We take a look at some of the less obvious but hugely impactful benefits of implementing a robust experimentation program below.
Think about companies who became major disruptors in their respective markets (some seemingly overnight) such as Airbnb, Lyft, Amazon — what do they have in common? A culture of rapid company-wide experimentation to fuel growth and innovation. High velocity testing is becoming increasingly critical, that is to say, running a large number of experiments at a rapid pace in order to learn, iterate, and grow your business.
These don’t have to be the most well thought-out or detailed experiments, or even perhaps they were created with a completely different hypothesis in mind than what you eventually ended up learning. Polly LaBarre, co-founder of Management Lab (MLab), author of Mavericks at Work and Fast Company founding member, states that the goal is to get something tangible in front of potential users as quickly as possible.
Detailed in a new report, published today by leading research firm Nucleus, one Optimizely customer shared, “We have run some tests just because we can… some of our most impressive results have come from tests we never would have run.” The Optimizely customers that Nucleus spoke with reported that they increased the volume of experiments they were running nearly 10x on average.
Inspiration to Take Risks
It can be daunting to go to market with bold new customer experiences, especially without supporting intelligence of how such changes might affect future performance. In the same report, another customer said, “We weren’t risk takers – we were hesitant to try new things out of fear of losing business, and that became a huge disadvantage.”
Mitigating this risk of wasted time and money is a key benefit of experimentation. By implementing an organization-wide ‘testing culture’, companies are able to take measured risks and ensure that any new ideas, however radical, are thoroughly road-tested before they are widely implemented.
Increased Employee Productivity
Experimentation solutions also enable employees across both marketing and developer teams (and everyone in between) to become more productive within their roles due to easy-to-use user interfaces – where setting up a new experiment can be a matter of making just a few clicks vs. implementing lengthy code changes.
Constant learning gained from experimentation also means building up a knowledge base of best practices specific to your product or service and audience, which translates into greater efficiency over time.
The Usual Suspects
Of course, along with these broader advantages, there are the more steadfast ROI metrics such as increased revenue, cost savings, and improved performance of digital properties that are commonly cited as an output of a mature experimentation practice.
Some customers have been able to quantify the direct impact Optimizely has had on revenue. One retail company, for example, experienced a $200,000 boost in revenue due to one experiment it ran in 2016.