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Here’s The Best Marketing Conferences for Growth Marketers

The best marketing events happening this year, where world-renowned thought leaders will tell you everything you’ve ever wanted to know about how to build and grow businesses.

What are The Best Marketing Conferences in 2020 for Growth Marketers?


It’s a very exciting year for marketing events – especially if you’re a growth marketer!

In 2020, you have a wealth of incredible shows to attend – from the industry-leading Global Growth Marketing Conference 2020, to other heavy-hitting, ROI-driving events like GrowthHackers Conference 2020, MarTech 2020, SaaStr Annual 2020, and MAU Vegas 2020. 

And I’m going to list them all in this article.

After all, I’ve been working in marketing for well over a decade, and I honestly can’t remember how many conferences  I’ve been to over the years – domestic and international.

When I lived in Asia, I was fortunate to go to some incredible events revolving around mobile marketing and data analytics. And since I’ve been living in California for the last several years, I’ve met even more marketers – the best in the world, more often than not – at some of the very same conferences I’m going to recommend to you now.

Through attending events, I’ve developed long-lasting, profitable business relationships with growth, marketing, and search thought leaders like Sean Ellis, Neil Patel, and Rand Fishkin.

I’ve also been able to really connect with decision-makers at high-growth startup successes like Airbnb, Spotify, Slack, and Zoom, too.

It’s why I always say that attending conferences is one of the best marketing investments you can make.

So, let’s get down to it.

I’m going to run you through the best marketing events happening this year, where world-renowned thought leaders will tell you everything you’ve ever wanted to know about how to build and grow businesses.

Here we go!

Growth Marketing Conference

Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco, CA

December 9-10, 2020

Growth Marketing Conference is the leading, globally-focused event for B2B and B2C growth marketers. We host world-class thought leader speakers and workshop instructors to teach 1,700+ attendees the actionable, no-nonsense growth strategies and tactics that drive rapid, cost-effective, and sustainable revenue and user growth – in 2020 and beyond.

You’ll learn the strategies and tactics to grow your company from industry-leading brands like Google, Microsoft, IBM Watson, Salesforce, Uber, Lyft, Box, Airbnb, MongoDB, PagerDuty, New Relic, SurveyMonkey, Box, Vimeo and many more!

Tickets:

  • EARLY BIRD ALL-ACCESS PASS – SAVE BIG BEFORE MAR. 4! – US$850
  • EARLY BIRD ALL-ACCESS TEAM PASS – SAVE BIG BEFORE MAR. 4! – US$650
  • EARLY BIRD INTERNATIONAL ALL-ACCESS PASS – SAVE BIG BEFORE MAR. 4! – $450
  • ULTIMATE EXPERIENCE PASS – US$4950

Traction Conf

Vancouver, Canada

August 5-6, 2020

Traction Conf brings you actionable strategies and tactics for supercharging your growth, straight from founders and leaders of some of the fastest growing companies like Google, Twentieth Century Fox, Reddit, LinkedIn, Slack, Trello, Github, New Relic, Box, SendGrid, Grammarly, Bumble and much more.

Plus you get to network with and get on a first-name basis with Fortune 500 leaders, high-growth startup founders, leading investors, and major media.

Tickets:

  • General Admission – $799 CAD

GrowthHackers Conference

San Francisco, CA

June 4, 2020

The GrowthHackers Conference features the world’s leading growth experts sharing their insights and experience on what it takes to grow companies today.

Produced by Sean Ellis, Gagan Biyani, Erin Turner and GrowthHackers.com, the GrowthHackers Conference is a full day of learning and networking with the top growth experts from around the globe.

Tickets:

  • VIP Ticket + Cocktail Night – $2,049.00
  • General Admission – $1,399.00
  • 5-9 Tickets Team Pricing – $699.00
  • 10+ Tickets Team Pricing – $599.00
  • 20+ Tickets Team Pricing – $499.00

eTail West

Palm Springs, CA

February 24-27, 2020

eTail is a four day retreat designed to help you increase the profits from your business.

You’ll get action-packed strategies and make connections with the top mind’s at America’s most successful retailers. No commercials. No egos. We cut out the fluff so you can return to the office with detailed take-aways.

