Growth Hacking Geniuses - Pierre Lechelle - Visual Summary

Pierre Lechelle

How Did You Start Your Journey in Growth and Digital Marketing?

I formed the business a couple of years and it formed brilliantly – mainly because of product. I’m a good product guy when things are getting started. Like, when you have traction and stuff like this. But I’m a bad product guy when it comes to getting started from the ground up.

Basically, starting the company was awful for me. Beyond the product, we sell for over two years and, at the end of these two years, we started doing marketing and all that sort of stuff. But it took me so long to get the product out there and gather feedback from people. I was just too late.

You know, running these marketing campaigns, I learned that I was a good marketer but not a very good product guy – at least not at the beginning of the project. And so, that’s how I got started and, you know, getting to know all these strategies, tactics, and working in more and more businesses basically led me to where I’m at today.

What Are Your Thoughts on Growth Hacking or Growth Marketing?

You know, I think it’s quite a weird word. You know, you’ve got tons of people doing growth hacking and growth marketing. Basically, what we do doesn’t have a real title. I think it’s coming closer and closer to growth marketing itself but growth hacking to me is like everyone is talking about scraping tactics, about finding leads or LinkedIn, pouring them all into big campaigns and seeing the results and doing all that sort of stuff.

I think, you know, some people come to see me and they expect me to be like, “Hey! We’re going to scrape this and Craigslist and do all the good stuff.” I’m like, “Sorry but I don’t do that.” I think what’s the main reasoning behind this is I think growth hacking is mainly about finding that one small tactic that’s going to give you traction but it’s not going to be sustainable in the long term.

So, it might help you gain your first few hundred users – maybe the first customers – but it’s not going to help you grow sustainably over the next

five to ten years and this is what I like to focus on because this is what is going to have the greatest ROI for you and your business. If we’re just basically finding tactics, it’s not going to be very helpful over the long-term. I think that’s a huge distinction between growth hacking and growth marketing.

People – I believe – should focus on the latter because you’re not going to build a business or scraping and doing illegal stuff and weird tactics. Yes, that’s where I stand.

How Important Are Lead Capture and Conversion Funnels?

You know, I think we live in a world where we can have very augmented businesses. So, I don’t think everything should be fully automated or that everything can be fully automated. But, you know, if you are a consultant or you are a SaaS software, no one is going to go from no clue who you are to “I’m going to purchase a $1,000-a-month product.” There’s no way someone is going to go through that thought sequence in just a second.

I think it’s important for us marketers and for business but also for customers and prospects to basically go through these funnels that they can basically get nurtured into. Like, I don’t know if consultants, a lot of SaaS businesses are going to start with blog articles and they’re going to push you to some sort of an e-book then you may have multiple other e-books, email courses, and all that sort of stuff.

That’s going to educate you about the product, about what it can do for you, and the advantages it can have for your business. And then, later on in the journey, when you’re finally ready to purchase the product, it becomes a very simple decision-making process because it just makes sense. “I’ve been with that company for so long, why not give it a try?”

I think HubSpot is a very good company doing this. I’m a user of Modern Mark and they do listings of B2B SaaS companies and all that sort of good companies and they basically have a newsletter where they share content, share very interesting content.

Before I went about and became a customer, I was reading that newsletter. Every week, I would discover new features, I would discover new content that would allow me to put outbound sales to work and, you know, all that content, when I was thinking about doing outbound sales

myself, I was like, “Well, Modern Mark is all I need to speak to.” I think that is, in the end, what conversion funnels and high-level funnels are. It’s not necessarily about the different steps between a payment processing but it’s mainly about what’s the customer journey, customer life cycle that maximizes the number of customers that are going to end up at the end of the process, if that makes sense.

How Do You Get Customers a Quick Win?

I think it’s mainly a question about where should the business be focused. You know, when you get into a new business, you always have these huge low-hanging fruits – you know, you see weird things happening in the AdWords account.

I think the last business that I audited, they basically had 25,000 emails that never received any email. They were basically getting new email subscribers every day but they didn’t send any email to these guys. And so, it became obvious to me that we are to email these people and reactivate them and make sure they are great content and great experience. But, in the end, it’s about looking at the entire funnel of your business, the entire customer life cycle, and looking at where you have missed opportunities. It’s often going to be in emails.

One of the huge ones that every business can have is basically look at all the lost deals, all the leads that never got engaged, all these lost leads that you lost track with, and just emailing these people can tremendously help your business. But, yes, looking at the entire funnel and seeing where you can have impact.

How Do You Start a Growth Team?

