Emily Munns

Test Planning: Create a universal test planner in 3 simple steps

May 2nd, 2013

One of my responsibilities as a Research Analyst is to manage ongoing test planning with our Research Partners and at times, keeping tests running smoothly can be a challenge.

This is especially true when you consider testing is not a static event – it’s more like a living, breathing continuous cycle of motion.

But even with so many moving parts, effectively managing test plans can be made a little easier with two proven key factors for success – planning and preparation.

Today’s MarketingSherpa blog post is three tips for test planning management. Our goal is to give marketers a few simple best practices to help keep their testing queue in good order.


Step #1. Create

Creating a universal test planner everyone on your team can access is a great place to start.

For our research team, we created a universal test planner including:

  • Results from prior testing with our Research Partner
  • Current active tests
  • Any future testing planned
  • A list of test statuses definitions that everyone on the team understands – (test active, test complete, inconclusive, etc.)
  • A brief description of what is being tested (call-to-action button test, value copy test, etc.)
  • A list of who is responsible for each task in the test plan


Step#2. Organize

As I mentioned in the previous step, the status of a test can change and, based on the results, so will the ideas and priorities for future testing.

Some tests will move forward in the queue, and others will be pushed back to a later time.

So, to help keep our team informed of changes in the testing environment, we update the planner throughout the day and in real time during brainstorming sessions based on results and Partner feedback.

This allows us to focus our research and testing strategy efforts on expanding on discoveries versus chasing our tails to keep up-to-date.


Step#3. Test and revise

Test planning is ultimately about taking what you discover about your customers and building on that customer theory with more testing focused on discovering what really works.

Although organizing your testing planning may never deliver a lift directly, by keeping your queue in order, your team will be making sure the focus needed to get those lifts stays on testing.


Related Resources:

Testing: Go big, or go home?

The WOW! Computer: How firstSTREET applied a radical redesign to deliver a 500% sales increase (MarketingSherpa video archive)

Marketing Metrics: Do your analytics capture the real reasons customers buy from you?

Testing and Optimization: SAP’s Test Lab increases digital leads 27%, leads to 20% budget savings (Part 1)

Testing and Optimization: SAP’s Test Lab increases digital leads 27% [Part II]

Emily Munns

About Emily Munns

Emily Munns, Research Manager, MECLABS Emily is a member of the MECLABS research team and is the primary point of contact for multiple Research Partnerships. Her responsibilities include managing and monitoring projects and team members, which includes optimization strategies, test strategies and reporting. She enjoys interacting with her Partners on multiple levels, which is a motivating factor in her daily work. Emily holds a bachelor of arts in marketing and sports management from Saint Mary’s University-Winona. Emily enjoys going on trips with family and friends, and actively follows at least one Minnesota sport at all times.

Categories: Research And Measurement Tags: , , , , , ,

  1. May 2nd, 2013 at 10:23 | #1

    Such an informative article! Step #3 is often the step that everyone concentrates on, but you’ve shown that there’s much more to testing – especially if we want to stay organized and have something to present to our team.

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