Originally published in CMS Wire.
As marketers, we’re no stranger to experimentation. Putting varying campaigns and strategies into place to see what’s working and what’s not is just another Tuesday in the office.
What we could all improve upon is marrying digital experimentation with company culture, which can often fog up maximizing your efforts and seeing a real return on investment. 45% of decision-makers invested in experimentation last year, but are they seeing real results?
Read on to learn four common mistakes companies make when investing in experimentation and how you can avoid them.
1. Executive Thumbs-Up
One of the biggest hurdles to surpass is from the top. That’s right, executive decision-makers honing in on an old-school mindset that further silos their teams and causes stagnant growth.
Failing is a part of the process, failing is fine, you need to fail to be able to pivot and make better decisions. A failed experiment is a lesson learned, after all. There’s a taboo surrounded by this concept that needs to be broken down, but that starts at the top and with a shift in mindset.
Instead of fearing failure, embrace it. Let your teams experiment on everything from web design, layout, copy, messaging, themes – there’s no end! Learn from what works and apply it to future endeavors, and tailor or shift what doesn’t.
Encourage experiments and simplify the brainstorm-to-approval process. Removing corporate bottlenecks is crucial to seeing any experimentation success.
2. Strategic Framework is Key
Experimentation without goals and a consistent framework is for the birds. How can you move forward and make the best decisions for your company without purposeful data at your fingertips?
Ensure you have your goals, audience segments, key performance indicators, and transparent next steps ready to go. There is a time and a place for throwing caution at the wind and spaghetti at the wall, but it must be grounded in goals and data.
3. Don’t be Afraid to Dive in
Hesitancy will arise. When you’re in the process of shifting your… process, it’s hard not to let gut instinct take over, but try and resist. Bear in mind, it’s about optimizing from the lessons you learn during these experiments to continue driving incremental improvements.
Dive in and keep learning, iterating continuously to reap the rewards.
4. Demolish Team Silos
Experimentation isn’t just for your marketing team. When shifting your culture to this degree, you’ll want to pull in other teams to make sure the changes you’re making are also improving other operational areas.
Encourage open dialogue, a shared knowledgebase, and constant feedback to ensure silos are actively being broken down for the betterment of your teams and the company as a whole.
Experimentation is The Future
Digital Experimentation is here to stay. Aside from the obvious benefits of improving the accuracy of your strategic decisions, experimentation improves the customer and team experience.