The importance of celebrating A/B testing wins

In a world that is based on numbers and conversion rates, it's easy to understand how the celebrating of wins step can be glossed over. You might high-five within your team and move to the next test in your testing roadmap, and the results might get a 10-second mention in the monthly digital marketing call. My idea of celebrating wins goes much further. A lot of people are invested in your test: development teams, QA, creative, copywriting, and of course, executives. By formally presenting the hypothesis and results in the context of business impact and recognizing the individual people that made it possible, you indirectly build momentum, open lines of communication, and increase team morale. Now we're talking.

Most testing tools now make it very easy to determine with great accuracy the lift -- or decline -- a test generated against the control. With a little math, some copy/paste, and basic PowerPoint skills, you can very easily illustrate test results in case study format, packaged, and ready to pass around. In a perfect world you can present these results formally -- unrealistic in many organizations. Using the case study format to present test findings clearly walks users through a linear path to arrive at the result without assuming or condescending with too much or too little detail. (Sample format: Problem or Objective > Hypothesis > Test Summary > Result.)

Here are some of the benefits of celebrating your wins.

Building momentum

Now, let's say you ran a number of successful A/B tests on your website, and you were diligent in promoting wins and findings. With each test learning you passed on, you gained exposure for testing and clear return on the investment. You've heard the very old marketers quip: "I know I'm wasting half of my marketing spend; I just don't know which half." By passing on the learning and wins with each test, you provide the C-level with the sometimes-rare chance to quantify the absolute impact of spend, and it won't go unnoticed at budget time. And by spreading the love for each success, you're much less likely to face political battles for internal dollars. Everybody gets it.

Foster communication and collaboration

Another benefit of celebrating wins in conversion optimization is that you quickly open lines of communication between all teams and stakeholders. Outside of getting budget, one of the most common issues testing programs face is getting buy-in from developers and technical teams. These are the people that will have to build the winning recipe into the code -- for a winning test -- and potentially build your variations for more complex test recipes. If you're planning to A/B test new site functionality, the more skeptical developer -- charged with writing the code -- might think "I'm wasting half of my time...I'm just not sure which half." By celebrating wins and giving kudos to the people that made it happen, you'll be surprised how quickly these people will come over to your side. As an added bonus, you'll quickly start getting more test ideas and input from sources you never expected, which can pay big dividends! A happy tech team makes for a happy marketing team!

Satisfaction/morale

On the topic of happy tech and marketing teams, celebrating wins plays a key role in growing job satisfaction and increasing company morale. Obviously good numbers make the C-level happy, but beyond the numbers, celebrating wins show's everyone how their roles had a very tangible impact on the business, and how the collective group is moving towards something bigger. Recognition and acknowledgement for wins, whether it be client based, personal, or within your A/B testing can increase the value of your spending by motivating team members individually to succeed.

I encourage you to start celebrating your wins in testing. You'll be surprised at the real impact it can have in making your testing program a success.

Andy Batten is manager of digital analytics at Red Door Interactive.

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