Three ways that testing can drive global growth

What does QA have to do with global growth? It's a question we've been asked as we explain to clients that testing is all about supporting global growth. Often, individuals who ask this will have a view that quality is a tail-end verification process (this puts it in parallel to localization, which is often seen as a tail-end language support process). QA is often that, but the most sophisticated teams which work with GAT use testing as a lever for global growth.

Here' s three practical techniques explaining how you can do it. If you're interested in getting started with one of these, you can always chat to us via the button below. 

1. Cross-comparative testing 

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"Cross-comparative testing’ is a proactive, data-led approach to understanding product commercial performance, identify issues and identify actions for your product team to take on post launch for different user groups. Then, #2, compare each data set and ask if your product is doing particularly well among one group of users – in one country for example – but poorly among another.

The best practice is to run a blend of functional and UX testing, in market – for both your high and underperforming markets – to generate local insights and to uncover any localization issues that may be the cause. That could be localization activities causing issues, or recommendations for some kind of localization, due to anything from different device and data contexts, different payment contexts, different user preferences, different market facts – and so forth. 

Cross-comparative insight can be a great driver of product decisions. One example of how a comparative insight has driven a big product decision was the decision by X (then Twitter) to increase the character limit in latin script countries from 140 to 260 characters. This was based on the superior performance of the app in Asian countries, where scripts tend to be denser, such that with the same character count, Japanese users were able to communicate further within the word count than their European counterparts. 

2. Test intensively towards your desired market stage

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The next strategy I’ll leave you with is to test intensively towards your desired market stage.

Lots of businesses which view QA as a tail-end process test extensively across all your markets. It might be worth choosing one market for intensive testing.

The reason for this is that when you have a product advantage somewhere, it’s much more cost effective to retain a monopoly than it is to create a toehold in another market elsewhere. (In our recent webinar, Nataly Kelly pointed out that businesses sometimes rely on market pull signals without properly thinking through the entire product use case in those markets). So often, the highest ROI tests focus on getting a specific market to "stronghold" status rather than waging war everywhere at once.

There's a great recent interview with Nilan, the CPO of Wise as he talked a little bit about why NPS is so powerful. He was saying that a moderate NPS increase has a disproportionate word-of-mouth coefficient... so you get an exponential return on a great NPS. If your NPS is moderately good in one market and poor in another, could it be worth focusing more on testing your product experience in the moderately good market and using iterative product adjustments towards your desired market stage?

3. Set up local market pulse checks 

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The first time we started work on a pulse check, the client was looking for a way of systematising local UX research in a way that would fit into a traditional software workflow.

One of the big challenges we get approached with on the UX work we do is that businesses want to do local UX research but they can’t find a way to make it practical with their iteration process.

Often, localization happens as a tail-end language adaptation process and loc teams are fighting to get their own research done. In thse scenarios, product teams can sometimes prioritise domestic user research. And they partly do so wiht good reason – it's very difficult to get the kind of UX feedback you need to support global iteration because the techniques used in product research are slow and expensive and thus difficult to scale globally. 

Crucially therefore, pulse checks are rapid! Pulse checks can be proactively run, and empower you with actionable, validated local insights at any point in the product cycle. It means that you can help elevate the voice of global users within the product org to identify product design decisions.


If the techniques described here sound like they could help you generate global growth, fill out the form via the button and ask us about testing.

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