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Brian Balfour: Building A Growth Machine

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In this Heavybit Speaker Series, Brian Balfour, VP of Growth at HubSpot, covers the key documents to building a growth process, tactics for generating growth ideas, and what you need to generate a minimum viable test.

Published in: Software

Brian Balfour: Building A Growth Machine

  1. 1. BUILDING A GROWTH MACHINE BY: BRIAN BALFOUR Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  2. 2. ONE MISSION, ONE GOAL Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  3. 3. AUTHENTIC GROWTH Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  4. 4. Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com GROWING IN A WORLD OF SOFTWARE HAS CHANGED… The Lines Between Marketing and Product Are Blurring Where does marketing end and product begin in software? 1
  5. 5. Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com GROWING IN A WORLD OF SOFTWARE HAS CHANGED… The Lines Between Marketing and Product Are Blurring Where does marketing end and product begin in software? 1 Marketing Has Become More Technical & Quantitative “Mad Men” skills aren’t as important. 2
  6. 6. Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com GROWING IN A WORLD OF SOFTWARE HAS CHANGED… The Lines Between Marketing and Product Are Blurring Where does marketing end and product begin in software? 1 Marketing Has Become More Technical & Quantitative “Mad Men” skills aren’t as important. 2 Data Is Becoming More Accessible Gathering quantitative and qualitative data is becoming easier 3
  7. 7. Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com GROWING IN A WORLD OF SOFTWARE HAS CHANGED… The Lines Between Marketing and Product Are Blurring Where does marketing end and product begin in software? 1 Marketing Has Become More Technical & Quantitative “Mad Men” skills aren’t as important. 2 Data Is Becoming More Accessible Gathering quantitative and qualitative data is becoming easier 3 Scale and Speed Of Growth Is Accelerating Time to 1M Users/ARR has accelerated. 4
  8. 8. Revenue Referral Activation Retention Acquisition GROWTH ≠ ACQUISITION Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  9. 9. GROWTH EFFORTS REQUIRE… Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com Product Engineering GROWTH Marketing Data
  10. 10. GROWTH AND PRODUCT IS DIFFERENT BUILDING CORE VALUE GETTING THE LARGEST % OF OUR AUDIENCE TO EXPERIENCE CORE VALUE AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE GETTING USERS TO EXPERIENCE THAT CORE VALUE AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  11. 11. GROWTH EFFORTS CREDIT: ANDY JOHNS 0 10000 20000 30000 40000 NATURAL ADOPTION TRUE GROWTH POTENTIAL PURPOSE OF GROWTH EFFORTS Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  12. 12. GROWTH IS MORE ABOUT A CHANGE TO TEAM STRUCTURE, PEOPLE, METHODOLGY, PROCESS NOT TACTICS/HACKS Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  13. 13. LEARNING HOW TO GROW AUTHENTICALLY DOESN’T START WITH TACTICS Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  14. 14. PROCESS Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  15. 15. PROCESS?!?!?! WHAT CAN BE SO SPECIAL ABOUT PROCESS? Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  16. 16. 4 REASONS TO FOCUS ON PROCESS FIRST, TACTICS SECOND Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  17. 17. 14 1. WHAT WORKS FOR OTHERS, WON’T WORK FOR YOU
  18. 18. YOUR AUDIENCE IS DIFFERENT Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  19. 19. YOUR PRODUCT IS DIFFERENT Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  20. 20. YOUR BUSINESS MODEL IS DIFFERENT Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  21. 21. YOUR CUSTOMER JOURNEY IS DIFFERENT Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  22. 22. YOUR BUSINESS IS DIFFERENT PLAIN AND SIMPLE Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  23. 23. 20 2. GROWTH = SUM(1, 2, 3, 4….X) Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  24. 24. Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  25. 