- to respond to certain issues;
- adapt to market needs;
- or increase your profitability.
The authors of the article, Frank V. Cespedes and Neil Hoyne, drew inspiration from companies that have taken advantage of the pandemic to test new ideas in order to take away some tips that will help you innovate without burning your wings.
– Seek progress, not perfection.
Small, simple ideas suggested by employees or collaborators can have great potential to improve your practices. You can help them express themselves by setting up processes that make it easy to submit them, such as creating online surveys or a virtual idea box.
– Leverage customer interactions across all channels.
Airlines have come up with the idea of testing travelers’ price sensitivity for upgrades by adding a simple question on their website asking if the trip is for business or personal travel. You can take inspiration from this initiative to create a question concerning your field of activity, mention the authors. They advise to regularly renew the questions in order to collect new information adapted to the evolution of the context.
– Test new ideas in real conditions.
You shouldn’t seek scientific truth when experimenting, the article points out, because you risk spending too much time and resources on it, and losing sight of your end goal. To limit the risks, the authors recommend consulting the data and studies on the subject in order to avoid conducting unnecessary or superfluous tests.
– Be ready to adapt your approach.
An IT company had spotted that a portion of its less profitable customer base had begun to change their purchasing behavior and that a relatively modest marketing investment could accelerate that change. It therefore decided to prioritize this initiative based on the return on investment, report the authors. If the company had followed the traditional method of experimentation, the tests would have cost it almost five times as much and would have delayed its action in a rapidly changing market.
– Take care of customer data.
Tests based on data from customer relationship management (CRM) systems can perform very well, but the information gathered may be compromised if the people recording it use different systems.
It is therefore first necessary to ensure the consistency of customer data before basing experiments on these elements. Data is crucial, but it is mute, the authors of the article point out. Leaders should therefore always interpret them with a purpose in mind, especially if they want to use this data to review service pricing. Price testing should be an integral part of effective marketing, the review says, but the evaluation criteria must first be clarified.
Proceeding by experimentation allows innovation, concludes Harvard Business Review. Testing simple ideas also helps to gather valuable information and bring different options to the table that will allow you to fuel your thinking to adapt more quickly to current and future changes.