I think it’s a very complex process. You know, we’ve talked earlier about growth hacking, growth marketing, and all that stuff. I think what people see is, you know, they want to experiment. Everyone wants to experiment and everyone is going to try to launch new things and do different tactics.

I think our entire discussion is mainly about creating a growth team. It’s about finding where you can have the most impact, generating quick wins so that you can show to the organization and board of directors and VPs and everyone in the organization that you can have impact. It’s about showing that you – you alone or a small pool of people – can have impact on the business.

As soon as you show to everyone that you can have impact by launching experiments, you can then start with a small pool of people, generally promoting a few people from the organization, probably the same ones that already participated in these experiments, and then you can expand from this.

Let’s say you are the growth manager, a designer, and an engineer. You start experimenting by finding these high-impact areas, launching experiments. You’re getting these quick wins and then you can expand on that group of people.

If, for instance, you see that design is your main goal, you can basically hire one more designer and start moving more quickly through the experimentation cycle. That’s basically then all about brainstorming ideas for experiments, launching more of them, and making sure that you’re having positive results on your bottom line.

Growth Hacking Geniuses - Jordan Benjamin - Visual Summary

Jordan Benjamin

How Did You Start Your Journey in Growth and Digital Marketing?

Well, you know, I initially wanted to be a lawyer and found out that that didn’t really align with what I wanted to do. And so, in school, I changed my major to business and then just kind of got aligned with a few folks that were doing different startups in kind of the early stages.

And so, my junior and senior year in college, I went to work for a friend’s company. I think it was maybe the fifth employee. I was an intern doing sales for them. We really had to kind of just start thinking about how do you bring digital marketing? How do you find your list of prospects?

From there, that kind of got me started on that path of really wanting to work with startup companies – being able to kind of see how does everything work internally. And so, it really kind of just got me started on that path and connected into the startup kind of mindset and group of folks.

There’s a really good community of startups in Boulder, Colorado, where I’m originally from. So, I was out there for about five, six years, working with startups. And then, I actually moved up to Boston to join on HubSpot to kind of watch how a startup moves from startup into public company. I got here and got to watch the IPO and got to watch us kind of move and then got me thinking about how do I start my own projects or business trying to drive growth as well.

What Problems Have You Solved for Customers?

A lot of the time, it’s about how to get new customers. How do you drive growth? How do you drive growth efficiently? How do you stay motivated? How do you prospect? How do you really bring more data to the table?

One of the things that I love about digital marketing is we can really look at analytics and very easily measure – not what just drives a new hit or visitor to my website but what actually turns somebody into a customer? How do they move through that process and how do we leverage data?

As a startup or as a young company or as anybody, really, how do we really use that data to say, “Well, what’s the most efficient? Where should we spend our time? What drives the best ROI?” And so, that’s where most of the companies I’ve been working for it’s how do we drive a more effective cost per lead or how do we actually bring data to understand what drives people through our sales funnel more effectively?

Now, I’m starting to work with companies to think about how do we lead more intentionally, how do we perform at our best as humans? Really kind of start bringing all those pieces together to really bring a kind of whole person/company/organization into the ecosystem.

What Are Your Top 3 Pieces of Advice for Growth Marketing?

I think, when you’re trying to approach growth, you’ve got to be able to put yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer or prospect. The word that we’ve been using a lot lately is empathy. How do you empathize with that prospect?

You go beyond just thinking about what do they want. You think about what do they really care about? What do they struggle with? What can you actually bring to the table that adds value?

When you think about “what does this person want to achieve?” then you can build resources, you can build content, you can build answers to their questions that they might be asking online or other places.

Really, what you do is you build trust, you build value, you build credibility before you ever ask for their dollars. And so, I think that kind of encompasses probably all three. How do you put yourself in the shoes of your prospect? How do you really understand them so you can lead with building trust so you can build credibility so you can really then measure everything that works? And see what works most effectively and then spend your time in those areas?

What Are the Top 3 Mistakes to Avoid When Doing Growth Marketing?

The one that I see continuously, I was working with a small business owner last week on this, he was starting to go and try and prospect and try

and get in front of more potential customers. The email that he started sending says, “I saw this. I want to know about this. I want to hear other things.”

And so, it’s really critical to think about how do you focus on that prospect? How do you talk about what they want and what’s really important to them? Because that’s what grabs attention.

Today, so many people are blasting different business owners, marketing managers, sales leaders, or whoever it is with “here’s what I want, here’s what’s important to me,” and you’ve really got to flip that on your head and kind of go against what you would normally do to think about “What do they want? What’s important to them?” to lead off with.

