We’ve all been there. You have a problem in your funnel and can’t figure out how to fix it. Nothing you try seems to make a difference. You’ve gone back to the research, started new research and it all comes back with nothing new. You’ve started narrowing your investigation to a smaller audience, but no dice. If this sounds like you, here’s an approach you may want to consider: approach it like playing Guess Who? For those unfamiliar with Guess Who?, check out this YouTube video.
If you’ve ever played this game, you know that starting with trying to guess exactly who your opponent chose is never the fastest approach. Sure you may get lucky, but generally, by eliminating large percentages of people first, you Rule out large chunks of possible options and leave only a few options to try specifically.
Let’s go back to your funnel. As you’ve already done, you’ll want to start testing research-based hypotheses that have the highest probability of being true first – and as cheaply as possible. If that doesn’t pan out, as you gain more evidence, you may want to start exploring more “expensive” hypotheses – those that cost more to test. While this works most of the time, it won’t work all the time. It’s at this point that you’ll want to start considering ruling out things efficiently until you’ve narrowed down the area of investigation to only a few options, however unlikely. While always considering cost and risk, your tests should be as sensitive as you can reasonably afford (translation: a good-sized sample) because once something is ruled out, you won’t likely revisit.
At Loblaw Digital, we call this approach “Exploratory” testing. It’s like when you are in a dark forest and you use a flashlight to figure out where to go, and more importantly, where not to go. Obviously, in this example, Experimentation is the flashlight. It’s an approach we use fairly often because we serve the majority of Canadians and teasing out causal effects in such a mixed audience can be challenging.
If that still doesn’t work, consider retracing your steps and challenging past assumptions. For instance, test things that your company takes as truth but was never challenged. Try removing page elements and features to see if they impact anything. Challenge the status quo. If it didn’t make a difference, consider removing it – at the very least, it’s one less thing to maintain.
Good luck and see you in 2 weeks!
Founder, Experiment Nation
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