Experienced online marketers have heard this saying at one point or another: we just don’t have the resources to do what you’re asking. Maybe the resources aren’t there or maybe your project is last in line. Either way, somebody else is determining the destiny of your plans and your message just isn’t being heard.
So, many marketers scramble for decision makers’ attention. They’ll set up big meetings, put together big PowerPoints, big Gantt charts, and stay up all night practicing the perfect pitch – all to get a simple, disheartening response. There is a more effective way to get approval.
The cost of delay
You sell your decisions makers more effectively by presenting them with a simple, relevant metric: the potential cost of delay.
Decision makers need information they can understand, and the language of money (money lost to be more specific) can be one of your most powerful tools. If your company’s website is bleeding and you are tasked to fix it, there is no better way to start the conversation than by showing how much blood is being lost on a monthly, weekly, or in some cases daily basis.
Remember, this is the same blood that helps pay for all those other priorities sitting in front of yours.
The solution is at your fingertips
If you are testing on behalf of your company, you will likely have all the information you need to get started.
- Start with your web analytics. Every test should have an objective, and knowing the objective from a web analytics perspective is your first step. This could be a sale, a lead, or sign-up on the page or process want to test.
- Understand its financial impact: Look at each test’s success metric and ask yourself:
- How much is that lead worth (over time)?
- What is the likelihood that the completed step will become a lead, and then revenue for your company?
- What is the average order value of a person completing their order on this page/process?
All of these questions begin to connect your web analytics with your transactional/financial data. Healthy companies keep tabs on what each of their processes is worth, and make business decisions based on these business-level metrics. If you do not have a basic understanding of the financial impact (for better or worse) of what you are testing, you are walking a dangerous path.
- Connect the dots: For example, you know that step two of your order process is seeing a 70% drop in visits and that the average customer order size is $150. If you were to recover, say, 10% of those visits that are typically lost thanks to the intelligence you gain through testing, how much revenue would those tests drive?
- Ask the big question: Are we (as a company) willing to risk losing this much money by not getting this test up in time for this season’s peak?
You cannot possibly know all the competing priorities on your decision maker’s list, so you can’t actually do the full analysis for them. Taking this approach, however, gives them the information they need and the attention your test deserves to complete the analysis – comparing the potential loss to the cost of pushing those other priorities back (or acquiring the resources).
Empower yourself and your test schedule by clearly communicating the problem to your decision makers to show how your testing may solve these business-level problems over a set period of time.