Stanford Webinar:  Introduction to Growth Hacking

Stanford Webinar: Introduction to Growth Hacking


Today’s featured presenter is Lynda Smith. Lynda Smith brings over 30 years of
experience in marketing, sales and general management across a diverse set
of industries, and has spent the last 20 years working in the area of
high-technology products and services. In her capacity as an SVP marketing,
chief marketing officer for a number of companies, including
Genesys Telecommunication Laboratories, Genpact, Jive, WeVideo, and
Twilio, Lynda has owned the full end-to-end marketing responsibility for
the organization. She has successfully driven product
marketing, product management, corporate marketing, field marketing,
demand creation, channel marketing, developer outreach, marketing research,
and strategy development. She’s currently working as a consultant
and advisor for a variety of startups, ranging from social robotics to
cloud-based development services. She has experience in business
to business, consumer and developer platform companies. Her global background is extensive, with
hands-on work with the US, Europe, India, China, and other major markets. Lynda has an undergraduate degree in
liberal arts from Simpson College, and an MBA from Wharton School of Business
at the University of Pennsylvania. She’s on the faculty of Stanford
University, where she serves as lecturer in global entrepreneurial marketing
in the engineering school, and diverse programs for the Stanford
Center for Professional Development. Her passion is what is happening in
this next generation of marketing, where digital media and social
networks are reshaping the discipline. Now I’d like to turn
the floor over to Lynda.>>All right, great. Well, fantastic to be with all of you. And this is a really big topic. We’re not going to be able to get
through every possible detail, but I really have a goal today
of being able to help you see where this world of growth
hacking is really going. And so, we’re going to go
through a number of things. I want to develop an understanding
of what growth hacking is, there’s a big debate about is
growth hacking marketing or not. We’re going to explore
how growth hacking is and isn’t like the traditional marketing
you may have experience with. And then,
I want you to gain some basics so that you could start implementing
growth hacking in your business. Now, I’m going to tell you, growth hacking has traditionally been
really focused on online businesses. It’s natural there, it’s a fit. You’ll see that as we go through. But, I’ve had some experience now,
even working with a hardware company, where we’ve been able to take
principles of growth hacking, to really drive revenue and
drive the business. So, want to give you some
perspectives on that as well. So, we’re going to be looking at
growth hacking, how it’s defined. The basics of growth hacking. We’ll dive into your website,
because that’s the heart and soul of the growth hacking strategy. And then we’ll get into process,
testing, and tools. So, the jury’s out,
is it marketing or not? And it’s really funny, because I’ll
get into conversations with people who have other business cards,
how to grow, growth hacker, and get this feeling from them of,
no it’s not marketing. It’s something totally different. Well, it is and it isn’t. We’re going to be talking about that. But I got to tell you, there have
been some great brands with great growth stories that all really came
back down to how they implemented these basic principles
around growth hacking. So, it started a while ago,
and people will say, well, how long has been this
been around in business? How many years have people
been doing growth hacking? Well, the reality is, it does kind
of date back all the way to 1996. Now, there was a company called Hotmail,
that you may or may not be familiar with. But they were really one of
the first people who implemented some of the core principles that we now
see as a part of everyday growth hacking. And it really came down to someone
having to rethink how to do marketing based on an absence of money to spend,
so they had to get super creative. Now, the way the Hotmail story goes down
is that they were working with their VCs and one of the VCs suggested, well, hey, why don’t you use the product itself
to be able to get other people to jump on? And so, they created a backlink. So essentially, every time you got an
email from someone with a Hotmail account, it enabled you to click on that link, go
back, and sign up for an account yourself. So, some might say that this
world of growth hacking really started off back
with Hotmail in 1996. Probably in modern terms though, we really relate it back to
around the 2010 timeframe. That’s when the term was really coined. And it was coined by a gentleman
by the name of Sean Ellis. And the reason he coined the term was, he had had some great start-up experience,
some great exits, and everyone saw what this guy was doing in
terms of marketing that felt so different. And so, they would hire him to
really help them get started on it. Come in and get them off the ground. Well, he didn’t want
to be there full-time. It was time for
him to move on to the next venture, and so he needed to hire someone
to step into his shoes. And he put out there a basic resume that
said, hey, looking for a VP of marketing, looking for a chief marketing officer. And he wasn’t finding the right skills
coming through when he would do the interviews. So he decided, all right, tired of doing
this, I’m going to come up with a new term that better describes this individual,
that better describes what I need. Henceforth, the term growth
hacker was invented. And he went out with that resume, and
ended up getting the right type of people, or the right type of job description, and getting the right type
of people on top of that. So, what is Growth Hacking? Well, it lives in this very
