Daphne Tideman 0:00
It’s deciding so much of your company strategy that it feels crazy to not do that extensive research and make sure that you are 100% sure of it. Because like you say, if you’re just doing like a few focus groups, you’ve got group thing, you’ve got people influencing each other. You can’t dive really deep into that why?
Khalil Guliwala 0:26
Hi, everybody, welcome to another episode of Experiment Nation’s podcast on Google Ebola. today. I have Daphne, I’ve been with them. So I’m gonna let up Introduce yourself. Definitely.
Daphne Tideman 0:34
Well, thanks so much for having me. I’m in growth. And I started out originally, as a consultant at an agency back when basically there was no growth hacking agencies, no one focused really on this side of, of how to approach growing companies. And I worked there for five years and helped grow their team, as well as helping various clients along the way, before I decided to move to the brand side and ended up as head of growth at heights, which is a brain care company, focused on helping people better take care of their brain through nutrition at the moment, is a key focus. And I got to lead their growth for 18 months. And I really enjoyed it and was able to help scale them up from about 28,000 monthly revenue all the way up to 343,000. For realizing that I missed that variation of all the different clients and decided to go freelance and now I work with eco friendly and wellness brands to help them scale up
Khalil Guliwala 1:30
indefinitely. I know that you’ve got a program out there about about the message Market Fit super fast. And could you talk to us about that? Maybe the insights have led you to kind of think about putting it in those terms.
Daphne Tideman 1:41
Yeah, definitely. So I realized the power of messaging just after I started as heights, when I joined, I noticed that they were talking all about the brain like brain membrane brain health, brain care, what is it? Why should you care. And I was looking at what our customers were saying, and I was doing a lot of customer research, because that’s one of the first things I like to always do is speak to the end customer. And I realize none of them are talking about the brain in relation to our product. And even though you know, we think bring hair is important. And that’s what we want to put on the map as a new category. It isn’t what people are saying. And as a result, there was this big mismatch. In our communication, what we were seeing was our value prop and what they were saying. And so we went on a project with our whole team and basically brought all this research together all the different surveys, interviews, audit insights, we had to create one big what I call a swipe file of all these different insights, compare them to the competitors, and worked out like what is actually what makes us unique, what is it that resonates. And it was such an amazing process, because it helped us realize that actually, our language everywhere who wasn’t working. And that’s why a lot of our things, were also not working. So our emails weren’t converting, our ads weren’t converting. But when people actually tried the product, they love it. And so I realized that, you know, we always talk and growth, about product market fit and having this as your foundation. But it felt like we definitely had seven customers where we have product market fit. But because we were trying to focus on everyone who had a brain and they’re really bored and our messaging, we went missing the mark, and it showed and low conversion rates low click through rates. And after this project, we decided to use these insights to run different experiments to improve our messaging. And full transparency, the first one completely flopped, it was very disappointing after all the work. But we took all the learnings and we tried even more to go away from what we felt was the way we wanted to communicate to what we felt resonated and what mattered. And after that we were getting the most insane lifts. And they remain some of the best experiments that we ran in the course of optimizing the website. And the performance. And the end result was across the experiments, we had over 100% lift in conversion rate, click through rates increase about 60%, just from changing, copy changing nothing else. And that’s not even working on the creative side yet. emails were also converting like two to three times more. And it was just I’d never had anything that had been so impactful. And at first I thought like maybe this is just you know, this was just something where we were really off. But then as I started coaching and working with different startups, I kept seeing the same pattern where they had, you know, worked out their initial positioning gone off of that developed or their messaging around that. I’d had that kind of approach to it. And we’re coming because they couldn’t change scattered scaled channels or their website wasn’t converting well, despite having done all, you know, the best practices really worked on creating a good experience. And I realized that it was every single time that the messaging was just completely off. And I recently just did free, like a free review of about 19 Different companies that just reached out on LinkedIn and looked at their messaging and looked at what the customers were saying what they were saying and I just kept seeing the same pattern that we just saw Talking that language. But it’s also really hard to talk that language if we don’t get down to the foundations of, you know, what is actually the job to be done of them? And what is the main one that we want to focus on position ourselves on versus trying to talk to everyone? So, yeah, that was that was how I came across it and how I realized I was onto something and I created a program that step by step guides companies over the course of 12 weeks, as to how to improve their messaging. And you can do it fast. If you have some research in place. This is really assuming that that you don’t have that research in place. But really going down to those the basics of talking to your customers bringing all those insights together. Because it feels like it’s something that just gets lost along the way, as we’ve, you know, move on to Heiko, how can we just improve our channels?
