1. Selected talks from the WMD 2016: Brian Balfour, Sean Ellis, Nir Eyal, George Lee, Casey Winters and James Currier
Estimated viewing time: 3hrs
When the top industry leaders all talk at the same conference, you don’t want to miss it. Luckily, there are videos of their talks which you can watch from the comfort of your home. In the title above, you’ll find links to the inspiring and insightful talks by…
- Brian Balfour (Reforge, HubSpot)
- Sean Ellis (GrowthHackers, Qualaroo)
- Nir Eyal (the Author of “Hooked”)
- George Lee (Former Head of Growth at Instagram)
- Casey Winters (Pinterest)
- James Currier (NFX Guild).
- “7 Principles To Mastering Growth Marketing” (Brian Balfour)
- “Sean Ellis’ Secret Framework for Unlocking Organic Growth” (Ty Magnin)
- “3 Pillars of the Most Successful Tech Products” (Nir Eyal)
- “Andrew Chen on building systems of growth” (Mixpanel blog)
- ‘Rational Growth’ (eBook) (Andrew Chen)
- “How Pinterest, Dropbox, and Yelp Drive Growth @ Scale” (John Egan).
For even more related readings, check out the next 3 articles on this list.
Estimated reading time: 4mins
In this article Brian Balfour shares the 5 must haves for any growth team to reach maximum impact. According to Balfour, the most successful growth teams shine because they seek out direct impact. These teams look for data-backed opportunities not ideas stemming from gut feeling or problem raised by the loudest users. These opportunities for growth will be translated to ideas and tactics to achieve the identified potential impact.
Members of the growth team should be the type of people who are motivated by driving impact with the authority to influence areas of opportunities throughout the funnel.
At the end of the article Balfour offers a content upgrade in the form of an 18 questions checklist to evaluate any growth team’s strengths and weaknesses (recommended for anyone leading or part of a growth team).
“In order to seek impact you need to start with prioritized areas of opportunities, not just ideas or even prioritized ideas. Problems can be noisy, but they don’t necessarily correlate with being the biggest growth opportunity.”
Brian Balfour writes a lot about building successful growth teams. One of my favorite articles is 7 Principles To Mastering Growth Marketing. Other recommended articles include “How to hire a growth marketer” by Andrianes Pinantoan, Andrew Chen on building systems of growth, ‘Growth Hacker is The New VP Marketing’ and ‘Rational Growth’ (eBook).
Estimated reading time: 5mins
A good basic post for newbies to the concept of ‘growth’. The article offers an example of how to make use of Brian Balfour’s and Sean Ellis’s approach to growth.
“Just as The Lean Startup advocates for rapid product iteration, the growth process prioritizes speed through the build, measure, learn loop. The team that wins is not the one that has the best tactics, but the one that discovers the right tests sooner.”
“Spend 80% of your time doubling down on what works, and 20% testing new channels.”
See the related reading sections on the first two recommended articles in this post. In addition, I recommend reading The First Step To Building A Growth Machine (Brian Balfour), Sean Ellis’ Secret Framework for Unlocking Organic Growth, “How To Build A Basic Mobile Growth Model?” (William Gill) and “Minimum Desirable Product” (Andrew Chen).
Estimated reading time: 4mins
A fascinating interview with JamesCurrier (NFX Guild) on growing marketplaces, the market network model, universal triggers that shape User Psychology and proven ways for growing these platforms.
The article emphasizes the central place of human psychology to any product’s growth and at its core - linguistic triggers. For example: using linguistic triggers means that we not only need to understand what motivates our users but also describing the product (and the motivations to use it) the way our users will describe it.
“Building strong retention loops with language triggers is artistry,” says Currier. “You have to choose your paint carefully for each part of the product. You’re painting with human psychology.”
As a great believer in the contribution of human psychology to growth, I shared with you many articles in the last couple of weeks. A few of my favorite include Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products (Nir Eyal), Contagious (Jonah Berger) and The Five Types of Virality (Josh Elman).
Estimated reading time: 7mins
You can’t copy/paste growth hacks and expect them to perfectly work for your product. Each growth hack should be tailored to a specific product’s business model, audience and needs.
