Load testing is an interesting high tech tool that websites and mobile apps use in order to ensure that they are ready for every possible real life scenario. There are many high tech marketing lessons to be learned from load AKA performance testing.
Prepare Your Hardware
In load testing, it is very important to prepare your hardware ahead of time. You don’t want to be doing hardware changes on Superbowl Sunday, or when your website has its big day, week or season. When it’s “money time,” you need to have the right servers, routers and spare parts ready to go.
Marketeers should spend a few weeks preparing their marketing blitz. Get your pieces into play. Our hardware is marketing automation, Google AdWords, killer content marketing tools, powerful messaging and targeted ad placement.
Marketing “hardware” is a neverending compromise. It will never be perfect and you will be tweaking it as you go along. You win by points – the knockout will come later. The most important lesson is not to be a perfectionist. There is a point of diminishing returns for “yet another headline grabbing marketing tool.”
Create Contingency Plans
The name of the game in performance testing is creating contingency plans. Imagine what would happen if Ebay or DeVry University weren’t ready for a spike in traffic. No one can calculate ahead of time how many people will visit Ebay on Cyber Monday, or how many students will register to DeVry during registration week.
Large websites run performance tests to ensure they are ready for a 20-50% spike in traffic – gradual and instant. High tech marketeers need to have similar contingency plans. What will you do if you’ve spent much of your budget and you are bringing in less qualified leads than you expected? Be ready to add more content. Analyse your results and cut the under-performing expenditures and up the over-performing advertising. Cut the fat and free up your budget for a higher ROI.
If you find yourself over-performing from day one, take a good look at what is working best and triple your efforts. Stomp on your winning formula and triple the results. Don’t be tempted to over spend.
DevOps and Scrum to the Rescue!
DevOps is a huge trend in high tech. The idea is to mix programmers, IT and QA together in teams so the development process progresses at the “speed of mobile.” Instead of a slow process of adding a bunch of features, implementing them and then checking for bugs, with DevOps, you end up with a modern version of the Henry Ford assembly line. Today’s websites, platforms and mobile apps *need* to be able to improve their offering on a minute’s notice.
For high tech marketers, DevOps & Scrum mean we need to be able to quickly conceive of new changes to our marketing plan, implement and analyze them in a very short amount of time. The fast paced reality that we work in demands a quick marketing innovation process.
When you make changes to your marketing plan, be agile and implement your changes as fast as you can. Sometimes you can tweak an advertising campaign or send out an email blast within hours. More likely, creating a mini-site and analyzing your advertising results take a few weeks. Fine. Don’t turn medium sized projects into Broadway productions. Implement changes as fast as you can.
Be agile. Create a fast cycle of “innovate, implement and analyze.”