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Former Member

Here the key takeaways from Sean Ellis' wonderful keynote Stacking the Odds for Authentic Growth at the Startup Marketing Conference.

On March 27th, at the #StartupMarketingConf, Sean Ellis, Founder and CEO of Qualaroo and GrowthHackers.com (in a 2010 blog post, he coined the term #GrowthHacker), presented the morning keynote "Stacking the Odds for Authentic Growth".

What is the formula for Nirvana? Desire minus Friction = Desire

Sean Ellis, Father of #GrowthHacking

Sean is a great presenter who knows how to convey strategic insights in an easy to understand way, while combining them with hands on tips for immediate implementation.

A. Maximize the % of "Must Have" (MH) Experience

  1. Any startup should ask their audience: Would you be disappointed without our product? Ask that question and then change your product and messaging to meet the audience's needs. A fragmented experience could be the reason for present disappointments. That does not mean your product is doomed. Listen, implement desired changes, and then ask the question again and again until you get it right.
  2. Steve Jobs claimed that the consumer does not always know what he/she wants; that he has to be told. How does this fit with Sean's approach of asking the end-user directly?  Answer: Product fit is a different issue from Stacking the Odds/Optimization. It requires coming up with innovation. Sean's approach assumes a product fit has already been determined.
  3. Don’t ask people if they like the solution/product. Ask them what their problem is, or how you could solve their problem.
    • Ask “must have” clients what they’d do if your product was no longer available to them.
    • Ask: What are you hoping [X] can do for you?

B. Website 101: Ask Lots of Questions

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is the most important lever for growth.

By creating more effective websites, you are able to maximize your business objectives while providing your clients the best experience.

  1. Ask: Does this page make you want to try [x]?
  2. Ask: is anything preventing you from signing up?
  3. Test to increase desire and reduce friction
  4. Provide strong hooks based on intent research
  5. Fix issues (fear and confusion friction)
  6. Testing never stops...

Idea: Ask people at Starbucks to sign up for your offer on your website /app store and to talk out loud while they do it (buy them a coffee in exchange).

C. Calibrate the Growth Engine

  1. Your hook and your promise have to connect; example: ads and landing pages.
  2. Communicate the “promise” about the "must have" experience.
  3. Strong value delivery drives organic growth; your proof that you are communicating the "must have" experience properly in your promise. It means you are achieving retention/loyalty and WOM.

D. The Startup Pyramid (By Sean Ellis)

The Startup Pyramid by Sean Ellis           

E. CASE STUDY: Optimization Unlocks Growth

  1. Growth before optimization was frustrating
  2. First 4 months of Optimization led to a 1,000% visit-to-purchase rate improvement
  3. Growth channels are now scaled

F. Summary

  • Marketer’s role is to reach potential
  • Product/market fit defines potential
  • Understand the "must have" experience (if user not disappointed without product; there is no case)
  • Increase desire, reduce fiction
  • Value machine drives organic growth

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