25. MOST PEOPLE FOCUS ON WHAT HAPPENED HERE Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  26. 26. BUT WE SHOULD ASK ABOUT ALL THE THINGS HERE AND…. HERE Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  27. 27. BUT WE SHOULD ASK ABOUT ALL THE THINGS HERE AND…. HERE Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  28. 28. BUT WE SHOULD ASK ABOUT ALL THE THINGS HERE AND…. HERE Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  29. 29. 23 SILVER BULLETS DON’T EXIST Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  30. 30. 24 3. RATE OF CHANGE IS ACCELERATING Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  31. 31. SEO No Keyword Data, Author Rank, Content Freshness, Social Shares, Search Result Format DISPLAY RTB, No Cookies, Mobile EMAIL Tabbed Inboxes, Inbox Actions, Unsubscribe, Mobile FACEBOOK Newsfeed Ads (4 formats), Video Ads, Optimized CPM, CTA Format, Custom Audiences, etc, etc
  32. 32. Effectiveness 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 WOM Novelty Email MySpace Craigslist Twitter Mobile iOS Android Facebook Ooga Labs EVOLUTION OF CHANNELS CREDIT: JAMES CURRIER
  33. 33. 27 4. YOU NEED A MACHINE Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  34. 34. A GROWTH MACHINE IS… 1 2 PREDICTABLE SCALABLE 3 REPEATABLE
  35. 35. THE MACHINE PRODUCES THE TACTICS THE PROCESS MAKES THE MACHINE Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  36. 36. BUILDING A GROWTH MACHINE THE PROCESS
  37. 37. THE GOALS OF OUR PROCESS 1 2 LEARNING Constant learning of our customer, product, channels and feeding that learning into the process to improve. 3 AUTONOMY Individuals decide what they work on to achieve the OKR’s. 4 ACCOUNTABILITY With autonomy, comes accountability. You don’t have to be right all the time, but there is an expectation to improve. RYTHYM Momentum is powerful. Establish a cadence to fight through failures, get to successes, and find momentum Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  38. 38. 1. Brainstorm (Backlog) 2. Prioritize (Experiment Doc + Backlog) 4. Implement 5. Analyze (Experiment Doc) 3. Test (Experiment Doc) 6. Systemize (Playbooks) Set Goals OKR’s Explore Data Qualitative and Quantitative Find Levers Growth Model DAILY/WEEKLY
  39. 39. FINDING LEVERS BUILDING A GROWTH MODEL GOAL IS TO FIND THE HIGHEST IMPACT AREA THAT WE CAN FOCUS ON RIGHT NOW GIVEN LIMITED RESOURCES. Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  40. 40. FINDING LEVERS YOUR TOOL IS YOUR GROWTH MODEL
  41. 41. FINDING LEVERS BUILDING A GROWTH MODEL Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  42. 42. FINDING LEVERS BUILDING A GROWTH MODEL GOAL IS WAU’s, BUT WHAT EFFECTS WAU’s? Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  43. 43. FINDING LEVERS BUILDING A GROWTH MODEL GOAL IS WAU’s, BUT WHAT EFFECTS WAU’s? WAU’s = New Activated + Retained Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  44. 44. FINDING LEVERS BUILDING A GROWTH MODEL GOAL IS WAU’s, BUT WHAT EFFECTS WAU’s? WAU’s = New Activated + Retained New Activated = (RegisteredFB ADS * ARFB ADS) + (RegisteredViral * ARViral)+… Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  45. 45. FINDING LEVERS BUILDING A GROWTH MODEL GOAL IS WAU’s, BUT WHAT EFFECTS WAU’s? WAU’s = New Activated + Retained New Activated = (RegisteredFB ADS * ARFB ADS) + (RegisteredViral * ARViral)+… RegisteredViral = Imp * Conversion Rate * Invites/User * Email CTR * Landing Page CR Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  46. 46. FINDING LEVERS BUILDING A GROWTH MODEL GOAL IS WAU’s, BUT WHAT EFFECTS WAU’s? WAU’s = New Activated + Retained New Activated = (RegisteredFB ADS * ARFB ADS) + (RegisteredViral * ARViral)+… RegisteredViral = Imp * Conversion Rate * Invites/User * Email CTR * Landing Page CR Retained = (New ActW-1 * RetentionW-1) + (New ActW-2 * RetentionW-2)… Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  47. 47. FINDING LEVERS THREE THINGS TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT THE INPUTS 1 2 CEILING BASELINE 3 SENSITIVITY OVER TIME
  48. 48. 1. Brainstorm (Backlog) 2. Prioritize (Experiment Doc + Backlog) 4. Implement 5. Analyze (Experiment Doc) 3. Test (Experiment Doc) 6. Systemize (Playbooks) Set Goals OKR’s Explore Data Qualitative and Quantitative Find Levers Growth Model DAILY/WEEKLY