interesting intersection between the traditional discipline of marketing
that we all know and product development. And when you look at the basic Wikipedia
term, which I think, a very strong representation of this world of growth
hacking, basically says it’s a process, it’s data-driven, and
has a lot of rapid experimentation in it. And when you think about the difference
from the traditional world of marketing, the traditional world of
marketing seems much more planned. Especially when you get into large
campaigns, the months, the weeks that go into planning it, it’s not about
that rapid experimentation, necessarily. So, I think when you really look into
growth hacking, it’s this discipline that lives at a very interesting intersection,
it heavily involves products, but it’s data-driven, and it also has
this construct of rapid iteration. And we’re going to drive a little
more into that as we proceed here. So, when you think about
the mission of a growth hacker, it is about creating this
self-perpetuating machine. And this is largely tied to this
idea of using the product itself to grow the target audience. And we’ll talk about how that’s done. Aaron from Everlane, StumbleUpon,
once again, one of the leaders in this idea of growth hacking as a discipline,
saw great success from it. But he really is the one who
came back with this idea of, it’s about self-perpetuation. It’s about getting the product
itself to do the marketing for you. Having dug into this, having used the principles myself, this is
how I look at it in terms of core tenets. So to start off,
it does have this deep tie in product. And when we’re talking about
it in terms of implementation, how people leverage the product to
do this, it’s dependent on virality. going to go deeper into that as well. It lives in analytics. This is back to that
data-driven principle. It involves staying with the customer
across the entire funnel process. Now, I will say the trend
in marketing is for marketers to actually be more involved
across the full customer lifecycle. But here in growth hacking, the growth
hacker, the leader, the head of the field is like I own every aspect, because
I’ve gotta make sure that that product. Is doing what it needs to do
to actually drive that growth. It’s a company culture,
and it’s a mindset. Again, I’m going to give you some
more details on each of these. So let’s start off with the product. Yes, product has always been a part
of the marketing discipline. And where I have been chief marketing
officer I have often had not only product marketing but also product
management as a part of my team. But here growth hackers they have to
have the product they see themselves as the people,
the person who owns the product, and they see that product as that
cheap channel for growth, and they also see, optimizing
the product as a part of their job. So, they really take seriously
that they own that product, and when you talk about company culture,
you’ll see how there’s a really interesting difference there in a lot of
the companies that apply growth hacking, but product is central to
what they’re trying to do. Virality, a little more on that. Getting your products out
there in such a way that it spontaneously will drive growth
really becomes a big focus. The virality stems from it being
engineered into the product itself, so this goes back to ideas
like the backlink and we’ll go through a whole list of these
in product tools that are actually used. So a growth hacker is looking every
day at how do I make this go viral? And when you think about it,
just a few quick rules on virality. First of all, rule number one is make it
easy for others to spread your product. Back links, Hotmail,
we talked a little bit about that. It’s also about provoking this
desire to spread the product. To have the product must be something that
everyone wants to share out, and then rule number three is finding ways to do all of
this without spending very much money. So morality is very key to all of this,
and again the reason why the growth
hacker feels they own the product, if that product has to be pretty darn
special to create that notion of morality. Analytics, so the first day that a growth
hacker gets on the job may be different than any other position that you see. He dives in, he or she dives in, and really looks at what are the event based
analytics that I need to understand? What’s going on with the product? How are people using it? How is sign-up going? How are people going
through the sign-up flow? And then they’ll sit down with
anyone that touches somewhere where they need analytics. And really look for,
how are we going to wire this product? How are we going to wire the website? So I get the analytics I need to
drive growth into the company. Part of the reason in analytics again, very important across
all forms of marketing. But for the growth factor, one it keeps them honest because he
really is going through and saying, yeah let’s look at where our success track
record is, what works, what didn’t work. Let’s keep what worked, let’s not dive any
further into stuff that’s not working. It allows the growth hackers
to stack right into the to do, because every day is
about experimentation. Every day, the growth hacker is waking up,
looking at the numbers and saying what are we going to try
today to initiate more growth? It makes success repeatable, because you
know what’s worked and not worked and it also allows you to
somewhat predict the future. So analytics, another one of
the key thrust in growth hacking. The funnel process again, in all
marketing disciplines we have a funnel, we’re trying to drive
people through that funnel. Here the growth hacker thinks
about owning all the steps. Acquisition, activation, retention, revenue, and then that referral,
that referral that drives that virility. So keen interest in owning
