Google evangelist Avinash Kaushik has been talking for years about the benefits of failure. The quicker marketers fail, the better.
Now Google has published a road map in the white paper "The Surprising Benefits of Failure," in which Casey Carey, director of Google Analytics, provides reasons why marketers should create quarterly failure reports.
He describes the quarterly failure report as having two goals: share what has been learned, and reinforce the culture of failure and learning. He calls failure a byproduct of good testing.
"An experiment gone wrong doesn't have to mean someone goofed," Carey wrote. "In a culture of growth, it should mean that you tried something new, measured the results, and learned that the change didn't help the bottom line. If your tests are always successful, you're probably not testing often enough or aggressively enough."
Failure is important, but before reports go out through the email system, Carey says, everyone should be trained in best practices for driving growth through testing and experimentation and marketers should have a clear, repeatable framework and method for testing that everyone follows.
The post ties into a white paper called "How to build a culture of growth: Optimize the customer experience."
Google Analytics processes half a trillion digital moments daily. Hopefully, those moments create growth. A growth culture means that everyone tests everything, from call-to-action buttons to personalized home pages. Marketers should pay attention to numbers, run well-planned experiments, and fail often and fast.
Even with the willingness to fail, challenges exist. Some of those challenges involve finding resources and dealing with the "strikeouts." It takes time and effort and dedicated people to run tests, but most don't want to commit resources until they see results, per Google's white paper.
"The failure report highlights the biggest, most miserable test fails people have had recently, and — crucially — what they’ve learned from them," per Google's white paper, but the problem with success arises when everyone wants to test, but no knows how.
Google suggests beginning a training program and creating a testing council with one representative from each area of the business. Marketers should create a basic framework that everyone on the team can follow, and teach everyone what to test with that framework.