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If I were to follow Twitter’s (original) rules of engagement and summarize myself in 140 characters or less I would say the following: “Digital nomad workaholic fascinated in curating ideas by intertwining and distilling them to add value and disrupt the status quo.” I have a passion for marketing and making positive social change through my work.

I currently live in Austin where I am the Director of Marketing for Sumo. Over the next few months, we will be going through some exciting and massive changes. This is strictly an insider update for the GH community. We will be doing a massive website update, reimagining our branding, and unveiling Sumo Shortcuts (we just released our first shortcut for our e-commerce customers at the end of May!). Our blog will have more updates on what a Shortcut is over the next few weeks. Beyond Sumo, I am also an active member and contributor to the Forbes Agency Council.

I have been married for a little over six years to my more brilliant half, Lili. We are on a lifelong journey to add more stamps to our passports. We recently completed a memorable trip in which we visited 10 countries in 12 months.

Happy to connect on Twitter: @Amillerblog or through LinkedIn.

  • AM

    Andrew Mounier

    over 1 year ago #

    Hi Everyone,
    Thank you for the great questions. I really enjoyed being part of the AMA. I will be back later in the week to answer any questions that I missed. I will also check back regularly to see if there are any new questions or responses that need follow up on. Thank you again Growth Hackers Community and @danihart @anujadhiya @sean for having me!

    All the best!

    Andrew

  • DH

    Dani Hart

    over 1 year ago #

    Hi Andrew,

    Great to have you here!

    1. I know you wrote on Forbes about Finding your North Star Metric. Can you share how using a North Star Metric has previously helped your team?
    2. What metrics are you using to track the success of your reimagined brand & website?
    3. What has been the most challenging part of your time at Sumo?

    Looking forward to learning from you!

    Cheers,
    Dani

    • AM

      Andrew Mounier

      over 1 year ago #

      Hi Dani,

      I am excited to be here. Thank you for having me!

      1) The primary benefit I have found with a North Start Metric is that it gives the entire team a clear goal and direction. If the team or company doesn’t know what they are targeting or how to get there, then they will never achieve it. This seems obvious, but I am always surprised at how many companies simply say “I just want more customers” or “I want more sales.” Yes, but what is a true reflection of success? What lever needs to be pulled to ensure the company is growing and all customers don’t churn? When I was running KindCoins we originally thought our North Star Metric should be focused on the number of new accounts per day. So, we put all our efforts into new customer acquisition. This seemed to make sense due to it being a new startup. The problem was, users weren’t actively using the app. Which meant we had a lot of users who would churn out due to not knowing how to get value from it. We realized that the number of Active Users on a daily basis should be our North Star. This allowed us to shift our mentality and put effort into customers getting benefit from the service within 30 days of launch. This could be directly linked to more revenue for the company and for the organizations using the service.

      2 Share
    • AM

      Andrew Mounier

      over 1 year ago #

      2) Specifically, for the website, we will be tracking conversion rates from visitor to free trial customer (we plan to launch free trials in the next few weeks). On a higher level, we have MRR numbers that are supported by leads and the current + forecasted conversion rate. One of the first initiatives my team undertook here at Sumo was map out the entire funnel so that we could identify any areas that needed improvement. This lets me get a current and historical understanding of our efforts and how our traction methods are working. From a brand standpoint, we utilize NPS and have a target number that the new branding should positively influence.

      1 Share
    • AM

      Andrew Mounier

      over 1 year ago #

      3) The most challenging part of my time with Sumo has been around my OCD for perfect data accuracy. There are multiple teams that pull data to assist them with particular use cases. However, sometimes the sources are different which creates discrepancies when compared to a report pulled by someone from another department. Being able to identify why the data is different and then centralizing reports to “one source of truth” has helped a lot. But we all know that sometimes there are still data discrepancies and things are not always 100% accurate. I am working on making the best decisions possible with the data that is currently available. This helps us move forward quicker and then we can pivot as more information is gathered. This is supported by the Sumo core value "Fail Fast to Succeed."

      1 Share
  • SE

    Sean Ellis

    over 1 year ago #

    Thanks for doing this AMA! What does your sales model look like for the business? Approx what percentage of customers buy without talking to a sales rep?

    • AM

      Andrew Mounier

      over 1 year ago #

      Hi @sean great question and thanks for having me! We currently have a 60-40 split in between marketing and sales for monthly new MRR metrics. Marketing primarily owns Self-serve (60%) which doesn't require a sales rep to jump on a call. However, we do have a very strong internal customer experience team. Every new customer is reached out to by the CX team and put on a program called a jumpstart. This is our onboarding process that was built to ensure each customer is setup for success as quickly as possible. This program does a great job in reducing churn.