everything that touches the funnel. Company culture, now this is the piece
that when I get into these discussions with friends who say, yep, I’m the head
of growth, I’m a growth hacker. The thing that I have found
that is different about their company from other companies is,
they are a power from the top down to own anything that might get
in the way of growth. So, if you think about traditionally,
marketing in an organization is a pier to other disciplines, the engineering
discipline, the customer support discipline, the IT disciplines, G and A,
all the other disciplines in the company. And that had that CMO that had
a marketing is sitting in a table with their peers supporting in to the CEO. What I found in the culture of companies
that are truly embracing this idea of growth hacking is the CEO has essentially
told those peers, hey, you work for me but you also work for
our head of growth. At any point in time, if our head of
growth says you need to change something, do something differently. You’ve got to get out of the way and
make it happen. Because that’s the person
who owns the numbers. That’s the person that
we’ve got to enable. So there’s a different level of power
if you will for that head of growth. Then you might find the head of
marketing having in other companies. And then as I said it’s a mind set. You know, it really comes down to when
you talk to people who are passionate about being a growth hacker,
what they think about is hey, my job isn’t marketing
as you might know it. My job is driving growth. My job is owning the revenue number or
the use number, and it’s about doing it really fast. Because growth has to move quickly. So there’s a different mindset that you might find in someone that’s considered
themselves truly a growth hacker. If you’re hiring for this head of growth, there are a few things that you
really need to be looking for. This person has to be
passionate about data. They have to love waking up every
morning and living in the numbers, and understanding how those numbers
are shifting and changing over time. They’re super curious about everything. They’re poking at everything. They’re poking at the products. They’re poking at customer support. They’re poking on anything that might
change where those numbers are going. They’re infinitely creative. They want to try all sorts of stuff, throw
it against the wall, see what sticks. They’re obsessive. When it comes to they tried something and
yeah it kind of worked but let’s try it again. See if we can do it better. They’re constantly trying to be
that experimenter out there. And they live in the user experience. Because the only way you’re going
to get people to be raving fans, to spread that word of mouth,
to drive that virality. If they’re not only people who
like what you’ve offered, but they care about it to actually be
passionate and help you drive that growth. So, what is different? I’ll leave that up to you to decide if
you think it’s a completely different discipline or not. But I thought this
Dilbert was pretty funny. What’s your marketing strategy? Marketing’s dead. I’m a growth hacker. We create product and market fit. We find scrappy ways to get the word out,
and we optimize with data to grow. What part of that isn’t marketing? It’s all in the hubris. So this gives you a little bit of an idea
of the growth hacking, how it’s defined, how it may be a little bit different from
what traditional marketing looks like. But let’s get into what’s
probably really important to you. The basics of growth hacking. So, I talked about the fact that growth hackers feel like
they own the whole funnel. You saw a five step funnel that I had in
the front section of our discussion today. Here’s a simplified version for the
purposes of getting down to the basics. When you think about a growth
hacking funnel, because so much of it is oriented to the website, it starts off with getting visitors into
that funnel, visitors to that website. Then it’s about activating members. And what activate really talks
about is it’s taking an action that is an indication of relationship. Now that may be buying something,
it may be signing up for something, it may be something as simple
as stepping into some type of a trial. But it’s getting that action that says, all right,
I’m interested in going further with you. And then it’s about retention. And retention is about getting people
to use that product regularly. Or use that service regularly. So you’re looking at visitors,
activation and retention. And we’re going to get deep
into each of those and some of the basic principles
that growth hacker uses. Now conversion rate relative to that
funnel is something that a growth hacker is constantly looking at. And that conversion rate really is, again
that idea of when you move through each section of that funnel, what’s going
on in terms of my conversion rate from getting people there keep activating
them to actually retaining them. And another thing that a growth hacker
is constantly thinking about is, boy, if I change something at one stage in
this funnel it may have repercussions elsewhere. So, for example, maybe I’ve amplified
the number of users to the top but they’re not the right users. So my conversion rate into
activation may greatly change. Or perhaps now I’ve got
people activating but the way that I did it made everyone
activate but I’m not retaining anyone. So a growth hacker is looking at those
conversion rates also as indications of are my programs working to move
people through that funnel? Now a question that we often talk about, is what is the truth
about conversion rates? What is a good conversion rate? What should my conversion rate be? Well, the reality is you need to know
what they are for your own funnel. And then you have to decide
where you want to move them. But if you’re trying to get some idea
from others maybe in a like industry for have a like target customer, you can bind
some numbers out there to start you off, and some of those are the fact
that they’re just published. People will publish the type of
conversion rates that they’re seeing. You can also enter into
the idea of a buddy system. As long as there’s not competition,
you’ll find that a lot of growth hackers are really happy to share what numbers
they’re getting across that funnel. So when you’re thinking about conversion
rates, you want to start with a baseline. That can be your own baseline or you can find someone else out
there that might have that data. So let’s talk about how we
actually get people moving. Let’s talk about getting visitors. There are essentially three ways that
visitors will get into your funnel. One is the pull methodology,
so they find you. Some people call that inbound marketing,
so it’s enabling people to
find where you live. There’s pushing, so
really going to where they are. Some people will equate that to what
we normally call outbound marketing. And then what’s a little bit different, again coming back to the idea
of growth hacking is, how do I use the product itself to
bring people to that top of the funnel. So pull tactics, you’ll find that
a lot of these are content oriented. So it’s things like the blogs,
guest blogs, podcasts, videos, eBooks,
Visual assets like infographics. It’s that realm of content marketing
that has become so popular. It’s search engine optimization. Super Key, it’s such a great tool because you can do
it with a relatively low level of spend. And we all know that organic search
is better than paid search in terms of the types of people that
actually come and activate. It’s social media,
which you are all familiar with. And finally it’s this idea of
leveraging other people’s audiences. Let me give you a great example of that,
when Air B&B first started, out of their marketing efforts they were
looking at, well how do we get people to jump on board and start really working
with us from an Air B&B perspective being our customers, because it’s really hard
to find customers when you’re starting up what they did is was they
leveraged Craigslist. So whenever you would,
in the very beginning days, you would say, yes I would like to put my house up or
my apartment or my room up on Airbnb, they would say, well do you want us
also to list it for you on Craigslist. And people would opt in or opt out. Well most people opted in,
and the great news was. Now you had people that had sign
up to be a part of their B&B. But you are actually using Craigslist and network of people to advertise
that you had depended available. So they were leveraging
someone else’s network. So little bit different tactic that you
see in the growth casting environment. Is this idea of leveraging
other people’s networks. But for
the most part getting people the top looks a whole lot like
traditional inbound marketing. Let’s talk about the push tactics, again, will look a lot like What you see
in traditional outbound marketing. It’s public relations. It’s purchased ads, ad words,
display ads, social ads, retargeting. Then come back to Promo Swaps. It’s email marketing. It’s webinars, it’s contests, it’s stuff you would traditionally do
in an outbound marketing environment. Promo Swaps is an interesting one because,
again, you get this real friendship
going in the growth hacker world. And it’s this idea of hey,
why don’t we swap tweets? I’ll tweet for you, you tweet for me. Let’s swap Facebook posts. I’ll post for you, you post for me. We could even do something
like a dedicated email swap. But it’s this idea of working with
other companies to jointly promote. Yep, you’ve seen that in marketing for
years. But you really see it vibrant
in the growth hacking world. And again, come back to creativity. Remember one of the core principles
here was the fact that we’re looking for ways to market that doesn’t take a lot
of money, that’s highly creative, that we can experiment rapidly on,
and see what works. All right, let’s move into the one that
I think is inherently different in the growth hacking world from what you
have traditionally seen in other worlds. And it’s this idea of in product tactics. It’s using the product itself, wiring
the product itself To actually build up that network, to build up that
customer-based, to build up that parality. So, let’s look at what those are. One of the tactics is network invitation. How many times had you been
in touch with the company and when they come back to you and said it’s
hey, can we borrow you phone contacts? Could we use your email contacts? Could we use your social contacts to
invite other people to come in and use this service or this product. In fact, probably most of you have touched
LinkedIn, at somewhere in your career. The way they got started was
by using your email list. They would ask you, do you mind If
we sent out an offer to everyone that’s in your e-mail address book and
invite them in to be a part of one gift. So this idea of networking
invitations is a big one for being able to get people
on to the product. Social sharing,
that’s probably familiar with everyone. It’s making it very easy
to have people get the word out through their social network. API Integrations, okay, this really gets
at the heart of tying products together. It’s integrating your product
with an existing network. Again, as individuals you’ve
probably experienced this. For instance, if Spotify is something
that you’ve used they’ve actually used the Facebook Connect integration so
that you can sign up, you can Facebook. So by using other people’s APIs,
you can leverage their networks. Now, there are pros and cons on that. The pro is wow, I get this whole
new network I can leverage. The con is sometimes you’ll tie your boat
to someone else, and they decide okay, we’re tired of having people
tie their boat to us And they’ll shut down that ability
to have that integration, but again,
