MarTech and Agile Marketing: Quality is no longer optional

As the agile movement continues to mature, other parts of the enterprise are benefiting from the principles and practices.  In many organizations, marketing is in the forefront of the movement from technical to citizen agile. Just as technology has become central to sales and marketing, many software engineering practices are following suit, including Agile Marketing.  Whether you are in software engineering or marketing, delivery in the enterprise is all about quality.

If you have to ask if you’ve released a campaign with quality, then you have not.  You must define quality at project inception to deliver quality in the end. We call this Test-Driven Marketing (TDM). And in order to achieve quality at scale, test automation is required.  In the ideal, applied test automation aligned to an effective marketing delivery pipeline that employs solid DevOps principles – including different types of testing – should be leveraged to achieve optimal quality.

Unless you live in the world of revenue operations quality (Stack Moxie is hiring!), you probably haven’t thought much about it.  But there are two sides to the quality discussion – verification and validation. 

Verification is black and white.  Does it work as intended or not? For example, does a landing page load or not.  Does a lead get routed or not. Do all of the possibly lead data variations route correctly to their respective sales queues?  In the software engineering world automation testing types may include Test Driven Development (TDD) or something like smoke testing or integration testing.  Pass or fail.

Validation on the other hand is much less binary, it asks did it achieve the intended result? Or put a different way, did it provide the outcome (value) as expected.  Was the campaign a success? Was this a high quality lead? This is much more subjective. A/B testing focuses on validating that the different landing pages work better.  

Validation is harder.  From a test automation perspective, we can break it down into two areas.  First, we can apply intelligent automated testing practices like Behavior Driven Development (BDD), which can easily be achieved with the right MarTech automated testing tool.  On the other side of that coin, all automation can do is provide analytics and business intelligence (BI) allowing skilled practitioners to derive actionable intelligence. These approaches can include multivariate testing or many of the metrics provided by any robust marketing operations or MarTech platform. 

To truly benefit for the rich data available, you should strive for accelerated learning through hypothesis driven design, measurable outcomes and even OKRs.  Many of these practices are rooted in a great application of the scientific method. But that’s to be explored another time.

At the end of the day, MarTech is coming into the mainstream, which means technology owners expectations continue to be less and less tolerant of poor quality.  Leveraging automation to achieve quality is quickly becoming necessary in any operating model in order to compete in today’s digital economy.   

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