It was windy but sunny October day and I was heading to Pyynikin Brewing Company. I was about to meet Rauno Pere, administration manager of Pyynikki Brewery. I have been always very inspired about Pyynikin Brewing Company. I have closely followed how small microbrewery has grown nationally known brand and yet they have been able to keep original high quality with the beer.
Now that we all know the basics of Growth Hacking, it’s time
to dig a little deeper. Emmi Tervala and Anton Ikola from Columbia Road shared
their knowledge on Monday of building a winning team in the second part of the GrowthHacking Event Series.
So, what makes a great Growth Hacking Team?
First, having fearless attitude towards learning new things,
because Growth Hacking is all about experimenting. Also, noticing that not all
can or should be Growth Hackers.
Growth Hacking Team is a multidisciplinary team of talents. Even
though most pictures have four people, it can be a team of 1, or 10. According
to Columbia Road, growth should not be outsourced. External help might be
needed to get things started, but Growth Hacking needs to come from within.
Growth owner is the team leader who is responsible for growth.
They are process driven, analytical, creative and T-shaped. They also need soft
skills and a thick skin. Designer has customer empathy, loves A/B-testing and knows
front-end coding. They have the mentality of shipping fast and fixing later. Developer
also shares that mentality. For developer, tech is a tool, not the product.
They do fast iterations and are data-driven. Marketer & analyst does
inbound marketing, handles small and large data sets and has back-end understanding.
Ability to make decisions and take action is also needed. The
core team of Growth Hackers need to communicate with key stakeholders in a
corporation, such as managers, IT owners, customer support etc. The team needs
to go and speak to them to get things done. Though sometimes its easier to show
results in the spirit of “do first, ask permission later”. The team needs to be
doers, not talkers and sometimes approval processes just take too much time.
Making space for growth is very important, as is taking
ownership. The team needs to have a strong mandate from the management, so they
are able to take action where it is needed. According to Columbia Road, there
is no need for a separate growth budget or tools, as the growth teams operate in
the same environments like for example marketing teams. But having their own room is surprisingly important for the team, as Emmi enlightened us.
So exactly how to start a growth journey? Asking these four questions
give you a good start.
1)What do we want? Install data analytics, focus
2)Who is the customer? Focus on customers problems.
3)Where are the bottlenecks? Use customer journey
map and sales funnel mapping.
4)What are the pain points and opportunities? Align
with the stakeholders and interview them.
Growth Hacking. Before
Monday, I had no idea what it was. The word sounded more like putting some
though my calla needs all the help it can get. But have no fear; even if you’ve
never heard of Growth Hacking, you probably know some companies that have been
using it, such as Airbnb. After the grand opening of Tribe Tampere, Y-kampus and Growthmaker's Growth Hacking Event Series, Anssi Rantanen from Growth Tribe had enlightened me.
To me, Growth Hacking is
something very interdisciplinary. Growth Tribe had a very good picture what
this T-shaped growth hacker’s knowledge map would look like:
Growth hackers have
2-3 skills that they are specialized in, but wide knowledge of several things.
With this combination of talents, they can dip their spoon into many soups and
stir things up. After that, growth gets on the menu.
Hacking disrupts the walls between marketing, data analysis and coding. When
there are no rigid structures and people know what their colleagues are talking
about, fast-paced innovation bubbles up. And those teams, as Anssi Rantanen from Growth Tribe put
it, “get sh#t done!”.
Growth hackers also get deeper
into the “Pirate Funnel” (which has got to be one of the best names in the history
of time). They don’t just bring people to the threshold like a lot of digital
marketers do, but get to know every step of the customer experience.
The one takeaway from
Anssi Rantanen's presentation would definitely be testing. Spray that paper
with ideas, rank them, evaluate and then test the best. Usually you get one idea, cherish it
and then take it into practice. In Growth Hacking, it's no mercy for any idea
as they walk the plank at the pace of a treadmill. You can't really predict the winners
before testing, so you need to grow your arsenal of options. As you raise the
number of ideas, you also raise the likelihood of striking gold. Growth Hacking
doesn't have the magical ability to immediately solve every issue you might have.