Tickets:

  • Three Day Pass (Feb 25-27, 2020): $1,999.00
  • Four Day Pass (Feb 24-27, 2020): $2,299.00

MarTech® – The Marketing Technology Conference

East and West

West – April 15-17, 2020

East – October 6-8, 2020

The MarTech® Conference is designed for hybrid marketing professionals charged with breaking down organizational silos designed for a pre-digital world.

We created this conference to help you discover, learn, and connect with others passionate about the challenges facing modern marketers.

Attend MarTech to navigate the complexities, technologies, and organizational challenges with best practices and case studies from senior marketers just like you.

Tickets:

  • All Access Pass – $1,595.00
  • All Access Pass – One Day Thursday 4/16 – $1,100.00
  • All Access Pass – One Day Friday 4/17 – $1,100.00
  • Workshop only – $489.00
  • Expo+ Pass – Free!

SaaStr Annual 2020

San Francisco Bay Area

March 10-12, 2020

Saastr 2020

SaaStr Annual is back in 2020, and we’re making the event bigger and better with more tactical content, more space, and more fun.

Lock in your discounted early bird rate today, and join us in San Francisco for the #1 event in SaaS.

Tickets:

  • Startup Founders & Execs ( less than $40M in ARR ): $1,899.00
  • Startup Founders & Execs: Team Pack ( less than $40M in ARR ): $1399.00
  • Big Co Execs & VCs ( more than $40M in ARR ): $2,999.00
  • Big Co Execs & VCs: Team Pack ( more than $40M in ARR ): $2,499.00
  • Sponsor 10 Equality, Inclusion & Balance Passes: $5,000.00

Mau Vegas

Las Vegas, NV

May 6-7, 2020

Each spring, leaders from top mobile brands gather in Las Vegas for two full days of learning and networking in an environment like none other.

Apply to Attend

Tickets:


Traffic Think Tank Live 2020

Hilton, Miami

May 16th, 2020

Traffic Think Tank Live is a one-day, single-track event that brings together a collection of the world’s leading marketing experts.

Located in Miami, the event will focus on delivering tactical sessions covering a wide scope of SEO topics: this includes technical SEO, automation, link building, PR, content marketing and more.

Learn directly from the likes of Kevin Indig (VP, Search @ G2), Jackie Chu (SEO Lead @ Dropbox), Hamlet Batista (CEO @ RankSense), plus many more. Alongside the talks, there’s a roundtable discussion session where you can get answers to all of your questions directly from the experts, a live Q&A panel with the Traffic Think Tank founding team, plus more than enough time to network with other attendees.

Join Traffic Think Tank Live on May 16, 2020 in Miami for an event like no other – get your ticket now.

Ticket:

  • Full Day Ticket (Early Bird): $349.00
  • Full Day Ticket (Regular): $399.00

CXL Live

Austin, TX

April 5-7, 2020

Come for the content that will make a difference for your business. Stay for the connections and fun.

Tickets:

  • Conference Only: $1999
  • Conference + Workshops Day: $2999
  • You can also customize your ticket

Executive Growth Day

San Francisco, CA

March 12, 2020

Executive Growth Cocktail Hour is a high-impact event made for growth and marketing leaders.

We’ve created a more intimate format with growth leadership sessions designed for multiple rounds of interaction with speakers and talented peers.

At the end of one day, you’ll walk away with actionable advice you can immediately implement at your company.

This exclusive, intimate, mentorship-focused and networking-driven event is your passport to the heart of the growth marketing community.

Due to the intimate format, this event is application-based and limited to 80 seats.

Tickets:

Apply to Attend


INBOUND

Boston, MA

August 18-21, 2020

INBOUND focuses on helping you grow your business via inspiring keynotes, innovative talks, educational breakouts, hands-on lessons, and ample networking opportunities. Learn how to create remarkable content and rely on the human side of marketing to transform your business.

Tickets:

  • Power Pass: $2,199
  • All-Access Pass – 1 Day: $599
  • All-Access Pass – 4 Day: $1699
  • Community Pass: $99

CTA19: Call To Action Conference

Vancouver, Canada

September 20 – October 1, 2020

Since 2014, Call to Action Conference has brought marketers from all over the world together to learn from the brightest minds in the industry. Single track and free of “fluff,” it’s designed to deliver real, actionable marketing tactics and lessons you can put to use the very next day.