Khalil Guliwala 5:46
Yeah, and that’s brilliant. I think there’s so much to unpack there. I think especially as sometimes with companies, we kind of kind of have this like, like a vision of an ideal customer base everything up on that. To talk about researching, could you talk us to maybe a little bit more so the executing their research? What does that look like?
Daphne Tideman 6:03
Yeah, so usually I start with first trying to figure out like, what do we actually know, because often, companies are sitting on a lot of research, but it’s, you know, you’ve done it once you’ve got some notes in some folder, but you’re not actively using it. And so a swipe file is just a fancy term for bringing all of those different quotes together and structuring them around like what are the pains are talking about? What are the gains? And what are the jobs to be done to mentioned? And it has, it has a two side effect in the sense that, on the one hand, it will help you identify what are kind of the key jobs to be done that you keep seeing coming back? What are the key pains and the gains that they’re focusing on, by bringing together all this research. And on the other hand, it’s incredible for writing copy, because you just search and then you say okay, I want to talk about brain fog now, for example. And you just get these amazing phrases, and really are able to immerse yourself in the customer to talk about that area. And the sources of data that you put in there. The main one I like to use is reviews, and really go forward or different reviews, and pull all of that in. But there’s loads of other things to look at, like you can pull data from surveys that you’ve done, you can pull data from interviews, Customer Care chats are great for it, you can also look at what competitors reviews are saying what do they love and dislike about your competitors. So that’s always step one, bringing together that swipe file, then I do a competitor analysis to understand how our competitors compete, positioning themselves. And I also tried to look based on the job to be done, what are their competitors. And it really depends on how familiar you are with that job to be done. whether it makes sense to first analyze your competitors or first talk to customers, because a lot of people are then just thinking about like, who they think their competitors are who’s similar to them. But let’s say I’m struggling with sleep, and I have a product that’s helping me with steep, then it’s not just similar products that help with C, let’s say it’s a supplement, just to say in that example. It’s also you know, meditation as an alternative, you know, meditation apps and what they do and what the benefits and downsides of those are. It’s, you know, doing yoga nidra. It’s, you know, using sprays on your pillow that we’ve lavender, and is essential oils, there’s so many alternatives. And I think it’s really important to think of like, okay, what are the alternatives that your customers actually looking at? And how do they compare and creating an overview of that. And then the next step of the research is, sometimes I do a survey, if we’re really lacking those insights. And we want to also on a broader scale, figure out what those jobs to be done are, if you don’t know for sure what your jobs to be done are and you’re also not sure what job to be done you have product market fit with. And then I recommend sending that out covering Product Market Fit questions, as well as the mouse to really understand like, Okay, we have product market fit with these customers, this is what they look like. And this is what they love, because it’s message and market fit and not just getting our messaging, right but figuring out which market, we want to get that messaging right for. And then interviewing customers and just doing jobs to be done interviews really diving deeper, to really get that depth and really understand even better, like okay, what are the alternatives? They tried? Why weren’t they happy? And what? What did they actually love about your product? So speaking to existing customers? And also what did they not love? Why did people cancel so canceled customers? And then bring that all together to create a position map to compare yourself to those competitors figure out which things do you stand out on based on what also matters to your customers, and mapping that all out to decide like, these are the, you know, top two or three jobs to be done. Let’s now run different tests around it. So that’s really what the research looks like. And like I said, if you’ve already done some of the research in the past, you’re more than welcome to always skip things. But if you don’t have any of that research or you haven’t done it in years, because like you say we start with an ideal idea of who they look like and things change over time, then it’s really worth taking that time. Today’s in and bring all that data together.
Khalil Guliwala 10:03
Amazing. I didn’t want you to be different. There was a lot of market research focus on focus groups. And we would love to walk this process down that funnel. So you’ve gone there, you’ve done your research, you’ve talked to clients, cancel clients, you’ve got this research right now, how often do you prioritize going to where’d you go and make the adjustment that what have you prioritize how I can know where you do experimentation and how you set them up?
