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This was my presentation from the Agile Marketing Meetup in San Francisco. The key point of the presentation is that annual marketing plans can't keep up with the rapidly changing landscape of digital marketing acquisition channels and tactics. To remain relevant, CMOs and marketing teams need to completely rethink their marketing/growth approach. This presentation highlights the agile process that today's fastest growing companies are adopting - from building the right team to executing an agile marketing (growth hacking) process.

  • SE

    Sean Ellis

    about 5 years ago #

    I'll actually be doing a general AMA here on Tuesday, but in the meantime, let me know if you have any questions about these slides.

  • SW

    Samuel Woods

    about 5 years ago #

    Absolutely love it.

    (Also nice to see confirmation of what I've long suspected and have worked with for the past year or so, on a small scale with "small-ish" companies.)

    I'm curious for more on Team:

    I've found that companies who've hit "Traction" (P/M fit, 1-2 channels that are working well but not optimized, etc.) are always wondering what role to hire for first, and have either already brought a VP Marketing onboard, or think that's the first step, as opposed to a "growth hacker".

    I think they still need a person dedicated to Growth, who can lead the growth process and team, but that's not always the VP Marketing, because of skill set, etc.

    How would you recommend a company tackling this issue?

    What other pointers re: team building would you add to this?

    • SE

      Sean Ellis

      about 5 years ago #

      I personally would hire a pm growth first (also known as growth master). This person ensures the growth process stays on track and can also do some of the work around developing personas, competitive analysis, target user strategy (quarterly planning items on slide 9). I'd then complement this person with a marketer to manage specific proven channels. That's my preference but it's very debatable.

      • SW

        Samuel Woods

        about 5 years ago #

        I like your preference ;) I think you're right, but it's probably also something that's relatively "fluid" in timing and sequence of hiring -- as long as there's a core of process involved.

  • FD

    Frank Dale

    about 5 years ago #

    @Sean great presentation. I love the philosophy and appreciate your thoughts on execution. Tempo aligned with insight is fundamental to any competitive endeavor.

    It looks like you use elements of Scrum style iteration planning. How "scrum like" are your weekly growth meetings? Do you also employ daily stand-ups?

    • SE

      Sean Ellis

      about 5 years ago #

      Thanks, definitely modeled after scrum but some difference. @StevenPezz_32 what would you say are some of the key differences?

      We do daily standups, but they are combined with the product standup. That may change as our team gets bigger. But for now it works well for us.

      • SP

        Steven Pesavento

        about 5 years ago #

        Great question @fdale. There are some key similarities (a lot of which can be found in majority of the team management frameworks). A little background: I'm currently managing the Growth Process at GH, and before joining GH I've managed scrum dev projects in roles as Product Owner & Scrum Master (certified in both).

        I think the key difference is that our "Weekly Growth Meeting" is that we spend a about 1/4th of the meeting on actual planning for the following week. It is our weekly touchpoint to bring the team together and keep the whole team involved in thinking about moving the growth ball forward.

        Right now we actually take nominations from the entire team each week offline and then select the best items as a team in order to hit our tempo goal (based on resources, size of tests, etc.), rather than having a prioritized product backlog.

        Like many team meetings, we review our key growth metrics and discuss the past week of growth tests (what worked / didn't work). In addition we use this time to review the results of tests that have moved to the knowledge base. This helps the entire team generate new ideas week-to-week.

        In the spirit of constant improvement, we expect this process to continue to evolve over time.

  • GC

    Gabriel Costa

    about 5 years ago #

    Hey Sean,

    Amazing presentation and process. Thanks for sharing!
    The prints are from Canvas, right?

    The hardest thing to me as a Growth Manager and to my team is to keep doing the process with consistency.

    We have a solid process, but normally when something works pretty well, our team also need to implement those changes (or we need to design better the solution and make sure that will be implemented).

    It is a little bit strange, but we kind of lose focus everytime something great works well. @Sean How hard is it for your team to keep testing with consistency? Have you done something to make that 'easier'?

    • SE

      Sean Ellis

      about 5 years ago #

      Thanks, yes screenshots are from Canvas. Agree that good implementation (systematize, automate, etc) of successful tests is critical. I recommend that you try to keep the testing process moving forward in this case by focusing on really easy tests until you free up resources.

      • GC

        Gabriel Costa

        about 5 years ago #

        Thx!

        I will try to reduce the number and complexity of tests, but keeping the consistency.

  • SP

    Steven Pesavento

    about 5 years ago #

    Can't wait for the Video to accompany it!

  • JP

    Jason Perez

    about 5 years ago #

    @Sean this is really good stuff. I'm currently putting together a growth optimization process that's heavily influenced by Brian Balfour's talk [1] mixed in with what I learned in Peep Laja's coaching class [2]. This process will be executed at a company that's been around for a while - located in Southern California. Optimization is fairly new there and I'm looking to establish something similar to what you're describing here.

    Looking forward to the AMA.

    Jason

    [1] https://youtu.be/0APJlxMjPw4
    [2] http://www.peeplaja.com/

  • DE

    Darren Ebona

    about 5 years ago #

    In the past, marketing plans were made solely by the marketing department, but now, it's a company-wide practice involving all departments. Companies need every single idea to help them get the edge versus their competitors in a fast-paced business environment and they need to execute those ideas, fast.

  • JH

    Jim Huffman

    about 5 years ago #

    Great presentation. We're building out our growth team and we'll put this approach to use. thx.

  • DD

    Denis de Bernardy

    about 5 years ago #

    Curious to know which app(s?) you're using on Slides 17, 22, 26 and 28.

  • TS

    Terence Strong

    about 5 years ago #

    Sean, thanks for doing this! Growthhackers.com has been really helpful to me and my company.

    What's the biggest risk to an e commerce company that has already found product market fit and a distribution channel that yields profitable unit economics?

    • SE

      Sean Ellis

      about 5 years ago #

      Hi @terencestrong - I'd say the biggest risk is that your current distribution channel with profitable unit economics stops being profitable. It's important to constantly be trying to find additional effective distribution channels before the existing one(s) stops working.

  • JE

    Jim Ewel

    about 5 years ago #

    Just wrote a post about High Tempo Testing based on Sean's presentation at http://agilemarketing.net/high-tempo-testing/. Really enjoyed your presentation, Sean.

  • MM

    Matjaz Muhic

    about 5 years ago #

    Hi do you make sure your tests are statistically significant while you have so many tests in a week? Or do you just leave them running until they are? Or does high tempo testing just mean a lot of tests at any given moment but not short lived tests?

    • SE

      Sean Ellis

      about 5 years ago #

      Yes, you leave them running as long as it takes for testing accuracy. As weekly testing increases for most companies "acquisition" tests tend to dominate the mix (since many of these can be run simultaneously).

  • GS

    Greg Smith

    about 5 years ago #

    Great process here! We've been using Jira with a effort to reward rating but looking forward to trying out Canvas and incorporating the ICE rating. Thanks!

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