You mentioned in the newsletter that it's a mindset, like the speed of experimentation, execution. What is the growth marketing mindset?
It’s a challenge to sum up a growth marketer’s mindset in one sentence or one meaning but I think the mindset in relation to growth marketing comes down to five main components:
Hunger - A hunger for all things business growth & love of problem solving
Understanding Fundamentals - Fundamental understanding of product & business strategy
Open-minded and having a Good Attitude - An open mind to problems & solutions across the business
Speed/Pace - An ability to move fast where speed > perfectionism is important and;
Data-driven - The ability to track experimentation with an ROI focus using data & various techniques.
1. Elaborating on Hunger:
With “a hunger for all things business growth & love of problem-solving”, I believe the difference between an average marketer and a great marketer comes down to this burning desire to achieve growth and a love of solving problems.
It’s about having a continuing state of curiosity that sparks new ideas and eagerness to love taking on new problems.
You never really stop thinking about growth.
In many ways, it’s having the mind just like the founder of a startup.
2. Elaborating on Understanding Fundamentals:
Having an understanding of product strategy & business strategy is key.
Business strategy - how will the business be successful?
Product strategy - how will the product be successful in growing the business?
You don’t need to be a strong business or product strategist per se, but it’s crucial to be across these strategies within the business as ultimately it dictates what you need to focus on as a marketer to achieve certain goals across both the business and product (s).
One thing to Remember: Marketing Tactics/ideas does not equal strategy.
3. Elaborating on having an Open Mind and Good Attitude:
Average marketers = close-minded & set in their ways
Great marketers = open-minded and always open to ideas & opinions of all people across the business.
You can’t be a great marketer without being open-minded. The world of startups and tech moves so quickly you can’t afford to be set in ways.
You also need to remember you don’t have all the ideas. You need to ensure people are part of the growth process and encouraged to share ideas.
4. Elaborating on Speed/Pace:
The ability to move fast and embrace failure is part of the process.
The reality is, 3 out of 10 times you will get experiments right which leads to awesome results. A few more lead to mediocre results and the rest end up being failures. That's the reality of being a marketer in a startup.
The primary result however is learning from your experiments and creating new ones based on data.
More experiments → more better ideas → more ideal results faster.
“Perfectionism” is only applicable if you work for a large corporation where there is more procurement, due diligence and brand equity to consider. You can afford to be slower paced working for a corporation.
If you work as a corporate marketer and want to transition to startups, you will need to adapt to speed and not be afraid of failure.
5. Elaborating on being Data-driven + Tracking Experiments:
Your decisions should be primarily based on good data. I stress on good data as it depends on how things are set up in the first place.
Data should be a primary driver to your decision-making.
To help with your decision-making over time, tracking experiments is key to becoming a great growth marketer when using data & various techniques.
For example, I use a concept called ICE. This is a good article on the concept.
It’s important to note it’s simply a framework to help come up with tactics and ideas that align with an overarching growth strategy.
My personal ‘ICE’ is built out a lot more than the original ICE you will read, but it’s a great starting point if you’re learning. You will formulate your own version which you can apply to the business you work for over time.
In addition, when it comes to being ROI focused, it doesn't necessarily always mean we need to turn $1 into $5 for every dollar we invest for every single experiment or tactic we try.
As we know, not all experiments or strategies we engage in lead to a positive ROI result.
It comes down to the nature of the experiment and what a realistic & good outcome looks like.
Do you have an example of a time where a campaign has failed? What did you learn and has it ever turned into a success?
Yes, most certainly. I’ve had a lot of campaigns that have failed or didn’t meet the expectations I had originally set. It’s just the nature of marketing as a whole.
A personal mantra I follow: Test → Measure → Learn → Iterate
As an example, many times I’ve run Google Ads/Facebook Ad campaigns thinking certain campaigns would go really well and unfortunately just doesn’t yield the results I was expecting within a given time period.
That doesn’t mean the idea or campaign as a whole is a failure.
As a marketer, it’s about learning and understanding what the data is saying and having the ability to make optimisations quickly.
Many of these campaigns which didn’t go well at the start I’ve managed to turn around to end up doing pretty well.
Then for any campaigns that didn’t go according to plan, there’s always really good learnings you can have as takeaways for next time or the next campaign.
A lot of the Earlywork audience love marketing and many of them are studying it at University. But then the question I get is, how is growth marketing different to traditional marketing? Do you have a view on that?
Yep, this is a good question I do get often.
In its simplest form, the difference comes down to how the audience/consumers encounter a message.
Growth / Digital Marketing = Message received through digital mediums (i.e. websites, social media, etc).
Traditional Marketing = Channels such as billboards & printed media - more “traditional” mediums
In many ways, it’s online vs offline.
I think a misconception that many people think is that traditional marketing is “old school”.
I definitely don’t think that’s the case. It’s incredibly powerful when incorporated into an omnichannel approach.
I just think it has a negative connotation over time as traditional marketing has typically been harder to measure with data. Now in 2021, there are some awesome technologies that provide data on traditional forms of media.
It just comes to making sure whatever marketing initiatives you undertake, online or offline, is that it’s measurable through data as much as possible.
Great growth marketers understand the power of an omnichannel approach using both digital and non-digital channels.
Another topic I want to chat about is growth hacking. We hear a lot about the viral campaign that achieved 100x growth etc. Do you have a view on growth marketing and growth hacking? Or do you see them as similar things?
#1 - “Growth Hacking is about acquisition”. Simply wrong.
I actually shared a similar answer on Quora. Here’s an image to that answer: