Review: CXL Growth Marketing mini-degree week 1

To move on from the traditional way of digital marketing approach and taking along with me the zeal to learn advanced digital growth marketing, I started the mini-degree program in Growth Marketing from CXL.com.

I got an email from CXL institute that my application for the scholarship has been accepted and that was the best thing that happened to me in the past week. Just a week has passed and I can already sense the changes that I have learned from the CXL Institute.

As a part of my weekly task, I wrote this article to summarise what I have learned and how I feel about the immense knowledge I have consumed in the last seven days.

This extract will cover my summary from the first two courses taken by our mentor John McBride in the ‘Growth Marketing Fundamentals’ module. So let’s Begin:

Growth marketing foundations

Growth Mindset: Growth vs Traditional Marketing

Growth marketing focuses on the full-funnel strategy and runs through heavy experimentation. My job as a growth marketer is to drive growth across the business in any way that you can. The way how growth is driven across all the areas of the programs, campaigns, products feature, etc. that increase conversion create better customer experiences generate data that you can then use to learn and improve constantly optimize the funnel. Here are some important things to consider:

Admit that you don’t know anything about your customer.

Define a hypothesis of what the customer wants. Find the fastest and the most efficient way to test the hypothesis. Design an experiment to validate/invalidate it. Run lots of individual campaigns or experiments.

Experimentation as the defining trait of growth:

The ideal state of any growth process is to get to the point where you know what is the right message, right offer, the right customer experience for each individual customer to drive the best experience and results. 3 layers of growth experimentation:

Knowing whether the XYZ conversion experiment is working, is it the right one?

Figure out the right message, or the right offer, or the right campaign.

Tailor the message to individual customers.

Quick aside on Growth Hacking:

It’s about building a minimum viable marketing campaign. There’s no one magic hack. Growth is a process and is a series of hacks.

What makes a successful Growth Marketer:

Well, as John rightly explained, a growth marketer is the one who has a strong foundation of three elements:

Channel Level Expertise — This foundational element determines a marketer’s ability and knowledge to make the utmost use of the tools, platforms, and resources in the marketing process. We have various growth channels like SEO, Paid Advertising, SEM, Content Marketing, Email Marketing, etc. An ideal growth marketer has to have enough hands-on experience in using all these growth channels but specialized in one domain. That is what we call the ‘T-shaped Marketer’.

Analytical Capabilities — As mentioned earlier, without understanding data you cannot understand your end-user or the customer. This is why a growth marketer should be equipped with data and analytical skills to make informed and data-backed marketing decisions while optimizing campaigns. The ability to work with data-centric tools like MS Excel, Google Sheets, Google Analytics, Google Data Studio, etc. is a great add-on.

Strategic Thinking Abilities — This is the foundational element that deals with your intangible skills like creativity, strategic thinking, managerial skills, etc. Since growth marketing involves a lot of cross-functioning by nature, a growth marketer has to be extremely strategic and creative in every approach he/she wishes to take in their growth marketing efforts.

How to become a Growth Marketer:

Showing that you are a quick learner is a very powerful skill in growth hacking. Check growthhackers.com for case studies of the companies you are applying to or wishing to pitch as an agency. Learn how they grow, what were their frameworks, what are the channels they used.

Once all this is done then get into the interview with a strong understanding, probably of how this business actually thinks about their growth model. Go with cool ideas about experiments they should try.

Get some hands-on experience, test some stuff with your website/podcast or of your clients/previous internships, and show the results. From the skills required for growth marketing, see what you are good at and what you like the most.

Building a growth process :

Defining your growth model, mapping out customer journeys, and identifying all of your growth channels. Explore data, Identify your quarterly goals, start building the road map to execute and achieve those goals.

Build experiments, ship your experiments, analyze them, and then either automate and scale them. Every process is built with systematic sequential chronology. John has very well explained how a company needs to holistically view their entire growth process and build it systematically.

There is a lot of new learning and great insights I got from this course. It shows us the right initial path to structuring our growth marketing process. First and foremost, we see the entire growth journey from a bird’s eye view and visualize the growth framework that we want to implement. A very common framework of the lot is the AARRR growth framework for startups by Dave McClure. Here, AARRR stands for the five key milestones in the growth journey of a successful startup. They are Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Revenue, and Referrals.

Planning quarterly growth is what you wanna do as the next ritual in the growth process. Here I learned a new term called OKR that stands for ‘Key Objectives and Results’, which emphasizes keeping a track of your long term stretching goals and short terms baseline goals. This helps you stay accountable in the entire growth process.

Once you have the right framework in place, it is now crucial to define the growth model. This constitutes defining the right and relevant growth channels for your business. You don’t want to put your efforts into channels that are not fit for your business model.

The most famous growth model, AARRR frameworks (acquisition, activation, retention, revenue, and referrals) This focuses on the full-funnel strategy, and improving each metric will lead to business growth.

Conclusion:

These initial seven days of me starting to learn growth marketing at CXL were quite adventurous as I got to learn a lot of things I never thought of in my Digital Marketing journey, let alone implementing. I never took this level of high knowledge before. Some videos I have to watch twice to understand better.

John McBride has very well articulated the roadmap to follow in effective growth marketing. I have thoroughly understood what it takes to set the growth fundamentals right. In a nutshell, the key aspects of starting out into growth marketing are the right mindset, fundamental skill set, experimentation, and analysis at every stage.

This is Suman Chakraborty Signing Off & See you in the next week!!

Digital Entrepreneur | CTO - Funnel HACKERS LLP | I help brands & businesses using growth marketing strategy | Digital Marketer