Growth Program Management: Growth Master Training, Optimizing Your Growth Process, and Marketing Tech Stacks (Review)
CXL Growth Marketing Minidegree: Week 10
During week 10 of CXL Institute’s Growth Marketing Minidegree, I learned about growth program management with courses on Growth Master Training (a workshop), Optimizing Your Growth Process, and Optimizing Your Marketing Tech Stack. This week zoomed back out to the big picture of growth marketing and covered structuring and managing growth teams for scaling organizations, communicating data and results, and learning from experiments.
Growth Master Training Workshop
This course was a live recording of Sean Ellis’ GrowthMasters Workshop. As the CEO of growthhackers.com, Sean Ellis:
“coined the term “Growth Hacking” to describe the sustainable growth approach used by hyper-growth companies like Facebook, Airbnb and Amazon.”
The workshop iterated on the Growth Marketing Minidegree’s first courses on the overall growth methodology and value. The class added specifics about the head of growth role — the position Sean Ellis calls a Growth Master.
A Growth Master understands key growth fundamentals, runs an effective cross functional growth process, manages weekly meetings, and keeps testing and learning at a high tempo. Basically: establishes and runs an effective growth program.
An effective growth process:
1. Engages the entire organization to leverage their insights, skills, and authority
2. Drives immediate growth results through focused high tempo testing
3. Helps you learn how to drive sustainable results
The weekly meetings with key decision makers and stakeholders ensure the company’s growth efforts stay optimized and on track. Ironically, one of the main jobs of the Growth Master is to optimize the weekly growth meeting.
The Growth Meeting
The growth meeting entails: nominating favorite test ideas, pitching next tests, prioritizing proposed tests based on resources and expectations, and assigning an owner who is passionate about the next test(s). I’ve experienced the power and effectiveness of the final point assigning a passionate owner, in my experience working with 4–5 teams per semester in college; if no one is assigned ownership or if the owner isn’t excited by the work, then collaborative projects don’t work well.
The meetings are task-oriented, not brainstorming sessions. The goals each week are to:
· Focus the team on achieving growth objectives
· Hold accountability to a weekly growth testing rhythm
· Optimize the growth process to hit testing targets
· Review overall KPIs
If possible, the Growth Master runs the meeting and hosts the core growth team (analysts, designers, growth engineers), VP of Product, CTO, and CEO. Why would company leaders attend the weekly growth meeting? Because the baseline goal of every company is to grow. And tests are how companies identify how to grow and scale. The growth meeting keeps a pulse on how well the business is…doing business.
Once a test is set to launch, the test owner determines the minimum viable test, schedules resources for executing the test, ensures success metrics are defined and tracked, bases decisions on testing history, and records the rest results to add to the log — key lessons learned, details, hypothesis, before/after screen shots, and the analytics report.
Qualities of a good Growth Master
Successful Growth Masters are likely:
· Entrepreneurial: willing to take on risk and accountability for a difficult job
· Disciplined: skilled at following a process
· Growth-minded: seeks continuous improvement and always looks for opportunities to improve
· Analytical: looks for proof in the data (doesn’t just go by their gut)
· A leader: keeps team focused and motivated
Although the role title may have changed since 2017 when the workshop was filmed, the Growth Master/Head of Growth still analyzes data to find the high leverage growth opportunities, helps the team focus on generating ideas that will impact key objectives, and runs the weekly growth meetings.
Optimizing Your Growth Process
This short course touched on the meta topic of optimizing your optimization process.
Tuning your growth machine
In the beginning, tests won’t be as informed as after a long history of experimentation, so teams should prioritize quality over the speed of tests. Although it’s true that the more tests companies run the more optimized (and successful) they’re likely to be, running low quality tests is equivalent to not running any tests at all (except more expensive).
Once you raise test quality, you can speed the growth process by front-loading design planning, streamlining cross functional collaboration, and training the team to ship faster (teaching platform/channel skills, workflow best practices, etc.).
The most interesting point in this course was that the more you help other teams get more efficient and improve internal processes, the better. Even if it’s not part of the growth job, the organization can greatly benefit from the growth team testing workloads, meeting structures and cadences, and other components of working collaboratively.
Optimizing Your Marketing Tech Stack
A marketing tech stack (martech) leverages a combination of software and platforms to help marketers do their job. Although marketing is in the name, the stack includes sales tools, developer tools, and customer support tools — not just marketing tools. The content of this course is simultaneously the most applicable as someone who will be working with many of the described tools from day one, yet the fastest to expire.
The number of martech options grew from 350+ in 2013 to over 7,000 in 2019. Most platforms from the 2019 course are still relevant today, but the interfaces and new top players may have already changed. Nonetheless, the best practices for how to evaluate, select, and integrate your marketing tech stack are relevant regardless of the specific software that covers each part of the data pipeline.