Aegon shares ‘Test & Learn’ approach with Stanford Lead Program

This month, Aegon was invited to demonstrate to Stanford Graduate School of Business LEAD Certificate students how the ‘Test & Learn’ approach is being used effectively to drive change.

The Test & Learn approach, customized by Aegon Life India, enables employees to define business theories and test them out. Acceptance of failure is key to the method, as it enables employees to find solutions that resonate with customers – even if those solutions originate from mistakes.

Martijn de Jong, Chief Digital Officer at Aegon Life, IndiaMartijn de Jong, Chief Digital Officer with Aegon Life India is behind its transformation into a digital insurance company and leading InsurTech player. As part of the Stanford LEAD Certificate program focusing on corporate innovation, he was invited to present and discuss the Test & Learn approach introduced at Aegon Life, as an example of best practice.

Real-life value

Using this approach, teams develop a set of four theories on a weekly basis, which are tested and analyzed. The outcome of the hypothesis testing is used to make informed business decisions.

"An example hypothesis might be which color or text to use on the website. After experimenting, we can improve KPIs such as website bounce rate, time spent on our site, click-through rate and sales conversion," explains de Jong.

Data-driven culture

Key to the approaches success has been storing the learnings from all of these tests centrally, and making them easily accessible to all decision makers. "This Test & Learn culture is driven by data analytics and is helping our marketing and e-commerce team work together to make science based decisions for optimum business results," says de Jong.

"The key for us has been our ongoing efforts to create a data-driven culture which is essential for every company to succeed in the digital age."

Over time, Aegon plans to broaden the scope of Test & Learn, extending it to other business areas. This will involve scaling up the process to increase the number of weekly tests. Measurements will be automated to get real time Tableau-based reports hosted in the cloud.

"Getting inputs for these test and sharing output is a key part of developing the culture of Test & Learn over time, while also improving the quality of tests and results," says de Jong.

Reducing costs

But is the approach making a difference to the bottom line? "We have multiple success stories," says de Jong. "For example, by testing which traffic sources, landing pages and approaches work best for eSales conversion, we've been able to reduce the cost of an online sale down by 40% in last six months."