10 Growth Hacks for Your Business

1. Drive engagement through content
You may have read about content marketing and thought it’s not for you but it is, it has to be, you need to be doing it and doing it now. You need to provide your potential audience with high-quality relevant information, it isn’t about product push, it’s about informing and educating. The way customers buy has changed, you need to change too.

2. Encourage Advocacy
In 2009 Uber had a great idea but it was just another taxi firm. They had a platform to take payment and scale up and down with demand, but no customers. Taking advantage of their San Francisco location and the tech community, they organised events and crucially gave free rides to the attendees. These attendees became their advocates and spread the word. They then replicated this in other cities. Find advocates who will champion your business, whether industry influencers, bloggers or journalists.

3. Capture the visitors to your website
Not everyone on your website will fill in an enquiry form. So you need to find other ways to know who they are. http://www.sumo.me/allows you to create an email collector. For example a pop-up box to enter your email for a free 50 growth hacks for your company. Tracking the silent visitors is easy to use a tool such as http://www.traffictruffle.com/ which will identify the visitors to your website from their IP address.

4. Put up your price
It might seem like an obvious thing but few of us are prepared to do it to new customers let alone existing ones. If your home broadband is from a company like Virgin or BT you will be familiar with fairly regular price increases. Over time, your operating cost increases so you are losing margin on your existing sales. European MSP Claranet introduced an inflation-based price increase across its customer base. No one likes paying more, but people around you are putting up their price and you should consider it too.

5. Contract length
Some services are sold on a monthly rolling contract; take a look at how many customers cancel during the first 12 months. Change your standard terms to 12 months (or longer). The number of people who are deterred from signing up will be outweighed by the extra guaranteed revenue. Mcloud, a London based software firm applied this simple hack and increased revenue by 8%.

6. Weight pricing towards longer contracts.
If you want to offer monthly rolling pricing, weight it so that if you are using the service for more than 4 months, it’s better to sign for a year. Biteable, an online animation firm, offers a model where the monthly option is $29, the annual, $99.

7. Keep marketing into your existing base
Don’t wait until it’s time for renewals to contact your existing customers. Keep them engaged with high-quality relevant content. You can upsell to this base at any time but they don’t want to get pushy sales messages. Nurture these customers, make them love you, make them advocates of your company. You could set up a quarterly webinar talking about relevant industry trends for their vertical and ask your customers in that space for their input. Everybody loves to be asked for their option.

8. Keep marketing into your old enquiries
Don’t forget all your old enquiries. You have built up a database over the years, use it. Market into this base but don’t send glossy special offers, send high quality engaging content and it should be relevant. As with any database, you should segment this list and send the right content to the right segments. If you aren’t using your existing database of prospects, do. Today.

9. Make it hard to cancel
Make it easy to buy your service but make it hard to cancel. You don’t need to go to the extremes of Sky or the companies who hide the ways to cancel the service but you don’t need to make it too easy. We all have stuck with services because we think changing is a hassle. Don’t allow people to cancel over email, it’s too easy. Try cancelling Spotify you’ll see how they have got multiple hurdles that you need to jump before you finally get to cancel. If you have an account management team then make the cancellation route through that team, they will have a chance to save the account.

10. Offer alternatives to cancelling
Cancelling should be a last resort. Offer a downgrade or a temporary suspension of a service as an alternative. Audible do an excellent job of this approach. You have the option to suspend the service for 3 months, you can keep subscribed at a lower cost, you can get an extra book for free if you stay. Think about what alternatives you can offer rather than a complete cancellation of a service.

10 Growth Hacks for Your Business

1. Drive engagement through content
You may have read about content marketing and thought it’s not for you but it is, it has to be, you need to be doing it and doing it now. You need to provide your potential audience with high-quality relevant information, it isn’t about product push, it’s about informing and educating. The way customers buy has changed, you need to change too.

2. Encourage Advocacy
In 2009 Uber had a great idea but it was just another taxi firm. They had a platform to take payment and scale up and down with demand, but no customers. Taking advantage of their San Francisco location and the tech community, they organised events and crucially gave free rides to the attendees. These attendees became their advocates and spread the word. They then replicated this in other cities. Find advocates who will champion your business, whether industry influencers, bloggers or journalists.

