Growth Hacks: What’s Your Growth Maturity Level?

Growth Hacks: What’s Your Growth Maturity Level?

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What’s Your Growth Maturity Level?

via ResearchGate

No, this is not a BuzzFeed listicle but.. as theory always differs from practice — it’s important to distinguish some of the aspects and challenges growth teams face when they get out of the library into the field.

While the concept, the framework, or the methodology itself never really changes, the implementation of a growth strategy and process at a company comes with collaterals that cross the team border, depend on higher-ups incentives, hang on company-wide understanding, and is contingent on others’ interactions. So let’s shed some light on what happens and what you should do to climb the stairs.

What’s your growth maturity?

Before we get started, it’s important to highlight that your company maturity doesn’t singularly depend on how experienced are the professionals in your team, as much as it relies on company culture.

Level 1 – At this stage, you are probably running 1 test a month or every 2 months. There isn’t a person 100% dedicated to growth, but some members of the company are running experiments when they have the time and reporting to the leader of that area. There’s no strategy yet, no approved budget and no documentation.

Level 2 – At this stage, you are likely running 1–2 tests a month. There’s one person who’s partially responsible for growth and partially responsible for something else — so they allocate part of their time to run experiments, part to focus on OKRs. At this stage, there’s a draft of a strategy but not built with company-wide participation and the tests are documented, but not the process nor the learnings.

Level 3 – At this stage, you are likely running 3–4 tests a month. There’s one person 100% dedicated to growth. To run tests, this person consumes outsourced resources and/or from other departments. There’s an approved strategy, normally together with one or other departments — usually marketing/sales or product. Documentation starts to take place, and correlations between actions and learnings start to pop up.

Level 4 – At this stage, you are likely running 5–10 tests a month. There are some people exclusively focused on growth. The leader is reporting to the CTO/CPO/CMO. There’s a mapped strategy with clear KPIs. The strategy is built together with key stakeholders in the company and runs across the entire customer journey — not only on acquisition. Process, tests, and learnings are well documented and serve as insights for new approaches.

Level 5 – At this stage, you are likely running +10 tests a month. There’s a whole team exclusively focused on growth and also a VP of growth sitting at the C-level and reporting directly to the CEO. Higher-ups build strategies together and the rest of the company participates in idea suggestion and/or execution — documentation is well distributed across the company and others outside of the growth team also participate.

Oh, also: as ingenius and skillful as your growth team can be, it always comes down to their efficiency level, on other words, how many strategy-integrated tests can you effectively run?

What can be done to elevate your growth maturity?

The disclaimer here is that there’s no one-size-fits-it-all model, but there are some characteristics we constantly find among the most successful growth implementation programs that you can both replicate (but most importantly, avoid making the same mistakes).

Level 1 -> Level 2: as opposed to aiming for more resources, optimize for understanding and participation. Pick objectives that won’t consume much time or money or people and that everyone in the company knows should be addressed. Here, you want to gain support — incentivize people to suggest growth ideas, explain there are no downsides, and promote your wins as much as possible.
Objective sample: “Can I increase the conversion rate of this LP?”

Level 2 -> Level 3: focus on getting objective suggestions from each department leader in the company. Ideally, something across the entire customer journey. Ask what’s that one thing the sales/marketing/product/finance/customer-service leader would love to try but for some reason was never able to. Here you should also look at your stack — after all, what was the last successful ongoing department of your company that was using post-its and spreadsheets?
Objective sample: “Can I improve upsell in x% for this niche cohort of users?”

Level 3 -> Level 4: at this stage, growth has found its place inside the company, it’s official. You should be helping other leaders make better decisions through your validations. Some of your initiatives should become institutionalized processes with their own dedicated team. Caution: you will be receiving a lot of ideas from every direction — while you should be thankful for them, focus on executing the ones that are directly connected with the objective you previously defined — don’t start shooting everywhere.
Objective Sample: “Can I validate this new acquisition channel? Can I try this new pricing model?”

Level 4 -> Level 5: your objectives here should be optimized for impact and your results should be taken into consideration by the CEO and board. High-risk kind of objectives that requires a lot of market-knowledge, future-planning, and board expectations.
“Should we launch a new freemium model? Should we enter a new market? Should we acquire this new company?”

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What’s Your Growth Maturity Level? was originally published in Growth Hackers on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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