Daphne Tideman 10:24
Yeah, sure. So just before I dive into that, like one thing I’ve think scares people off about this is it feels like slowing down to do all this research, and that it has to be like really time consuming. thing. And, you know, the first six weeks of the program that I’ve created are also that research phase. But the reason why I was so why that it’s so important to do this is you’re basing your whole company’s positioning, and messaging based on this, you’re making a major change, which, like I said, at heights, you know, these were the things we can measure. But I’m pretty sure it also had impact on our social media conversion rate, which influencers we ended up working with, and were right for us. So it’s deciding so much of your company strategy, that it feels crazy to not be do that extensive research and make sure that you are 100% sure of it, because like you say, if you’re just doing like a few focus groups, you’ve got groupthink, you’ve got people influencing each other, you can’t dive really deep into that why. And so I think that’s something that puts it off. And also just not knowing how to do it and what to do, which is why it’s really important to just break it into tiny little steps. Once you have all of that, and you’ve done your position map and you’ve mapped out like okay, you know, either per job to be done or just overall for, for for your key product for your key offering. How are the competitors performing on these areas? How are we performing on these areas in the eyes of the customer? What does the customer not matter, and you’ve picked out these different areas, maybe a combination of two things that you do really well. Or if you you know, two different jobs to be done that you think are the most relevant, what you do is you take those jobs to be done and you work out five different angles. And I was saying it’s good to just work out five different ways that you could phrase it, maybe what does it look like if you focused on the pain part of it. So what pain you’re solving for that job to be done? Or the game part of it? What are you helping them achieve or just stating the job to be done, just work on a few different ways using the swipe file. So you’re just filtering the swipe file down to a job to be done. And that makes a copy of so really easy to flow, work out a few different angles, so you don’t get too caught on just what’s the first thing that comes to mind. And then you can start testing it. And there’s free methods that I use for testing. And they’re dependent on what’s your budget, what kind of audience you have, and where they are, and also what kind of feedback you want to get what kind of insights you want to get. So the first is running meta ads. And I have a whole setup where I use the Experiment Station feature of of meta to run a fair test versus just putting all the ads in one ad group because then we can’t control how often people seeing it or the overlap in it, to test a copy there and really focus on just changing the copy and not the imagery. It usually costs between 500 to 1200 pounds, depending on what your cost per click is what your click through rate is to get the significance from it, and how many variants or so you want to test. So that’s one thing where we run a test. And we compare these different copy there were two or three variants, the others with email, either with this subject line and doing it based on open rates subject from preview text, or doing our on click to open rate and changing the content we’re not doing on purchases here for most companies. And the reason why is that if you’re in this phase, you usually don’t have the volume to do that. And as a result, you can’t actually run significant tests to do it on purchases. And also, it sometimes takes a long time. And these methods are a bit quicker to test if you have that volume, obviously tested on purchases, but I walked through in my programs really focused at like more early stage companies. I don’t necessarily have that volume to run these big tests at this phase. And then the final method is preference testing, or five second testing, and using a tool like usability hub to basically compare different variants or to run one for variants that you think is the most relevant and also ask questions afterwards. So we’re seeing how often are they clicking each variant? And what do they prefer? And you can use their panel for that or use your own email list to do that. And that also impacts how much it costs to run that. And so it is that’s like really the quick version of the free methods that those are the ones I usually use and I usually recommend us to doing two to three tests because we are testing earlier in the funnel. So we aren’t confident at this point in time that one test should decide our whole company direction just like when using Fusion. So I usually say like try to test two or three different and methods or try to at least run two or three different tests. Like if you see it consistently with every time you test a certain job to be done with your subject line via email, every time it’s outperforming by like at least 20%. You know, depending on your open rate, really high open rate, probably less, but you know, proximately, then you probably are on something that this is resonating better.
Rommil Santiago 15:24
This is Rommil. Santiago from experiment nation. Every week we share interviews with and conference sessions by our favorite conversion rate optimizers from around the world. So if you liked this video, smash that like button and consider subscribing, it helps us a bunch. Now back to the episode.
