Find More Wins Faster
Experiments are the new assembly line for business, dramatically reducing the cost and time to produce a new product or service. In the words of Jeff Bezos, "Our success at Amazon is a function of how many experiments we do per year, per month, per week, per day." Because for most companies, including Amazon, the majority of experiments fail. So if you need urgent demand creation, your best bet is to increase your number of testable solutions. Here are 3 ways you may not have considered.
1.Do What Works
Learn from relevant businesses in other categories. Do What Works is the world's first conversion rate accelerator. It scrapes 1700 sites and over 1 million data points to identify the winners and losers of A/B tests conducted by other companies (including Amazon). You'll learn which experiments to avoid/consider based on the experience of comparable companies. Yes, it's legal, and yes, you can ask them to scrape other sites, too.
2. Customer Facing Team Members "Six Levels Down"
Talk to customer-facing team members on the front lines of customer interactions, whether they're taking calls in the call center, responding to customers on social media, or selling. Using sentiments and text analytics as a starting point, ask team members to provide stories and anecdotes to them. Often those stories are the early whispers of emerging needs, problems, and opportunities. Yet these team members are frequently not asked for input because they are six levels deep in the organization. And according to Michael Lewis in the most recent episode of Season 3 of his excellent podcast, Against the Rules, the solution to most of your problems is often six levels deep in your organization.
Another variation is simply to listen in on calls or respond to customer complaints on social media. When I was a CMO, I'd occasionally respond to social media complaints because it helped bring to life the people, their stories, and the use case behind transaction data. It helped me understand the emotional needs that drove a purchase decision rather than simply the functional needs we saw with data. So it gave us the ability to craft more powerful campaigns that magnify the stickier, emotional benefit of a purchase.
3. Behavioral Design
We rely on advertising to change customer perceptions. However, when it comes to changing behavior, it's less effective, especially at a micro-level. Yet often, these micro-changes are the edits that have the most impact on your customer's behavior. For example, changing the default options for users – one-word or two-word changes – has proven highly effective in getting intransigent behavior to change. In one case study, changing the default increased savings participation by 75%. In another study, the differences in defaults resulted in 3-4x higher donations. Small changes that deliver big wins are why many tech and software companies employ behavioral design in their product development, marketing, and customer experience efforts. Hat tip to Ryan Irrational Labs for the case study data.
Even if you've read Behavioral Science books, you're still probably wondering how to jumpstart this capability in your organization. Consider taking a class in Behavioral Design. One of the best is from Irrational Labs, the Behavioral Design Consulting firm founded by Dan Ariely and his former client at Google, Kristen Berman. The founding team has played an outsized role in the migration of behavioral science from the dusty halls of academia into the tech world.
At Irrational Labs Behavioral Design Bootcamp, you'll learn a simple but robust framework for leveraging behavioral science to change behavior. Clients of Irrational Labs include teams at Google, TikTok, Indeed, and Intuit. I've been studying behavioral economics for a long time and decided to try out their bootcamp. I walked away impressed by the instructors, the framework, and the fun and interactive approach to the instruction. The framework makes it easy to apply behavioral science to any project in which you'd like to change customer or employee behavior. If you're interested in taking the Irrational Labs Behavioral Design Bootcamp, let me know. As an alumnus, I can get you a discount. I do NOT get a referral fee; I just like to know who the good people are so I can recommend them to clients.