How to instil a business-wide culture of experimentation
“To be successful with your experimentation, you need to go beyond the how and the what; you need to know why.” — Guido Jansen, host of the CRO Cafe podcast
The quote above is just one of the many CRO insights from the virtual keynote hosted by Ton Wesseling of the Conversion Hotel conference. Guido Jansen, Host of the CRO Cafe podcast, and Alexandre Suon of Accor Hotels lent their expertise on how businesses can create a culture of experimentation. The keynote was presented by Kameleoon.
CRO Cafe is an award-winning CRO podcast that shares powerful conversion strategies from today’s conversion experts. Accor Hotels is the leading Augmented Hospitality hotel group offering unique and meaningful experiences in more than 5100 hotels across 110 countries.
Here are the highlights of the session:
What is a culture of experimentation?
An experimentation culture means running your company using “first principle” thinking. This means approaching your business as a problem you’re trying to solve over different steps. The steps are as follows: Find, clarify, break, solve, question, reiterate.
CRO is a team sport and there can’t be a culture of experimentation if CRO is practiced in silos. Who owns the experimentation process? Who is actually in charge of the documentation, the CRO tools, and the management of tests? Is it the CMO, CPO, CTO, or another person altogether?
Although the speakers disagreed with each other on this point, they all agreed that one department can own the CRO resources but the culture of experimentation has to be company-wide. You need buy-in from the board, execs, and team leaders to build a culture of experimentation that is aligned with company goals.
Although experimentation is increasingly embraced by companies around the world, there are still some big hurdles. Two of the biggest hurdles with embracing experimentation include lack of knowledge on what to measure, and fear of experiments not working out. Alexandre Suon found his first few months at Accor tough because CRO was not prioritized or properly executed.
Testing was scarce and, when it did happen, it was not properly executed. He made this point to drive home that instilling a culture of experimentation takes time and requires support. If you’re the CRO expert at your company and not getting the necessary buy-in, give it some time.
Make a better case for your CRO requests by focusing on the “why”. What are the potential implications on more than just the company’s revenue? Being ROI-driven goes beyond the monetary return and spreads to important metrics like customer sentiment, brand perception, etc.
“Thinking further than monetary return is important," said Alexandre Suon. "If you want to change, you’ve got to be a good salesman and convince them why experimentation is important."
Lastly, For experimentation to be successful and repeatable, you need both quantitative and qualitative data.
Why care about CRO?
Customer experience is now the key battleground and differentiator for businesses unless they want to fail by competing solely on price. Creating the experience that customers want means continually assessing their needs and improving your offering - and to do that over the long-term you need a culture of experimentation. A repeatable, well-documented, and regularly maintained CRO process is what separates the leaders from the rest.
Creating a culture of experimentation helps your business get ahead.
When you have a repeatable, systematic way of testing, you make your products better which in turn, improves your user experience. Running your company using the “first principle” thinking makes trusting your data much easier and helps to get buy-in from the board or the executives.
Finally, a culture of experimentation goes beyond just the monetary return. When you experiment accurately and regularly, you have a clearer understanding of important metrics like customer sentiment, brand perception, and useful insights that will guide current and future products.