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“I Tell My Clients To Allocate 20% Of Their Digital Budgets To Testing”

Filed in project(s): Business | Conference Reports | Strategy
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David Edelman 161x300Last week I visited the spectacular Adobe Summit 2014 (a post on Adobe Marketing Cloud coming up!) in London and there I got a chance to sit down with David Edelman.

Not only is he a Top 5 LinkedIn Influencer, but also the global co-lead at McKinsey Digital. And before that, he worked at both Digitas and Boston Consulting Group.

Of course, I had to try and tap his brain for some insights.

I asked David to quite simply give me his thoughts on three important tech trends from an organizational perspective — and three insights on how to stay on top of the digital shift.

Here’s a summary from our conversation:

3 Key Tech Trends For Organizations

Mobile strategy. Many companies are still treating their mobile strategy as an add-on, when the mobile actually serves more and more as both a starting- and end point for the customer decision journey. The customer’s mobile experience is too often overlooked or setup without a solid strategy.

Advanced search. Today, we often associate search with textual input. But emerging technologies are showing great promise when it comes to searching with images, sound and location. As algorithms gets even more sophisticated, the search systems will be more potent when it comes to predicting and understanding what the customer is searching for.

Machine-learning. Organisations must not only harvest customer data, but also be able to detect patterns and to leverage predictive modelling on a massive scale. David predicts that running tests continuously on all aspects of business will be crucial for successful enterprises.

3 Key Insights Managing The Digital Shift

Testing on a massive scale. Testing is extremely important in managing the shift to digital. David Edelman advises his clients to allocate 20% of digital budgets for test programs on a massive scale. You beat your competitors in the digital game by constantly evolving your business iteratively — based on real customer data analysis.

The multi-channel customer journey. Organizations must find ways to keep tabs on their customers across channels to give them a coherent and efficient experience as they form their opinions and make their decisions. This transition doesn’t have to take all that long to make, since software companies like Adobe are developing tools to track the customer decision journey online, especially the transition between mobile and other channels.

Aligning the leadership. A digital first strategy requires a committed leadership. Digital isn’t just more, it’s different. And this is something the C-level must get behind. Putting digital on top of the agenda shouldn’t be a big step for leaders of today and now is the time to really start unlocking the potential of the digital shift.

Putting Your Marketing To The Test

In the comment section, I would like you to answer two questions:

  • Is running digital test programs a priority where you work today?
  • Do you think your organization will do more of digital testing moving forward?

I can honestly say that I need to run more testing, both for myself and for my clients. Looking forward to read your responses!

Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer is the creator of Doktor Spinn, Mad Science Digital, PR of Sweden and Digital PR School (launching in 2015). Join his VIP email list The Loop here.
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer

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Here you’ll find reactions, insights and stories from the awesome Doktor Spinn readers!

How to comment: I have a “living room policy” for comments. Be cool and add your thoughts to the discussion as if we’re chilling in my living room. Critical comments are welcome, but bring some positive energy to the discussion — or I won’t add your comment.

Elia Morling

Jerry, that does sound like a rewarding conference visit! The multi-channel customer journey, and leadership are both valid points. However “the testing” is the real trend and shift from my perspective.

I actually think 20% sounds very low. With a data-driven hypothesis driven approach, and a growth hacker mindset, this could be as high as 100%. Depending on where you draw the “testing” line of course.

A great testing routine is, regularly:
1) collect & analyze your data as well as KPI. Answer the ‘why’ question
2) select one KPI that will be the primary focus
3) design and run growth hacks that you presume will have an impact
4) document all hacks and what you learnt
5) loop around

I think this, with your added comment on the testing Elia, should be a real eye-opener for many brands. I recommend testing, of course I do, but not at such high levels. So I’m definitely taking this to heart. But I know of so many communicators who doesn’t have testing as a tool in their arsenal. Sure, they do evaluations, but that’s not really the same thing as constantly running splits on your digital efforts.

So glad to have you commenting and sharing your wisdom here on the blog Elia, it really means the world to me!