very product centric way to do things. Backlinks. We talked about this in
the Hotmail example dating all the way back to the 1990’s. By providing a link in your
product that easily brings people back to the top of the funnel, back to the
web site is a way to grow that audience. Incentive. Dropbox has been great about this. This idea of hey,
if you get someone to sign up, we’ll give you additional
storage free of charge. So building incentives into the product
that helps people grow that virality. And then organic. That’s the best of all worlds. Your product is so awesome,
that people want to share it out So talk about this idea of quite a bit. So something else you need to have in your
data store here is this idea of the viral coefficent or what we also call the K
value, this is where the magic happen. What this basically says is I
want to get everyone of my users, of my customers of my people that have
signed up to be a part of this network. I want to get them to invite at
least one additional person. If they invite more than one person well, that’s awesome because now you’ve
got virality and it’s growing. And what you’re looking for
Is the K value that is over 1. Now that’s not easy to do with
all products or services. Basically, there you’re betting that every
one of the people out there is going to invite at least one additional person. But even getting something
northward of 50 or 0.50 is awesome. So look at virality,
look at what you can get for your K value. So we’ve talked about,
how do we get customers, how do we get them to
the top of the funnel? Let’s talk about activation, and activation essentially falls into
two buckets, two categories. There are in product motivations and
then, external motivations. The in product motivations include
things like, calls to action. Getting people that once they’ve
sign up to actually take that next step to a great CTA. We’ll talk about CTA as we
talk about your website. Onboarding, giving a visual tour. Twitter’s done a great job of this. People unfamiliar with the world of
micro-messaging, getting them in, giving them a guided tour of
what’s going on in the product. Guided experiences. This is idea of okay, you’ve done that. Now let’s handhold and get you to do why. So it’s taking people for
each step of onboarding onto that product. Gameification, who doesn’t
like earning a little status? Who doesn’t like getting that badge,
that gold star, not to mention the progress report? How many times have you gotten
to 80% of building a profile and they gamify you to wanting to get 85,
getting 90%. Incentives in pricing strategy,
getting to earn credits, getting to earn special options
because you’ve done something. And then the idea of leaderboards where
there right out there in the open and say hey, this is how you compare with
the other people that are onboarding, and signing up. So really getting creative in how to get
people beyond just showing interest, but actually activating, showing some level
of interest in going further, and then, on the external side, this ties
back to a lot of what we’ve done in the traditional world of marketing,
DRIP campaigns. So, has someone has signed up and
now they haven’t gone to the next step, you remind them through
other channels like email. So activating, very key second stage
in that very simplified funnel. And then the last stage comes
down to the idea of retention. The only way this works is if
you got people that are so happy with the product that
they’re word of mouth for you. They’re inviting other people. They’re making it go viral. Well that only happens if you retain them. So, again we have two categories of
retention that you typically see. There’s planned and there’s organic. So, planned is where you’re taking really, control if you will,
first one is speed to value. It’s really one of the things that we
look at is once we had a developer that has signed up for an account,
getting them on to the API. We wanted to make sure that they
had that instant gratification of wow this is awesome. Twilio was a platform
that allows developers or allows developers to bring in messaging
and voice into their application. So one of the campaigns we had was
the Hello World campaign that gave them speed to sending the first text message. And it was amazing. People were so excited that it actually
sent a text message with their app. Customer communications, all right. This ties back into things we do in
the traditional world of marketing. Keeping customers informed. Feeling a part of the company. Feeling a part of where things are going. Using things like newsletters to keep people excited about being connected
into your product and your company. Top customer programs, rewards, t-shirts. Whatever your customer base wants,
having them be able to be a part of it, rewarding them with a customer program. Building a community. Sometimes it’s as simple as people being
able to leverage, and connect, and contact other people that are using
your product or your service, and giving them a community platform to
do that, and then making them stand. Again, one of my memories of Twilio is
walking down the street, people seeing a Twilio t-shirt, or my Twilio track
jacket, and saying my God, we love Twilio. Well boy, when you have raving fans, they’re out there creating that
virality by word of mouth for you. On the organic side, again, some of it’s going to be very
familiar to traditional marketing. The organic things that retain customers
are things like cost of switching. If you’ve got a lot invested in
getting started, getting set up, that’s a high cost of switching and
likelihood is you’re going to stay. Comfortable with the user experience,
wow, it’s so easy to use. I just really can’t think
about using something else and then the network effects. Even if maybe the product is not as great,
as what someone would want, the fact that everyone else is tiding