September 29-October 1, get ready for two days of value-packed insights, connecting with fellow marketers, all-inclusive snacks and meals (Vancouver’s best food trucks, at your service), and the most fun you’ve had at a marketing conference. Ever.

Tickets:

  • CTAConf 2020: CA$900.00
  • Unbounce Pre-Conference Workshops [Non-Attendees]: CA$99.00

Internet Summit

Raleigh, NC

November 17-19, 2020

90+ in-depth, trend-forward digital marketing sessions & workshops – each tons of practical takeaways and ideas to keep you ahead in the digital economy.

Oodles of insights from leading experts and brands, including Amazon, Google, JPMorgan Chase, Adobe, Nordstrom, Cisco, MGM Resorts, and more!

Your ticket includes access to speaker presentation slides and recordings, for your company to reference and use in your marketing and business initiatives, year-round.

Hundreds of seasoned marketers, strategists, designers, and more to mingle and connect with. Meet your customers, vendors, expert resources, friends and colleagues of tomorrow.

Put a bow on your experience with open bars, cool event swag, concierge service, exclusive meet & greets, onsite giveaways, fun parties and receptions…and much more.

Tickets:

  • Conference Pass: ($245)
  • Plus Pass: ($345)
  • Premium Pass: ($445)
  • Platinum Pass: ($995)
  • Conference Pass + Masterclass: ($445)
  • Plus Pass + Masterclass: ($545)
  • Premium Pass + Masterclass: ($645)

Event Marketing School

Virtual / Online

Event Marketing School

Welcome to the only training program dedicated to events and attended by over 10,000 brand marketers, event directors, producers and technologists.

This is your opportunity to learn from the top event marketing leaders and get access to the newest event tech – right from the comfort of your desktop or mobile device for FREE!

Tickets:

FREE


Reach 2020

Virtual / Online

Over 12 hours of actionable keynotes, interviews, and breakout sessions from the top marketers, sales leaders, and entrepreneurs in the country!

Tickets:

  • Free

Incite Group Brand Marketing and Digital Summit

New York

October 13-14, 2020

Incite Group Brand Marketing Summit focuses on engaging customers via personalization and seamless, consistent, impactful interactions. Join 400 marketers from innovative top brands and participate in one of the cutting-edge marketing discussions at this conference to learn more about topics such as personalization and experience, content and storytelling, attribution and insights, and omni-channel integration. Please note, Incite Group Brand Marketing Summit typically is held in October.

Tickets:

  • Executive Pass: $2145 – $2845
  • Standard Pass: $1945 – $2645
  • Economy Pass: $1745 – $2445

UnGagged

New York

July 13-14, 2020

UnGagged is the “digital marketing unconvention,” where experts say things they don’t typically share at other events. A three-day SEO and digital marketing conference with one day of intensive masterclasses, UnGagged covers a range of topics including SEO, technical SEO, digital marketing strategy, content marketing, links, social media, reputation management, CRO, and much more. Attendees flock to UnGagged because the speakers are unrestricted and do not conduct any sales pitches; they focus on actionable methods that work for them. Please note, UnGagged typically is held in November, so mark your calendars soon.

Tickets:

  • Data not available yet

Content Marketing World

Cleveland, OH

October 13-16, 2020

An event that draws “the best and the brightest in the content marketing industry,” Content Marketing World 2020 is the largest content event. Attendees will leave with a solid strategy that positions them to implement a plan for growing your business and connecting with your audience in new and innovative ways. Experience more than 120 sessions and workshops with leading brand marketers from around the globe and get new ideas for strategy, integration, measurement, and more.

Tickets:

  • SUMMIT OR INDUSTRY FORUM: $699
  • MAIN CONFERENCE: $1399
  • MAIN CONFERENCE PLUS: $1899
  • ALL-ACCESS PASS (BEST VALUE): $2399

TOPO Summit 2020

San Francisco, CA

April 23-24, 2020

See firsthand how the world’s best companies design, build, and manage highly scalable sales and marketing organizations. Summit brings together 2,000+ sales and marketing leaders responsible for $60B+ in revenue to share the specific best practices, patterns, and plays that drive exceptional revenue growth, higher conversion rates, faster sales cycles, and larger average deal sizes.

At Summit, you’ll get an inside view into how companies like Google, LinkedIn, Twilio, Procore, and ServiceNow think about go-to-market strategy, sales and marketing process, organization design, tactics and plays, metrics, and technology.

