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Tactic and Strategic Experimentation to Optimize Your Offering Lifecycle

Introduction

Launching a product or service marks just the starting point to engage in ongoing optimization. To truly maximize customer experience and business outcomes, you need to continually test and iterate based on data and insights. From tactical conversions to broader strategic positioning, experimentation fuels evolution.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore how to structure tactical and strategic experimentation to refine your offering’s utility, messaging and purpose over its lifecycle. You’ll learn:

  • Key concepts and frameworks on experimentation
  • Tactical experiments for optimizing conversions
  • Strategic experiments on branding and positioning
  • Structuring ongoing ideation and prioritization
  • Implementing long-term optimization roadmaps

With relentless, intelligent experimentation, you can elevate your offering beyond initial assumptions to its full potential. Let’s dive into fuelling perpetual optimization through tactical and strategic testing.

Foundations of Experimentation

Before detailing specific experiments, let’s ground in core concepts that enable rigorous testing.

Adopt a Growth Mindset

View your initial product or messaging not as a definitive end state, but version one of an evolving work in progress. You have much left to learn.

Segment Users

Divide users into distinct audiences for targeted testing. Experiences won’t be one-size-fits all.

Focus on Customer Outcomes

Define what outcomes you want users to achieve. Test ideas that hypothetically would improve those outcomes.

Establish Success Metrics

Determine specific metrics like engagement, conversions, or retention that experiments aim to impact.

Follow the Scientific Method

Form hypotheses, test them against a control in isolated environments, measure, analyze, and repeat.

Leverage Tools

Use dedicated experimentation tools that enable proper testing workflows rather than one-off changes.

Tactical Experiments to Optimize Conversions

Let’s explore tactical experiments focused on optimizing conversion funnels.

Page Layouts and Placement

Try variations on UI element placement to identify optimal flows.

Messaging Variations

Reword hero sections, value props, KPIs, testimonials, etc. See what resonates.

Content Length

Test short form vs long form page content for engagement.

Media Use

Compare pages with and without video/graphics/illustrations.

Call-to-Action Wording

Iterate button and link text for prompts guiding users along conversion path.

Offer Messaging

For special offers, test different combinartions of benefit focus, exclusivity and urgency messaging.

Incentive Types

Try different free trial lengths, percentage discounts, or gift promos to spur conversions.

Page Speed Enhancements

Improve page load times through technical optimization to boost conversions.

Mobile Experience

Ensure seamless mobile experiences given rising mobile traffic.

Lead Nurturing Workflows

Test tweaks to automated email nurturing sequences to incrementally re-engage users.

On-page Personalization

Dynamically tailor page content for visitors based on interests and past behaviors.

Retargeting Ads

Experiment with durations for showing retargeting ads to site visitors post-session.

Strategic Experiments on Branding and Positioning

Beyond tactical tests, you should also run strategic experiments assessing branding, positioning and product direction.

Value Proposition Messaging

Test entirely new takes on your product’s core value prop and differentiation from competitors.

Use Case Refinement

Explore expanding into adjacent use cases that current customers also want solved.

New Buyer Personas

Research if new buyer personas beyond your original target users could be viable targets.

Pricing and Packaging

Try pricing variables like tiers, packaging, introductory discounts etc.

Market Expansion

Assess potential for extending your offering into new customer segments, industries, or geographies.

New Platforms and Channels

Determine opportunities for distributing your offering through new channels and app ecosystems.

Brand Personality and Tone

Iterate your brand voice across different tones like informal, expert, humorous, and premium.

Visual Identity and Style

Test entirely new visual styles and branding approaches if market feedback warrants.

Business and Revenue Models

If introducing new offerings, explore optimal business models like ads, subscriptions, affiliates etc.

Product Roadmap Prioritization

Use market feedback and data to pivot your product roadmap toward highest-potential new features or offerings.

Structuring Continuous Ideation and Prioritization

To sustain experiment velocity and impact over time, developing strong processes for ongoing ideation and ruthless prioritization is necessary. Some tips:

Establish Funnels for Feedback

Create clear channels like user surveys and support tickets for users to continually suggest new test ideas and improvements. Monitor these diligently.

Enable Internal Brainstorming

Make ideating and proposing experiment ideas part of every team meeting across departments like product, marketing, engineering and design.

Maintain Ideas Backlog

Log all proposed experiments in an ideation backlog to selectively pull from when needed. Use ticketing systems to manage.

Define Experiment Cost and Impact

When vetting ideas, classify expected complexity, resources required, and potential business impact for each. Weigh these factors.

Identify Quick Wins

In backlogs, tag quick experiments using existing resources that could drive disproportionate gains for priority.

Consult Stakeholders

Gather input from executives, investors and customers when prioritizing higher-risk, higher-investment strategic experiments.

Revisit and Re-Prioritize

As new insights emerge, continuously re-assess your prioritization and remove outdated ideas to focus on the highest potential bets.

Executing Optimization Roadmaps

The culmination of structured ideation and prioritization should be an ongoing optimization roadmap guiding your long-term evolution.

Schedule in Advance

Plot out a 12-24 month roadmap detailing the sequence of executing tactial and strategic experiments. Budget time and resources accordingly.

Phase Roll Out

Don’t make everything live for all users at once. Test with smaller samples then expand what works.

Analyze Results Rigorously

Determine clear goals and metrics of success before testing. Analyze results thoroughly before doubling down on changes.

Iteratively Improve

Use learnings from completed experiments to inform improvements to future testing processes and measurement.

Retire What Doesn’t Work

Be willing to quickly kill failed tests that don’t positively move metrics. Don’t get anchored to ideas.

Communicate Insights

Share results and takeaways across the organization and externally to customers to maintain transparency.

Continuously Optimize Roadmap

As with all else, regularly revisit and optimize your roadmap based on learnings, results and new opportunities.

Key Takeaways

Experimentation enables evolution. By continuously prototyping and assessing new ideas, you can maximize the fit and potential of your offering. Key lessons:

  • Adopt a mindset focused on learning and improvement
  • Follow proven scientific testing methodologies
  • Run tactical experiments to optimize conversion funnels
  • Conduct strategic tests on positioning and direction
  • Maintain rigorous ideation, prioritization and roadmapping
  • Analyze results thoroughly and objectively before expanding changes
  • Kill failed tests quickly based on data
  • Communicate insights widely to inform future efforts

With a culture of intelligent experimentation, your product will continuously expand to meet your customers’ and business’ full potential over time.

Contents

By Dani Davis

Dani Davis is the pen name of the writer of this blog with more 15 years of constant experience in Content marketing and informatics product, e-commerce niche.

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