Post_MKT takeover

Growth Marketing: the myths, the process, and the growth department

A reflection on growth with Marketing Takeover

There’s a lot we have to say about Growth, but for the sake of conciseness, let’s say it’s based on a principle as old as time yet as relevant as ever: experimentation. Anyone who listens to the Growth 101 Workshop from Marketing Takeover can get from 0 knowledge about Growth Marketing to a fair understanding of the subject. It’s 1 and a half hour covering:

  • Examples of experiments we conducted with @Sessions, @Solo, and @Mogo.
  • Which types of business best fit a growth marketing approach?
  • The current state of the growth ecosystem in Romania.
  • What skills should you have as a growth person?
  • When is the right time to hire vs. outsource?
  • Lessons learned during 10 years of testing.
  • Growth experiments we conducted.
  • Growth Marketing Do’s & Don’ts.

Natalia & Irina from Marketing Takeover prepared an extensive article on substack talking about all of that and more. We highly recommend this article to Romanian speakers: #49 – Workshop: Growth 101, cu Răzvan Enache și Alex Gavril (Promocrat)

The Myths

One day, we hope there won’t be a need to start every growth discussion with myths debunking. However, this is the stage where the growth market in Romania stands — a journey of continuous learning and we’re here for it! Here are a few myths to warm up with, as described by Aatif Awan in “Growth Hacking is Dead. Long Live Growth!”:

1. The pixie dust theory: Growth doesn’t work by magic, you can’t sprinkle onto your business tactics that have been successful for renowned companies and expect instant growth. While it’s tempting to emulate success stories like Airbnb, Dropbox, Hubspot, and Twitter, it’s not sustainable. Copy-pasting their strategies onto your startup won’t guarantee the same results. Instead, focus on understanding your startup’s unique challenges and strengths, and tailor your growth strategies accordingly. 

2. The Wizard of OZ theory: Another myth is the belief that hiring a single individual dedicated to growth will automatically skyrocket your business. Growth is a collaborative effort. It requires synergy between multiple departments. With a collective mindset focused on growth, teams can develop experiments that generate actionable insights.

3. Jack and the Beanstalk theory: The notion that by initiating numerous strategies or “planting many seeds”, one will inevitably lead to exponential growth is not always accurate. While diversification is essential, it’s equally crucial to monitor, nurture, and optimize these strategies for tangible results.

Sean Ellis, in “Hacking Growth”, emphasized the importance of high-tempo experimentation in the growth function. Don’t forget that you must also derive meaningful insights from these experiments. Growth is about aligning the efforts of product, marketing, and customer support departments in a data-driven approach to deliver genuine value to clients. It has experimentation at its core, but it’s more than that: it’s an entire business function with a specific mindset and process. This is what we’re going to talk about next.

The process

The growth experimentation process is simple. You start at the top, with analysis, you scout for ideas, prioritize their implementation and finally, you test them. Then you take your learnings and start all over again.

1. Analyze

  • Quantitative analysis: use any relevant key performance indicators (KPIs) at your disposal. Leverage any numerical data you can to gain insights.
  • Qualitative feedback: this is the time to demonstrate user-centricity by gathering feedback directly from your user base. Use their experiences, preferences, and pains as a starting point for the ideation phase (which is next).
  • Past test data: identify patterns, trends, and performance metrics that can guide your current experimentation strategy. 
  • External trends: data collected from previous tests is golden, but take into consideration the current market conditions and stay on the lookout for trends you can leverage.

2. Ideas

Feel free to brainstorm, anyone in the company can come up with ideas.

3. Prioritize 

If in the ideation phase we were free to propose any crazy idea, now it’s the time to get real and prioritize them according to the resources we have and the results we expect from each idea.

Sing along: ICE, ICE, baby! This is the ICE score:

  • Impact: in the best-case scenario where the experiment works, how great of an impact are we going to see?
  • Confidence: are the chances of this idea working high or slim?
  • Ease: if we look at the resources available to us, is this idea easy to set up and test?

Rate each indicator on a scale from 1 to 5, then add them up and prioritize the idea that gets the higher score.

4. Test

Prepare the assets you need to implement the idea, and put it to the test! You should observe results pretty fast. This is called high-tempo testing. If it doesn’t work, just gather your learnings and go back to the drawing board. 

Remember, there are no failures within the growth mindset, only lessons learned.

The Growth Department

In the dynamic world of Silicon Valley startups, something interesting caught Alex’s attention: the Head of Growth was a big deal, placed right after the CEO and CTO in terms of importance. 

What makes this role so cool and crucial? Picture this: in the early stages of a startup, the Head of Growth is like the strategic buddy of the Head of Product and Data Scientist. Together, they make sure the product hits the sweet spot with what the market wants, all based on smart, data-backed decisions (hopefully).

Fast forward to the big leagues: established companies. Here, growth needs a dream team. Think Revenue Operations (RevOps), Sales Development Representatives (SDRs), and folks in partnerships or Business Development. 

Does this mean you need to create new roles in your company and start building your dream team? Not necessarily. No matter the stage, you need a person leading the growth efforts of all departments. This person might conduct experiments, manage data flow, and excel at project management. But they also have to act as the company’s connective tissue, ensuring all resources work together effectively for maximum impact. 🚀

To sum up

Growth is a business function. To implement it into your business, you first need the right mindset. 

The right mindset can be summed up easily using the virtues of growth: full-funnel perspective, results-first, data-driven, agile mentality, open to experimentation, tech-loving, resourceful, ability to compromise, self-outperforming, customer empathy, and hyper-optimism.

Then you need to put to work the growth experimentation process we described above. You have to build a dream team willing to always keep things moving. Easy? Maybe not. But worth it? Absolutely!