Tickets:

  • Regular Ticket: $1,395.00
  • Regular Team Pack: $999.00

Hyper Growth

Old Billingsgate, London

May 6, 2020

If you haven’t been to HYPERGROWTH before, you should know that the attendees are the rule breakers. The mavericks. The curious ones. The learning machines. The ones who set the pace, take action and make things happen daily. HYPERGROWTH attendees come from companies of all shapes and sizes and are typically in sales, marketing, and product roles.

Sound like you or somebody you know? Ready to join us and 5000 like minded humans for a day of inspirational, informative speakers, industry leaders, and experience an event that is unlike any conference you’ve attended before. We can’t wait to see you there.

Tickets:

  • General Admission – Early Bird: £499
  • VIP: £599

Programmatic I/O

San Francisco or New York

San Francisco – May 11-12, 2020

New York – October 20-21, 2020

Held annually in San Francisco (spring) and New York (autumn), these industry summits attract 1,000 – 1,500 marketing executives from top brands, advertising agencies, publishers, media and technology providers. With two days of impactful programming, 70+ industry speakers and a variety of networking activities, AdExchanger’s PROGRAMMATIC I/O conferences are must-attend for the programmatic industry.

Tickets:

General Pricing: $1,995


Marketing Strategy

Various online or in-person events

Ever feel like your brand is in a rut? We understand. It can be overwhelming to keep up with competitors and fend off negative attacks, all while trying to meaningfully connect with customers. But we’re here to help.

Join us for our Marketing Strategy Virtual Conference, where you’ll learn how to cultivate a beloved, invincible, high-converting brand.

Tickets:

FREE


Social Media Marketing World

San Diego, CA

March 1-3, 2020

Experience three phenomenal days with the best social marketers, discover the latest tactics, and master social media in 2020.

Join 7,000 fellow marketers and influencers at the mega-conference designed to empower you with business-building ideas—brought to you by Social Media Examiner.

Tickets:

  • All-Access: $1697
  • Marketer: $1097
  • Community: $497
  • Virtual: $697

MozCon

Seattle, WA

July 6-8, 2020

Join us for a three-day, one-track conference full of forward-thinking, tactical sessions in SEO, growth marketing, the mobile landscape, analytics, content marketing, and more. At MozCon you’ll connect with our amazing community of industry leaders, chat with the speakers and Moz staff, pick up some cool swag, and even get a hug from our friendly robot, Roger.

Tickets:

  • Registration | Moz Subscriber: $1199
  • Registration | General Admission: $1,699
  • Group of 5+ | Moz Customer: $1049
  • Group of 5+ | General Admission: $1549

SearchLove Conference

San Diego/ London, UK / New York

San Diego – March 26-27, 2020

New York – June 8-9, 2020

London – September 7-8, 2020

A two-day event, SearchLove brings together some of the world’s leading thinkers in online marketing.

Get up to speed on the latest in search, analytics, content creation, optimizing your website, paid promotions and more.

San Diego Tickets:

  • Ticket: $1,299.00 + VAT
  • Video Bundle: $1,349.00 + VAT
  • VIP Bundle: $1,599.00 + VAT

New York Tickets:

  • Ticket: $1,299.00 + VAT
  • Video Bundle: $1,349.00 + VAT
  • VIP Bundle: $1,599.00 + VAT

London Tickets:

  • Ticket: £979.00 + VAT
  • Video Bundle: £1009.00 + VAT
  • VIP Bundle: £1279.00 + VAT

Hero Conf

London, UK

October 19-20, 2020

Hero Conf is produced by Hanapin Marketing, creators of PPC Hero, and centered around you; the Paid Search Specialist, the SEM Analyst, the PPC Strategist, Digital Advertising Director, CEO, Social Lead and more. With 40+ sessions offered per event, we have learning opportunities for roles and experience-levels across the board.

Tickets:

  • Conference Only Pass: £699.00
  • Conference Pass + Excel Coaching: £1,199.00
  • Conference Pass + Agency Coaching: £1,199.00

Hacking SEO: The Fastest SEO Results In 90 Days

This story starts about a month ago when Vasil Azarov with Startup Socials challenged me to create an actionable SEO webinar that could improve brand’s organic Google rankings quickly. If you know anything about SEO, that’s not easy to do quickly. I sat down and thought about all the client SEO strategies I’ve worked on, […]

This story starts about a month ago when Vasil Azarov with Startup Socials challenged me to create an actionable SEO webinar that could improve brand’s organic Google rankings quickly. If you know anything about SEO, that’s not easy to do quickly. I sat down and thought about all the client SEO strategies I’ve worked on, and how they affected the rankings.

