There are many ways to evolve your business. Whether through product development or a new marketing campaign, there is bound to be an experimentation period where you try new things to see what sticks, and then use your successful strategies to evolve your business. This is what we call growth experimentation.
In this article, we will define growth experimentation, talk about the importance of experimenting, and detail how to run experiments on a growth experiment template.
What is a Growth Experiment?
Growth experiments are processes and tests that you do in an effort to conduct research and create long-term growth strategies for your business.
Making important decisions about the future of your business can be risky and nerve-racking, and it’s important that you are confident that you’re making the right decision before you take that leap of faith.
Growth experiments allow you to test different solutions and leads before fully committing to them which helps save time, effort, and money.
Why Conduct a Growth Experiment?
Growth experiments are not always success stories and you shouldn’t expect all of them to work. The main idea behind implementing them is twofold.
Firstly, these experiments are helpful to determine which strategy will work for your business and what can be expected from it. Conducting a growth experiment is a good way to create an edge over your competition and experiment with strategies before rolling them out to the public.
Secondly, they provide a concrete precedent for how you will conduct experiments and create value in the long run. Practicing growth experiments is a great way to ensure that your team is able to efficiently run an experiment when the need arises and means you are prepared to scale for long-term success.
Growth Experiment Advantages
There are many reasons that growth experiments are necessary for a business, and we’ll highlight some of the most important ones here.
Creates Certainty and Minimizes Risk
The primary advantage of conducting growth experiments is being able to roll out solutions or campaigns that you know will have a certain level of success. When building your business, everything comes with a risk, and conducting growth experiments is the best way to minimize the risk that comes with implementing new features or campaigns.
This is achieved by setting measurable markers for success and failure, and through that analyzing what campaigns work best and which don’t. This sets accurate expectations for future success and builds a solid foundation of certainty for your future.
Creates Platform for Long-Term Success
Growth experiments don’t just create certainty for your success, but they allow you to create a pattern of testing that is sure to build results over time.
When you create tests with your team, you will follow a process of building and implementing them. After that’s complete, you will then analyze the results to determine if it was successful or not.
By building a strong process, you create a blueprint for how future tests should be conducted and begin setting a precedent for what their success will look like. While all tests will be slightly unique, they will follow a similar path of implementation that will become more and more stable as time goes on.
Aligns Team Goals
Another advantage of growth experimentation is aligning the goals of your business. Implementing innovative changes requires foresight, and this foresight is not always inherent to your business plan. It requires communication and visual collaboration to build.
When building your markers for success and understanding the reason behind testing, your team will naturally begin to align to the same shared goals, allowing you all to work closer together and build your test with maximum efficiency.
Growth Experiment Template
It can be hard to keep track of multiple growth experiments if you are conducting them at the same time, and to help with that you can use the growth experiment template.
The growth experiment template is used to track your experiments as they progress to keep a finger on the pulse of their success. It can be very helpful when forming a marketing plan, testing a business strategy, auditing different advertising methods, or anything related to the growth of your company.
The best way to use this template is through an online whiteboard like Fresco where you can create and collaborate on the board with your entire team. Here we will outline the structure of the growth experiment template and walk through how to accomplish each step.
The brainstorming phase is the initial step in the growth experimentation process and helps define the areas of interest that you want to explore and grow in.
When brainstorming you should think mainly about things that would provide value to your users, or create strategies based on the research that you’ve done on your customer base.
By creating ideas based on existing user research you can better target their needs and create a solution that is catered specifically to them.
After you brainstorm your different possible hypotheses you can begin to prioritize them and fleshing out how they might operate.
This step is about building and prioritizing the ideas that bring your hypothesis to life and understanding how you can leverage existing resources to make this a reality.
When you prioritize enough ideas you will begin to build a flow of what your solution will look like and how it will impact the customer’s needs. These needs should be clarified beforehand, and addressed by the hypothesis but will go more in-depth when you hash out the specific value and flow of the strategy.
When stuck on this phase, make sure you refer back to the hypothesis regularly to build an understanding of the specific goals of your solution and what it is meant to address.
Build the Solution
After you have a solid design/flow created for your idea, it’s time to build and implement it. Building the solutions is where you will highlight the tangible actions that need to be taken in order to physically build your solution.
Whether this looks like putting together some unique advertisements, creating a new software feature, or generating unique marketing leads, this is where you will perform the actions that lead to your solution being used.
Not only is this phase used to build the solutions, but it’s also critical to build the evaluation metrics that the experiment will follow.
- What does success/failure look like?
- What should be changed?
- How does the strategy fulfill our hypothesis?
- What do we think will/should happen?
After you highlight these metrics you can begin your experiment.
Testing is the phase of experimentation where you will use the metrics you previously assigned and implement your solution to see what works and what doesn’t. The most important thing to remember when testing is you need to test your solution against something you can measure. This is the only way to ensure an accurate comparison between multiple experiments.
Your tests will facilitate a nuanced understanding of how the solution operates in the hands of the customer and if it is viable for a long-term growth plan. This is where you will gain the most feedback from your users and gain a deeper understanding of how your solution actually operates.
Analyze the Results
The last step is collecting and analyzing the results that follow from the experiment. Some experiments might take a week while others take months, so consider updating your growth experiment template regularly to make sure everyone has the most up-to-date information.
As you collect the final pieces of analysis, measure them against the metrics you initially set and determine where you think was a success and what areas can be improved. This analysis might bring up an entirely new experiment, and if that is the case then start the process over with your new hypothesis!
A very effective way to manage your results and discoveries is through the use of new tools such as insight repositories. QuesitonPro allow its users to take advantage of these kind of tools, learn more about Insight Hub and discover how it can help you boost your market research.
Scaling your business is the most important factor to forming a successful company, and doing so is incredibly easier when conducting growth experiments. If you want to learn more about virtual workshops, make sure you check out Fresco.