Having always wanted to further my fascination and knowledge with regards to marketing, my wish came true when I got accepted for the scholarship in the Minidegree of CXL’s Growth Marketing. This award of scholarship is nothing short of a dream and honor because the institute is considered the best of the best with top class marketers and industry leaders teaching you about how learn new marketing skills that would boost your professional growth. Acceptance to the degree now means that for the next 12 weeks I will be learning about the specifics of growth marketing and details related to the tools, skills, and abilities that are most useful in this regard.
During the first week of my CXL minidegree, my focus was on understanding the fundamentals of growth marketing, which is why I managed to complete and understand the first three courses, which serves as a sneak peek into the marketing world while simultaneously preparing you for what you are going to learn next. The first two courses have been taught by John McBride, the founder of WeTheFuture.org and former senior manager of Growth Marketing at Lyft. John takes a look at the emerging growth marketing by comparing it to the already trending traditional marketing. As I understood it, growth marketing only slightly differs from the traditional marketing in the sense that it is driven by experimentation and humility i.e. the growth marketer admits to the fact that they actually know nothing at all about their customer’s choices, wants, or needs. Instead they admit that they would need to make experiments and see whether their customers are in line with their messages and ideas.
The growth process follows a three-step regime i.e. formulating a hypothesis, finding the best possible way to test it, testing and evaluating it using effective methods. Now, instead of spending all our time and money on one platform or message, it is best to invest in numerous experimentations and campaign. This way, if our hypothesis succeeds to even half the percentage at one time, we could consider it as winning situation because these little add ups would provide us with the needed data basis with regards to our customers’ requirements.
It is also important to understand here that the running of campaigns as experiments instead of mere campaign holds significance in growth marketing. Since without observing or knowing the results to our campaigns we would be unable to achieve the scientifically-backed knowledge about our customer’s behavior. Because, according to John McBride “The reality is, most of the time we aren't right or we aren't as right as we think we are”.
It can be said that experimentation is most successful, when it is evaluated in three layers i.e. 1. Do the actions increase conversion or not? 2. What would be the best form of campaign or message in accordance with the respective medium? 3. How can the campaigns or messages be personalized to attract our customers’ diverse attention? The entire point of this in-depth exploration is understanding what the customers’ like or dislike. Thus, it is completely okay to spend time and money on experiments and campaigns that could give us answers to the above question. To recapitulate my learnings of these extremely enlightening CXL lessons, I would say that it is safe to consider personalization as holding the highest rank in a marketing strategy, whether growth or traditional, because the more one knows about their existing and potential customers the better would be their sales and hence profitability.
Along with focusing on the fundamental of growth marketing, I couldn’t contain my excitement of learning from such influential people, which is why I further explored the concept of the user-centric marketing. The course is taught by one of the three original founders of Headscape i.e. Paul Boag. The main aim of this course was to teach the learners how to achieve satisfied and happy customers at the end of the day, which would significantly boost your business. The traditional market has been someone’s idea of how consumers can be attracted, which has been brought to the table and didn’t leave ever since. However, customer-centric marketing is rooted in user research and user-centric designs.
Today’s world is filled with new technical innovations, which makes the online customers one of the greatest assets for a company/business organization. As the marketers have the advantage of numerous options to reach the online customer pool, it also has a downside i.e. the daily advancements in technology and use of digital marketing by several companies means the user has a ton of options to choose from. This makes it very hard and expensive for the marketer to attract the attention of the customer towards their message. For instance, confusing websites, delays that cause websites/ads to get stuck would lead to the online customer instantly hitting the back button and reaching for the next website. However, it cannot be denied that digital marketing has very much leveled the playing field and has also made the marketing experience somewhat easier for most companies by facilitating the word-of-mouth advertisements.
Knowing your user does not mean merely being aware of their tastes or demographic information. Instead, it means that you gain an insight into what your user is trying to achieve and what their goals, objectives, and ambitions are. This type of information is crucial to growth marketing because it makes us understand the actual and real influences that are behind our customers’ purchase behavior. Customer Journey maps are very useful in this regard, as they help us articulate what we know about a consumers’ journey, the weaknesses in it, and how or where our marketing campaign can fit in the respective consumer’s journey.
To summarize, the course significantly increased my knowledge with regards to the importance of customer-centric designs in marketing and how they can be used to satisfy existing customers while simultaneously attracting potential consumers. By focusing on the customer more, we can create products that people acutely need.