Instead, this article offers a 7 step process for building a scalable experimentation framework for testing, documenting and learning from new hacks. The process includes defining OKRs, brainstorming ideas, prioritizing, testing, implementing, analyzing and systemizing.
The article also offers a list of tools to help you manage the process. Overall, a must-read for any growth team.
“According to Balfour’s Slideshare, when it comes to growth hacking, focus on process first, tactics second. [..] By establishing a process, you establish a rhythm, allowing your team to efficiently execute experiments and then learn from those experiments. As you run more experiments, you’ll have more learnings to document in your playbook.”
See 1–3 recommended articles and related readings on this list.
Estimated reading time: 9mins
In this article, Dharmesh Shah (Founder & CTO HubSpot) shares a list of free recommended tools for automating growth activities, streamlining communication and measuring impact. Among the recommended list you’ll find a bit of self-promotion (for HubSpot of course) and other great tools for task (and team) management, growth bots (my personal favorite) and more.
“One of the most important lessons I’ve taken away from growing businesses is that most growth problems come not from ideas, but from execution.”
“[On GrowthBot] So how does it work? By connecting to a variety of marketing systems (like HubSpot, Google Analytics, and more), GrowthBot is able to give you more convenient access to information you already otherwise have, and give you access to information you didn’t know you had. In the first case, you could ask it the question, “How was organic traffic last month?” and it’ll tell you.”
Estimated reading time: 4mins
This article offers some good tips for newbies to the behavioral push notification world. This includes an explanation of the concept of behavioral triggers and a few use cases. The use cases suggested are good but could have been much stronger if they were backed with data.
“Recommendations offer an easy way to stay in touch with users without being invasive or pushy. If you’ve collected a wealth of data about each user’s preferences, you can use that data to provide value by suggesting related media. You’re helping the person while bringing them back into your app.”
The topic of Push Notifications has been repeatedly discussed in my weekly recommended reading list. Some of my favorite articles on the topic include: “Can push notifications really help app retention? Find out”, “What You Must Know To Build Savvy Push Notifications” and “How to create effective push notifications”. In addition, I recommend reading the LeanPlum report on Personalized Push Notifications.
Estimated reading time: 85mins
This article offers a useful list of customer acquisition tactics and ways to test them. Use them as reference, test on your own product or simply use for inspiration.
Among the tactics shared you’ll find: increase engagement from unopened emails, Create Co-Branded Content and Share out the Leads, Build an Inherently Viral Mechanism into your Product, Test Keyword-Level Conversion Rate via Paid and more.
“Before you start experimenting, make sure that you’ve set clear goals that you’d like to achieve - even if you don’t have much data to base them on. Simply setting goals here, albeit rough ones, will enable you to actually understand whether something is working on not. After testing out a few different channels you’ll be able to compare their individual success in relative terms against each other. “
“[..] It doesn’t matter if you can’t figure out a way to scale these individual tactics right now. Instead, you’re looking to see if the channel provides what you’re looking for - large volumes of high-quality new customers.”
Estimated reading time: 21 mins
A must-read for marketers. The article offers insights on positioning and branding from the super talented Julie Supan (Youtube, Airbnb, Reddit, Dropbox - to name a few). The insights include examples from successful companies such as Airbnb and dropbox.
“It’s tempting to assume your early adopters are also your HXCs, but that’s not always the case - and failing to make that distinction can prove challenging to a young company.”
“[..] your HXC represents people — real people, living in the world — and you need to regularly revisit your target to make sure you’re still hitting the mark. [..] As your company evolves, the HXC serves as a valuable touchstone to ensure that you’re growing in the right direction and to validate - or invalidate - your action plan.”
Estimated reading time: 5mins
This article offers App Store Optimization (ASO) tips for retail apps during the holiday season. This includes: Changing the icon and screenshots, adding targeted keywords, highlighting relevant questions and more.
Want in more growth insights?
Get the latest growth cheat-sheet with insights on building growth strategies, user acquisition, retention & engagement, push notifications, email marketing and more.