Data Dynamo. Score! You’re in the habit of using data to inform decisions large and small. You can continue to improve your data mindset by spreading the data craze amongst other members of your team—try to enable other testers within your organization, and use optimization to inform larger projects, like a website redesign.

*Data taken from an August 2013 Teradata survey of 2,200 marketing executives.

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