Anssi Rantanen, Finland division CEO of Growth Tribe -company, came to talk on Waffle Wednesday 17.4.2019 about the future of marketing and how to grow your company in the future. Anssi is a former Google employee where his job was growth consultant and he had 40-50 marketing organisations from Finland as a client. He had a front row seat to see how Finnish companies grow, and the sight was alarming to him. That is why he had an inspiration to start teaching growth hacking in Finland.
Technology grows fast and peoples skills develop slower, so the two don’t really keep up. And because technology is growing fast, applications of technology are developing fast also. Companies might feel like there is already big toolbox of skills but then you’ll realize, you also have to be able to talk to website developers for example. After that, when you think you are sort of there, technology takes another quantum leap. Now you need to know how to apply new technology solutions to efficiently add value through the customer journey.
The education system isn’t keeping up with technology development. Universities update their curriculum perhaps once a year. That’s way too slow. Growth tribe tries to update their curriculum every two weeks to be as up to date as possible. On the job learning is difficult too, because no one has all the skills that you need. Online private education is the only way to close the gap between rapid technology growth and people’s skills. Growth tribe has three methods: e-learning, hands on (not just boring school theories) and cutting edge (getting the latest information).
What is growth hacking?
Growth hacking by definition is data-driven marketing through rapid experimentation. Data driven is a keyword, it’s not based on opinions. Rapid experimentation is another important part. The more we experiment, the more we learn and the more we learn, the more we can utilize that learning and grow faster.
Even thought growth hacking is quite new in Finland every billion dollar company and companies from Silicon Valley live and breath growth hacking. There isn’t a question if it is the best way, it is the best way to do it.
When talking about growth there are 4 pillars: mindset, process, people and tools:
Mindset: growth hacking legend Takeru Kobayashi revolutionized his industry, professional eating. In hot dog eating World Championships year 2002, this slim Asian guy ate 52 hot dogs in 12 min when the earlier record was just 25 hot dogs in 12 minutes. But how? He sat in an apartment in Japan and tested hundreds of new ways to eat hot dogs like crazy to know if there is a better way to eat a hot dog fast, until he found the way.
If you want to grow anything you better experiment because it’s guaranteed that your competition is doing it. The only way you can success is to experiment and find new ways to do things and find those untapped markets. Like Amazon’s CEO says: being wrong will hurt you a bit but being slow will kill you.
Process: We want to have a process for experimentation, because it is really a numbers game. The more experiments we do the more we learn. More we learn the faster we can grow. Sometimes you can hit mountains of success that you want to pinpoint or use for compound growth. Compound growth means growth over certain time period. For example if you gain 2% more followers per week it doesn’t sound like much but in a year it’s 280% more users on a weekly basis! That’s why there needs to be a system for experimentation.
First you get a lot of ideas and you’ll record all the ideas that come to mind. Then you rank them and prioritize your ideas as a team. After that you will outline the chosen ideas, what’s your hypothesis, what you’ll measure and if it will work. It’s okay if it doesn’t work, you will learn that 70 % of your ideas will and should fail. You keep list of the ideas and study what has worked and what has failed. It’s important to have this culture in your company that it is okay to fail and try things out.
People: T-shaping is a method when person develops a deep knowledge. For addition to your own work knowledge you’ll learn bits and peaces of everything else that is going on in the company. This way every single employee has every tool in their toolbox to problem solving.
Also you can use a growth team. The growth team focuses just on experimentation. The team includes a developer, an analyst, a marketer and an engineer so they can do everything without external help which makes decision making really fast.
Tools: There are hundreds of different tactics to market but there is this thing called banner blindness, what makes adds inefficient. You need to try to find new ways to market.
Tool-based marketing: a certain recruitment company grew with a new invention called ”upload your CV”. The point was that you upload your CV to an app and it tells you how much your CV is worth. Said recruitment company was in trouble because they didn’t have any applicants but with this new invention they got lots, 100 000 CV’s in first months!
Here is a summary of the 3 big mistakes that stop your company from growing:
1. People don’t have theoretical knowledge.
2. Outsourcing growth. You want to learn about the company to grow, don’t outsource the learning!
3. Not investing the time and money, these thing should be built in the company culture.