Always be A/B Testing
I am fresh off the heels of attending CompTIA ChannelCon 2017 in Austin, Texas last week. There were tons of thought-provoking ideas spread across different topics and sessions at the event; far too many for one blog. However, I wanted to share an insight from the keynote speaker, Scott Belsky, best-selling author of Making Ideas Happen I plan to implement ASAP in my own work life: A/B testing.
As a marketer, I am intimately familiar with A/B testing. I use it often to test two versions of the same thing and see which one is better. For example, I’ll create two versions of the exact same email, but with different subject lines as shown below. Then, whichever subject line gets the most opens with a portion of the audience is sent out to the rest of the list. Or, I'll test a blue button against a yellow button on a website, and whichever color gets the most clicks is the one I keep.
What Belsky recommends is to A/B test everything to constantly create improvement and implement the best ideas. His example was if you always have a Tuesday morning meeting with your team just because it’s what you’ve always done, try going a few weeks without meeting on Tuesday morning and see which weeks were better. Depending on your results, you either go back to holding the meetings again or you continue on without them. Either way, you aren’t hurting anything and can only win. He also noted it was important to A/B test one thing at a time; otherwise you won’t be sure what was responsible for the results.
Although most of my A/B testing won’t be on a company or even team level, my gears immediately started turning on what tests I could run to improve my personal processes and efficiency. Each Friday at the end of the day, I usually take my “To-Do list” from the current week, and write a new list for the next week based on what wasn’t accomplished or what new projects came up. What if I made the list as events in Outlook with reminders instead of just writing them on a piece paper? I normally create our monthly digital newsletter by creating all the writing first, then finding pictures for each section. Would it be faster if this were reversed, or if I did the writing and picture together, one section at a time? Could I get more time back by declining meetings without agendas for a week or would that leave me in the dark on important topics?
Some tests will show the original process was best. Some will show that the new way is only marginally better. Still, those slight increases will add up and result in significant improvements. If A/B testing can improve the work life and efficiency of one employee, imagine what it could do company-wide? You'd ensure your company is constantly improving and implementing the best ideas and practices.
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