Test and Learn

A conversion rate optimization process in which all changes and investments are hypotheses that are tested. A test-and-learn culture designs experiments, observes the results, and makes decisions based on findings.

What is test-and-learn culture?

A test-and-learn culture is a key part of data-driven marketing. After all, being “data-driven” can’t just be lip service; it has to be fundamental and core to your entire marketing organization. The only way to truly foster and facilitate a data-driven approach is when the team is committed to the process, the right investments in technology and processes are in place, and everyone is aligned and accountable.

What are the benefits of test-and-learn culture?

A test-and-learn mindset empowers an organization to know definitively that their decisions are based on hard data, rather than simply what’s been done before. This culture helps organizations to:

  • Align expectations: A test-and-learn organization sets the tone for how the team approaches their roles, how data is gathered and evaluated, and which market and audience insights are prioritized.
  • Establish accountability: It’s hard to hold just a part of the team accountable for raising the bar on data-driven decisions, but once the new expectations have been set and the team is aligned to the new mission, true accountability and improvement can begin.
  • Develop a process: From the beginning, data processes will influence the creation of more effective team structures that should make execution and analysis easier and quicker to accomplish. 
  • Make the right investments: Even though being a world-class data-driven marketing team will pay off in the long run, in the short term it may mean some new expenses. Marketing leaders will need to justify these expenses by clearly and tirelessly championing how the new organization will positively impact the bottom line.
  • Create a shared language: The strategic questions that remained mysteries early-on will finally get answered. And marketing team members will share a more concrete language for reasoning about product impact, audience preferences, and shifting media engagements.

What does the test-and-learn process look like?

There are four key components to a test-and-learn framework:


A testing process with policies in place to decide which types of tests are appropriate for resolving different questions.


A learning process focused on an organization’s actionability and decision-making.


A test-and-learn culture that enforces accountability and drives a desire to maintain data-driven decisions.


A clear vision for the types of strategic and operational objectives to be tackled.

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