Best Practices

Tell a stronger story about your experiments

September 20, 2023
An illustration of a penguin piloting a small plane, with the contrails left in the plane's wake evoking a graph that zig-zags "up and to the right"

It can be easy to neglect the business strategy and communication part of product experimentation when you’re primarily focused on designing a good experiment. But it’s important to remember that growth teams are expected to deliver on both fronts — even though sometimes you have to go through a period of focusing on one before making strides in the other.

🌱 Growth teams' main outputs
  1. Answers to important questions about your company’s specific levers for growth
  2. Impact to the company and business, based on those answers

It's especially tricky when your output is concentrated in answering the important questions, but you’re still carrying the expectation of driving a measurable impact on the business. What can you do?

Tell a better story. Time and time again, we’ve found that the growth-specific muscle of making something understandable to a specific audience is also useful when dealing with internal stakeholders.

Here are some easy tactics to help you continually tell a convincing story to stakeholders about the foundation of understanding that your experiments are building.

📸 Take a “before” shot

You’ll experiment a lot on certain parts of the product like onboarding and invites, and 12 months in… you'll realize that you don’t remember what your product looked like at the beginning. It's possible to get some screens from projects like the Wayback Machine, but now is the time to start taking good “before” screenshots.

In Panobi, it's easy to post these shots in the description field for any release that’s focused on visible changes to that area of the product — your future self with thank you!  

📊 Link to your metrics

It's frustrating to try to discuss metrics changes with stakeholders and have the conversation devolve into explanations about what the metric names and acronyms refer to. Panobi makes it easy to keep stakeholders in the loop, because they can easily check it out for themselves — and find tons of quick links to more in-depth explanations.

After integrating with your data warehouse, pull in your topline metrics like WAU/MAU, ARR, and the activation rate. When you create a new release, include a section on impacted metrics and type a hash sign (#) and the name of your metric, like #WAU/MAU. Now your readers will be able to see at a glance which levers you’re pinpointing, in order to learn how relevant or powerful they are.

Whenever you link to metrics (or insights and other releases, for that matter), you provide a breadcrumb trail for your teammates, helping them understand the context and connections between all of the growth work. If a metric has been mentioned in releases or insights, the "Mentioned in" section at the end of the metric's detailed view will show a list of these places, with links for quick viewing.

🌵 Look for growth team collisions

Using your timeline in Panobi, you can always see a live roadmap of what your team is planning, and your colleagues can see it, too. This helps you avoid testing at the same time on shared product surfaces — a common woe of fast-moving teams.

🌏 Look for cross-company collisions

Meaningfully expand your view of the business by adding events from the go-to-marketing team to the timeline, too. Seek out the shared (or shareable) calendars of your PR, marketing, and sales colleagues to find out when big events like partner announcements and sponsored conferences are happening. Add those events to the timeline as footnotes.

Note that these are inputs the executives at your company care about, too. Understanding how the actions of folks outside of your growth org impact your metrics is exactly the kind of 30,000 foot view that executives will promote you for creating.

When you make it easy for stakeholders to get answers about growth levers (the first output), you start to free up more time for yourself to work on the second output — making a real impact on your company's growth.

Share this post: