Here’s something not many people talk about: no one at your organization really wants optimization to succeed – at least not in way that is most powerful and revenue impacting.
Let that sink in.
Show an A/B test case study to a group of 12 people and ask them why they thought the variation won. It’s possible you could get 12 different answers.
This is called storytelling, and it’s common in the optimization space.
When I look back at the most important work I have done with my current company or any of the over 300 other websites that I have worked with, by far the most important work I do is in changing how groups think and operate. So much of optimization is about asking people to go past their comfort levels and their inherent biases and asking them to act rationally. At least 90% of the time and effort I put in is in dealing with these much harder and deceptive factors in success of a program.
This is the methodology that I have developed over 12 years in the industry and working with over 300 organizations. It is also the methodology that has been used to have a near perfect test streak (6 test failures in 5.5 years), even if most others do not believe that stat. Keep reading »
Before you get out your pitchforks, I want to stress that this article does not represent Peep’s views.
The easiest lies to believe are the ones we want to be true, and nothing speaks to us more than validation of the work we are doing or what we already believe. Due to this we become naturally defensive when someone challenges that world view.
The “truth” is that there is no single state of truth and that all actions, disciplines, and behaviors can and should be evaluated for growth opportunities. It doesn’t matter if we are designers, optimizers, product managers, marketers, executives, or engineers, we all come from our own disciplines and will naturally defend to the death if we feel threatened even in the face of overwhelming evidence.
Designers versus data more than ever deserves its place in the pantheon of great conflicts: the Hatfields vs. McCoys, Android vs. iOS, Social Media Marketing vs. Results, Athens vs. Sparta, the Doctor vs. Daleks, Auburn vs. Alabama, and Fox News vs. reality.
One of the great truths that people ignore when it comes to optimization is that you can fail with any tool. It’s only when you are trying to succeed that differences in tools really matter.