I think another mistake is there are so many tools, so many people are bombarding you with coming to use them, but really see what you can do to measure everything. If you can use this data and understand digital presence, understand how your website is working well or not working well, from there you can really leverage those tools to measure everything.

I see a lot of businesses that say, “Yeah, we just have an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of that,” or “All of the intellectual property is in my brain.” Most small businesses fail because they don’t have systems or processes that are repeatable. So, then when they actually have a little bit of success and they go hire somebody, it becomes nearly impossible to train someone effectively so you can continually grow.

So, really thinking about how do you measure everything, how do you build systems and processes, and how do you think about what does your prospect care about most as opposed to what you care about or what you want to get done.

Which Tools Do You Use to Grow Your Business or Help Clients Grow Theirs?

A lot of times, Google Docs, I love the Google apps. The Google suite is just so easy. It’s very inexpensive – you know, $5.00 or $10.00 a month to get email, to get Google Docs so you can actually share documents, hold people accountable, have meetings so you’re actually face-to-face. I think it’s great.

One of my favorite free tools as well is using Join.me to have webinars with folks or calls using something. HubSpot has a free CRM that’s just absolutely wonderful to use and totally free which is great. I think early stages it’s especially wonderful to have stuff that doesn’t cost very much money but then can scale with you. There’s also some free marketing products that HubSpot has or Google Analytics has some great tools to actually help you understand that interaction with your website.

If I’m trying to sell or prospect, using tools like BuiltWith or Datanyze to help understand, “Okay, do these people use tools that would be a good fit or my services are for me to sell into?” And then, you know, a tool called Zapier that really helps connect different things together. Depending upon the systems you have, it can really help you start getting a more holistic view of everything you’re doing.

I think those are some of the tools.

And then, I use Stitcher to listen to different podcasts, different interviews. Obviously, my Kindle to read as much as I can and learn from a lot of other people – to keep growing.

I’d say those are a handful.

Growth Hacking Geniuses - Patrick Campbell - Visual Summary

Patrick Campbell

How Did You Start Your Journey in Growth and Digital Marketing?

It’s funny. I think I’ve only accepted growth marketing as kind of a label in the past couple of months, actually, which is kind of funny because I think that although what we were doing at Price Intelligently and what we continue to do is kind of in the growth framework. It’s definitely not something you typically think of when you think of growth hacking.

My background is in econometrics and math. I started working for the US government in the intel community for a little bit out of college. From there, I worked at Google for a little while. At both places, I was doing econ modeling which is just kind of a fancy phrase for basically taking a bunch of data inputs and getting some sort of optimize output. That kind of started me down the path of being able to use some of the skills in kind of a marketing capacity.

When I worked at a startup after Google, that was the first time I started working on pricing. And so, that kind of led me to basically realizing just how important pricing was and is and how little we just know about it in general. That kind of led me into the growth world because our big thing is about you use pricing as actually a huge growth lever in your business. And then, also, from a meta perspective, obviously, growing the business, you needed to be growth mindset in terms of how we attracted our own customers, how we attracted brand and those types of things.

That’s kind of the ramble-y version of the story so far but, yeah, just kind of cranking in this world from using those skills and that background.

How Did You Become Passionate About Business Growth?

I’m not sure how it is in Montreal or in some of other places but, you know, when you’re in high school or secondary school and then university in the States, if you’re not going to be an engineer or something in medicine, a lot of people end up like, “Oh, I’ll go be a lawyer!” or something like that.

And so, for me, I had the false choice of wanting to be a lawyer for a while and I kind of fell more into business but I think, if we talk about falling in love with it, I think it really came down to ultimately really getting attracted to the hunt in terms of growth, growing a business, those types of things.

I used to be motivated by money but I kind of realized that my real motivation was really around taking an idea, putting it into practice, seeing if it worked or failed. If it worked, seeing how much you could make it work.

That’s kind of the long story short in terms of falling in love with business there.

What Are Your Thoughts on Growth Hacking or Growth Marketing?

What’s funny is that growth, it’s definitely gone from this early stage thing with Sean Ellis and Hiten Shah coming up with the term, coming up with the concept. I think it’s gone through the first wave of people being very emphatic about growth hacking and not necessarily knowing what it is. Everyone and their mom has growth hacking now in their LinkedIn bios and things like that.

And so, I think it’s one of those things, for me, I’ve had a little bit of an aversion to the term “growth hacking” but I think the concept of speed and high-tempo testing that Sean Ellis and Morgan Brown talk about a lot, I think it’s huge. I think it’s one of those things where, if you’re running a marketing team in a very slow way or a very quarterly campaign-based, you’re probably missing the mark in a lot of different ways.

