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November 23, 2022

7 Keys to Successful Experimentation in Digital Marketing

Digital native brands like Amazon, Booking.com, and Expedia are constantly using digital experimentation to drive innovation in the customer experience. Experiments and the data they provide offer a clear picture of exactly what customers want, and when they want it. Modern brands monitor customer actions to understand what they want, and the channels through which they want to interact.

Sounds easy, right? Hardly.

To have experimentation pay dividends you have to create ‘a culture of experimentation’. This means the negative stigma of failure must be erased and the understanding that many of the experiments launched will not yield any significant results, but will provide valuable insights.

Leadership in organizations understand that more experiments across the company (not just in R&D and marketing) will create a culture of curiosity which will drive innovation, market differentiation and cultural change. This curiosity enables a differentiated brand culture and the employee experience to thrive.

The 7 Keys to Successful Experimentation:

Volume of Experiments: Successful experimentation needs to be embedded in your organization’s processes, which means it will not succeed if you are running experiments ad-hoc. You must constantly be filling a pipeline of hypotheses to feed an experimentation engine.

Democratize Experimentation: Experimentation shouldn’t be isolated to a small team or stop with a product launch. The idea of experimentation should permeate your entire organization and every aspect of the customer, employee and partner experience.

Agile Experimentation: A successful experimentation culture is one that approaches experiments in a timely manner. This requires removing the roadblocks to experimentation. This could be fast tracking or lowering approval thresholds or allowing more access to experimentation solutions.

Acceptance of Failure: The very nature of experimentation is that most of it will not yield meaningful results. The goal is learning and playing the numbers. Venture capital investors know that most of their investments will fail, but it only takes a small percentage of success to create positive ROI.

Governance: A system of experimentation requires a framework that includes governance on how experiments are designed, documented, executed, measured. To assess the success of your experimentation over time, all optimization and testing must be tied to an analytics engine.

Training: Just telling people to be bold and try new things does not set up successful experimentation. With governance in place, it should be communicated formally and informally, and on an ongoing basis. Lack of investment in training is the downfall of many transformations.

Infrastructure: Culturally, when bottlenecks appear that block or slow experimentation, executive support must be responsible for addressing them. Technically, there needs to be appropriate, accessible and available support for systems involved in all aspects of experimentation- documentation, execution, measuring results and analytics.

Creating a culture of experimentation requires leadership to be bold and to challenge employees across an organization to question, test, and measure everything. We live in a time of continuous and extraordinary change across the human experience. An experimentation approach cultivates permission and acceptance to challenge those legacy beliefs from yesterday and feel confident that there will be a result that shows us a new way to think. Let 2021 be your year to launch experimentation and a culture of curiosity!

Learn how experimentation can benefit your brand.

Click here to reach out to Arke for a chat. 

By Michael Stewart | November 23, 2022

About the author:

Michael Stewart is the Director of Marketing at Arke. He's a graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design and has more than 30 years of omni-channel marketing and ad creative experience.