Khalil Guliwala 15:37
It’s nice, I think that’s a case of what you’re kind of walking through is sort of is it’s almost like methodology, right ideas is about research. And as you mentioned before, but what I’m fascinated by is that is that, for example, when you talk about this to two companies, individuals, it is something where like, where they need to be sold on if somebody’s coming to you saying, Hey, I’ve got a problem. I don’t know why this isn’t growth. And then you’re pointing out and saying, oh, it’s because if your content, or people or people cognizant of the fact that maybe the content isn’t working, I guess I’m trying to figure out sort of like, how would they even come across this notion?
Daphne Tideman 16:11
Yeah, so it’s, it’s definitely not something that people are coming to me with as much. I think it’s part of whenever I am coaching, or consulting a client, the first thing I do is I really analyze all the different data and see, you know, how are they performing on different aspects, and really try to understand their end customer. And it’s something that I’ve come across, that I’ve been realized, like, Hey, this is kind of the common thread. And sometimes they say, like, hey, we feel like our ads aren’t resonating, but we chested or different creative. And usually, they that signs for me that this is what’s relevant for them is they really have happy customers, this isn’t, you know, a solution to product market fit, if you don’t have product market fit and hope if you know, you really are able to resonate, but that doesn’t mean you can deliver on it, then. And they have good retention as a result of that, because they are actually, you know, making customers really happy. When I asked the founder to explain what it is they do, I either get like really fluffy, vague language or a super long explanation. So I’m seeing that like, you know, internally, people are struggling to explain it, people might explain it in different ways. So if I asked one person or another person they’d like are saying different things about what actually matters. I see inconsistency across all their different channels, different ways of explaining things different, like jobs to be done, lots of things kind of mixed up in here and there. And I’m usually seeing them like conversion rate isn’t great, even if they’ve done quite a bit to optimize a website, and their click through rate tends to be quite low. So that’s usually kind of the signals to me that, hey, there might be something here that we should be focusing on the messaging side of it. I have had it once or twice that people have said, Hey, I think our messaging isn’t quite right. But it’s usually because they’ve been reading more about messaging and starting to understand it. And like I said, at the beginning, I think it’s two sides to it. And this is also by the way, another signal is like, if I didn’t ask who their customer is, I get a really broad customer. And I think that’s where it kind of goes wrong is like, we feel like our product or service is incredible, it can help everyone. And so we end up with this really broad target audience that’s kind of based on like, really superficial demographics, like a woman who are 60 Plus, or, you know, men between 24 and 45, who work out like, really, really bought personas. And then we also get very caught and the fact that we have so many different things that people can use our product for. So we want to tell all of that. And so we don’t want to like soom, in that that ends up resulting in just like I said, even very vague language or just language that’s not hitting the mark and resonating. And if I then also see like, okay, from their reviews, just spending like 20 minutes reading their reviews, people are talking about completely different things to what they’re talking about. That’s usually like really, like, if I’ve seen all these things, I’m like, this is a really good indication that this is going to bring them a lot of value to focus on this, especially if we lay on top of that, that not much research has been done recently. Then I’m like, Okay, we’re not talking to them, or they are doing research, but there’s struggling to structure or turn it into actionable insights. And, you know, there’s not a strong process around that.
Khalil Guliwala 19:29
Yeah, yeah. I think one thing is I kind of, I mean, again, I think as marketers, I think I’ve ever kind of been guilty to some extent of that ideal persona and kind of being led by that. But I think you brought up the fact that, you know, I mean, I I’m someone kind of I do believe there’s a segment and there’s a group there, but like for example, like in terms of you know, the kind of content that as well as the message market fit. So, for example, is it that and correct me is that maybe you start breaking a general to identify maybe what Those key segments? Or do you start already kind of saying, You know what, maybe we can actually cut our market into certain segments. And then we can identify which which message works was best within that specific segment. I guess I guess the difference is sort of starting with that sort of segment in mind and figuring out content versus coming up with content and using the content to kind of cut up this cut up the population in different segments.