3. Capture the visitors to your website
Not everyone on your website will fill in an enquiry form. So you need to find other ways to know who they are. http://www.sumo.me/allows you to create an email collector. For example a pop-up box to enter your email for a free 50 growth hacks for your company. Tracking the silent visitors is easy to use a tool such as http://www.traffictruffle.com/ which will identify the visitors to your website from their IP address.

4. Put up your price
It might seem like an obvious thing but few of us are prepared to do it to new customers let alone existing ones. If your home broadband is from a company like Virgin or BT you will be familiar with fairly regular price increases. Over time, your operating cost increases so you are losing margin on your existing sales. European MSP Claranet introduced an inflation-based price increase across its customer base. No one likes paying more, but people around you are putting up their price and you should consider it too.

5. Contract length
Some services are sold on a monthly rolling contract; take a look at how many customers cancel during the first 12 months. Change your standard terms to 12 months (or longer). The number of people who are deterred from signing up will be outweighed by the extra guaranteed revenue. Mcloud, a London based software firm applied this simple hack and increased revenue by 8%.

6. Weight pricing towards longer contracts.
If you want to offer monthly rolling pricing, weight it so that if you are using the service for more than 4 months, it’s better to sign for a year. Biteable, an online animation firm, offers a model where the monthly option is $29, the annual, $99.

7. Keep marketing into your existing base
Don’t wait until it’s time for renewals to contact your existing customers. Keep them engaged with high-quality relevant content. You can upsell to this base at any time but they don’t want to get pushy sales messages. Nurture these customers, make them love you, make them advocates of your company. You could set up a quarterly webinar talking about relevant industry trends for their vertical and ask your customers in that space for their input. Everybody loves to be asked for their option.

8. Keep marketing into your old enquiries
Don’t forget all your old enquiries. You have built up a database over the years, use it. Market into this base but don’t send glossy special offers, send high quality engaging content and it should be relevant. As with any database, you should segment this list and send the right content to the right segments. If you aren’t using your existing database of prospects, do. Today.

9. Make it hard to cancel
Make it easy to buy your service but make it hard to cancel. You don’t need to go to the extremes of Sky or the companies who hide the ways to cancel the service but you don’t need to make it too easy. We all have stuck with services because we think changing is a hassle. Don’t allow people to cancel over email, it’s too easy. Try cancelling Spotify you’ll see how they have got multiple hurdles that you need to jump before you finally get to cancel. If you have an account management team then make the cancellation route through that team, they will have a chance to save the account.

10. Offer alternatives to cancelling
Cancelling should be a last resort. Offer a downgrade or a temporary suspension of a service as an alternative. Audible do an excellent job of this approach. You have the option to suspend the service for 3 months, you can keep subscribed at a lower cost, you can get an extra book for free if you stay. Think about what alternatives you can offer rather than a complete cancellation of a service.

Generation X v Millennials

There is a lot of talk about Millennials and their attitude to work and the workplace. We have carried out some research to find out what is really going on. We have survey hundreds of people and carried out a series of video interviews to explore the differences.

We’ll tell you what we have found out in a month or two but what we will tell you now is that millennials now are in decision making positions in companies. If you are not marketing how millennials buy you are going to be losing market share. And the two groups isn’t very large, with most people in senior positions buying the way no matter what age.

Follow, follow, follow

We all make choices about brands every day.

Even if we consciously try to avoid falling into the trap we end up making choices subconsciously based on things we have identify with.

So I thought I would look at a brand that has my loyalty and think a little about why I chose it, consciously or subconsciously.

The first is brand choice that I made before all others and that is why it may have stood the test of time, even when it was not cool to like it. A brand that I have had to defend against criticism, a brand that I have spent thousands on, a brand that I have hated at times but a brand that has given me moments of joy and life long friendships.

