CXL Institute Growth Marketing Mini Degree Review: Week 1
I’ve never worked as a Growth Marketer in my past. In my previous work, I shared the same goals with them, partly covered their tasks and imitated their processes to a degree. That said, I felt the need to learn more about growth marketing to add to my background in sales and product lifecycle marketing.
I have a problem. I guess I’m not the only one out there that experiences the same thing.
Does this sound familiar?
You’re trying to formulate a plan to solve a business problem or learn a wide subject. In search for knowledge, you jump from one tab to another as your mind swerves through new information. You end up falling in a rabbit hole of new concepts, frameworks, experiments, stories, tools to use. The problem is you ride this wave without fully absorbing or internalizing one subject before moving on to another. The result is a web of open tabs on your browser that stay there for days on end.
There’s no structure to your process and you have to go out of your way to create one. Well, that requires a lot of time to synthesize information and come up with a road map. Also it’s difficult for me to stay true to the process with everything else going on.
Enter CXL Institute Minidegrees…
Structured information from seasoned professionals that has to be consumed in a condensed time frame(12 weeks in my case). Exactly what I need.
The Growth Mindset
John McBride(at Calm) introduces us to the process and makes the differentiation between Growth Marketing and Traditional Marketing.
- Traditional marketing focuses on the top of the funnel. They’re responsible for the first two stages of Pirate Metrics growth framework, introduced by Dave McClure: Acquisition and Activation.
Growth Marketers, on the other hand, oversees the full funnel and also works with the the next stages of the framework: Retention, Referral and Revenue. Basically, a Growth Marketer tries to take advantage of every touchpoint in a customer’s lifetime to create value for the user and the business.
Here’s a great piece from Melanie Balke on AARRR framework if you want to learn more about it.
2. Growth Marketing is an endless process that utilizes agile experimentation based on hypotheses originated from quantitative and qualitative user research.
The goal is to find the fastest and the most efficient experiments to test the hypotheses. This way you either validate or invalidate the hypotheses before spending tons of money, time and effort on a gut feeling.
You’ll leave the experiment with more information that you can use later even if it doesn’t work.
Growth Marketing steals the idea from the Minimum Viable Product concept Eric Ries wrote about in his book Lean Startup.
John goes on to say there are 3 levels to the experiments you can conduct. First you try to understand if making a change(even if it’s a terrible attempt) is better than keeping the status quo. Is sending a welcome e-mail to increase activation better than not sending any e-mail?
If that works, then you try to find better messages to be used in the e-mail for incremental effects. The idea is to see if certain messages perform better than others on a large scale.
If you can manage to do that too, you focus on tailoring your message for different segments with different wants, needs, questions, objections, etc. This last challenge can make drastic changes if you can have a different message, offer, or experience for individuals rather than big groups.
Building a Growth Process
3 Phases of Growth Management
- High-level strategy: Define key high-level metrics for different levers of growth based on users’ lifecycle. Take a look at this from the AARRR perspective and through the lens of customer lifecycle. Make sure to dice those goals and get sub-metrics to find out all the ways you can grow your business.
- Quarterly growth planning: Look for weak points to improve on the customer journey map. Rely on quantitative data and talk to your users to get qualitative information. This will help in setting goals.
In order to have the greatest impact on all the resources that will go into the experimentation process, it is crucial to keep the focus on what you can leverage in a defined time period.
John suggests using the OKR framework to set goals.
Objectives and Key Results are used to set challenging yet achievable goals by teams or individuals. Objectives are simply concrete goals that should create inspiration.
Key results are measurable and verifiable metrics evaluate your progress towards the objective. It is advised to have 2–5 key results for each objective.
A Saas example:
Objective: Improve the free trial experience for our users
Key Result 1: Increase Net Promoter Score from X to Y
Key Result 2: Reduce the customer support inquiry per user from X to Y during the free trial
Key Result 3: Decrease Customer Effort Score from X to Y
In a startup, resources are scarce and one needs to get the most out of them with superb prioritization.
ICE Score = (Impact + Confidence + Effort) / 3
Impact: We can employ a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being the highest impact. It gives an idea of how much positive change can happen for a key metrics you want to improve. Ideally, we would be measuring impact with expected revenue from the experiment.
Confidence: This is more on how much you trust your hypothesis. You can gain more of an understanding of how to evaluate for confidence by looking at previous experiments as time goes.
Effort: How easily you can test your idea?
3. In Quarter Execution
Here is a 4 step process to follow once you set a strategy, goals, and prioritization for the highest impact.
A) Design your experiment
B) Ship your experiment
C) Analyze the results
D) Automate and scale the process if it works. Move on to other experiments and remember what you've learned if it doesn’t.
In the second part of week 1, Paul Boag, the CX expert explains why we should do everything with the user in mind and how we can better understand them.
Traditional marketing requires big budgets, to make user research and implement. The results are difficult to track and post-launch optimization is little to none.
Advances in technology made it much more easier to optimize campaigns in the era of modern marketing. We’re able to collect huge amounts of data about a customers lifecycle from the moment they become aware of your brand. Thanks to newer methods of user research and the application of User Experience principles we can change the marketing project management and campaigns to modern standards.
We have to know the user to convince them to take an action. We have to know their goals, tasks, feelings, questions, objections, and more to send the right message at the right time given their customer lifecycle stage.
Customer Journey Mapping(although being familiar with them) and Top Task Analysis caught my attention the most in this chapter.
Customer Journey maps tell stories about users. It helps us understand the tasks, questions, touchpoints, emotions, and influences of our hero(the customer) among other things at different stages in their journey.
CJMs should be updated from time to time as they’re a dynamic representation of users’ situations unlike user personas which are static.
Top Task analysis is done to discover what questions we need to answer to make a user complete an action. What are dealbreakers? What are nice to knows?
The answers help us answer the main questions, shape the information architecture, write ad & landing page copies, create CTAs, and more.
First, you come up with all the questions you can think of. Second, you ask users via surveys to pick the 5 most important questions. Then you ask them to rank them in order. The results will help you with your messaging and what topics to cover primarily.