QA + Marketing: Can Testers Help Marketers and Vice Versa?by@eugeneponomarenko
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QA + Marketing: Can Testers Help Marketers and Vice Versa?

by Eugene PonomarenkoFebruary 18th, 2021
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Eugene Ponomarenko is CEO at Kavichki Software testing and QA agency. He says testing has become deeply integrated into business in recent years. Testers can be a marketer's right hand, as the key to success in business promotion is understanding your target audience. The more you force the user to take the more actions you take to take, the lower the chance of him reaching the end of the experience. Ponomarnko: 'Testers and marketers have something in common: keeping the user happy with the product'

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The last few years have been a very riveting time. We witness a global integration of different spheres. One of the most prominent examples is AI. This technology is already being applied in medicine, education, design and of course, marketing. Why is this happening? Mainly because the new reality demands new ideas from businesses. As a result, marketers are forced to actively seek insights and unconventional solutions to better understand their customers/users and interact with them more effectively and faster than competitors.

Over the past few years, the business has shifted its focus to digitalization, and 2020 has been a tremendous trigger to accelerate the process. Now the companies' attention is focused on creating their own IT products. And customer expectations are at an all-time high.

This has led to companies being in a constant, tight race for user loyalty and love. Those who can offer the best user experience lead the race. It is a big challenge for marketers as well — they need to dig deeper into the product, user path, preferences, and market changes. And to do that, they need insights to percept business from different angles and push the boundaries of ideas.

One way to find such an idea is to look at the business through the eyes of someone from another profession, such as a tester. Who better to understand the user than him, testing different variations of behavior over and over again?

A marketer and a tester?

At first sight, you can think that they have absolutely different areas of responsibility that do not overlap. Really, what good can testers do in marketing if they are not immersed in the business and marketing processes?

However, in recent years, testing has become deeply integrated into business. What has changed?

First, I purposely put the emphasis on QA in the title of the article. Testers and QA are already inseparable concepts. These experts monitor the quality of the product from all sides (functional, logical, and usability), immersing themselves in the business processes and business logic of the product.

Secondly, they try on the masks of your product's TA (think of the character method at least). Therefore, they have a good understanding of what will appeal to the user and make good business sense.

A tester can be a marketer's right hand, as the key to success in business promotion is understanding your target audience.

As you can see, marketers and testers do have something in common. At a minimum, interest in keeping the user happy with the product so that loyalty grows. At a maximum, an understanding of what it takes to do it.

If they have a common goal, then they can help each other to achieve it. I will show you that such an unusual integration hides a lot of insights and benefits for business and I give you some examples from my testing and QA agency.

So, what can testers do for marketers? And how does this unusual alliance help business?

Improve the user experience

The user experience is one of the main things that affects product loyalty and sales. According to a PwC report, one in three customers abandons a brand after just one bad experience, and 92% leave completely after two or three negative interactions. To improve the interaction with the product (website or app) and increase conversions, you need to understand if there is a problem with functionality or usability. And also analyze why users leave, do not take the targeted action, and what exactly they do not like.

Of course, there are many different useful tools that marketers can use on their own. For example, the simplest and most accessible is Google analytics. But there is a crucial point. Just like in the development phase, in product analytics you need the perspective not of someone who is immersed in the specifics of the product, but of someone who will be
using it.

What can a tester tell you:

  • How the user interacts with the product;
  • Whether the user is comfortable, whether he is satisfied with everything in functionality or usability;
  • Whether problems arise at any stage of interaction with the product;
  • What prevents the user from taking the targeted action (in terms of functionality
    and usability).

The tester has a great background, fully immerses himself in the user experience, asks a lot of questions, and endlessly tests possible variations in user behavior. This is why the tester understands the user's logic well.

Case study:

Superfluous forms and elements are frequent enemies of conversions. The more actions you force the user to take, the lower the chance of him reaching the end. We had a case: a client had a low conversion rate at
the stage of purchasing in the online store.

A portion of users left the page when they were about to make a purchase. When we started testing, we realized that the problem was with unnecessary fields. For example, the «patronymic» field was mandatory. We made all not really important fields voluntary ones. After the release, they conversion was up. So, we continued the experiment and removed all unnecessary fields to fill in and merged some fields into one.

Build processes and make them more efficient

I think everyone who has worked with product teams understands the importance of a well-functioning team and inter-team communication processes. And really, it is not just a story about IT teams. Weak processes affect the entire chain - from the moment an idea is conceived to its implementation and launch. And in the end, this is reflected in the
quality of the product and user loyalty.

Statistically, 72% of clients will share a positive experience with 6 or more people. If customers are dissatisfied, 13% of them will share their experience with 15 or more people. The processes are handled by a specially trained QA rather than a tester.

They can put processes not only between teams but for example between IT and marketing and even between accounting departments. These professionals look at a company like clockwork and see where the failure has occurred.

What you can learn from QA:

  • If weak processes affect product quality and user loyalty;
  • What points in the work processes need to be addressed
    and what changes need to be made to improve the end result;
  • How to communicate with other departments so that you do not miss important details
    and improve your product performance.

Case study:

Basically, processes are how tasks are distributed and how information is communicated; how departments and teams interact, etc. Our client had a high percentage of customer service calls. For several months, our QA has been putting teamwork processes in place and selecting flexible methods of interaction between employees. The result was stunning — after only two months the number of complaints had already decreased by 4 times.

Conduct a competitive analysis

Analytics are the eyes and ears of the marketer. Without it, it is impossible to create a plan of promotion and brand positioning in the market. And of course, competitive analysis is important in analytics. It is necessary to study not only what competitors are doing, but also why users like their products, or vice versa — why they abandon it. Again, you may ask the tester about it.

  • What you can find out from the tester;
  • How users interact with a competitor's product;
  • What the user path is;
  • Does your competitor have cool features that your product does not;
  • What can be improved to outperform a competitor's

Case study:

We often get requests «we need competitive analysis of websites or applications». We look at the functionality of all the sites, map the differences and thus find features or bugs in the competitors. For example, our client, a marketplace, analyzed competitors' products and created the same functionality. And asked us to do an analysis and see if they took everything into account. When we started checking, we saw that there was an inconspicuous section on a competitor's site that hid a useful feature with the ability to print orders and receipts. This allowed our client, firstly, to implement this feature in its functionality. Secondly, do not repeat the competitor’s and do not hide it in inconspicuous sections.

I hope that I was able to show you real examples of how a seemingly strange union of two different professions can become an effective tool for business. It is important not to be afraid to look for insights where there previously seemed to be none. And at the same time constantly communicate with colleagues from different fields, exchanging
experiences and observations. After all, this is where the great potential for
business development and growth lies.