Growth is a tricky business because you can’t analyze your way to the future. At some point, you need to pick up your shovel and start digging. Many firms, when they realize this, “bet the farm” and put themselves in a vulnerable position. Others do nothing and hope the problem goes away.
We think there’s a better way. And it’s to create experiments that “prod the future” to see where profitable growth lies.
At Sprocket, we encourage our clients to test their way into the future. Over time, we’ve developed this framework for defining experiments and turning learnings into action. It goes like this:
- Begin with a hypothesis. Think like a scientist for this first step…if you do X, what do you think will happen? Perhaps your hypothesis is that if you send personalized emails to persona xyz about a new product, that more of those people will ultimately purchase.
- Construct an experiment. You need to verify your hypothesis next. In order to do that, you need to design an experiment. Keeping with the current example, you could manually export customers from your CRM, place them in segments, and design and send out emails for each of them. Ideally you want to design an experiment that is low cost with high data reliability so you can quickly learn and move on.
- Measure. Once your experiment has concluded, you need to see how it did. As you define the experiment, make sure you define what success looks like and denote the metrics that will denote if your experiment produced positive results.
- Track what you learned. Once you measure the results you can now formally track what you learned. Did you get the results you expected? If not, what did you observe?
- Act. The nice thing about experiments is that they are action-oriented and regardless of outcome, lead to progress. If your experiment validated your hypothesis, you could now devise another test to give you more confidence or even move toward scaling a solution. If you didn’t get the results you were looking for it may be back to the drawing board to test something new.
We’ve created a handy one pager and accompanying digital tool (PDF and Microsoft Excel template) to help you define and track experiments and start moving toward growth by experimentation today. Download them both today.