Consider the seven rules of experimentation, developed by Eric Anderson, a professor of marketing at Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management - -
- Focus on individuals and think short term. - - The most accurate experiments involve actions to individual customers, rather than segments or geographies.
- Keep it simple. - - Look for experiments that are easy to execute using existing resources and staff.
- Start with a proof-of-concept test. - - First establish proof-of-concept by changing variables in whatever combination you believe is most likely to get the result you want.
- When the results come in, slice the data. - - When the data comes in, look for subgroups because most actions affect some customers more than others.
- Try out-of-the-box thinking. - - If you never engage in "what-if" thinking, your experiments are unlikely to yield breakthrough improvements.
- Measure everything that matters. - - Feedback measures must capture all the relevant effects.
- Look for natural experiments. - - If firms can recognize when natural experiments occur, they can learn form them at little or no additional expense.