  • ZG

    Zach Grove

    over 1 year ago #

    Thanks for doing this, Andrew.

    It feels to me like Sumo has made a deliberate decision to focus more on ecommerce as of late.

    Given that the ecomm space has such a wide array of businesses (e.g. beginners with no traffic who are trying to dropship from AliExpress... all the way up to $10M+ direct-to-consumer brands), how have you focused your lead gen efforts on established stores, who are likely to pay Sumo more and stick around longer?

    Specifically, are there any channels that are working especially well to land established ecomm companies?

    Zach

    • AM

      Andrew Mounier

      over 1 year ago #

      Hi Zach,
      Great question! You could say that we did a lot of “soul searching” and this self-reflection drove our decision to focus on the ecommerce space. One of our core values is to Stay True to Small Business. This core value, along with a lot of data, helped guide the creation of our customer personas. With our ideal customer known we then did research to identify what channels/platforms these prospects were on.

      Of course, market research and theories are not always in direct correlation to real life results. To help move quickly we run a ton of tests. I like to utilize Gabriel Weinberg’s Bullseye Framework as the core model. Setting up tests and moving winners into the “inner circle” allows us to build up repeatable systems to help scale.

      1 Share
  • DG

    Dejan Gajsek

    over 1 year ago #

    Hey Andrew.

    Thanks for letting us pick your brain.

    I've got a couple of questions:
    1) How does your team prioritize experiments and who carries the autonomy and responsibility of a particular growth experiment?
    2) What have you noticed have stopped working regarding growing Sumo and what was the thinking process of switching to a better performing channel?
    3) How does your day-to-day look like? Or to rephrase — how much time are you spending in admin, manager position and how much in maker role?

    Thanks,

    d.

    • AM

      Andrew Mounier

      over 1 year ago #

      Hi Dejan,

      Thank you for the questions! Happy to share how our team works.

      1) Everything we do has to support the growth of the company. The marketing team has quarterly metrics that are set to help achieve the company goals. Our marketing goals are then broken down by team and individual contributor (content, paid, partnership, etc…). Based on the metrics that we need to achieve each IC and team lead are empowered to run growth experiments as they see fit. We are a pretty close team so an idea is usually shared with the entire marketing team during our weekly standing meeting. That idea is then given feedback so that different perspectives can help increase the likelihood of success. Some team members actually have a certain amount of growth experiments that they have to run per month. The key question that has to be answered is “what does success look like?” If success will help move us closer to our goals then it is an experiment worth trying. If the test “succeeds” but it doesn’t help us achieve our goals then it was wasted spend. Lastly, a recap analysis of the experiment needs to be put together so that the team can benefit from the learnings.

      1 Share
    • AM

      Andrew Mounier

      over 1 year ago #

      2) We have recently focused our product and efforts more towards ecommerce businesses. This required us to take a deeper look into our current customer acquisitions channels. Specifically, are they bringing in our ideal customers? We realized that a lot of our website visitors are being drawn in by content pieces that were not directly in line with our new audience. The pieces were great for bringing in organic traffic but the content was too broad. This has led us to get more targeted in our content creation and positioning.

      1 Share
      • GS

        Gabe Solberg

        over 1 year ago #

        Hi Andrew,

        It sounds like you guys narrowed down the content focus to be more aligned with your new audience. But doesn't that cause a problem for scale (specifically to a content strategy) since this approach would significantly reduce available content to produce?

    • AM

      Andrew Mounier

      over 1 year ago #

      3) This is a hard one! I have been blessed with a very strong team. Each person owns their space and I have full confidence in them. My role, and the role I have always taken as a leader is that of servant-leadership. Specifically, I am here to help support them with anything they need help with. That can take on different forms. I could be a sounding board, help bring in a different perspective, provide mentorship and guidance, directly working on campaigns, or assist with moving roadblocks out of their way.

      I guess it also really depends on the time of year and what priorities are being focused on by the company. With a new quarter just starting I spent a lot of time working on strategy and budget to ensure our team is setup for success. However, after the planning is complete I am actively there to support each team member as implementation occurs. I can’t say that any day really looks the same. We have aggressive goals (as any company should) and it keeps all of us pushing and growing. We are also not a massive marketing team so when things need to get done it is all hands on deck 😊

      1 Share
  • JP

    John Phamvan

    over 1 year ago #

    Hi Andrew,

    Awesome to have you on for an AMA.