into it will help people retain. So those are your basics in terms of
getting people to the top of the funnel, activating them and retaining them. And believe me, we can actually go
into all of those in much more detail. So that gives you the basics. So let’s talk about your website. The reality is, the website is for
a grow packer the front door. It is how people find them, they activate
and even retained in the long run. So when you think about the web page,
what you want to think about is the top of the funnel,
it’s really that persuasive end. It’s the home page,
it’s products and services page, it’s basic information pages. It’s all that content that sets
up the value proposition and persuades people to take action. And then you think about
the transactional end. Those pages on your website,
where the transaction actually occurs, where that activation actually occurs,
those can be forms, those can be shopping carts, so, as you’re looking
at your website, a new perspective. It’s not just this very informational
source, it’s not just this pretty source It’s really about this persuasive end,
my top of the funnel and then transactional end that’s
getting people to activate. Now going back to a difference from
a growth hacker’s perspective, their thinking about how
do I engineer these pages to drive more activations,
to drive more sign ups. It’s not about is it nice looking, it’s
not about is there great content just for content sake, they’re really
engineering what’s going on. So a few best practices
to optimize your site and get those activations you’re looking for. First of all, no distraction. You don’t want people coming to
the website like that’s nice, let me wander overt here,
let me look over here. You want to get them to
what you want them to do. You want enough information that they
immediately go I got to sign up. Speed matters.
When it comes to websites, if it takes a long time for things to
load and we all get enamored by flash and design, if it takes a long time to load,
you’re going to lose people. When you have very short term memory, you
have needs for immediate satisfaction so speed matters. People value social proof. Get right out there on front. Who else is doing it? Who else like them is interested
in the service or in the product? Think about every page as a home page. Wow, with all the things that
link now to our websites, someone may not hit that homepage. They may actually come to another page. So make sure that sign-up,
that activation, call to action is there on every page. And then think mobile. We are a mobile generation, we’re a mobile
world, think mobile first because you may actually see your activations
happening from a mobile channel. I talked about a moment ago this
idea of CTA, call to action. Great calls to action,
give clear direction. Don’t make visitors figure
out what you want them to do. Don’t get overly cute,
don’t get overly creative. Make sure that it’s clear that you
want them to click here and sign up. Make the CTA obvious. The buttons need to stand out. And you’ll laugh about, yeah, we spend
a lot of time, is it a blue button, is it a red button, is it a gray button? The reason we spend time doing the A/B
testing on that is based on your target audience, that could all be different. But make sure your button stands out for
your target audience. And if you have a phone number involved, make it prominent,
don’t make people go digging for it. A few basics to how to make your growth
hacking website really stand out. Now, final bit, testing. I told you that the growth hacker is
constantly looking at the numbers. The growth hacker is constantly looking
at what’s working, what’s not working. So what they’re doing is
a lot of A/B testing. So for those of you who have not been
thrown into the world of A/B testing, and thank goodness we have some awesome
software now that helps us do this. The idea is you get visitors to
come in to your websites, but through automation what you’ve been
able to do is key up a number of tests. So you can have a person come in,
and what they see on your website is the control page, the standard
page that you’ve had up there. But someone else coming in
gets served up variation A, while another one gets served up variation
B, and you can look at what’s working. Are they hitting the buttons
I want them to hit? Are they activating? Are they doing what I want them to do? And with that information, you’re able
to go back and revamp what you’ve got. What do you want to A/B test? Everything. It can be the product itself
that you’re A/B testing. But it’s your call to action, it’s the content, it’s the copy,
it’s the visual, it’s the navigation. It’s those forms that
are the bottom of the funnel. It’s ads, it’s emails, it’s pricing. Again, if you’re a growth hacker, every
day you’re living to try something new. See what works, keep what works,
and throw away what doesn’t. And as I said, they have some great tools that we can use to be able
to do this constant A/B testing. And you’ll find there
are a number of them out there, Optimizely is one that I personally use. But basically, each of these tools does
a great job of splitting that traffic. It sets that control mechanism
to ensure each visitor has a consistent experience
rather than a random one. It tracks the goals of
the conversion rates for each variation, gets you some great tests,
shows the statistical data, so that every day,
you can try something new. And then a final comment on tools,
analytics. Think all of us as marketers have gotten
very familiar with general analytics, things that Google
actually provides to us. In addition to that, every growth hacker’s
going to dive into event based and people based analytic tools. Because they have to understand what’s
going on through that website based on events, based on people’s actions,
not to mention, also inside that product. So, 45 minutes,
