How to Build and Evolve a Holistic Growth Strategy

 

Are you starting a new role as head of growth? Congratulations!

Or are you a company, looking to dedicate someone to implement and oversee a growth strategy?

Great!

It’s a good idea to understand what you’re getting into, this way expectations are reasonable and the outcome more favourable.

 

The general idea seems to be that growth hackers/marketers make magic happen. That after investing a small amount of time and with limited resources, they find a trick that changes everything and leads the company to the holy grail: exponential growth.

Sounds amazing right?

Sometimes it is the case.. but what usually happens is that small wins, together, amount to great results.

In order to identify these small wins, you need a growth strategy.

And the thing is that most businesses have something similar in place, if only in their business plan.

As Head of Growth, this should be your sole focus.

This can seem daunting at first, luckily here comes a framework to help kick start the process!

Whether you’re starting a new job or hiring someone to manage your growth, this article will guide you through what to expect and how to get started.

 

 

1. Get to know your team & product

The general consensus is that you need a great team and a great product in order to grow a business. Of course there’s more to it – but this is a good place to start!

Spend your first week getting to know the people both on a personal and professional level.

Spend time with each department, ask them questions!

How do you manage your time and tasks? What are your struggles?

What suggestions do you have?

It’s crucial to do this with all teams as no two teams will give you the same feedback.

During this process you’ll learn about the product. Use it as your customers would, understand the value proposition and what sets your product apart from competitors.

At this point it’s a good idea to research your competitors if you haven’t already..

– learn what they’re doing well so you can do better!

 

2. Understand the infrastructure

The second key component needed for growth is the infrastructure – how you, as a team, work together.

Are the teams aligned in terms of time management?

Do they share their knowledge in a structured way?

Is there a dedicated channel to give each other feedback and suggestions?

Is everyone clear on goals and key metrics?

Look at the finances: understand the cash flow and revenue streams. Anticipate costs as much as possible, otherwise they can and will hold you (and the growth) back.

You don’t need many expensive tools, just the right ones.

This key part of your growth strategy is easy to overlook, but without a solid infrastructure it’s difficult to work in alignment and grow a business.

 

3. Look at the output & learn about your customers

Now that you have a clear idea of your business, analyse the output.

The output is your communication strategy, the brand image, the customer on-boarding process…

How customers view your brand and how you talk to them has a huge influence on your growth.

I can’t emphasise this enough: you have to understand your customer.

Look at the personas (or build them), study them, compare them with the feedback from the customer service team, the result of campaigns, social media mentions..

Talk to them!

Are your customers likely to recommend your product to their friends/colleagues? This should be a key metric.

To stimulate growth, look at your core customers as well as those early adopters that are still with you.

They love your product and you want all customers to have the same level of attachment.

In order to increase the likelihood of recommendation, you must optimise the entire customer journey. Start by mapping it out. Not just the steps, but steps in between, and the steps between those.

Check out this great article on ‘What happens in between?’ that explains why you can’t afford not to do this.

 

4. Iterate & build on it

To begin your continuous flow; research, form a hypothesis, experiment, analyse, and do it iteratively.

With each step you take, you’ll begin to understand your business and your customer better.

Allow your gut feeling to direct you, but always base your decisions on data.

Understand your metrics and the correlations between them.

Attend to small details but focus on long-term growth by taking the holistic approach described above.

Keep yourself and the business in check by making a routine of reassessing each area discussed.

Good luck!

 

Key takeaways

  • Team and product are key, but don’t forget about the infrastructure
  • Use all available channels to learn everything possible about your customer
  • When optimising, consider everything that’s outbound: social media marketing, customer on-boarding, customer service etc.
  • Maintain a holistic approach. By having an overarching view of the entire company you can align all processes and through that, produce long-term growth.

 

About the Author

Orsi Szentes

– I help businesses grow.

Get in touch: orsi.szentes@gmail.com

Dara

Dara

Growth, content and events! Passionate about uncovering new growth tactics and sharing knowledge to the world.
Dara