Growth Marketing is never static. While more general marketing strategies focus on the top of funnel, Growth Marketing focuses on impacting the entire funnel and is instrumental in growing the business as a whole.
We recently hosted a Growth Hackers Data Coffee Hour with Sean Ellis, Jack Mardack and Riaan Ahmed—all of which head up growth initiatives at GrowthHackers.com, Nexmo and Thomson Reuters. During the Coffee Hour, our panelist shared a ton of powerful advice based on their years of experience in growing companies. Our first blog post didn’t cover it all, continue reading as we share even more growth strategies with you—straight from the pros.
The Top Challenges for Growth Marketers
No matter the size and state of your business, marketers will always face challenges. These challenges will take shape in many different forms from the competitive landscape to understanding your customer to analyzing data. Nonetheless, our seasoned pros in Growth Marketing shared their current challenges with us and thoughts on how to overcome those challenges.
“We’re trying to work through the negative cost of marketing messaging. With every incremental email and push message notification, it increases the risk of that user turning away from your product. And once a user leaves, it’s harder to get them to come back,” said Riaan Ahmed, Director of Growth and Analytics at Thomson Reuters.
While Thomson Reuters is currently working through this challenge, they are building a framework in which they can properly analyze that overall cost. Until the the framework is built out, Thomson Reuters is treading forward with caution and making sure they don’t over communicate with their users.
For Jack Mardack and his team at Nexmo, their top challenge is building perspective. With so many disparate data sources, the organization was having a hard time getting a full-view on their customer. To overcome this challenge, Nexmo has implemented tools, such as Segment and Chartio, to help create that perspective.
Of course we can’t write about the biggest challenges for marketers without attribution. Between organic, keywords, paid channels, etc., even Sean Ellis named attribution as his top challenge.
“Attribution, or being able to get information around where people are coming from, especially when organic kicks is difficult,” said Sean Ellis, CEO and Founder of GrowthHackers.com.
Where to Start with Messy Data
In an ideal world, when a Growth Marketer joins a new company and dives head-first into the data, we’d like to think that our data will be in a perfect state. Again, I said this was an ideal world. Most of the time, the state of our data is far from this, and that’s okay.
You could spend weeks trying to wade through the data and determine what is useful and what isn’t, or you could deploy Sean’s approach to getting started with messy data:
“Start with a list of questions, with the first question being, ‘what do I really need to know’ and then go fishing in the data to see if those answers are there,” said Sean.
Predictive Growth Models
In data science, there are four types of data analytics: descriptive, diagnostic, predictive and prescriptive. While these four types of analytics are also applicable to marketers, Growth Marketing can put an emphasis on the predictive analytics through predictive growth models.
“A predictive growth model is important in a sense that it allows you to map interdependent levers to the customer journey. The model can show you where to invest time and resources, so you’ll make the highest impact on the business,” said Sean Ellis.
Using a predictive growth model allows marketers to forecast growth, quantify growth and prove out ROI of their efforts. With that, predictive growth models can take many forms from lead generation, paid acquisition to customer activation.
“At Thomson Reuters, we use a predictive growth model for paid acquisition and have everything set up in a spreadsheet. In that spreadsheet, we have all our metrics, funnel and channel sources laid out and you can see where we’re spending money and where we’re getting ROI,” said Riaan.
While Riaan and his team at Thomson Reuters have seen success with their paid acquisition predictive growth model, he also offers a word of advice when implementing the model.
“One of the biggest issues with predictive models is that the assumptions you put into the model can change over time. Having caution when using predictive models is important,” said Riaan.
Net Promoter Score
For today’s Growth Marketers, we have greater access to data and insights into our customers than ever before. The Net Promoter Score, or commonly known as NPS, is a metric for measuring customer sentiment. It’s an important metric, and Harvard Business Review calls it “the one number you need to grow.”
Here’s what our panelists think of the metric:
“The handy thing about NPS is that it’s a pre-existing framework. It’s easy to enact and you don’t have to worry about all the other aspects or bring that type of telemetry about customer sentiment into your system,” said Jack.
“I think NPS is a valuable metric, but for early-stage startups, it’s less important. For early-stage startups they should ask customers ‘How would you feel if you could no longer use this product’ rather than how likely would you recommend this product,” said Sean.
While our panelists agreed that the NPS metric can deliver a lot of actionable data, it should not be the North Star Metric.
“Sustainable growth and building company value over time means you have to look at expansion of value across your growing customer base, and NPS isn’t one of them,” said Sean.
“To tack onto that, if you have a North Star Metric that defines and helps the business, you can have a low NPS score because I’ve found that the loudest people aren’t necessarily representative of your customer base,” said Riaan.
To hear the full discussion on Growth Marketing strategies from our panel of seasoned Growth Hackers, watch our on-demand webinar and read our blog post, Advice from Growth Hacking Experts on Reaching Sustainable Growth.