Daphne Tideman 20:22
Yeah. So I think it really depends on what insights you have to define those segments before. Like, if you’ve already, I’m just trying to think of a concrete example, because I find this always really helpful in explaining it. So I was reviewing this pet food brand, as part of the free review that I did, just because I really wanted to see like how some of the like other brands were doing it and see what it what was going well, and what was an in communicating messaging. And they, for example, they have like, quite clearly if you go through their reviews, three different use cases for their product. So one is like around digestive issues with other pet foods, because there’s there’s all natural, one of them is around fair quality, and how they’re fair appears. And the third one is picky eaters. So because their food is very natural, and fresh dogs, and cats tend to like it more. And I’m a dog owner, by the way. So I love this example. And I got to review this. And, you know, when you have such a clear, like, popping out that this free different key use cases, where you can then say is like, Okay, let’s start with those segments and really understand each one in turn, I still usually advise taking it one by one. So figuring out which segment is then the biggest and working that out for that and getting it right there. Because I think that allows you to move a lot faster and have bigger impact faster. Because otherwise you’re trying your you know, it takes sometimes a few times to get this right, like not every fast. I feel like we I have a good success rate when I when I’m testing this, because I’ve done so much research upfront. But there definitely has been a case where, you know, we saw no difference. And we had to go back to Joe. But like I said, with heights like, you know, I didn’t know as much about it as I did now, but like the first time was a flop and that’s okay. So you don’t want to be having like, if none of it’s working, you give it up at that point. So I would say take the biggest segment, what has the biggest potential what are people mentioned the most and zoom into that. But in other cases where you don’t have this clear thing, what I what I always say is like, you still gotta figure out what you’re communicating on your homepage, your product pages, you still gotta have one overarching messaging of who you are as a company. And just it might be different jobs to be done within there. But what is the most important one for the like, you know, the 20% that are staying the longest, you know, what are the customers that keep coming back that love you that positive always about you? In those cases? I say don’t start with the segment, start with like, you know, what are the trends you’re seeing and diving deep into that, and getting that right. And then from there, once you really optimize that, because you know, the funds only beginning once we’ve tested it, because we still need to implement it in our website. And it’s good to use the tests out that phase to get even more feedback on it. But once you’re onto something like you know, you can continue to optimize your ads, optimize all these different things and get all these wins out of it. So you know, milk that first get the most out of that and then move on to like, Okay, we’ve got the main line of what we want to communicate, but we notice a certain secondary job to be done to be done. So. Yeah, the long answer is really like it does depend. If you have specific segments, either because it’s really clear that there’s two or three use cases I could not Duck Brand, or, for example, your b2b customers and b2c customers, you’re going to have to segment them out on your website anyways, and set your website up in a way to make it easy for them to navigate. But if that’s not the case, then don’t be afraid to just you know, a lot of research was set to show you what it is because I’ve had it really often that it just isn’t what you expected it to do. So for barefoot shoes, which are like very thin soled shoes that you can use to like have more natural running, they were all talking about this feeling of the ground, how much better it feels to run, hike, walk like that. But if I looked at her, like the reviews, the reviews people were talking about, like, you know, most shoes hurt my feet. These don’t. A lot of the pains I had whilst running, walking, hiking are gone, because I’m I have better posture. And like, you know, this was nowhere on their website, because they just, you know, they had this vision of where they wanted to be as a brand and their positioning. But, like seeing this pillar, like if they’d been so focused on like, we want people who enjoy the natural feeding, they might have missed all these insights, because they would have just been looking for things that confirm the positioning they have right now and then those are not going to get the impact out of it because you wouldn’t make as big a change. Yeah,
Khalil Guliwala 24:53
yeah. No, especially I think, you know, as you can walk into this one, the question I had was, is that is that in a lot all startups, you know, it’s calling sales funnel marketing funnel, we think of acquisition, you’re taking someone who’s making a zero purchase to one purchase. And then after they’re still confused separately, that’s retention, how do you do to upgrade them across all them? So in terms of like the, in terms of like the message put together, do you see? Do you see the messages as being sort of consistent across from acquisition to retention to reactivation? Or has it been cases where maybe the messaging changes? Based on based on maybe what stage the, the, the the customers at?
