Lyle McKeany

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

Yes, that started a few years back, mainly just out of reading articles and being interested in growth while I was actually a sales guy at a different company. You know, getting excited about the concept of growth and maybe get into this a later but how I feel like it’s a little bit more than just traditional marketing – a little more analytical – and that was interesting to me.

In that process, I discovered Tradecraft which is kind of like an immersive program in San Francisco for three months. I did that about, I think, three years ago now and that was sort of my kick-start into the San Francisco tech startup scene. From there, like you earlier, startups – tried to start a few things on my own and things like that. And now, I’m growth marketing manager here at Galore.

2. What Are Your Thoughts on Growth Hacking or Growth Marketing?

I don’t know if I really like the term “growth hacking.” I know it’s a bit of contentious debate about that here and there.

And then, you know, like I kind of alluded to a second ago, I feel like marketing is sort of a subset of growth. Like, I look at it as growth as sort of an umbrella of different things you could be doing to grow a product and marketing is maybe one component or traditional marketing can be one component of that whereas there’s a lot more to it like product and things like that that I like to focus on with growth as well. So, it kind of extends beyond the traditional marketing you would think of – or most people would think of – like, running advertisements and things like that.

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

 

Number one for me – especially if you’re doing early stage startups – is prioritizing. That’s just super important. There’s a million things you could be doing at any given moment s you need to figure out what you actually should be doing. There’s a number of ways and frameworks about going about doing that.

The second piece I would say is being okay with failure. You’re going to fail a lot. Like I said, there’s a thousand things you could be doing and not all of them are going to work amazingly well and not every case study you read and you’re going to try whatever they did that’s going to work for your product or whatever you’re selling. So, be okay with failure and learn from that and move on and maybe innovate and try different things.

The last bit is kind of related. When something actually does work, then double down on it and exploit that as much as you possibly can – whether that’s adding more budget or automating the process or whatever it may be – once something actually works which feels like a rarity sometimes in growth but, when it does, just double down on that.

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

Kind of related to prioritizing is trying to do too much. I feel like you can very easily take on a lot of things. In the end, you’re really not executing that much. It’s better to be focusing on a few things that you have determined to be priorities and go deep on those.

Second, when people hear the word “growth hacking,” they think of being like, “Oh, we’re going to do these kinds of spammy hacky things.” I think just being inauthentic or spammy in general, I see that all the time with growth-type stuff. A perfect example, you could try this, you could go on Twitter and you could type whatever you want and just put the hashtag #growth or #growthhacking and you’ll have something like fifteen people automated likes on your tweet and that’s just an example of that’s not really you doing authentic growth marketing. You heard about it somewhere and you made some little script to like things automatically. That’s not really that authentic so it’s a little bit spammy.

Lastly, you know, a lot of people will come to me, they have growth goals and they’re not quite hitting them or they’re looking for that silver bullet idea. Like, “Oh, what’s the one thing we can do that will get us where we need to go?” Largely, it doesn’t exist. You hear about things from other companies like Dropbox has their referral program and everyone talks about that as being their huge driver of growth. Sure, it was a big driver of their growth, but there was a lot of other stuff too. And word of mouth is always a really big one as well which is hard to manufacture. So, I think, like I said, there’s really no silver bullet. It’s a combination of a lot of things and a lot of it stems to just having a really good product.

5. How Do You Get Customers a Quick Win?

Early on, I like to focus on things like conversion rates and thinking about things from their customer journey standpoint – kind of putting yourself in the shoes of a customer that’s just hearing about a product and maybe going through a sign-up flow or whatever it may be – and seeing if that makes sense, especially if it’s a client or consulting work where maybe they’ve been heads down on this product for who knows how long. It could be years, right? They’ve been staring at it and they know every detail of it.

But, if I’m coming in a little bit fresh with that growth marketer’s mindset towards it and looking at it and going, “Look, if I’m a customer, does this make sense or is there something missing? Can things be cut out?” Oftentimes, that’s a big one – cutting things out.

Just increasing those conversion rates, those little drop-offs throughout a sign-up flow or something like that can add up to big changes at the end.