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Great read! Love that you included some pre-promotion items in there as well. Sometimes we forget to really think about generating traffic and building links from the beginning. Thanks for sharing!
I would argue that this post demonstrates vertical integration more than a growth engine.
Growth engine is misleading!
Thank you! They're definitely a company to study and learn from, and that's why we loved the idea of writing this article. Their ebooks are also fantastic learning tools.
Great article. Great company. I love Intercom. I'd probably also say their relentless focus on customer research & jobs-to-be-done is a key driver of their success as well. They wrote a great ebook on it --> https://www.intercom.com/books/jobs-to-be-done
Best piece of content in 2018 so far. #organicgrowthwins
Hey everyone - thanks for all the great questions! Have to run for now but hope to circle back later on tonight.
Hi Dani - stoked to be here! Love the questions.
1) If I were to take over onboarding for a company that didn't see value in activation as much as they did acquisition, here's are my first 3 steps (labeled a, b, c for readability):
a. I'd get the c-suite to adopt activation as a top-level KPI right alongside acquisition and revenue.
b. I'd gather qualitative feedback via user tests, surveys, and watching user sessions to come up with a few hypotheses that could improve activation.
c. I'd implement initial tests based on the hypothesis and try to drive a significant win within my first 90 days.
2) You're right. No two companies activation metrics are the same, and it's hard to know yours. The way I help our customers approach this conundrum is by setting the expectation that there are levels of sophistication to determining your activation metric.
Facebook's 7 friends in 10 days metric is super advanced and nuanced. A simpler version of this might have been simply 'added friends.' If you're just trying to discover yours for the first time, you may just want to use your gut. If you're Mailchimp, a simple activation event could be 'sent first email.'
If you're trying to be a bit more thoughtful, you can run a regression test against your behavioral events to determine correlation. This exercise may yield other helpful insights, but until your product and data normalizes, your activation event may be a moving target, so keeping it simple might be a nice solution.
Can't wait for the Conference!
Hi Javier, I helped develop the spreadsheet. I don't think it's that important except for internal reporting purposes (i.e. management wants to know the marketing department's overall cost per lead). Blended actually obscures or hides information. Whereas paid and inbound CPLs are things you can actually more easily affect. "Ok, we changed our bidding strategy last week and now our paid CPL on these campaigns changed to $x..."
Content marketing has been our #1 driver for growth since inception.
Our content marketing strategy has evolved in 2 ways:
1) Promotion. In the beginning, I spent a lot of time hustling our content around. After a year or so, we focused on organic traffic more. Now, we're leaning on a mix of a few things, but it's much less about that manual outreach and hustle.
2) The content itself has evolved. We've learned a lot from blogging for 3+ years, so we've iterated considerably on the archetypes of posts we create and doubled down when we found success.
My only advice if you're just starting out is to first write something you think is meaningfully helpful and unique to your audience. Once you've done that hard work, you shouldn't feel timid to put it in-front of people and ask for help distributing it.
Hope that helps!
My blanket advice to any company that isn't onboarding well is to first identify their points of friction by running user tests and then get the right tooling/process in place to make improvements to their onboarding experience.
As for companies that are doing it right, I’d look to the current wave of unicorns. They all seem to be growing from having a better product experience than their competitors.
For a mega library of user onboarding examples, check out our blog reallygoodux.io.
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