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Step Into 2017 on the Right Foot by Taking Control of Your Testing Program



If there were any doubts that digital commerce was an important business driver, the 2016 holiday shopping season put them to an end. Not only did Cyber Monday outshine Black Friday as the single largest shopping day of the year, with total revenues exceeding $3.45 billion, according to Internet Retailer, online sales in general beat expectations by showing 11 percent growth in the November-December period, clearing a record $91.7 billion.

While this growth in ecommerce is staggering, many businesses are still scrambling to improve online experiences to optimize sales. In the 2016 Econsultancy Adobe Digital Trends Report, 77 percent of respondents identified data-driven marketing as a first or second priority for their organizations. The same survey, however, found that 46 percent report getting access to relevant data remains “difficult” or “very difficult,” 42 percent report feeling the same about their process for ensuring a data-driven strategy was carried out effectively, and 41 percent felt technology related to data-driven marketing presented the same challenge.

Regardless of how a business performed during this period, it’s time to make 2017 the year of testing. This will require a focus on the people, process, and technology that drives an experimentation program. The goal, of course, is to build a data-informed decision-making process that contributes to growth toward business goals and an improved customer experience.

DOWNLOAD NOW: The Six Pillars of a Successful Testing Program

Building a decision-making process that is informed by data, verified through testing and experimentation, and focused on improving the customer experience and business performance is challenging. Often, it requires a substantial cultural shift that seems contrary to the opinions and authority of established decision-makers. It requires a new approach to thinking about strategy and process. It requires the mastery of a new set of tools and technology. Indeed, it requires intentional change management.

At Brooks Bell, we have had the opportunity to work directly with dozens of A/B testing and optimization programs and, thanks to events like Click Summit, have built relationships with many more. This has allowed us to gain insight into hundreds of testing programs spanning businesses of all sizes, across all industries. From this data, we have identified six key factors that predict or determine the success of a testing program. These six pillars—culture, team, process, strategy, performance, and technology—combine with one another in different ways in different organizations, but the effective implementation and management of each is critical if a testing program is to be successful.

These six pillars fall roughly into three groups:

  • People: Forming a high-performing, experienced team is often the first challenge a testing program faces; building a culture that fully embraces experimentation and data-informed decision-making is a perennial hurdle.
  • Process: To ensure testing is executed in a consistent, reliable way, a formal standardization process must be designed, implemented, and enforced.
  • Technology: The tools and systems used for testing must be implemented and integrated effectively, produce reliable results, and provide an opportunity for growth.

Though understanding these three categories just scratches the surface, it is an excellent place to start.

Step into 2017 on the right foot by downloading our guide to The Six Pillars of a Successful Testing Program, complete with a detailed discussion of people, process, and technology and recommendations for growth.

DOWNLOAD NOW: The Six Pillars of a Successful Testing Program