I narrowed down all the strategies I knew and came up with 5 fastest SEO Hacks that when tested, doubled the number of website rankings in organic search. The websites tested were focused on 10 longtail keyword’s rankings from a 30 day period. These 5 hacks then became the topic of the webinar we did.

With the standard amount of promotion, the webinar quickly became one of the most RSVP’d webinars I’ve ever held.

Clearly, there is a high level of interest in Google SEO hacks.

So, I’ve compiled the basics from my webinar into this blog post to tell you EXACTLY how to create a fastest SEO results roadmap for your business, that if done correctly, will double your rankings in 90 days or less.

Here goes.

SEO Hack #1

Here are the 5 SEO Hacks that can drastically increase your rankings

For a while, I saw a trend where SEOs focused largely on link building as a strategy for ranking higher organically in Google. SEOs were most concerned with quantity of links, studying anchor text diversity and setting up PBN networks (a gray / black hat tactic that Google will now penalize you for) to try and outrank their competition.

I began to realize that there was a large neglect of some of the technical SEO strategies. This is where we start the road map to the fastest SEO results hacks.

 

Baselining Your Rankings

Using SEMRush.com, Moz.com or another rank tracking platform, gather all the rankings you’ve got on a Google Sheet. You’ll need this to track your progress through this SEO roadmap.

SEO roadmap

You’re not following Google’s mantra and it’s hurting your traffic.

Over a lot of other things, user experience is top priority for Google search.

So much so, that site speed, user experience and page layout have all been attributed to ranking factors in the Google search algorithm.

What many site owners don’t know, is that there’s an easy way to check how Google grades your site on these aspects.

Google’s Pagespeed Insights is our SEO Hack #1 because most sites fail it badly, and the items are easy to fix for the most part. With this tool, Google grades the website on Mobile and Desktop and produces a score. It also shows what specifically needs to be corrected on your site.

Give this to your developer, get all of the items corrected and your rankings will go up. Also note, that 100/100 scores are almost impossible to score. Typically, scoring around 80 or above is a great range to shoot for.

Here are the items that are covered in the different scoring windows:

SEO pagespeed

SEO Hack #2

Google’s secret communication portal they reward you for using. Every project I work on, I install Google Webmaster Tools on the client’s website. A large majority of them don’t have it installed. This is a major way you can improve your rankings immediately.

Indexing, checking for penalties, sitelinks, and search traffic inside of this tool is our SEO Hack #3. In the slide below, here are the major areas to correct in the communication portal.

SEO - google search console

Take Up More Real Estate in Google

  • Site Links – Encourage to display your most converting pages in search results.

Faster Loading With Schema

  • Highlighter – Testing shows Google ranks structured data highlighter.

Constantly Check Errors

  • Errors – If there are errors Google may not even have the page in their index.

Encourage Google To Index

  • Sitemap – This is a ranking killer that’s happening on a lot of sites.

 

SEO Hack #3

Steal the traffic from the major competition in your space.

SEO competitive analysis

You probably know the major competition in your space, right? Here’s how to steal the traffic.

This strategy takes a good copywriter, a virtual assistant to do outreach and a solid designer. This is an on-going hack you’ll want to perform month after month.

Step 1 – Look up your biggest competitor on OpenSiteExplorer.org and download all of the incoming backlinks to their website. These are places where reporters, bloggers and influencers have written or linked to their website, causing them to rank high in Google.

Step 2 – Check out each of the sites linking to theirs and do some research on the writer or website that covered up. You’ll want to decide and open a conversation about submitting some content about your website to them.

Step 3 – This is where a great copywriter comes in. Getting published is a skill, but once you are, you’ll get some great links and start ranking for the keywords your competitor. The top 3 listings in Google typically get over 75% of the clicks for that keywords. That’s your chance to steal traffic.

As a pro-tip, here’s the ideal way to structure the link building to your website with different types of content from sites that link to you. It’s important to stagger the type of content, anchor text and page it links to.