It’s just simple maths of probability and the practice of strategically innovating to crack the problem.
Growth Hacking is
everyday marketing of the future that you can start doing today. Growth Hacking
is having the mindset of the one-man band from Aladdin. You can execute your vision right now,
by yourself, or with a Growth Team if you're in a bigger company. Just remember to water your lily so it won’t die while you’re busy
As part of #Growthmakers we visited three companies located in Helsinki. Smartly.io an online advertising Saas company with a focus on customer service. Goodio, which produces healthy chocolate bars with principles of sustainability and wellbeing. Wolt, a food delivery service that in just a few years has expanded to over 32 cities. From this visit we had a lot of observations and insights from each company which you can find bellow:
Although I mainly read non-fiction books, I was surprise to realize that I do not read many autobiographies. I have read biographies such as Steve Jobs and Elon Musk’s biography, between others. But there is something in autobiographies that just makes stories more interesting. This was the case with Richard Branson’s Finding my Virginity. The combination of adventure, business and good story telling, made this book so enjoyable to read.
What will I take from the book?
What I learned can be described from my top 4 favorite quotes found in the book.
Taking (calculated) risks and failing is okay. “If your life is one long success story it won’t make for a good read. What’s more, you’re most likely a liar. We all have ups and downs, trials and tribulations, failures and triumphs: we just hope to come out stronger on the other side.” Throughout the book Branson talks about the importance of taking risks, but not stupid risks, he highlights calculated risks. This is mentioned in chapter 12 The Rebel Billionaire. A story about the time he had his own show and he made the contestants jump from a waterfall. Everything was set to hold the contestants back in case they decided to jump but the main lesson Branson wanted to share was the power to say no to non-calculated risks.
Question everything. “Whenever you come across absurd rules, take advantage of them.” In this sense I truly enjoyed his humor. Whenever he faced absurd rules he would always find a way of showing how absurd they actually were. He also mentioned the importance of not taking ourselves too seriously.
Business is passion. “When it comes to deals like this, or any negotiations really, the key is to display passion, know-how and determination. Get to the point quickly, be persistent and consistent, and don’t rely too heavily on prompts. I went into the meeting with my notebook in my back pocket, armed with beautiful space ship pictures, a lot of enthusiasm and belief in the project.”
Story-telling “Humans communicate through stories; it is how we make sense of our surroundings, ourselves and our place in the world.” Story-telling can be found throughout the book. Branson understands the importance that communication has in business. How to get your customers to understand your brand? What I find different is that he puts his actions where his mouth is (Original quote in the book said “He puts his money where his mouth is”). This resonated with me, especially because this year I read Building a Story Brand (follow the link to read the post), and the importance of sharing your brand in a story.
What inspired me about Richard Branson was that he sticks to his values. From his sense of humor to the way he runs Virgin. His leadership style is very interesting. One of the things I liked the most about his stories was how much he cares about Virgin Brand, his employees and customers. As I mentioned before he seems to be true to his values. In many occasions he had to take risks to save his business, employees, customers and he always did it according to his believes.
Another thing I want to mention is that throughout the book we find 3 key indicators that have contributed to the growth of Virgin’s brand and I strongly thing they are an important part of Branson’s personality. Taking calculated risks; as mentioned before, if you don’t try, you will never know what could have happened. Finding the right people; In many occasions when Branson was struggling he had to get out there and look for the right people that could help him solve the problem. Thirst for creation; he does not sets limits to his creativity and imagination, but the important part is that he establishes actions out of his ideas.
Overall the book was filled with facts, great story telling and many lessons. Let’s not forget that this is an autobiography. That means that this is someone’s point of view, this is just one narrative of a bigger story. Therefore, the stories might not be 100% real, but that does not take away from Branson’s personal lessons and thoughts. Taking a look inside Branson’s brain for a few hours a day is the most valuable part of this book.