I grew up in the Essex town, now city of Chelmsford. Chelmsford is unremarkable for many reasons, and one of those reasons is it underperforming football team. But at the age of 3 or 4 I had to chose to a team. We had a football pennant at home so I supported that team. And I have stood on terraces singing give me a C, give me and H, give me an E, give me and L, give me and S. Hang on S? Yes, the pennant was for Chelsea. I chose Chelsea, I thought I was choosing Chelmsford. But I started following the brand and some 45 years later I still do.

I would argue that Chelsea aren’t a brand if someone said they are in the pub but the reality is they are.

So when nearly 40 years ago I saw then lose 5-1 I don’t chose someone else to follow. I didn’t chose someone else when they spent years in the second division, I didn’t swap even when their captain John Terry was the most hated man in the country. (I didn’t defend him though).

I bought in to Chelsea and I guess over the years played a very small part in forming who they are now.

And there it is I felt I was a part of something and my actions went some way towards contributing to the success of the brand. Being one of a few thousand supporters on a Saturday afternoon in Bolton to watch them win the league for the first time in 50 years was special to me and I felt that I was a part of something.

If we can create brands that inspire that much loyalty and passion then we are excelling ourselves.

But can it be done outside of a sports team?

I’m writing this on a MacBook, I have a film on in the background on my iPad, my iPhone on my desk next to me.

Of course, this may just mean I am a sucker for a brand.

What is growth marketing?

Many marketiers are focused on brand, messaging and filling the top of the sales funnel. And the sales team are interested in things at the other end of the sales funnel. We founded Doogheno because we saw tome and time again a disconnect between sales and marketing, and we feel that growth marketing reconnects the two.

Modern marketing practice covers the whole sales cycle because the way customers buy has changed. There needs to far more valuable content created that is of real use and value to the prospective customers as they will be researching long before the end choice company has ever had direct contact with the customer. There is need for excellent SEO, thinking about what the problem that the company is resolving more than what their product is, and of course this has to flow through to the content as well. Any marketing company worth their salt will be doing this already.

And of course there is social media, where companies can get direct contact to their customers and prospects, conversations formed through out the buying journey and the life cycle of the customer. And again most companies and marketing teams get this, some put too much importance on this, some not enough but it’s a recognised pillar of marketing.

Then their is more direct marketing such as email campaigns and cold calling. This is where is gets less sophisticated in most companies. The marketiers think that this is a sales job and the sales people think it should be a marketers role to provide qualified leads.

And then there is the communications sent by the sales people, the follow up material to the prospects in the pipeline. Who should be moving the sale through the pipeline? The sales person with the target or the marketer who put the lead into the pipeline in the first place.

We think this should be the marketers role but we don’t really see the distinction between marketing and sales.

And that’s where growth marketing comes in. We think that marketing and sales is really the same thing. We have done both, we know the cross over and we know the chasm that can open up between the two.

Growth marketing looks after the whole buyers journey, right through to close and renewal. It covers the usual marketing techniques and it brings solid sales principles, but holding it all together is the energy of growth hacking. Everything is looked at, tested, tweaked; the chase up email, the time to call, the subject line, the way meeting are held, everything.

It is all the small tweaks combined with the creative solid work that underpins the project that starts to make a real difference. Close rates increase, sales cycles are cut, forecasting become accurate, pipelines fill up and churn reduces.

The extra 10-20% that growth marketing gives over traditional sales and marketing is enough to transform a business.

Looking for Love, monetising lonely hearts

We have been working with a prospect looking at the online dating world. It’s a massive market and match group, the owner of Match.com, Tinder, Plenty of Fish, and OK Cupid spend over $500 million on TV advertising. The thing that struck us the most was the cost of acquisition of a subscriber to a dating site. This has been reported as $175.

$175

If your subscription to the site is $25, then it’s not in their interest to find you love in a few months.

But how much would we pay to find love?

We have used online dating sites, both those who charge and those that are free. In fact, the writer of this post found love on OK Cupid and is now married with a kid, but has online dating made dating in the real world harder?

We think the answer is yes and we are very glad we no longer have to date strangers every week.