I read a great article this morning by Jason Heller in MediaPost, Refining Processes for the Changing Digital World. 

I was (super) excited to see this in Media Post, because:

  1. I am a process geek. 
  2. I think that conversion optimization programs really benefit from a well-defined process.

So, we all know online marketing is complex. Conversion optimization in particular can quickly become a run-away train if we aren’t careful to follow a methodical, organized plan. And keep that plan up. Here’s a quick riff on the 6 process points Jason makes, through the lens of conversion optimization:

  • Documented. I like using test plans to document what you are testing, why you are testing and what you expect will be the next steps based on the potential outcomes. A test plan gets created before you test, and then updated after the test with results and learnings. When test waves aren’t documented you can end up running in place and getting scattered in your efforts, which becomes inefficient. (BTW, ‘documented’ can also apply to documenting the process your organization & team go through to get from concept to launch for your tests)
  • Scalable. When an organization starts to test it usually begins with a single test. But it quickly blossoms from there. Across teams, across product lines, across media types. Once your organization is bitten by the testing bug, it’s likely to spread. Making sure your process is scalable will help ensure it grows with the greatest efficiency and minimal duplicate efforts. You don’t want to get everyone excited about testing only to hit a wall. Planning ahead, even when testing is in its infancy, will help tremendously.
  • Continually optimized. Just like your pages need to be optimized, so do your processes. Processes shouldn’t be set in stone. They need to be refined and evolved over time as your program grows in maturity. A process that works well today might not work as well a year from now. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments along the way. 
  • Managed by smart people. I often say, ‘a testing tool is only as good as the team running it’. Technology will only get you so far….you have to apply the craft along with the tool for optimal outcome.
  • Made efficient by technology. Ideally, your optimization technology will allow you to get more done, with fewer resources, while scaling and maintaining processes. Yes, that was a mouthful! Keep alert for areas where you are fighting your technology and seek ways to alleviate the friction. It’s worth a bit of time to ensure your technology supports your process and helps you get further, faster. 
  • Enforced. The hardest part. Even with the best of intentions, it’s easy to slip off course and forget the process (It starts with “Oh, the CEO wants to test that new offer today? Sure, I’ll put up a quick test.” and ends with being behind 20 test plans with no hope of catching up). To keep processes enforced, it’s great to get the program defined collaboratively, so everyone knows & agrees to their responsibilities.

 So, there’s the conversion optimization slant on Jason’s great article. I hope you hop over to MediaPost to read it and get inspired to shore up your digital marketing processes!