Growth hacking & analytics as a core competency for new age businesses

Updated: Jan 7, 2019

As consumers migrate to online mediums for interaction with businesses, products and services there is an opportunity to utilise data in ways never thought of before. Often time, the optimisation of customer funnels and journeys remains a largely untapped yet sizeable opportunity for businesses to grow their customer engagement and sales revenue. We believe growth hacking is part and parcel of any business utilising any form of the digital medium.

In the digital space, companies like Facebook, Uber and Airbnb have been growth hacking their products and services throughout their entire time in operation. What starts at the customer funnel, tracking every visit, click, purchase conversion and loyalty engagement, develops into a network of automated and semi-manual interventions that improve the yield of customers across every stage.

As an example, a typical non-optimised visit to sales conversion for an ecommerce channel of a mid-quartile brand can range between 0.1-1%. By growth hacking specific functions such as use of targeting of performance marketing, contextual recommendations through careful curation of creatives, on-site offers and chatbots, this can be raised up to 10-15%. It is worth pointing out that this not at all a cure-all for everyone, each company's/providers' circumstance is unique, at times the underlying reasons are simple, such as a high bounce rate off the first page, or in others, loading times for product images is too slow. More complex models would require analysing 'cohorts' i.e. group of users/visitors who enter the funnel at the same time, and contrasting the behaviour they exhibit as they pass through different stages. Some users may take 1 day to complete a funnel step, while others may take 30 days. This stands in stark contrast to the typical approach of looking at 'static snapshot' datasets that force the reader to assume averages, such as volume of users clicking a certain promo banner. Cohorts are a powerful tool towards understanding a two-dimensional challenge: (1) customer segments exist, and while that can be approximated through demographic or psychographic attributes these are merely approximations to guess their behaviour - the challenge is how to have robust predictability of how a user will behave in a given funnel situation, and (2) there is a crucial temporal aspect to user behaviour, that static data sets fail to capture clearly - the challenge is how to bring this time element into the debates and discussions about improvements and interventions.

At Agility, we believe that it is not only the digitally-born companies that can benefit from growth hacking. As all companies leverage and increase their use of the digital medium, either for marketing and lead generation, or for ecommerce/online sales; they too can reap the benefits if applied well. And any learnings and impact will grow over time as the channel is leveraged more and more.

“Growth hacking is a process of rapid experimentation across marketing funnel, product development, sales segments, and other areas of the business to identify the most efficient ways to grow a business.”

Agility's services include:

Data analytics

Batch, dynamic and real-time data processing and insights generation that serve as barometer for operations, and ensure progress is on track to deliver business metrics. End to end data capture and integration, from CTR and CPM for advertising and lead gen activities, to sales conversion, cohort retention, customer service interaction, and long term customer loyalty.

Often the priority focus is also about streamlining metrics to the ones that matter to each individual business and functional leader, once a clearer understanding of the business value drivers has been reached. Stakeholder workshops help create alignment and instil accountability.

Leverage tools like R, Python, Tableau, Google AnThis is one of the most important lessons of the scientific method: if you cannot fail, you cannot learn”.alytics/BigQuery, FB Analytics to build seamless automation for dashboard reporting as well as real-time alert triggers.

Experimentation and iteration

Eric Ries’ seminal book Lean Startup explains the concept of iteration in the context of tech enabled businesses well. The book explains the method far better than what we could ever outline here.

Eric Ries | Lean Startup

This is one of the most important lessons of the scientific method: if you cannot fail, you cannot learn”.

The book goes on to explain the method far better than what we could outline here. But to generalise - given the rising complexity in the world, competition rapidly growing, and barriers to entry falling, the only way a company can conceive and deploy a product or service that is robust and stands the test of consumer demand is by trial and error, and in the process, engage directly with the consumers themselves. The term minimum viable product (MVP) used in lean startup represents the first, second, third etc prototype after each iterative step of deploying it to a set of customers and refining it each time. And importantly using robust judgement but never presumptions to bring the customers wants and needs into the proposition, a principle called customer empathy.

Needless to say, this is counterintuitive to the generally accepted principles of how incumbent organisations operate. Pricing is often a construct dictacted by profitability and therefore controlled by finance, which then sets an upper ceiling in terms of features for the proposition in question. Product and marketing teams conduct market research and focus group discussions to provide some feedback on whether or not it is a total dud, while the marketing head decides on themes and colour schemes in isolation of actual customers.

It may sound sensationalised but we have seen the gap first hand between how legacy and new organisations operate. It is large and worrying.

Iteration beyond product design and propositioning

The theme of iteration goes well beyond just product. In best in class tech companies everything from HR, to marketing approaches, to on site curation of products is iterated. What was previously termed A/B testing has now morphed into an infinitely broad combination of features, whose impact is measured through multiole variables all intended to deliver the final result intended for example an increase in customer engagement or boost in sales revenue.

For example, a simple improvement in creatives used in a marketing campaign, coupled with some high level demographic targeting and good choice of channel can improve CTRs and therefore marketing efficiency 20-30X. Such improvements could never be theoretically arrived at, iteration was key to get there.

Execution management and education

Lastly no impact will be lasting if it cannot be scaled and sustained. At Agility we believe in overinvesting time to educate all relevant stakeholders about new approaches and skills consistently and effectively. It is also important to acknowledge that skills and competency gaps are inconsistent and administer training discriminately if justified to do so.


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