Welcome, before I get going, some quick introductions.
This is me.
This gives you a sense of the scale we are at.
And the last point is very pertinent as to why we operate as we do, and not structure akin to how the more traditional players in the travel market do.
But before growth we did operate like the traditional players in the market.
The structure was pretty standard.
Stuff took forever.
Take a data led campaign like BTTB. Data Retrieval was a one off long cycle time could only be done by Data Scientist
Data from the – slow – painful sometimes would crash – no data – no campaigns
The foundations that we relied on had shifted under our very feet, that which we held true as markeeters was not fit for this new world. We had to change and we had to change dramatically in order to continue to be a Hyper Growth company that we had become accustomed to.
So we landed on the transition to growth.
On the face of it this seemed somewhat easy. It was popular with startups, we heard a lot about the cheap and free tactics it was famed for.
But what isn’t seen is the underlying hard graft that is taken to transition. Especially turning around a marketing department of nearly 100 people.
I’m going to go through 3 key areas that we’ve used to help drive growth transition
Buzzword bingo, not about worshiping one, but combining what works from multiple.
When at pace, needs to be huge autonomy
Gate meetings slow us down.
Used to have 2x per week, rather than 1x per month.
So teams are empowered to make their decisions themselves.
Matrix organisation in its side.
Vertical day to day cross functional.
Horizontal function, share best practice.
Central group for scale and algorithmically done.
Small, less than 8
Cross functional broadly across marketing/product, data & engineering skillsets.
Squad designed to be able to do everything in their given area.
My squad has 2x designers, 4x marketers.
Risk of autonomy is no need to communicate.
Big sharing culture, internal and external
Another part of the culture is to encourage people to be curious and learn and we have a set of recommended reading for all squads, that is always updated.
And it is all backed up by our competency framework.
No point suggesting these changes and expect people to act, needs to be tied to review and reward.
I guess the last point on this is that with the volume of change, arguably there is more importance on a growth mindset than the growth hacking mindset itself.
I want to end this section on a classic Peter Drucker quote, which I think encapsulates the critical importance of people and culture on any shift to growth.
If there is only one thing you were to try and change right now, this would be it.
But if you do want to change more than one thing, next is Lean Startup principles.
The Lean Startup is a must read for all employees at Skyscanner.
Key principle is BML Loop
Getting MVP in front of users as quickly as possible for real world response, not fake focus group environment
We have built these same principles into our growth model, with the idea to build a minimum viable campaign as quickly as possible to get in front of our travellers to see if it has the potential to scale.
Stage 1- We come up with the idea and validate it through some secondary research, why do we believe it’s a good idea?
Stage 2- We define a hypothesis for our test- IF we make a certain change then we expect a certain response.
Stage 3- We create the assets.
Stage 4- We test it, this may take many forms but the idea is how so we get it in front of the same users as the end idea, to test it real world.
Stage 5 and 6 we analyse the results and take a decision whether we need to iterate it and continue testing, if it’s good enough to ramp up then and there, or if it’s a fail.
Lack of stage gates is because of this.
Area 2- Agile Marketing
And this is how it then applies in Marketing.
I won’t go through them all but there’s 4 in particular I found were pretty fundamental to us.
Validated Learning- BML loop
Customer Collaboration- Adapt to what they need, not rigidly sticking to convention. Removal of sign off meetings and no HIPPOS!
Adapative & Iterative- Ie. lean start-up.
Small Experiments- 5x things per sprint, looking for the one to scale.
So does it work?
Anonymised but gives an idea.
Top graph increase in bookings following PMF.
Accelerating search despite low spend.
Big bang to iterative showing increased impact.
So this is what our growth iceberg looks like.
But just to be clear, what I have told you is definitely not right for your organisation.
We took principles and mashed them, so should you.
As I said already, we are very big on sharing at Skyscanner so there are various ways to get more information via Twitter or Medium.
Slides available NOW on medium
Building & Scaling A Growth Organisation
First, me (and us)
4 years at Skyscanner
7 years in FMCG
marketing to growth at
the same time as our
60m app downloads
60m unique monthly visitors
Tech company first & foremost: 50% Software Engineers
Product Engineering Marketing
Functional Siloes Across Teams
And all a bit beige,
with limited adaptation
for the local market
central & regional
Roles within Growth Teams
features & products
Own acquisition of
Draw insights from data
Creative or user
experience design and
Validated learning over opinions and conventions
Customer focused collaboration over silos and hierarchy
Adaptive and iterative campaigns over Big-Bang campaigns
The process of customer discovery over static prediction
Flexible vs. rigid planning
Responding to change over following a plan
Many small experiments over a few large bets
Agile marketing manifesto
So what’s the impact?
Plenty of graphs like this