Hacking SEO competitors

SEO Hack #4

A rising (keyword) tide raises all ships. The roadmap is already there.

Many people wonder what to blog about, write guest posts or PR pieces about. Most specifically, people wonder what keywords to include. There’s a great hack for that.

Deep inside of your Google Webmaster Tools, there’s a keyword roadmap. This map shows you all of the keywords your site is showing up in Google for, called impressions. If you focus more of your marketing department’s content on those impressions, you’ll start ranking higher and higher for them.

Here’s an example of a roadmap from ClaytonWood.org

SEO ranking exampleThese keywords I’m not ranking for, but once consistent content gets published with these keywords in mind, they’ll start ranking on the first page.

This list gives you an indication of relevant keywords that are relatively easy to rank for, with the right content strategy.

For fastest SEO results, this is a great list to use to outline your blog content calendar, and a great list to make sure you include in your guest postings or PR strategy.

Here are the factors that come into play:

SEO keyword calendar

SEO Hack #5

Scaling the unscalable SEO tasks and the tools to do it with.

Saving the best for last here, there are a set of SEO tools that industry insiders use, pass around, and sometimes keep quiet about. These help in the content syndication process shown below and are definitely tools used to aid in getting the fastest seo results you can.

SEO scalingThis process requires an intern, VA or a combination of tools. Getting the linkable content in the right hands is simple if you know the process. This is why scaling link building through content syndication is our SEO Hack #5.

List of potential publishers

List of great content titles

Outreach tools

  • PressRush.com is my favorite tool to use for outreach, but there are a lot out there.

Syndicated content

  • Buffer and Hootsuite and the main players here for gathering some social traction of the content.

My favorite SEO tools are

  • DocSend
  • BuzzSumo
  • Yet Another Mail Merge
  • PipeDrive
  • AdEspresso

Google Webmaster Tools

All of the things we’re reviewing today are the do-it-yourself type of hacks. The variable is that some of them take some experience to execute quickly. For those that are in the leadership at a brand, a startup or wearing a number of hats (including marketing), this roadmap should be seriously considered.

Traffic from organic web searches (because of SEO) is some of the most valuable traffic online. Once you’re ranking high, it’s possible to stay there for quite some time.

Final Thoughts

SEO is one of the most elusive (and beneficial) marketing channels out there. Following certain processes for improving rankings can very quickly change the position of your website in Google search. That’s what we teach in this SEO Hacking course so you have the best chance at the fastest SEO results.

Lean Innovation

3 Must-Have Lean Innovation Skills for Growth Marketers  By: Jeremiah Gardner (@JeremiahGardner) Growth is hard. From those of us starting from zero… To those with a flourishing audience. From a startup in a co-working space or an enterprise marketing team in global HQ… From the greenest novice to the battle-tested veteran… Growth is hard. And […]

3 Must-Have Lean Innovation Skills for Growth Marketers 

By: Jeremiah Gardner (@JeremiahGardner)

Growth is hard.

From those of us starting from zero…

To those with a flourishing audience.

From a startup in a co-working space or an enterprise marketing team in global HQ…

From the greenest novice to the battle-tested veteran… Growth is hard.

And that’s because marketing has forever changed.

What used to be a simple one-way broadcast has turned into a continuous, asynchronous, amalgamous, voluminous, raucous conversation.

The end of the Industrial Age has shifted power to the consumer. And as a result, marketers are overwhelmed daily with the challenge of just keeping up with their audience, much less growing it.

Luckily, Lean Innovation can help.

Lean innovation sits at the crossroads between the inspiration of design thinking and the rigor of lean startup. It’s been successfully used by thousands of startups and is at the forefront of the transformation of many large corporations.

By mapping these three essential Lean Innovation skills to the practice of growth marketing, marketing teams can move faster, act bolder, and jumpstart their growth.

 

1. Get In Front of Customers

Get in front of customers - lean innovation

The first step in putting Lean Innovation to work in your growth marketing is simple – get in front of your customers and start having meaningful conversations with them.

You need to heat it straight from the customers mouth.

This requires you to listen, not to talk. To learn, not sell. To understand, not be understood.

The answers always lie with your customers, not within the walls of your office.

Learning to see your growth efforts through the eyes of your customer is a critical skill every growth marketer should possess. Gaining direct insights from your audience gives you a huge advantage over your competition.

