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ROI of IC Series: The Power of A/B Testing

Written by

Hani Khan


February 17, 2021




A big part of internal communications is engaging, informing and aligning the organization’s employees but it’s equally important to get buy-in from your executive leadership. Our ROI on Internal Communications Series focuses on how to make a successful business case to get sign off from your organization’s leadership team on key initiatives.

Only a few things are more powerful than the voice of the masses. Now that you have a general understanding of how to build your case for a new intranet, seek out employee data to support your cause. Collecting employee feedback through surveys can be easily created and cost close to nothing.

Survey users to support your hypotheses

Surveying end users

When you combine quantitative data (like low intranet usage) with qualitative data (like employee sentiment), you’ll have much more compelling information to build your case. Consider surveying employees in the following areas:

  • Overall engagement and satisfaction with the organization
  • How connected employees feel to the organization’s mission and vision
  • How informed employees are and on top of critical information (be bold and quiz them on recent news to test for recall)
  • Overall satisfaction of the intranet relative to other software in house
  • How easy it is to find information 
  • Whether the current intranet reflects the employee brand
  • Functional feedback (user experience, search, mobile app, etc.)

Survey content creators and intranet administrators

A single person challenged with laborious steps and manual work may not get management’s attention, but 50 people with the same problem might. A survey may highlight the magnitude of your existing processes and their inefficiencies. Consider surveying employees in the following areas:

  • Time spent creating and curating information
  • Time spent maintaining the system
  • Areas of the intranet that have been abandoned for other solutions/processes
  • Overall sentiment of existing tools
  • Areas that are flat out broken within the system
  • What percentage of information within the system is unreliable, out of date, or nonexistent
  • How much time is spent supporting one-off requests because the employees aren’t using the system

When you create your survey, add in open-ended questions for employees to share their opinions. These insights will provide valuable pull quotes for future presentation decks and often crystalize the pain you’re trying to articulate.

The Power of A/B Testing

Many organizations struggle to show ROI with intranet investments. A/B testing against the status quo is often a great way to show comparative value. 

Testing for New Hire Onboarding

New to NPS? The Net Promoter Score is a popular survey measurement standard. It helps boil down satisfaction into one easy to use metric. eNPS is a specific survey methodology for employee satisfaction. To learn more visit:

How Nutanix conducted A/B test experiments to prove intranet ROI

Simpplr’s customer, Nutanix, was proliferating and hiring 60 new employees every month. To build a case for a new intranet, they separated new hires into different cohorts. The control group used the company’s existing tools and resources, while the test group used Simpplr’s intranet. Participants were sent on a scavenger hunt, tested for information recall, and surveyed on their experiences. The results are below:

Minutes Spent Accuracy NPS
Group with existing tool 41 83% 7
Group with Simpplr intranet 23 93% 76


Nutanix ran more A/B tests with similar results and this helped justify their new investment. You can download the in depth case study here.

Testing for Field Enablement

One of Simpplr’s retail customers wanted to improve positioning and promotional enablement for their frontline employees. The retail company was experiencing several pains:

  1. Many of their regions were experiencing flat sales growth 
  2. There was no consistent leadership communications to the frontline employees
  3. Employees struggled to understand what specific changes could help them achieve sales goals 

The communications team started with a pilot program for one region since the investment was easier to justify. This reduced investment and change management risk, but also gave the organization the ability to compare whether communication changes helped. Ultimately the pilot region:

  1. Achieved better employee engagement scores
  2. higher marks for managers and company leaders
  3. Improved sales results

The results justified the ability to expand the technology across the full company.

Examples of metrics that can be A/B tested with intranet trials:

  • Usage statistics, logins, and social engagement
  • Content views and readership compliance percentages
  • User feedback scores
  • Time to create content
  • Time to find what you’re looking for
  • Search results accuracy
  • Content accuracy (what percentage of content is still relevant, latest version)
  • Employee engagement score improvements
  • Leadership approval survey scores
  • Social shares using employee advocacy (social promotion) tools

Download the Making a Business Case for a Modern Intranet eBook

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