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Sara VargoFeb 7, 2024 7:30:00 AM5 min read

Unveiling the Power of Experimentation in Marketing

Unveiling the Power of Experimentation in Marketing

How to Iterate Using an Experiment That Didn't Go Well

At the heart of experimentation in marketing — and the heart of Growth — lies the power of leveraging data for scalable, sustainable, long-lasting success. Experimentation is the process of iterating and repeatedly testing. 

Experimentation in marketing doesn't end when the lights turn on. There is a process of review that MUST go into every experiment to determine the outcome and leverage that outcome into the next set of experiments. Having an intentional, regular process of data analysis is crucial to foster Growth and development.


One of the most common mistakes in Growth is forgetting to go back and read the result in a manner that's intentional to Growth and reactive to the request for reporting. Without the review process, you may advance the client to their North Star goals, but it's going to be difficult to know what the most impactful use of your time and resources is.

Before You Set Up An Experiment or A/B Testing Examples

Before you can leverage the total power of marketing experimentation, you need to identify the correct metrics to measure and the potential outcomes that will enable a comprehensive evaluation. 

Are you measuring engagement on a social media post? Are you determining success as clicks on an email campaign? Is direct revenue from a new lead funnel optimization your metric for success? 

Determining before the experiment begins exactly what the best metric for measurement is enables you to determine how impactful the experiment will be towards your North Star. 

In asking the right questions before the experiment is executed, you may find that the experiment is not needed OR determine that what you initially intended to measure isn’t the right metric. This process of looking at an experiment before it launches keeps you on the right track for Growth, allowing you to tweak experiments or metrics that will be most impactful for your North Star.

Setting the Right Maturity Date

In setting the right maturity date for a marketing experiment, it is important to define the concept of statistical significance in Growth compared to traditional contexts. 

In the context of Growth Marketing, statistical significance refers to whether an outcome or metric gathered is the direct result of an experiment run. 

In contrast, traditional statistical significance is typically used to assess the validity of a hypothesis or compare observed data to a null (or control) hypothesis, meaning there are no real effects between groups. 

For marketing purposes, statistical significance helps decision-makers determine the significance of an impact made and the next steps that should be taken. Taking this context into consideration is at the heart of experiment evaluation.

To set a maturity date for your experiments, ask yourself the following questions: 

  • What is the statistical significance of the experiment? 
  • What type of content is this? Some content will take longer to evaluate than others
  • Where in the life cycle is this experiment? Is this a first-time experiment? It will likely require a longer testing period. Is this an optimization of a past experiment? You can set your maturity date shorter because you already have some data gathered.
  • What stage of Pirate Metrics can we define this experiment by? Think Acquisition, Activation, Revenue, Retention, & Referral (sign up for Experimental Marketing series to learn about Pirate Metrics in depth).

Key Considerations in Experiment Reviews

When reviewing your experiments, there is something huge to keep in mind — analysis paralysis. 

Even the best Growth Marketers can get lost in the analysis of an experiment and hesitate to move forward. Don’t be a victim of analysis paralysis. Use the tools outlined above for choosing a maturity date and the metrics for determining success before execution so determining whether the KPI was achieved, missed, or needs more testing is quick and easy.

Transitioning from analysis to action is the next step: Ask:

  • Based on what we have learned, what is the next step?
  • Are we iterating and optimizing to test further?
  • Are we ideating on new ideas based on these learnings?

Or maybe we want to examine this exact experiment further and push our analysis date out to gather more data. 

How To Iterate Using An Experiment That “Fails”

Here “fails” is in quotes because, in the world of Growth Marketing, there is no such thing as a failure! 

An experiment that does not achieve its goal either: 1) Needs more testing or 2) Provides us with data to make the next step or steps. When an experiment doesn’t go as planned, ask:

  • Was my duration for testing too short?
  • Was I testing the wrong metrics? 
  • Was my targeting or audience incorrect? 
  • Do I need to let my experiment run longer? 
  • Should I increase my budget to gather more data?
  • What did I learn that is useful?

Once you get into a regular cadence of experimentation and the cycles become habitual, recognizing the afterlife of successful outcomes becomes easier. The next steps become obvious and patterns for continuous improvement through an iterative process emerge. 

Aligning your learnings with strategic objectives and realigning your experiments based on your North Star goals as you go helps you hit your Growth goals. Asking yourself what an experiment taught you — even an experiment that misses its intended KPI — keeps things moving forward and makes Growth possible.

The Power of Experimentation Knows No Bounds 

Good experimentation relies not just on execution but on the meticulous process of analysis and iteration that follows. Without intentional and regular analysis, it's challenging to determine the true impact of an experiment and effectively optimize future tests. The ability to leverage learned data effectively and drive scalable and sustainable success relies on the idea that experimentation isn't a one-time event; it's a continuous journey of learning and refinement.

By establishing clear metrics and objectives before embarking on experiments, your team can ensure alignment with your North Star goals and make informed decisions throughout the process. By maintaining a focus on the North Star goals and constantly questioning how experiments contribute to growth, organizations can foster a culture of innovation and drive sustainable progress.

Experimentation is not just a means to an end — but a journey towards ongoing improvement and achievement of Growth-minded objectives. Through systematic analysis, strategic alignment, and relentless curiosity, organizations can harness the power of experimentation to unlock their full potential and drive meaningful Growth.

Ready to dive in? Click here for instant access to take the Orange Peg's Growth Marketing Certification courses! 


Sara Vargo

Sara is passionate about making content both entertaining and easy-to-digest. Her writing experience extends from marketing and SEO all the way into environmental advocacy. At Orange Pegs, Sara's writing tells brand's stories, connects readers through targeted marketing funnels, and shares exciting OP revelations in Growth Strategy.