For me, personally, I think it’s one of those things where we’re actually probably going through another stage of the growth hacking world where now people are just getting the idea of high-tempo testing and now it’s about how do we properly understand our customers in a way that we can make those high-tempo tests worthwhile.

I think the industry is really kind of fascinating. If you’re not doing some sort of growth-focused marketing, you’re going to end up failing. That doesn’t mean you have some big growth team like Uber but it definitely means that your marketers that you hire need to be more growth-focused than just kind of what they used to call arts and crafts marketers which is kind of like a derogatory term. But, you know, it’s some of these folks who don’t get the growth side of things, essentially.

Which Daily Habits Have You Installed to Maximize Your Results with Clients?

Our clients are more our customers. I’m not growth for hire. I’m more kind of focused on our software and our customers so it’s a little bit different. I’m pretty bad with habits, actually. I’m trying to get better but I think that some things that I do to kind of set the guardrails up properly are things like making sure that, for instance, making sure that all of my meetings, I try to push most of my internal meetings to Monday and then having the rest of the week try to do only external meetings or actual work.

I think that’s a pretty important thing, especially if you’re a CEO or someone – even a VP level – that has a team. It’s really, really complicated in terms of you can actually fail if you have too many meetings because you’re not getting anything done.

I think, in addition to that, personally, I think meditation has actually helped a lot and I was definitely not ever thinking I was ever going to meditate. I didn’t think it was dumb or anything; I just was like, “Oh, that’s not for me.” When I started doing it – actually, about a year and a half ago – it actually really helped me just kind of center myself or what I like to say gives me an extra second to react to things. I’m hearing news or I’m hearing something, it gives me an extra second and helps me stay on the rails here at the office and things like that.

I’d say those are some of the habits. I mean, there’s certainly a lot of habits. For us, we’ve just moved to a place where we’re trying to run five tests a week – you know, just in terms of growth, that’s something and I think that’s something you’ve heard a lot with some of the other speakers and things like that. But really trying to keep us on that focus of ship, ship, ship, ship, ship. Don’t overthink it. Don’t try to boil the ocean, they say, in terms of ideas and quality and stuff like that. That’s kind of where we’re at in terms of moving things forward.

What Are Some Resources You Encourage People to Explore?

Resources, I think what’s funny is there’s so much noise out there in the growth space. It’s really, really hard to find the right stuff. I would say that what I would recommend doing is following certain types of people who typically publish maybe not as frequently as some of the other stuff out there but the stuff they do publish is really, really good. Some of the folks I’ve already mentioned.

I really focus on Hiten Shah and Sean Ellis. Sean Ellis and Morgan Brown actually just wrote a book – I think it’s called Hacking Growth. I can’t remember the exact title but I’m pretty sure that’s the title of it. They’re doing super well in terms of, well, Sean was kind of the original growth hacker. Those three are really good to follow.

I think another couple that are really important are someone like Brian Balfour. Brian’s really, really good at just kind of the frameworks as well as the strategy. He’s had a lot of opportunity to execute for a few different companies and I think that that’s really helped him hone this whole concept of growth.

If it comes to pricing, I think the Price Intelligently blog, we’re the only folks who really publish deeply about this type of stuff from not only philosophy but kind of an actual practical way. And so, there’s a lot of stuff there, less so on the concept of growth but more so specifically on pricing.

Those are the folks that I’d recommend following in a couple of different ways for those types of resources.

Which Tools Do You Use to Grow Your Business or Help Clients Grow Theirs?

There’s a couple that we use. One is called HubSpot. HubSpot – I think everyone, not everyone but a lot of people have heard of them. That’s what we use with our marketing automation. It’s one of those things where it just makes it easy to, like, everything to tie in together. It’s got its quirks. It’s not always the most seamless, user-friendly product that we use, but it’s certainly something that kind of the workflow and the automation aspects of it really make it worthwhile.

We also use our own product called ProfitWell. That helps us keep really in tune with what’s going on with our financial metrics. It’s a free subscription financial metrics product that plugs into your different billing systems and it really helps.

And then, it’s a lot of old-fashioned Excel – or in this case, Google Sheets and Google Docs. That really helps us collaborate using Slack on our team just to make sure that we’re running the right tests.

There are some products out there like Growth Hackers has the Growth Canvas and there are some other growth-focused products. But, for us, right now, in our current stage, it just makes sense to kind of keep it there. To me, it’s more important, the tools are interesting but it’s mostly just how you use them, of course. We tend to stick to those foundational tools that I mentioned.