The other day I was reading a particularly inspiring post, The Surprising Benefits of Failure, from Think with Google (Sidebar: Think with Google is awesome. If you aren’t subscribing already, you should.) It’s a great post because it talks about the importance of learning from failure, but more importantly, it hits on several ideas which are essential to the way that our shop operates. I realized that we have a few things in common with Google, even if we don’t have 70 thousand employees and $89 billion in revenue. (We’re working on it.)
Focus on Results
"Our test success rate is about 10% but we learn something from all our tests."
Jesse Nichols, Nest
As a digital marketing shop, we spend most of our days talking about numbers: number of sessions, bounce rates, conversion rates, and revenue generated. We’ve helped our clients to achieve some impressive successes. We’ve also had results that are underwhelming to say the least. But we approach every engagement consistently: we set goals, we create a plan, and we measure as we go. Our Chief Strategy Officer Paul Ferrier uses a baseball metaphor: digital marketing isn’t about home runs, it’s about putting up singles and doubles until you score. Repeatedly.
Let data drive decisions.
"I've learned tons from failed tests."
Krista Seiden, global analytics education lead at Google
Our blog has dozens of posts about improving traffic and conversions. Every one of these posts is fueled not by conjecture, but actionable data. When we’re trying to improve conversions, we test options and the option that performs best is the one we implement. As a digital marketer, you need clear, accurate data points to improve decision-making. The simplest way to take the heartburn out of your decision-making is to make your decisions based on thorough analysis of meaningful data. Which means you need to embrace Google Analytics and configure it properly on your site.
Create a culture of growth.
"You need a great experimental design that will produce two things: growth and insights"
Chris Goward, WiderFunnel
As an organization, we don’t sit our hands. We’re always looking for ways to grow, from the knowledge of our people to the revenue of our clients, we work hard to be a place that where great things happen, not a place where opportunity comes to die. Our agency, our teams, and our people have specific goals and we measure against them all the freaking time. Frankly, it’s not always easy. We talk openly about “change fatigue” and improving our people and our processes, without breaking them. But also talk openly about how we improve and how individual growth leads to team growth which leads to agency growth.