  49. 49. HOW WE SET GOALS (OKRs) OBJECTIVE: Qualitative statement TIMEFRAME: 30 - 90 Days KR1: Measurable Goal 1 (Hit 90% Of Time) KR2: Measurable Goal 2 (Hit 50% Of Time) KR3: Measurable Goal 3 (Hit 10% Of Time) Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  50. 50. AN EXAMPLE… OBJECTIVE: MAKE VIRALITY A MEANINGFUL CHANNEL TIMEFRAME: 90 Days KR1: 1.5% Viral/WAU KR2: 2% Viral/WAU KR3: 3% Viral/WAU Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  51. 51. 1 2 IN OUR FACE INPUTS NOT OUTPUTS 3 CONCRETE OKR’s will never be set on on the output (WAU) the will always be set on the inputs. OKR’s will be somewhere that we can’t forget them. Review daily and weekly. Goals will change mid-OKR VERY rarely. OKR PRINCIPLES
  52. 52. 1. Brainstorm (Backlog) 2. Prioritize (Experiment Doc + Backlog) 4. Implement 5. Analyze (Experiment Doc) 3. Test (Experiment Doc) 6. Systemize (Playbooks) Set Goals OKR’s Explore Data Qualitative and Quantitative Find Levers Growth Model DAILY/WEEKLY
  53. 53. HOW WE GET GROWTH INSIGHTS INSIGHT Quantitative Qualitative Intuition
  54. 54. 1 2 QUANTITATIVE QUALITATIVE User Surveys, 1 on 1 Conversations, Full Story Videos, Customer Support Tickets GA, Mixpanel, Datastore. Goal is to answer questions we don’t know about our user, product, or channel. Break it into pieces. EXPLORE DATA UNDERSTAND THE INPUTS OF THE INPUTS Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  55. 55. BUILD A MINI MODEL UNDERSTAND THE INPUTS OF THE INPUTS 1 2 CEILING BASELINE 3 SENSITIVITY
  56. 56. UNDERSTAND THE WHY UNDERSTAND THE INPUTS OF THE INPUTS Why do users who get to invite page not covert? <— Super targeted to the variable we are trying to improve <— Open ended question to allow for all types of answers <— Email looks like a personal email to create a sense of importance
  57. 57. UNDERSTAND THE WHY UNDERSTAND THE INPUTS OF THE INPUTS Bug 7% Other 8% Would Prefer To Just Share On FB 10% Don't Want You To Spam Friends 11% Reward Not High Enough 29% Didn't Know Who To Invite 35%
  58. 58. 1. Brainstorm (Backlog) 2. Prioritize (Experiment Doc + Backlog) 4. Implement 5. Analyze (Experiment Doc) 3. Test (Experiment Doc) 6. Systemize (Playbooks) Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  59. 59. STEP ONE: BRAINSTORM BRAINSTORM ON THE INPUTS NOT THE OUTPUTS… Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  60. 60. STEP ONE: BRAINSTORM ACTIVATION RATE = STEP 1 CONV * STEP 2 CONV * STEP 3 CONV IF WE WANT TO IMPROVE THIS WE BRAINSTORM ON THESE Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  61. 61. 4 WAYS TO COME UP WITH GROWTH IDEAS 1 OBSERVE How are others doing it? Look outside of your immediate product space. Walk through together. 2 QUESTION Question brainstorming. Why? What is… What if… What about… How do we do more of… 3 ASSOCIATE Connect the dots between unrelated things. i.e What if our activation process was like closing a deal? 4 NETWORK Growth mastermind groups. Build your network of growth people. I’m on the phone every day for ideas Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  62. 62. 1. Brainstorm (Backlog) 2. Prioritize (Experiment Doc + Backlog) 4. Implement 5. Analyze (Experiment Doc) 3. Test (Experiment Doc) 6. Systemize (Playbooks) Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  63. 63. STEP TWO: PRIORITIZE 1 2 IMPACT PROBABILITY 3 RESOURCES LOW - 20%, MEDIUM - 50%, HIGH - 80% Comes from your prediction. Take into account long lasting effects vs one hit wonders. Marketing, Design, Engineering
