Experiments are a great way to test your assumptions and make smart decisions, whether you’re launching a product or optimizing a marketing campaign. But without a thoughtful plan of execution, you may not learn anything truly useful. Before you invest in an experiment, make sure you have three basic ingredients. First, be able to collect the data you need to answer the experiment’s underlying question. For example, if you can’t measure attribution from a digital ad to a sale, you can’t run an experiment to figure out which ads are effective. Second, involve a statistical expert who has both the knowledge to design the experiment and the communication skills to explain the results to stakeholders. Leaders need to understand your findings before they can act on them. Third, do a test run of the experiment in a low-stakes environment. If your goal is to send an email survey to customers, send it to a large group of colleagues first. This will ensure that the experiment is set up correctly and that you’re gathering the data you need.
Adapted from “8 Things to Do Before You Run a Business Experiment,” by Linnea Gandhi and Erik Johnson.