3 growth marketing principles to be used in relationships
I am one of those lucky people who likes to think about his/her job after working hours. For me growth marketing is more a general mindset than a field of career. So everything I learn at work, helps me to achieve personal growth. Even when it comes to relationships:
1 | The dilemma of intuition
I think you have all experienced at least once the feeling when you just know that there is something special about that girl/boy and you just need to get to know her/him. I do not believe in love at first sight, but I do believe in the crucial role of intuition to identify the potential of a relationship.
Now, when we say that “love is blind”, intuition obviously plays a very important part of that blindness. However, being concerned exclusively about the positives of someone, makes us care less about the negative parts. So this might lead us to a strong devotion, but it might be the wrong kind of attachment (just like when our business is developing, but it is moving forward in the wrong direction).
Since we talk about relationships, obviously your heart has a leading role, but if it is a long-term thing, you have to sit down and do the math. Are you staying in this relationship because you want to stay loyal to your intuition and you do not want to admit that the “vie is not really en rose”?
If your intuition tells you that you might have found the love of your life, but you are not happy, you have to be able to identify some objective information and prove your hypothesis right OR wrong.
This does not mean that I do not believe in the importance of instincts when it comes to a relationship. I think that if you have a good business idea that does not lead to sustainable growth, you have to look out for data to stay on the right track. At the same time, if you are in a relationship that does not allow you to have a personal growth, you might consider collecting some “data”.
In growth marketing:
When working in the field of growth marketing, your intuition can be your best friend but also your worst enemy. Without intuition, it is difficult, even impossible to achieve growth. However, if it is not accompanied by data, you can move forward, but it might be the wrong direction.
Having the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning, can open horizons and have empathy with users. It can help us to have hypotheses that could be fundamental for the business. Nonetheless, what is even more essential is that hypotheses have to be proven right OR wrong. Proving a hypothesis wrong and thus questioning our intuition is actually one of the most important sources of improvement!
However, proving something wrong is not enough in itself. It is crucial to have a validated learning behind. This is one of the most critical principles of lean startups and it refers to a process of learning by testing ideas and measuring the results to validate their effect. According to Eric Ries, whom I consider to be the father of lean startups : “The unit of progress for Lean Startups is validated learning-a rigorous method for demonstrating progress when one is embedded in the soil of extreme uncertainty”.
Why is this so important? Because without data and analysis we cannot have validated learning. And without validated learning it is not possible to improve business by iteration. What we need is to accept that data might go against our intuition. At this point we have to be able to put our pride aside and let the numbers (and thus the customers) lead. If not, we risk turning intuition into our worst enemy.
I guess I do not have to share arguments saying that you have to care about your partner (it obviously depends on the nature of your relationship, but let’s go with the classic one). But I have observed that care is especially appreciated when it is not required. There are a lot of things in relationships that are nice things to do, but they are kind of an “obligation”.
To keep examples simple, if you make yourself a coffee, you will probably make one for your partner as well. However, imagine the difference if you make a coffee with a nice decoration with a yummy croissant and you take it to bed as a surprise. The reaction is not the same! It is all about “user experience”. You can provide the same service, but if it is well presented and not requested, loyalty is easier to acquire.
The cherry on the cake is when you do not expect anything in exchange from your partner (customer). When it comes to relationships it is quite easy to become an “acquisition machine”, but if you want retention and long-term relationship, you should acknowledge the importance of care.
In growth marketing:
I will not go into too much detail, since I have already discussed the importance of care when it comes to growth marketing in my previous article(https://medium.com/@saroltagerb/8-mistakes-to-avoid-when-working-in-growth-marketing-39c099d7019f). The thing is that if the growth process of a company does not include CARE for the users, it will turn into a user acquisition machine.
“Caring” does not have to be complicated: it can be a simple text based email asking if the user has found what he/she was looking for, congratulate him/her on some actions taken on the website etc…You want customer retention? Caring is your best friend.
The most difficult part of putting in place such a strategy is probably to accept that you have to give something without actually getting something back right away. However, we know that referral has a great power, so on long term you WILL have a good return on your investment through the loyalty of your customers.
3| No magic
Have you ever looked at a couple who always seem to get along so well and ask yourself: how the hell are they doing that?
No? Well then I am sure that you have already spoken to someone who asked this question. The thing is that even if you would receive the “magical answer” to that question, it will not necessarily help you.
I was quite young when I decided that I do not believe in magic. Does this mean that I am pessimistic? Not at all, I just figured out that I rather need a process in my life.
So what is the link between a process and a relationship? Everything! Building a relationship is a process in itself and it is specific for every couple. It is not possible to “growth hack” a relationship, just because something works for other couples it will not necessarily be a good thing for another.
The only way to attain “sustainable growth” (yes, this expression works just as well for relationships as for startups) is to deeply understand the values of the relationship (KPIs), to put in place and continuously improve the process until you achieve natural growth.
The term “growth hacking” is very fashionable today. However, in my opinion, in order to achieve the final goal, that is to help a company grow, we actually need a growth process. It is not enough to read thousands of articles and try the growth hacks proposed that claim to do “magic”. It is important to understand that without putting a customized process (based on your customers’ experience) in place that ensures a continuous improvement, there is no sustainable growth. Iteration is the core of growth marketing.
According to Sean Ellis, one of the most important founding fathers of growth marketing:
“Sustainable growth programs are built on a core understanding of the value of your solution in the minds of your most passionate customers. Your drive to develop growth hacks should be based on a burning desire to get this “must have” experience into the hands of more and more of the right customers. Growth hacks built from this frame of mind are the ones that build large sustainable businesses.” (http://www.startup-marketing.com/authentic-growth-hacks/)
This supports the idea that if we want to put in place a successful process to reach our goals (business growth or a happy relationship) we have to focus on user experience and since every user is different, our actions have to be customized. No magic.