Daphne Tideman 25:31
Yeah, that’s a really interesting one. And I’ve heard it before it was talks about like, does the job to be done actually change on the journey? And I think in some cases, it really can change, I think you still have if you are focusing, so I’ve mentioned jobs to be done a lot. And, you know, it’s nothing more than really focusing on like, what is that person trying to achieve? And where are they trying to get towards and, and achieve together with your product or service. And if you’re focusing on, like, helping them with a job to be done, the idea is that even though you might focus on different aspects, as they become more aware, and move further through the funnel, the overarching kind of messaging is the same. But there’s also cases where you know, their standards of what they want to achieve and where they want to go to could change as they get to know you. And as a result, you need to consider like, how is that actually changing? And how does that change an expectation or what their main focuses is now on what job they’re trying to achieve is changing and how the message needs to change around that. I’ve approached it very much from that acquisition standpoint, because that’s usually where it’s more painful, in the sense that this is what companies struggle with, because there’s so much competition, now there’s so much noise, it’s not enough to just, you know, say to like, customers, like, for the kind of products I’m working with, a lot of them are like, look, we’re vegan, we’re, you know, gluten free, and we’re all natural, and we’re made in the UK, like, this isn’t enough, it isn’t a differentiator enough. So like, that’s why I’ve always focused like on the acquisition side, because that’s where you then get to see these big wins. And then we can see how it goes from there, where there’s other opportunities. But there are definitely cases where as your customer is growing and evolving in their own journey, or moving through different stages that can change. So one client I’ve worked with, in the past who does organic, like baby food, like, some really fresh baby foods that you freeze in and that you can use, I could really imagine for them as those parents, kids, like, as their kids are getting older, that what those parents find important, and the job to be done around that is really different. Like, at one point, it’s about, like, hey, let’s, I need to really get my kid on solid food. And, and, and help them with that, and another face, it’s much more about like, okay, you know, that I want them to be able to try new things and be able to eat more very diet. And that might not necessarily be the job, but to be done in itself. Like, I don’t think at first, that was a perfect job to be done. But it’s, it’s more about, like, you know, what’s important, and what matters changes as their kid is getting older. And if you want to retain them over the different products you have, you probably are going to have to change that language
Khalil Guliwala 28:15
in terms of content, right, you know, people go with eco friendly, you know, maybe UK region that I mean, at certain point, everyone’s kind of saying that, yeah, but I think what you’re saying is that if you’re really deep if you really can dive into different segments, and maybe focus on acquisition, where you can kind of see those wins, is understand where does your content where does your messaging you know, stick to most with these people, and then kind of look into whether the job to be done changes across time when you start with acquisition and then kind of see if there’s changes in jobs to be done over time.
Daphne Tideman 28:47
Exactly. And like what is the you know, what is a pain killer for them so that’s something I also always talk about is like, you know, there might be things that you’re really good at that that are a vitamin for them if someone buys an eco friendly cleaning product because they feel like they should be eco friendly and they want to be more conscious of it. And then at a certain point, they’re like it isn’t actually working or cleaning and I’m getting frustrated because my stove is covered because I’ve made a huge mess of cooking which is me every time I cook and it’s not eating it and then you know I’m gonna I’m gonna potentially switch because no matter how much I value it I have a sudden pain and at that point it’s a vitamin like you know, it’s nice that I’m being eco funny, but I need to pull out the big guns because my pain at that point in time is the fact that my stuff is absolutely filthy in my band is coming home in a bit and I really want to get that clean before you get he sees it and gets annoyed that I’ve made a huge mess again like and I’ve been like we need to figure out what are the painkiller things that we do like for which customers are we a painkiller? Where is it that you know they valued as so much that even if you know that their income has dropped slightly or even if they’re like, you know, worried about whatever session coming up like that they should cut costs. And it’s such a solution for for the struggle that they have that it feels like a need and a must have. And when you really work that out and focus on those customers, it’s a lot more powerful. And like I said, I work with eco friendly brands, I try to always, always make eco friendly choices, as well as in my own life. But I’ve just seen it time and time again, that eco friendly is not enough to differentiate because like you say, more and more companies are doing it. And also, like I said, In my example, and luckily, the eco friendly cleaning group, so I used to work well. But if that was the case, then, you know, it’s not enough to solve what it actually needs to do. And I think that’s the thing we need to consider is like, these are just features and like features that we have, but what is it actually that I’m trying to achieve? And is that still the best product for me? And what level? Am I willing to, you know, settle for? To take these different considerations. If you
Rommil Santiago 31:01
know any conversion rate optimizers, or growth experts you’d like to see on our show, let us know at guests at experiment nation.com.
