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How to design a growth process that scales?

Ferdinand Goetzen, the Head of Growth of Recruitee, one of the fastest growing SaaS-startups in the Netherlands, has shared the core principles of product growth at Epic Growth Conference in Moscow.

How to scale your company: the three pillars of growth

Ferdinand has worked with more than 400 companies across Europe over the last 5 years.

While working with different startups, The Head of Growth at Recruitee has figured out the three core principles of growth that are universal to any product company.

The three pillars of growth are the product, the team and the process.

An entrepreneur has to understand that each business is different even if we are talking about the competitors in the same market. 

Thus, it is important to look at the foundations of growth. What are the common principles that could be applied to any business? 

Big companies have at least one remarkable growth hacking story. For example, Airbnb applied growth hacking to Craigslist or Uber Ice Cream.

While storytelling is good for inspiration, there’s a misconception going on. Many founders think you can copy and paste other people’s ideas and growth hacks.

But that doesn’t usually work.

It’s rarely the case that one great growth hack make these companies grow. These companies have so many other features and qualities that allowed them to grow into the companies they are today.

The focus should be on what common traits all successful product companies have.

Product

The whole field of growth has been expanding because it’s all about building a product that people want; getting feedback, doing user research, and always keeping the user in mind.

The future of marketing is about creating as much value as possible

If you have a great product and you create a lot of value, people will want to associate themselves with your brand.

Startups don’t need to think about growth. They need to think about building a great product. The first step is to build a Minimum Viable Product that people might want. Once you do have an MVP, then you can work on something called ‘traction’.

When we say growth hacking, we usually mean traction. This is how you get the first customers onto your platform; how you shape the user perception.

Once you have a Minimum Viable Product and you begin to get positive feedback, you can do user research to build the product the market wants.

If you do it right, you can achieve a product-market fit.

Furthermore, it is necessary to think about growth in a scalable way, not how to get 5,000 users, but how to turn the company from a 1 million to a 10 million dollar company. That’s the scalable growth, which requires a long-term vision.

Team

Recruitee is a product-first company.

Product and growth are blended together. Growth is something that everybody does and Recruitee departments’ structure reflects this statement. It’s not the marketing department alone. It’s not the growth department alone. Everyone in the company is working on the product growth. 

Unfortunately, there are still many companies where growth and marketing are isolated.

Growth comes only by working together and having the cross-departmental coordination

Every single stage of the customer journey has all departments involved.

The Recruitee customer journey looks in a following way: the first step starts with generating traffic.

Afterwards, the team converts the traffic to a free trial/sign up, or a demo.

Then comes users’ activation. It’s vital to provide users with a WOW moment. Users should realize the reason why they want to use this or that product. 

Then Recruitee drives revenue by converting users to a paid subscriber. Watch the retention metrics closely, then adapt and double-down on what works well.

What kind of people do you need in your team? The more technical your product or the more inbound-focused your product is, you might have very different types of teams.

At Recruitee, there are four types of marketers: growth marketers, inbound marketers, product marketers, and technical marketers.

Growth marketers are performance marketers people who do SEO, SEM, online ads.

Inbound marketers are focused on content, events and PR.

Product marketing is about product communications, product growth, UX, onboarding.

Technical marketing is about the technical side in which developers involved in the growth process when we’re thinking about the scalability of the engineering side of things, data scientists, artificial intelligence. 

Process

If you have a great product and you have an amazing team to execute the strategy, you need to think about the process.

Thus, analytics and experiments are incredibly important.

Growth hacking processes are all based on the same thing: you come up with ideas, you prioritize your ideas, you test them out, and then you analyze the results. By doing this you can run multiple experiments to validate your assumptions. 

Scaling your successes is vital. If something works, scale it. Double down. Triple down. But, of course, don’t experiment only for the sake of experimenting because it requires too much time and resources. 

If you experiment, you have to set a clear goal

If you have a process for experimentation, then surely you should have a process for scaling experiments. Moreover, you need to have somebody who is on top of the process and who owns the metrics at every stage of this funnel.

Assign projects to team members with clear and realistic deadlines for each task. Every task is owned by someone, meaning that they don’t necessarily have to execute on it, but they need to make sure it gets done on time. That’s how Recruitee works.

Everything you do in a project needs to tie back to company vision

Whether you’re building an amazing product or building a great team or a complex process, the most important thing is that it fits with company’s vision.

The team of Recruitee has developed the idea of growth in 3 steps: lead generation, branding and product growth. 

By following these pillars, Recruitee has experienced increase to 10% monthly revenue growth for over two years.


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