Optimization and Growth Part 2: Culture
Published: May 3, 2017
Author: Jeremy Epperson
This blog is Part 2 of a six-part series where we will walk through our Foundational Principles of Optimization and Growth, aimed at giving you the confidence you need to implement an optimization program across your organization. Each blog summarizes one of the principles; for a much more in-depth look at each, you can download our white paper where we provide additional examples, stories, and detail to help get you started.
Part 2: Culture of Optimization
In our previous post, we took a look at the first foundational principle of optimization and growth: Strategic Business Alignment. Next, we’ll take a look at culture. Getting everyone onboard an optimization program can be challenging. Optimization requires a multidisciplinary team; this will naturally include different backgrounds that lead to very different conclusions about what data says, where resources should be spent, and who should be in charge.
If not properly organized, this can have detrimental impacts including:
- Sluggish performance
- Questionable results
- Inability to communicate value
- Lack of credibility
- Loss of resources for program
- Elimination of program
However, with the right approach and structure, the positive impacts will be far-reaching. In this blog, we’ll briefly cover the approach we take with our clients to avoid gridlock. For a full, in-depth view into the culture of optimization, check our 6 Foundational Principles of Optimization and Growth white paper.
In order to eliminate the silos that block growth, you’ll need a multidisciplinary team of A players. It is important to choose individuals with not only the right skill sets but also the right attitudes. Optimization requires a wide variety of skills and expertise. It’s uncommon for one individual to possess all the skills necessary, so pulling multiple key stakeholders into the project will help ensure quality. Here is a minimum set of skills:
- Analytics & Statistical Analysis
- User Research & Design
- Development & Testing Process
- Copywriting & Messaging
It is necessary that your company’s leadership is onboard for advocacy, accountability, and support. As the leader of the marketing organization, the CMO needs to set the tone for optimization and growth. Along with the CMO, it’s important to have managers across the company onboard. Optimization is a long-term strategy, and it’s necessary for your company’s managers to allow and encourage their direct reports to invest all necessary time into the project. On the whole, prioritization should come from the top down.
To keep managers and employees engaged in growth, sharing results is a must. This does not just include winning results. Optimization programs are not always immediately successful, so it’s important to think about how to maintain momentum in either case. The more visibility and transparency you can provide around the value being created, the more buy-in you will get to continue optimizing.
Creating a culture of optimization across your whole company is the last piece in this equation and will have impact far past the scope of individual tests.
In general, most people are either:
- Conservative, risk-averse, and afraid of failure OR
- Growth-oriented and approach everything with a testing mentality; focus on results that drive success
Management has an ability to impact their team’s mindset. Do your company’s employees have a fear of failure? If so, this can be changed through goal-setting and direct encouragement. You can also include employees in crowdsourcing data points and building hypotheses. From a first-day employee to a seasoned CEO, everyone is an important growth stakeholder. Keeping the whole company involved in the process will help ideas flow and keep everyone focused. Of course you need to be mindful of scope and ensure all ideas are supported by data, but creativity should show no bounds when integrating growth into the company culture.
This concludes our brief summation of the culture of optimization. Check out the “6 Foundational Principles of Optimization and Growth” for a much more in-depth look into the how to build an optimization team with the right skill sets and mindset, and how leadership can shape growth across the organization.
Even after learning the key principles, the path to optimization will still require trial and error. Want to get moving more quickly? We’d love to help! You can also contact the 3Q CRO team to learn how you can start seeing gains right away.