The ABT Mindset: Always Be Testing
If you’re like most entrepreneurs in the world, then you have a million and one ideas about how you can grow your company.
Having those million ideas can be a curse or a blessing. You can be paralyzed by all the options you have and end up doing nothing, or you can try acting on all of them and run yourself ragged trying to make sense of what’s working and what’s not.
That’s where the ABT (Always Be Testing) mindset comes along to save the day!
We’ll always have new ideas for our company’s growth, product, marketing, everything. But how do we identify viable ideas to try?
Today, I’m going to introduce the mindset and framework your organization can use to effectively test new ideas and integrate successful ideas into your roadmap. I’ll stick to growth marketing ideas since that’s what we do at Electric Growth, but you can apply the same principles to optimize any part of your business.
The first step is to adopt the high-tempo testing mindset. That means, no resting on laurels, no decisions made simply on hunches.
High-tempo testing is about finding the quickest way to get feedback on your idea. Sound familiar to you startup folks? Your idea should be stripped down to a lean MVP to test.
The mindset also means, that even though something is working, there might be something that works better — and we don’t know what that is unless we test new ideas.
As long as your company exists, you should be testing something.
With all these amazing ideas that you’re now in the mindset to try, how can you possibly figure out which ones to try first?
The prioritization framework is your guide, tool, and friend.
….and it works best as a team effort.
With the prioritization framework, you and your team can present ideas, score them based on multiple factors, and create an implementation plan (or sprint).
On a regular (weekly or bi-weekly) basis, you will review ideas that each team member chooses to present, describe each of them to the team so they have an accurate understanding of the test, and have everyone evaluate the idea based on three criteria.
The three factors are Impact of test, Confidence it will work, and Ease of implementation.
Once you’ve scored each idea for that sprint, it’s best to assess your team’s ability to execute. If all high-scoring ideas will become the responsibility of a sole email marketer or front-end developer, take another look at how you can test lower scoring ideas first to even out the workload.
It’s important to know exactly what metric you’re testing for with each idea. If you’re unable to measure the success/failure of an idea, it won’t fit into the framework and shouldn’t be considered part of your testing program.
But in the digital age, most anything can be measured in some effective way. Know what that is and how you’ll measure it before launching your test.
A standardized hypothesis worksheet will give standard formatting to every test so you won’t overlook an important factor or resort to anecdotal results to support a shifting success/failure metric.
Each team meeting will give you a chance to review and evaluate past tests. The results from these tests will ultimately inform the prioritization of new tests and inspire new ideas.
Over time patterns will emerge, highlighting certain channels, value props, copywriting, touch points, etc. that simply work better than others.
This is where you can exponentiate your efforts. Combining the successes of past tests into new tests, doubling down on successful channels, and challenging yourself to find even greater success through further testing.
Unlike traditional marketing, your high-tempo feedback loop will give you valuable (and actionable) information on a weekly basis.
If you’re like many small-team startups Electric Growth works with, you’ll be able to run about three tests per sprint. That adds up to 6–12 high priority insights per month that will inform your next month, quarter, and year of growth.
Originally published at Electric Growth.