I know we want to leave time for Q and A. That has given you the basic role,
if you will, of what growth hacking is. How you implement a growth
hacking strategy, how that is like and
dislike what’s going on in marketing. And then, looking at process and tools. All right, let’s jump into some questions.>>So the first question,
Lynda that we got submitted is, where has growth hacking been used for
services opposed to products? And what is the most significant
difference in applying growth hacking to services?>>That’s a great question. Let me start off by answering it in terms of the online world versus
the more traditional world. So when you think about growth hacking,
everything I just walked you through, thinking about the website,
it really has us bent to products and services that are actually online. What I have found is that there’s some
elements of this that we can really draw into services and products that
are offered in an offline world. It things like really thinking about
that whole life cycle of a customer and how marketing can be really engaged in it. It’s about looking at analytics, but
looking at them on a more daily basis, so that’s it’s not just a once
a month type of report. It’s looking at things like
diving deep into my product. Is my product what my market needs? And these are all very traditional
things we look as marketing. But when you’re thinking about it
in this growth hacking mentality, there’s this rapid fire
experimentation that comes into it. Now in terms of services, when you
think about products and services. When you think about services, I think about something like
DropBox actually as a service. It’s a storage service. There’s a product that’s a part of it,
but the reality is, to me as a consumer, it’s a service, it’s my storage service. I think it’s really diving into
what your type of service is. And in fact, can you think about your
service a little bit differently? I hope that answers that.>>I think that’s great. The next question we have here is,
can you give some examples of recent companies that successfully used
growth hacking and how they did it?>>Yeah well, the lot of them are ones
that you’re very, very familiar with. It really comes down to any of the social
platforms that we have participated in. You will find that they are using
growth hacking as a large part of how they look at marketing. And they’re using a lot of
the end product tactics. But they’re also constantly every day
driving in to looking at the product. Is it offering the features
that my online customer wants? LinkedIn a long time ago,
really got started this way. They continue to operate that way. Think about the gamification you have,
and I use LinkedIn as a professional. Most of us are familiar
with that social platform. Think about the gamification that
goes on constantly with them telling us how we can improve our profile,
how much further we can go along. You’ve seen a lot of the companies
that appeal out to developers, like the Twilio’s of the world,
are using a level of growth hacking in what they’re
doing to drive those conversions. Actually when you look back, one of
the original slides that I had shared. Dropbox, Zynga, Groupon,
Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Evernote, AppSumo,
Stumbleupon, Everlane. All of these companies have been
very active in using the growth hacking construct.>>Good. So another question we have here is, what
in your option, is the best practice for a start-up to build
a culture of growth hacking?>>That is an awesome question. First get to your CEO really fast, or if you’re the founder,
get your head around it. It really does start top down. And so I think it really comes down
to sitting down with the founders, sitting down with the CEO and
really thinking about, when we look at our approach to
how we’re going to drive growth. Do we see this is something
that we want marketing driven? And if so, then really started
to lay out and I had listed the, kind of, core tenants. Getting everyone’s heads around that. How are we going to use the product for
this? How is the head of growth involved and
able to really drive and touch all the disciplines
to make this happen? So, I think the way I would approach
it if I were coming into a company, I would say, sit down with the top
management say, is this right for us? Understand and listen to
the reasons why it may or may not. And then really, working with
the management team to say this is what it’s going to take for
us to really execute on this. So it’s gotta be top down. The hard part would be,
if you went it, bottoms up. I’ve just been hired as the new CMO,
the head of marketing of this startup. And I’m going to go do growth hacking. And no one from the top is acknowledging
that this is how we’re going to drive growth in the company, and then you’ll
just constantly be hitting brick walls.>>Okay, so we have another question
here that says, traditionally, marketing takes a long view on bad news or
bad mentions in popular media. Because eventually, it’ll be forgotten and name recognition benefits eventually
outweigh the short-term losses. Does this concept hold true
on growth hacking as well?>>I would say, not, and I would also,
from my own perspective, and I’ve worked both in the startup world,
as well as very large companies, so, I’m really familiar with what
you’re putting forward there. I would say,
because of the advent of social media, that the reality is all companies,
growth hacking companies and traditional marketing companies, are
acting much more quickly across bad news. Because you just can’t
let it fester up there. Now, they might have different strategies
about how they’re going to do it. But it’s very hard just
to let things fester. because they just don’t go
away the way they used to. I can tap into my own career without
giving specifics and say, there are so many times that I’ve seen where maybe
