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Communication testing: It’s all about the journey

Steven Brown EVP, Global Accounts & Propositions 12/12/2023
The comms and messaging we tested in the research came out well, but our product conversion KPIs are telling a very different story

“We took on board the recommendations, made some changes, but there has been no impact”

“If the UX journey tested fine at this stage, why are there still drop-outs?”

Does any of this sound even remotely familiar?

On the agency side, you can hear this often from insight teams and broader stakeholders, and it can be a very fair challenge. After all, insight spending needs to prove commercial value. These challenges don’t necessarily come from research done poorly either, but the question might be: are we always thinking enough about the challenge before we execute on a readily available, often nicely automated and packaged up, solution? Just because your comms test well does not mean this gives you the answers you need to move forward. It’s all about context – the end-to-end journey and impacting customer behaviors – to really help you strive for better customer and commercial outcomes.

Don’t get me wrong, individual customer communications, tested and at scale, are a very well-trodden and valuable path, especially in a world of increasing regulatory scrutiny across industries. It may, however, only contribute to the answer you seek or even address a different question.

For example, an individual communication or creative test will tell you how impactful that piece of communication is, how clear the call to action is, and what can be improved and how to add clarity…may even be against some well-considered KPIs, often with benchmarks. But what it won’t tell you is that you’ve already lost the customer at the second stage of a drawn-out, complicated interaction on the acquisition journey that this particular piece of communication was merely a part of. So, any improvements you make here will not improve anything in terms of product uptake.pe

Going back to the challenge, then, is vital in being able to impact outcomes for you and the customer properly. Being able to step back and think about the broader context and acting on that alongside tactical improvements you can make to the individual component is critical to getting at the heart of the issue and making impactful changes to your communications.

So, how might we do that from an insight perspective? Broadly, to really understand customer journeys and how to improve them in a way that impacts your KPIs, we need to be thinking both inside out and outside in. So, alongside the customer view, a good place to start might be the internal view. What are the hypothesized pain points –What are known constraints to improvement? What can we operate in, and what internal data do we have? What KPIs are problems for us? And what do you already know?

Then, what role does the communication need to play to keep the customer engaged, informed, and in a place where they understand what is happening and what is expected of them throughout a journey? How well do we think that is going, and how well do we feel the communications are connected together to lead to the right path?

That isn’t a bad place to start before we do any research.

We would be happy to help you with that bit and then any research needs that come out as a result. We have deep expertise in Customer Journey improvement, User Testing and Experience, Communications testing, and optimization. Basically, the complete toolkit you would need.

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