A high maturity level of customer-centricity enables more cost-effective initiatives related to recruiting, retaining, and growing the value of more customers; and creating relationships to build trust, loyalty, and advocacy. This, in turn, results in both top and bottom-line benefits. A well-crafted customer-centric growth strategy is the compass that guides us to profitable, sustainable growth. One proven process to improve customer-centricity and other strategies that has gained prominence is the “Measure, Test, Measure” framework. This methodology places a premium on data-driven decision-making, iterative experimentation, and the relentless pursuit of improvement.

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Successful companies like Amazon exemplify the power of Measure, Test, Measure.  In the insightful words of Jeff Bezos “What we need to do is always lean into the future; when the world changes around you and when it changes against you—what used to be a tailwind is now a headwind—you have to lean into that and figure out what to do.”

 Let’s explore the basic components of the Measure, Test, Measure framework (MTMF)

Uncertainty is The Only Constant in a Dynamic Environment

Traditionally, strategies were seen as static blueprints, but today’s pace of change and the unpredictable nature of our environment underscore the need for a more responsive and adaptive approach. As Professor John Kotter aptly puts it, “The rate of change is not going to slow down anytime soon. If anything, competition in most industries will probably intensify over the next few decades.” 

Uncertainty is not a flaw in our plans.  It is a fundamental aspect of our reality. As Nobel laureate physicist Richard Feynman suggests, embracing this reality is essential: “I would rather have questions that can’t be answered than answers that can’t be questioned.” Enter the MTMF—a dynamic approach that finds its strength in uncertainty and thrives on continuous learning and adjustment.

The 1st Measure Phase: Time to Set a Quality Foundation

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Assumptions are the silent architects of failure. Dr. W. Edwards Deming’s words resonate: “In God we trust; all others bring data.” In the first measure phase, data becomes the cornerstone of an effective strategy. The measure phase advocates for an empirical approach and establishes a quality foundation. 

By recognizing data as a strategic asset, organizations gain the power to make informed decisions. The strategic use of data isn’t just advantageous; it’s a necessity in a landscape where assumptions can lead to missteps. By relying on concrete data rather than assumptions, customer-centric growth strategies become more robust and adaptable.

Not all measures and metrics are created equal. In the quest for effective customer-centric growth strategies, understanding Metrics That Matter becomes imperative. In this phase, three of the most important components are:

  1. Data Quality Assessment: Conduct a thorough assessment of the quality of your data. Reliable, actionable insights depend on accurate, relevant, and up-to-date, data. Ensure the team involved in the data collection process has the skills to effectively gather, interpret, and utilize the data.
  2. Stakeholder Alignment: Align key stakeholders on the importance of data-driven decision-making. Foster a shared understanding of how data will be pivotal in shaping the organization’s growth strategies.
  3. Measure Selection: Focus on the most relevant metrics allows for a streamlined and impactful measurement process. Identify, define, and select key performance indicators (KPIs) aligned to your overarching outcomes.

The Test Phase: Time to Embrace Iterative Experimentation

“Every experiment is a question you ask of the universe, and every experiment is a negotiation,” states Dr. Steven Levitt, co-author of Freakonomics. The test phase isn’t testing for the sake of testing. The test phase is about determining whether there is merit in an idea or concept. Therefore, the first step in the test phase is to formulate an actionable hypothesis. Beware of bias in your

framework, customer-centric, growth, data-driven, measure, insights, data, experiment, innovation, hypothesis, processhypothesis formation.  Bias can skew results and lead to misguided decisions. Take the necessary precautions to ensure that your hypotheses are objective, rooted in data, and free from preconceived notions. This commitment to objectivity is fundamental to the success of the iterative experimentation process.

Agile methodologies, often associated with software development, have made their way to other parts of the organization. Employ agile as part of your test phase to enable your ability to quickly modify your experiments.

Three important elements in this phase include: 

  1. Diverse Hypothesis Teams: Form diverse cross-functional teams to generate hypotheses. Different perspectives contribute to a more comprehensive understanding, reducing the risk of biased or narrow assumptions.
  2. Bias Training: Provide training on recognizing and mitigating bias in hypothesis formation. Ensure that teams are aware of the potential pitfalls and are equipped to maintain objectivity.
  3. Agile Integration: Integrate agile methodologies seamlessly into the test phase. This includes regular sprints, continuous feedback loops, and adaptive planning to enhance the flexibility and responsiveness of experiments.

The 2nd Measure Phase: Time to Extract Actionable Insights

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Insights are the currency for making crucial decisions, such as what products to develop, what markets to enter, and what customers to pursue. For example, companies like Salesforce take an iterative approach to product development and customer relationship management which reflects the principles of continuous improvement and adaptation.

The challenge is aptly articulated by data scientist Nate Silver, “The signal and the noise are becoming more difficult to distinguish.” Three deliverables will help you and your team successfully leverage the MTMF, navigate the noise, and extract meaningful, and actionable insights from the results produced in the test phase.  

  1. Advanced Analytics Training: Equip teams with advanced analytics training to enhance their ability to derive insights from complex data sets. This includes predictive analytics, machine learning, and other relevant techniques.
  2. Technology Integration: Invest in cutting-edge technologies for data analysis and interpretation. Automation and AI-driven tools can assist in extracting actionable insights more efficiently.
  3. Interdepartmental Workshops: Conduct workshops that facilitate collaboration between departments to share insights and promote a holistic understanding of data-driven findings.

Spotlight on the 4 Fundamental Success Factors of Measure. Test. Measure.

Application of the MTMF isn’t confined to a specific industry. It’s a universal approach to business success. Companies that have embraced this process consistently outperform competitors by staying agile and responsive to market dynamics.  Four factors are essential to the success of the framework:

  1. Executive Level Support: Leadership plays a pivotal role in employing the MTMF.  It thrives best in an organization that fosters a culture of innovation, experimentation, and continuousframework, customer-centric, data-driven, measure, insights, data, experiment, hypothesis, improvement.  
  2. Team and Cross-functional Collaboration: Encouraging collaboration and creating an environment conducive to experimentation is crucial. Only when teams feel safe to explore new ideas, even if the ideas end up on the cutting room floor, can the MTMF work. Measure, Test, Measure reflects a process. A process where failures are viewed as stepping stones to improvement. Consider implementing formats that encourage collaboration, such as brown bag forums or lunch and learn events where teams from different departments can share insights and collaborate on experiments. 
  3. Leadership Development Programs: Implement leadership development programs that emphasize the importance of innovation, experimentation, and continuous improvement. Ensure that leaders at all levels champion the MTMF.
  4. Innovation Culture Assessments: Regularly assess the organization’s innovation culture. Use surveys, interviews, or other assessment tools to gauge how well the culture supports experimentation and whether improvements are needed.

Your Call to Growth: Welcome Change and Iterative Improvement

The MTMF provides a dynamic and adaptive approach for navigating the uncertainties of our world. As you look to the future, the call to action is clear: accept that change is inevitable, iterate continuously, and never stop measuring. In a world where the only constant is change, having a framework is a pathway to success and is key to navigating uncertainty. 

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