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The following are my takeaways from an interview Hubspot’s CMO Mike Volpe (with Meghan Keaney Anderson) did with Shopify’s CMO, Craig Miller, about Shopify's 10x growth.

Summarized takeaways:

  1. Marketing is vague, growth is precise. Craig internally rebranded Shopify’s marketing team as the growth team. Once they did that, it became super-clear what everybody was supposed to be doing every day.
  2. The bigger challenge is to make growth a company-wide objective. It’s an internal education process– helping everyone see that growth is achievable through small tests, and that everybody benefits for it.
  3. There’s a weird demarcation in companies between marketing and product that customers don’t care about. The growth team is regularly changing things inside the product.
  4. You have to prove yourself over time– small wins with the data. There was a demarcation in Shopify early on between product and marketing, but they eroded those over time by asking for small changes and demonstrating results.
  5. Prioritize the easy wins. Craig has signed up for Shopify over 1,000 times, just looking for all sorts of opportunities to tweak and optimize the flow.
  6. Use analytics to get insights on where and how to allocate resources. Craig actually has an engineering background, and has never read a marketing book or taken a marketing course in his life.
  7. Go the extra mile and be a little different. Shopify had remarkable Terms of Service and a remarkable Logout page, and people would tweet about it.
  8. Work fast. What can you do today, tomorrow? You don’t want to fall into the trap of coming up with lots of nice, elaborate powerpoint presentations of what you’re going to do next year.
  9. Focus. If your job is to grow the company, grow the company.
  • VV

    Visakan Veerasamy

    about 4 years ago #

    I'd definitely recommend listening to the podcast– it's pretty short, and it's very interesting to hear Craig talk about his perspective. Interestingly, he had no marketing background– never read a book on marketing, never taken a course on marketing. He approached it entirely from an analytical, engineering perspective.

    My personal biggest takeaway was the realization that rebranding a marketing team as a growth team makes it a lot clearer what everybody's supposed to do. I hadn't considered that– as a "classic" marketer I like thinking about big-picture things like the nuances of branding... but I realize that focusing on growth is what gives you the resources you need to make those big-picture things happen.

  • HW

    Hannah Wright

    about 4 years ago #

    Really enjoy Craig's "Just do it" attitude. Getting shit done.

    Also really like his comparison of large vs small companies and associated risk levels. Large companies should be just as willing to change and experiment if they want to continue growing.

  • TK

    Tomas Kolafa

    almost 2 years ago #

    Great list of reminders for anyone who is rapidly scaling a company ( especially VC funded ).

    Btw: Can you pls post a link to the original podcast? The link pointing to "read full post" lands on 404 error. Thx. :)

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