Great Marketers Protect Their Work with Load Testing

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How do you define the role of a marketer?

Traditional marketing once had more focus on design and ambiguous terms like “buzz” and “mindshare,” but the data-driven world is now focused on measurable conversion, social media and accessing information through both mobile and web applications.

As the world continues to change and more exciting technologies are made available, marketers must be careful to ensure their work is protected.

At the end of the day, marketing involves helping clients achieve business objectives — product sales, usually more than anything. Whether in-house or with an agency, marketers are trusted to provide expert advice and guidance to their clients.

While many clients are developing stronger skills across a range of new media topics, with so many competing demands, they may not reach an expert level. They will continue to rely on marketers to bridge the technical gap.

Managing the production of a website or app, whether a new build or daily maintenance, requires a high level of understanding of development processes.

Clients require data-driven features to meet the needs of end users. As a result, marketers are always looking at new and innovative ways to increase traffic.

However, as many marketers have realized, the effort can be futile if the product isn’t prepared to handle a large influx of users.

A large number of websites are now driven heavily by features requiring large amounts of data when a user logs in or accesses an application. These data-driven features are becoming a mainstay in products.

Websites or applications running competitions or events are particularly vulnerable as clients may feel a short campaign period does not warrant as robust development process. And that process does not end with coding. While developers can test that a feature is working, special tools are required to test that it works under pressure.

It’s imperative that marketers explain the risks to clients, demonstrating through examples and simple language how the development team can work together to ensure the product will perform as expected with any number of users.

Enter load testing — a key component of the development process. While some clients may pay more attention to the design or usability of a website or application, it’s important that marketers draw attention to the testing phase as a whole.

There are hundreds of examples of websites or applications failing to perform due to an influx of users. In many cases, the developers of the product may have requested load testing but it was not agreed to based on cost.

With cloud-based load testing now available, the cost has become more affordable, meaning everyone from start-up companies to major networks such as Twitter or Facebook perform load testing regularly.

Not only are clients testing major pathways such as login processes, but any process that requires data to be provided to the end user. A failure to perform load testing can result in lengthy downtime, a loss of revenue and the potential to alienate customers.

Marketers must now be passionate about these risks and communicate them to clients throughout the early stages of idea development — as well as during the production process.

Demonstrating expertise through risk identification sets good marketers apart from the rest.

In the ever-evolving world of tech products, it’s clear that marketers have a huge role to play in product development.

They hold the expertise in developing a relationship with their client and an ability to translate ideas into a brief that designers, developers and testers can understand. This expertise should absolutely extend to load testing.

Using load testing is a simple way to ensure the effort made through all phases of product development isn’t lost — and at the end of the day — it’s all about performance and product excellence to the user.

— Carla Cram is a contributing writer to Load Impact's blog and a marketing and communications expert with more than 10 years experience spanning several industries including advertising, automotive, transport and logistics and not-for-profit. Carla enjoys writing on a range of topics and bringing marketing and technology closer together.

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