So you have a testing and personalization tool, a great team working with you, and campaign ideas galore, but at the water cooler your colleagues appear to be in the dark about the massive business impact you're producing. You may be thinking, “Who cares if my organization knows about the strides we are making in optimization, as long as we are making them!” But having the support of your organization behind you will drive your program to new heights.
Once you have your optimization program up and running, it is important to begin communicating your work to your colleagues and other arms of your organization. As it relates to your optimization program’s success, communication is a two way street – it is just as important for you to communicate the new insights acquired through testing to the rest of your company as it is for your organization to communicate change and events that impact your testing roadmap and program. It's not just about making them comfortable with the roadmap, it's about showing them what the roadmap has done for the business' bottom line.
Management classes and seminars have mentioned time and time again, communication is a KEY component to any initiative’s success. Here's a quick reminder in case you haven't be able to prioritize communication as much as you'd like this quarter:
K – Knowledge Is Power: In testing, we need (and expect) other groups in our organization to provide us with information (release schedules, marketing promotions, analytics data, etc.) that give us the knowledge to create a successful optimization program. The transfer of knowledge is imperative in this case, but it goes both ways. Sharing the important information you gain through testing with other parts of your organization makes the work you are doing even more valuable as it helps others to succeed.
E – Executive Level Buy-in: It is difficult to grow any program without support from the top. It is even more difficult to get support from up top when the powers that be have no idea what you want them to back. At the Executive level more than any other, communicating the efficacy of your testing results is critical. When you put huge numbers on the table, they'll start listening. By creating a clear communication process to disseminate your optimization program’s plan and successes throughout your company, you encourage top-level to listen to the buzz. Once you have the attention of the right executive, the sky is the limit!
Y – Yell It From the Rooftops!: Communicating your optimization roadmap and campaign findings clearly throughout your organization will reduce company fire drills and confusion, especially when a drastic change is being tested. Some ideas for communicating your optimization program’s work:
Send out (fun) notifications letting people know when a test has gone live
Take a poll to see which experience people think will win
Get their attention with gifs, pictures and interesting data points (you’re a marketer, after all)
Hold an open meeting once a month where people can bring their test ideas, questions and suggestions to you and your team
People are more receptive to helping you grow your initiative when they have a voice
Be open to hearing outsiders’ ideas – differing points of view often lead to outside-the-box ideas that can be game-changers
Post your learnings and let everyone know how the campaigns are performing
Hang up posters in the kitchen with interesting test findings
Add credibility to your team by showing and explaining “losing” experiences, not just the winning ones
Communication is key to any successful business initiative, but arguably moreso with testing, particularly given the sensitivity most organizations face when it comes to touching important page real estate. Ownership of different areas of your website is often split between several different teams, so rather than painstakingly asking for buy-in for each individual test, invite the interested parties to be a part of the process with effective communication of your goals and strategy for conception to completion. This way, everyone wins!
If you're working on an optimization team that fits into your organization, you might want to check out our guest post from Risetime on building an effective optimization team. Happy reading!