The age of experimentation - Brilliant Noise

The age of experimentation

By Jason Ryan, June 2020. Posts

Disruptive forces and global uncertainty mean that we have entered an age of experimentation. Organisations, businesses and individuals are going through a period of transition and adjusting to the new reality. Some brands will be well prepared, adaptable and resilient. Others won’t. 

[Digital disruption + climate change + coronavirus = an age of experimentation]

Marketers have defined ways of brand building. But these cautious, process-driven, hierarchical and siloed approaches hinder companies in this fast-changing world. Covid-19 means marketing teams and budgets are diminished. Every pound and minute needs to be focused and fast. Plus, changing consumer behaviour and expectations mean that brands must create experiences that are relevant and differentiated. Experimentation is the answer to break through the old ways of working, create rapid results, and learn and repeat. 

Innovation is a necessity, not a luxury 

The ability to deal with change and complexity 
has always been a competitive advantage. It is now an imperative for survival.

Many organisations have successfully navigated the wave of digital disruption. Those same organisations now find themselves floundering in the face of this new set of challenges. Marketing improvement is not always a focus, and innovation is seen as a luxury. Not anymore. 

Right now, plenty of organisations find themselves in a deadlock on how to innovate and improve. Senior leaders are accused of being resistant to change, while digital natives are told they don’t understand what real business is all about. To make things worse, there is no agreed method for identifying, prioritising and realising improvement opportunities. But time’s up. Innovation is needed now, and it’s needed fast. 

In 2019, Brilliant Noise created the platform and method for Experiment-Led Marketing™. Now Mark Ritson, McKinsey, Bain and Kantar are all backing it up – experimentation is the way to do marketing. Innovative brands grew nine times faster from the 2008 crisis. The brave are rewarded; the slow fold. 

Opportunities for improvement need to be identified – and those that promise the greatest impact need to be tested and adopted quickly. This can be done by focusing on customer needs, and learning from well-designed, measurable marketing experiments. 

Small budgets won’t hold you back

Good strategy is about focus, and doing something different with limited resources. This is challenging for a busy team. Strategy can be seen as complicated, rigid or inaccessible. And the last thing many organisations want is another round of research-led strategy that won’t ever be executed.

But you don’t need a big budget or swathes of time to experiment. It’s simple and rapid. Experiment-led marketing gives you an instant action plan for your biggest problems – you’ll get a list of priorities for rapid execution. You can make an impact and make it fast. It’s deeply focused and easily measured – so you can start innovating in weeks, not months. 

The case for experimentation

Breakthrough ideas can be transformative, but they are difficult to come up with and bring to market. Data can provide clues about the past behavior of customers but not about how they will react to bold changes. 

With Experiment-Led Marketing™, you can test and learn how the market will react to new product features, marketing messages and brand experiences

Experiment-led marketing will ensure you:

  • Make better decisions 
  • Improve return on investment
  • Increase revenue, penetration and conversion 
  • Increase efficiency and speed

Well designed experiments can provide statistical evidence and reliable forecasting that guides smarter marketing decisions. Small improvements add up quickly and can be the difference between winning and losing. Experimenting is about being brave. And being brave is about harnessing your fears. Everyone is feeling the disruption and the fear – those that face it will win. 

How to experiment 

Being brave doesn’t mean being reckless. It means being clear on priorities and what is important, and making decisions and acting quickly in pursuit of a goal. We built our company helping organisations navigate the wave of disruption brought about by digital technology.

Over the past decade we have equipped leaders with new mindsets, developed digital strategies, planned and executed digital campaigns, brought new brands and products to market, and helped some of the world’s best brands build their marketing capability. 

We have a structured approach to experiment design that ensures we act quickly and generate learnings. Learnings enable us to design better experiments and identify more opportunities, with the possibility of fresh insights.

How to do Experiment-Led Marketing™ (XLM).

  1. Define the challenge
    Articulate the business challenge as a question
  2. Lead with questions
    Identify the questions that need answering
  3. Develop hypotheses
    Articulate the testable outcomes: if we do X, we believe that Y will happen
  4. Design experiments to test the outcomes
    What are we measuring? What data do we need? What team will we need? How long will the test last?
  5. Execute, measure, learn, repeat
    Develop a rhythm of quickly executing and learning from priority tests

We have developed a toolkit to enable organisations to get up to speed with Experiment-Led Marketing™. And our platform BRIDGE, supports value-based forecasting (where you make a prediction and have an expected result which you can measure) and tracks experiments. It provides focus, transparency and accountability on decision making, 

Why experiment? Why be brave? Why now? Because if you don’t, you won’t survive. Get in touch to chat about how Experiment-Led Marketing™ can ensure you innovate, experiment and thrive.