    I notice a new trend in teams hiring for growth marketers. I'm curious, what do you look for when you're hiring growth oriented marketers?

    Looking forward to your response!

    Thanks,
    John

  • TC

    Tad Chef

    over 1 year ago #

    Hey Andrew!

    Thank you for offering your insights!

    I'm interested in how you reconcile your workaholism with traveling the world. I know there are many people who sell us the "travel the world while making money in your sleep" dream but I'd like to know more about the reality.

    Workaholism does not sound very glamorous to me - more like 80+h weeks - while working on weekends and having no real connections to friends and family. Do you automate, delegate and outsource a lot?

    Sincerely, tad

    • AM

      Andrew Mounier

      over 1 year ago #

      Hi Tad!
      Thank you for the question. I agree, traveling and work is not as glamorous as many instagrammers try to make it 😊. When I was fully remote and traveling, my wife and I ensured we were not moving around too much. It was important to build some routine into our lives. We would try to choose a home base that we would be at for at least 3-4 weeks. I would work during the week and then we would explore on the weekends. This helped ensure that I was still in contact with my team and productive. Of course, this limited time exploring but was necessary.
      To your point, the term “workaholism” can have a negative connotation, my reference above is more reflective of my drive. I have found projects and positions that I am extremely passionate about and the ability to travel allows me to gain new inspiration that I can directly use in my work. I do try hard to disconnect over the weekends (not always successful) so that I can enjoy those moments.

      P.S. Love the Sombrero in your profile pic 😊

      2 Share
  • AA

    Anuj Adhiya

    over 1 year ago #

    Hey Andrew - very cool to finally have you on.

    1. Walk us through your first 30 days at Sumo as Director of Marketing.
    What were your objectives and process to help set you up for success moving forward?

    2. How, in your opinion, is Sumo disrupting the status quo?

    • AM

      Andrew Mounier

      over 1 year ago #

      Hi Anuj,

      Great to be here. I appreciate you having me on. Thanks for the questions!

      1) I look at those first 30 days as the Discovery period. With any new position, a person needs to understand who the key stakeholders are, what the expectations are for you and your department, and what resources are available to help achieve these goals. I spent the first few weeks meeting and getting to know the marketing team, leadership, and other team members. I have always found it very important to build rapport.

      a. People are more productive and work better if they know that you truly care about them and their success.

      b. I also began looking over any historical data and prior marketing materials we had. It is impossible to move forward if you don’t know what has been done or is currently being worked on. This also allowed me to see what worked historically and what is still working.

      c. Identified any gap areas that I could see (specifically in regard to staffing).

      d. Started training and learning about all internal systems.

      e. I had put together a marketing roadmap prior to joining the company. This was from an “outsiders” perspective. I used my new insights to start updating it and making changes.

      f. Lastly, I looked for any quick wins so that myself and the team could show value as quickly as possible.

    • AM

      Andrew Mounier

      over 1 year ago #

      2) Love this question! Beyond having taco costumes in the office for anyone to wear 😊 there are actual business strategies that are starting to shake things up. This is being reflected by the massive growth and continued growth we are seeing. The best way to summarize how we are changing things is with our hedgehog concept. We are focused on Sumo becoming the “Easiest to setup proven strategies to turn customers into visitors.” There is a lot to digest in that one phrase. It takes us beyond just being another tool that businesses use and positions us into an essential growth engine for the SMB ecommerce market. It is actually very hard to simplify complex enterprise level marketing conversion processes well. That is what we are doing. With our “Shortcuts”, processes to increase average order value or reduce cart abandonment rates won’t take hours and a development team. I could keep going on this but I would just encourage you to take a look when our new website launches (should be this quarter).

  • JF

    Javier Feldman

    over 1 year ago #

    Hi Andrew!

    I could guess that visiting different countries, with their cultures and lifestyles, is an enriching experience by itself but, how would you say that being a nomad has helped you on your career? Could you share a particular experience, inspiration or something from a travel that you were able to implement in your work?

    Thanks in advance,

    Javier

  • NB

    Nasser Basim

    over 1 year ago #

    Hi Andrew!

    Thanks for doing this AMA :)

    - When a certain marketing channel is saturated and the law of shitty clickthroughs kicks in, how do you usually approach that channel AND new potential channels you could test?

    Thanks :)

  • GS

    Gabe Solberg

    over 1 year ago #

    Hey Andrew,

    How have you measured cross-channel attribution to properly identify the role each channel plays in the customer journey?

    Thanks

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