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Hey guys, I wanted to post something that we don't see a lot – what's hard about growth hacking and the kind of things that can go wrong.

I appreciate this community a lot and want to hear your thoughts.

  • SE

    Sean Ellis

    almost 5 years ago #

    Great article @mattangriffel . It's interesting how people get so caught up in perfection when it comes to testing. The reality is that it's often messy and inconsistent. But it's still better than not testing at all.

  • LS

    Logan Stoneman

    almost 5 years ago #

    Hey @mattangriffel - awesome to have you posting this here! This is definitely the raw piece about GrowthHacking I've been searching for. The idea of growthhacking is sexy but incredibly hard to truly (and honestly) execute. You mention your Growth Hacking course at the end of the post. What are you teaching in that course that might help beginners avoid some of the pitfalls?

    I'm 1000% bias but I think a lot of choosing, testing and tracking experiment problems you're facing could be solved with GrowthCanvas. @sean wrote an nice write up about how high tempo testing could be a solution to some of the problems of GrowthHacking, and mentioned Canvas as the perfect complement.

    • MG

      Mattan Griffel

      almost 5 years ago #

      Yes, and I love that post. It's an idea we're going to be implementing at One Month with @douglogue leading the charge.

      In One Month Growth Hacking one of the biggest things I teach about is simplifying your focus. If you've got all these things you could be tracking and testing, how do you identify and focus on just one or two? And what tools and resources can you use to eliminate a lot of the work you'd have to do otherwise?

      The reality is most of the people reading about this stuff are just one person inside of a larger company and so they may not have access to the resources they would need to implement high tempo testing. But most of the energy people spend is wasted on unnecessary things, so I definitely think the idea of rapid iteration and analysis (especially when supported by tools like Canvas) could be used at a smaller company as well.

  • JS

    Jared Smith

    almost 5 years ago #

    Thanks for sharing @mattangriffel !

    I love seeing confession of the nitty gritty secrets of any profession. It's sometimes hard to admit not everything is rainbow and sunshine. Sometimes you're tunneling into Mordor with a rusty screwdriver, and just have to make the best of it.

  • SK

    Soufyan Kharbouchi

    almost 5 years ago #

    Many act as if they're operating a smooth GH operation, in reality they're lost in the mess they've created. @mattangriffel great piece.

  • LS

    Laurent Sabbah

    almost 5 years ago #

    Mad interesting.

    One thing's for sure, we can't test it all. Sometimes I also obsess over the smallest things but truth is they're irrelevant and it usually delays bigger tasks that can actually make a difference.

    Test EVERYTHINGyoucan...

  • WT

    Willie Tran

    almost 5 years ago #

    I feel so relieved. Best article I've read in a while. Thanks a ton for writing this @mattangriffel!!

  • RS

    Ranee Soundara

    almost 5 years ago #

    Thanks Mattan for writing this. Resonates the pains of our jobs - but also it is these very challenges that motivate us to want to fix them.

    Here are a few of my insights, taken away from the points you hightlight:

    "Implementing tracking systems is hard. Like, really hard. Your data is going to be off from the real numbers, no matter how hard you try."

    Absolutely correct 100%. I would also add that the stage of the company very much dictates the foundation of the system to be implemented. If a growth hacker is on a founding team from the very beginning, implementing a new system is much easier. You can create whatever foundation you want… versus, say a marketer like me who focuses on growth/later stage startups and inherit an existing system to fix.

    In my opinion, the #1 challenge marketers/growth hackers face today is understanding how to obtain CLEAN data, both from data warehouses and various analytics platforms. This is also why I feel analytics startups like Mixpanel and Localytics have justified valuations. Getting real data and numbers to understand where a business stands is the worst wild goose chase, ever. If a company can afford both money and time to overhaul a broken framework, do it.

    "I wish I could say we’re running multiple A/B tests and have a running log of tests to run once those are done and validated. We’re not.”

    +1 - For brands and startups with bigger ad spend - they are running hundreds, if not thousands, of tests simultaneously across multiple ad networks and platforms. Tracking and acting on ALL of the tests is almost impossible, even with a dedicated team.

    "How do you track the results of that over a long time? That test actually has to be written into your code, which can be quite difficult.”

    This is why I always argue that a growth teams needs to include an engineer - to make sure that it is written into code. However, figuring out the technical requirements of that is also very difficult. And that’s only half the problem. The other half is the engineer needs to understand the problem enough to solve with writing new code. Then, the other hurdle is - justifying the business requirement with all stakeholders to get it approved…. hahahahaha yup!! FUN right?

    "Having one person manage the entire growth process is almost impossible. It’s too massive.”

    Agreed. Growth is an organizational culture that needs to be ingrained within the team - from the top, down and resonates in everything the team does. Sean (Ellis) writes a lot about this - that this is really an entire team initiative, not just marketing/product. I saw this very early on in my career, and I make it clear before coming on every team that growth is EVERYONE’s priority, not just mine. No growth, no business.

  • DK

    Dillip K Mohanty

    almost 5 years ago #

    @mattangriffel, picking up a single element for testing and diverting to others while analyzing the outcome of that test is a common problem in growth hacking. Apart from that technical complexity and data variation may perplex our thought. But yes active participation of multiple persons in multiple analyses and sharing their findings would simplify the whole thing that would be close to our final objective we are measuring all the way.

    • JS

      Jared Smith

      almost 5 years ago #

      GrowthHacking is a team sport. :)

      • DK

        Dillip K Mohanty

        almost 5 years ago #

        @jsmith , for larger organization, it is possible to dedicate one single team for it. But when it comes to a start up with fewer players, it's really impossible for all to actively participate in the game. Work pressure is huge, diversified and time constraint is the real killer to focus only in growth hacking.

  • HL

    Hyun Lee

    almost 5 years ago #

    Nothing in life is easy - it's good to see that you are trying and finding solutions to the hardships you're running into. Not many people will admit it or go through with it.

    "If you're going through hell, keep going."
    -Winston Churchill

  • KC

    Kyle Crawford

    almost 5 years ago #

    Thanks for balancing out the tactical with the confessional @mattangriffel . If you end up finding a way to tackle some of the things you brought up, I'm sure we'd all love to see a followup (ie. A - F are still a shitshow. But here's how we figured out G) .

  • LM

    Laura Moreno

    almost 5 years ago #

    That was awesome @mattangriffel! It all looks pretty neat in the theory but doing it is something completely different. For me the mos challenging part is the tracking. As you said we all love acquisition and getting the traffic, its like eating a donut, it is easy fast gratification, but how about making those calls to your existing customers? How about studying the numbers? Beautiful confession! Thanks!

  • JK

    Julie Kent

    almost 5 years ago #

    Enjoyed this!

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