there was one bad review, one bad comment. Wouldn’t you not,
every time you do a Google search, it comes back up on page one. I wish I could bury it. But I can’t get it off the radar. So, I think all companies now,
quite frankly, are having to take a more proactive, a more rapid fire approach to how they
handle the bad news that’s out there. Now, putting that aside, knowing that
there’s some very large traditional organizations that are a little
slower to move on that. In a growth hacking world now, you gotta
constantly be reacting, responding. You don’t just want to wait for
something to go away. I think also in the companies
I’ve watched and companies I’ve been in that
are applying growth hacking, there’s much more transparency in terms
of interacting with that target audience. And I think also there’s a new bar
that as we look at millennials and younger Gen Xers versus Gen Xers and
baby boomers. There’s a different bar that’s also being
given to us by our target audience that says, hey, be transparent, be rapid. Make sure you’re connecting
with me on good and the bad or I’m going somewhere else. So, I think there’s major shifts that’s
going on now in the world of marketing. And definitely, in growth hacking, [LAUGH]
you address things fast, you move, and you get onto the next thing. Love that question.>>[LAUGH] Good question. So, we have a few people actually asking
something relating to how the role of a product and marketing teams
are now changed with the growth hacker. And how are they thinking about growth
together and how they play a part?>>Yeah, and so, this comes back to that
company culture model I was talking about. In a more traditional environment, what I
would say is if there was a product issue, if you had noticed as
the head of marketing and you didn’t own product management. So, if you notice that there’s a product
issue that is preventing you from moving forward, getting more users,
having customers who are negative, you would really have to sit down with
your peer and have this discussion around. Hey, I see these problems,
I’d like to share them with you. Let’s work together to find a solution. And depending on the road map, depending on the process that was
being used on product development. It may or
may not happen in a period of time. In the Growth Hacking Model,
the pure, true Growth Hacking Model, I wouldn’t have to have that
side-by-side conversation. Instead, I would be empowered
to go to engineering, or go to the product management team,
and say, all right, you know, we’ve lost 15% on our
conversion rates because of x. When are you going to have it changed? So, there’s a different mentality
there from a cultural perspective and what you own if you’re
in real growth hacking. Now, companies will do hybrid models. It’s essentially one of
the companies I’m working with now, we have that hybrid model. The way we’ve all been at there to make
sure that we get what we need to change in the product is it really
comes down to everyone understands that growth is
the number one objective. And everyone’s into it saying, all right, we’re all going to look
at the numbers every day. You’re responsible for them and
driving them at the head of growth. But we’re all going to be looking
at those numbers each day and you find that when you create this
culture of, hey, it’s about growth, that’s our number one objective. Even if you don’t own it,
you can’t go and say, engineering do it, because everyone gets that
that’s the fundamental goal, you’ll find a lot more
willingness to be a part of it. And then, it’s on your shoulders
to produce the reports, put up the bright shining panels,
have monitors that are constantly showing the numbers to get the culture
thinking about a growth culture.>>Great, so, I think we have time for
one more question. So, we have a lot of people asking. You talked a lot about some of the tools
and strategies for a growth hacker. But in your opinion,
which are the most effective? If any, which are the ones that
we need to focus on in order to be a great growth hacker?>>Yeah, good question. So, first of all, let’s say, it always
comes back to who your target audience is. And whenever I look at doing anything
at marketing, I always come back and I call it the who. I always come back to try and
figure out who’s my target audience. And I ask questions like,
how did they learn? Where do they live? What is their temperament
towards marketing? And I try to really get in their
shoes because any tactic you deploy. It may be a great tactic, but
if it isn’t in line with how your target audience thinks about the world,
it’s not going to go very far. So, I would first say,
think about who your target audience is. Really do that sub-segmentation. Really get into their shoes. Really understand that individual
you’re trying to cater to. And out of that will fall the tactics. Now, from a growth hacking perspective,
what I would say is it is the end product. If you have that opportunity because you
have an online product and you are using your website as the main way that you’re
driving growth, it’s going to be really looking for what can you do in product
that will spawn other people’s interest. So, it goes back to really that
whole list of in products tactics. And again, it’s very specialized to
what your product or your service is. But again, think about your consumer,
think about your customer. And by the way, this can be done
in the B2B world or the B2C world. Get in their shoes, and that will drive which of those
tactics are going to be most useful.>>Thank you, Lynda. Great, and also, thank all of you for
attending this webinar. I hope you learned something
new about growth hacking. And we look forward to seeing you
next time in the next webinar. And if you want more information,
please contact us or look at our website at
create.stanford.edu. Thank you everyone.

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