Testing You

tape measure image

tape measure image

I consider myself lucky to have worked within marketing organizations that have been agile and metrics-driven.

I genuinely enjoy the task of conducting marketing tests, A/B tests or otherwise, because I find it fun to experiment with real-world marketing data. Over the years, it’s been gratifying to report on marketing test results and utter the phrase, “…our results show.”

I think the idea of formally examining one’s efforts from time to time is a good one.  What about you? How often do you test yourself or measure your progress against your personal goals?

Years ago at a software industry event, I had the pleasure of meeting one of authors of the book, The Balanced Scorecard. After the meeting, I began to question whether I could apply a balanced scorecard methodology and approach to my personal life and determined that I could do so, if I adjusted the book authors’ four metrics quadrants slightly.

Rather than measuring my personal growth from the authors’ suggested learning and growth, financial, internal business processes, and customer perspectives, I decided that I could measure myself through these four revised quadrants:

  1. Spiritual
  2. Personal
  3. Learning and Growth; and
  4. Financial.

Since then, I’ve tried to measure my progress against specific goals that I’ve established inside each of my “personal quadrants,” though I admit to going off-course with tracking my progress over the years.

And, my admission points to one of the important realities of testing: failure. Sometimes tests and metrics approaches fail, and sometimes we fail.

In this video interview with Spanx founder and billionaire Sara Blakely, she tells a story of how her father would remind her of the importance of setting personal goals by raising the same question nightly at the family dinner table when she was growing up. Her father’s question was: “What did you fail at today?”

I think the biggest failure would be to avoid testing ourselves. Would you agree?

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