The most successful Lean Innovation practitioners, from startups to the enterprise, don’t just talk about being customer-centric; they live it. They go beyond personas, customer journey maps, and big-data-demographics and instead try to walk a mile in their customer’s shoes.

There is no more powerful tool in your marketing toolbox than a cup of coffee with a customer.

To gain empathy it takes both practice and courage. The most important step in your customer development is simply getting started.

Schedule a chat. Go to a meetup group. Head out on a “customer safari.” No matter how you do it, if you want to grow, you must be in direct contact with your customers to learn from them as much as you can.

 

2. Experiment

Experiment - Lean innovation

Bet small, win big…

The infamous landing page, Mechanical Turk, Judo-Imposter, Dry Wallet, crowdfunding, paper prototypes, mock-apps and the list goes on… It’s likely by now you may be familiar with at least one (if not all) of these shorthand expressions for experiments. Although the idea of experimentation is simple, putting it into practice is not.

Experimentation is both a skill and a mindset.

The engine of Lean Innovation is rapid experimentation. Many product teams have nailed the art of experimentation and are able to produce evidence from their experiments to guide their development forward. Products developed using rapid experimentation are markedly better than their counterparts.

But over on the marketing side of the house, many of us are still stuck thinking that A/B split testing subject lines and running focus groups are the extent of experimentation. Doh!

As technology continues to transform our world, new channels arrive daily in droves, old channels evolve, and customer expectations rise; the opportunity to put the skill of rapid experimentation to work in our marketing efforts has never been bigger.

Your job is to experiment!

Run a meetup to test your customer assumptions. Use a Dry Wallet experiment to test your go-to-market pricing structure. Refine your social ads with prototypes in two-week sprints. Launch a series of crowdfunding experiments to test new product positioning.

Truly, there is no right way to experiment. The goal of any experiment is to learn as much as you possibly can as fast as you possibly can learn it. The key is to define the customer behavior you’re trying to illicit along with the key metrics that will tell you whether or not you’re efforts produce actionable data.

This is where the terms minimal and viable come into play. What is the very minimal tactic, creative, prototype, etc. you can put in front of a customer to produce a viable behavioral response? Are you trying to get a customer to click? Purchase? Act as a referral? Watch the video? Walk through the door? Share on Twitter? Why would they behave that way? Is this tactic working? Are people responding to it? Why?

When you’re able to combine an experiment-first mindset with the skill to execute purposeful experiments, you’ll begin to see the results.

 

3. Flip Evidence Into Action

Flip Evidence Into Action - Lean Innovation

Using Lean Innovation techniques, growth marketing teams can engage a small group of their existing customers in new ways to produce evidence to propel their growth.

The ability to turn evidence into action is key.

The result of great customer development and well-designed rapid experimentation is evidence. Evidence is the combination of the raw data you’ve generated plus the insights about why the customer behaved in the way they did.

Tying customer insights to data is vital to producing results in your growth marketing efforts. A Must Have Score, Viral Coefficient, Daily Net Change, or activity heatmap are almost useless without the insights about why the customer is exhibiting that behavior.

Your NPS score may be 72, but if you don’t know why those customers have become promoters, you won’t be able to turn that score into action.

The goal in applying Lean Innovation to your growth marketing is to build a case over time. Using multiple rounds of customer empathy and continuous rapid experiments will create the level of evidence you need to prove the ______ (tactic, marketing product, strategy, etc) should be used.

If you’ve proven it’s effective, execute. If you still don’t know, experiment.

Growth marketing teams successfully using Lean Innovation have chosen to prioritize building their team’s skills to move fast, iterate quickly and act boldly in their marketing efforts.

When you spend the majority of your marketing efforts behind a desk planning out quarterly strategies, you’re essentially taking a big bet that your strategy will be right. Instead, bet small. Use constant Lean Innovation to test the most critical assumptions in your growth marketing efforts to advance your progress.

 

Three Questions You Need to Answer

1. How are you using customer empathy to inform your growth?

2. Which “big bets” are you making that could benefit from the rigor of rapid experimentation?

3. What is the threshold for evidence you’ve set in your growth marketing efforts?

When you answer those questions you will be primed for massive growth…

So what do you think? Are these the tactics you use in your business? Is there a customer development strategy you use that’s been working recently?