  64. 64. STEP TWO: PRIORITIZE CREATING A HYPOTHESIS IF SUCCESSFUL, [VARIABLE] WILL INCREASE BY [IMPACT], BECAUSE [ASSUMPTIONS]. Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  65. 65. STEP TWO: PRIORITIZE JUSTIFYING YOUR ASSUMPTIONS 1 2 QUALITATIVE QUANTITATIVE 3 SECONDARY Previous Experiments, Surrounding Data, Funnel Data Surveys, Support Emails, User Testing Recordings Networking, Blogs, Competitor Observation, Case Studies Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  66. 66. STEP TWO: PRIORITIZE CREATE EXPERIMENT DOC Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  67. 67. 1. Brainstorm (Backlog) 2. Prioritize (Experiment Doc + Backlog) 4. Implement 5. Analyze (Experiment Doc) 3. Test (Experiment Doc) 6. Systemize (Playbooks) Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  68. 68. STEP THREE: TEST WHAT IS THE MVT (MINIMUM VIABLE TEST) TO UNDERSTAND OUR HYPOTHESIS? Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  69. 69. 1 EFFICIENCY What is the least resource intensive way to gather data about the hypothesis. 2 VALIDITY The experiment must take into account how to get a valid result by designing a control and required amount of data. STEP THREE: TEST Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  70. 70. STEP THREE: TEST WRITE THE EXPERIMENT DESIGN IN EXPERIMENT DOC Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  71. 71. 1. Brainstorm (Backlog) 2. Prioritize (Experiment Doc + Backlog) 4. Implement 5. Analyze (Experiment Doc) 3. Test (Experiment Doc) 6. Systemize (Playbooks) Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  72. 72. STEP FOUR: IMPLEMENT GET SHIT DONE Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  73. 73. 1. Brainstorm (Backlog) 2. Prioritize (Experiment Doc + Backlog) 4. Implement 5. Analyze (Experiment Doc) 3. Test (Experiment Doc) 6. Systemize (Playbooks) Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  74. 74. STEP FIVE: ANALYZE 1 2 IMPACT SUCCESS/FAIL 3 WHY? How close to your prediction? The most important question you can ask. Why did you see the result that you did? Be prepared for a lot of failures.
  75. 75. STEP FIVE: ANALYZE LEARNINGS + ACTION ITEMS IN EXPERIMENT DOC Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  76. 76. 1. Brainstorm (Backlog) 2. Prioritize (Experiment Doc + Backlog) 4. Implement 5. Analyze (Experiment Doc) 3. Test (Experiment Doc) 6. Systemize (Playbooks) Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  77. 77. STEP SIX: SYSTEMIZE 1 PRODUCTIZE Productize as much as you can with technology and engineering. 2 PLAYBOOKS For the things you can’t productize, build into step by step playbooks to make them repeatable. Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  78. 78. 6. Systemize (Playbooks) 1. Brainstorm (Backlog) 2. Prioritize (Experiment Doc + Backlog) 3. Test (Experiment Doc) 4. Implement 5. Analyze (Experiment Doc) REPEAT Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  79. 79. WHAT A TYPICAL WEEK LOOKS LIKE Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Growth Meeting - Learnings - Goal Review - Blocking Items/ Strategies Predicting, Prioritizing, Implementing, Analyzing, Systemizing Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  80. 80. WEEKLY GROWTH MEETING DON’T GET ATTACHED TO IDEAS 1 2 GOALS LEARNINGS 3 BLOCKING Learnings, not updates. You can monitor experiment updates in the pipeline. Progress against goals What blocked you from doing something this week?
  81. 81. WEEKLY GROWTH MEETING TEMPLATE Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  82. 82. MACRO OPTIMIZATION (REVIEW QUARTERLY) 1 2 ACCURACY BATTING AVG 3 THROUGHPUT How many successes to failures? Our we improving over time? Are our predictions getting more accurate? How many experiments are we running in a given time period? How do we do more?
  83. 83. MACRO OPTIMIZATION HOW WE IMPROVE 1 2 INFRASTRUCTURE TEAM 3 PROCESS Improve current teams skills. Add to the team. Experiment, analytics, and qualitative feedback infrastructure Refining the process for more efficiency or quality of ideas, implementation, and analysis.
  84. 84. A FINAL WORD PART ONE ITERATION DOES NOT EQUAL INCREMENTAL Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  85. 85. A FINAL WORD PART TWO IT IS NEVER TOO EARLY TO START THIS PROCESS Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  86. 86. A FINAL FINAL WORD THERE IS NOTHING SPECIAL ABOUT THIS PROCESS. SUCCESS COMES DOWN TO GRIT, FOCUS, AND PERSISTENCE. Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com
  87. 87. THANKS! Brian Balfour :: @bbalfour :: http://www.coelevate.com

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