Try, Try, Try Again; Just Do it more quickly!
Failing isn’t what it used to be. In fact, in the web analytics world, you are encouraged to fail; as long as you learn from your failures. The great thing about failure with web analytics is the fact that you can quickly bounce back, modify, and continue to test. The internet is so broad and so easily obtained for many people throughout the world that you have the greatest testing environment sitting in front of you on your own desk. In previous generations, and do I dare say much still today; marketing personnel conjure up the latest design trends, find a publisher, print their mailers or flyers, and quickly disseminate their creations only to wait for weeks to discover the results of their labors. The wonderful world of internet marketing does not give us this incredible lag between production and results. Web analytics can feed back real time how effective your latest marketing idea is going to be before you waste or continue to invest valuable resources. This is $ HUGE $ in the marketing world. Test, review, modify and re-test! This is going to save anyone money. As Avinash Kaushik suggests; one could launch a marketing campaign on their website before they go with retail setups and trials.
There are some great tips in Web Analytics 2.0, but I will cover only a few here that are of particular interest. Peter Tew, ECommerce Manager at Astro Gaming, recently presented an important aspect of testing or working in web analytics itself; that is to be humble. You need to realize that what you think is not always going to be the best way. If you feel so confident about your particular path for a marketing campaign, throw it online and go live. In no time at all you will verify and quite often see disconnect between you and your customers. You don’t understand your customers as well as you thought you did. Don’t worry too much. Sometimes you will be right and confirm that you are the greatest marketer your company has ever seen. Nonetheless, it is important that you remain humble and keep on testing. The same thing can be seen with HiPPOs (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion)1. If your boss has an idea that she thinks will be the greatest thing since sliced bread, throw that online as another version and allow your customers to tell her whether or not her idea was as great as she thought it to be. The customers are better at telling you what works than those who run the business. Additional reading on this topic is found in Avinash’s book, Web Analytics 2.0 in chapter 7. He calls it, “Tip 3: ‘Open the Kimono’ – Get Over Yourself.”
Another important aspect of testing is to unfortunately have your customers suffer in hopes that they will reply and let you know exactly what they don’t like about a particular feature on your website. The “IMPORTANT” part to remember is that they need to have an avenue by which they can submit their feedback. If this tool is not included in your website, get it there. Direct feedback from your customers is ever so valuable. Consider the example of Starbucks and their “My Starbucks Idea” that they solicited from their own employees. This was a huge success in bringing great ideas to their company including mobile payments. See the article at the following link “about.com” for more reading about their successful customer/employee feedback program. For reference, I would like to include the three most important survey questions according to Avinash. They are as follows:
1 – What is the purpose of your visit to our website today?
2 – Were you able to complete your task today?
3 – If you were not able to complete your task today, why not?
Avinash even provides a link to be able to implement this survey on your website.
And here it is: Survey Implementation