Khalil Guliwala 31:08
I mean, I would love to kind of follow based based based on your own path idea that you’ve had these wins, you ended up sort of, you know, dealing with growth and marketing. But imagine the fact that you know, the way companies that are set up, you know, they kind of say words, word choices goes to the marketing team. And you’re the growth team within research. Could you tell talk a bit more about your experience of kind of being on both sides? And the kind of in how would you sell internally to a company where there might be the sort of silos between the people who come up with the vocabulary, the messaging, and the people who have to then use that vocabulary messaging
Daphne Tideman 31:43
itself, by the way, really weird for me to go into this messaging, like kind of rabbit hole that I did, because messaging can quite often sit more on the brand side, like you say, and like, sit, sit on like a certain department and be very focused on just what are the words we use. But I’ve always believed to have growth and like this is also by the way, why I don’t really use the word growth hacking as much anymore, is that it’s not about like some hackers a magic trick. It’s about getting the foundations right. So getting the foundations right of what is the product we have for which market? How do we resonate with them. And you know, whether you call it language, microphone or message microphone, get that messaging right for it, make sure we have the right business model and the right channels for that mix to really be able to grow. And like, that’s always been my view on growth. And when I’ve seen also the biggest impact is when we focus on the foundations of it. So when when companies then end up equating growth to marketing, I get a bit like shuttering as well, just like it did with growth hacking. Because we’re there with growth hacking, we’re playing like, Oh, it’s just some quick hack. And with marketing, we’re applying that growth is, is purely marketing based. And if we look at like what marketing how we’re taught marketing, back at university, which I’ve never seen any company really use as much as like we say, oh, marketing is product, its price, its promotion. And it’s it’s sort of how we also, you know, reach customers like this fee for P model. But in reality, like most of marketing is focused on channels and also focus on brand awareness. So when growth kind of ends up in marketing, it ends up being focused on those aspects, rather than looking at like I said, as this holistic part of like, you know, how can we get all these different parts working together as best as possible? And so, when I was at heights, and I joined, I was very adamant that you know, I’m not a marketeer. If you want to head of marketing, please don’t hire me. I literally said that in my interview, and I was like, Wow, I’m being really Dutch right now and just being really direct and, but the founders agreed, and that was why they didn’t do too many people’s because everyone kept approaching it from marketing. And they really liked that holistic approach, that when the person who was meant to lead the marketing side, and specifically the brand awareness side of it didn’t work out. Some team members weren’t, were left without a lead. And I was like, oh, you know, they’re really smart. I want extra resources for my team. Sure, come and put, I’ll lead you. And as a result, there was no pain point anymore to hire someone else. So step by step, I kept getting more people on that team because we were growing and we had more needs for it. Like that messaging project was very much at the beginning of my journey there. And, you know, we were we had in that month, in combination with some other things that were working really well 30 35% growth or something. So we were growing very fast and needed, had a team sport that so we kept hiring different people for, for sort of marketing side, someone doing the social, someone reaching out to influencers and I realized like over time, I was like, I’m doing exactly what I said I shouldn’t be doing. I am leading the marketing team. And it was having really negative consequences too because I was all about growth process. We experiment with testings Uh, you know, we need to make things measurable, we need to prioritize things ruthlessly, and all these like brand awareness things around like social and you know, growing the email list and doing things like influencer marketing and like, when I measured them on on conversions and like the metrics that we were focusing on, I was like not working, not working, not working like, it doesn’t seem to be doing what it needs to be doing. And in the back of my mind, I was still always conscious, like, okay, maybe we can’t measure this as much, but it was kind of very contradictory, like, how can we, you know, follow our own process of what we need to do to hit our month of month growth targets, and at the same time, allow for so many things where we can’t measure it as clearly on the metrics that we’re focusing on. And the result was that we were converting better and better the audience we have, but it wasn’t growing as fast as it was before, because of the way we were working. And also, they were not having a good time, because I have very good relationships with the people who are in that team. And, you know, we work together really well. But the problem was that, that they weren’t having a good time, because that process didn’t allow them to create a freedom that I think brand needs. Because that’s the other thing is like growth is very data driven, like we’re very focused on like, you know, what does the data say? What are we seeing? How does that fit into the company strategy of what we should focus on. And the brand side is a much more creative process, and they need time to brainstorm and, you know, they need time to explore ideas. And if you try to always, you know, prioritize things based on also the ease of it, a lot of the big potential ideas get killed. So the result was that our growth actually started slowing down, because we just weren’t growing this audience anymore, because we were undervaluing a lot of what we were doing there. And I realized, like having a credit marketing growth was so dangerous. And yes, I am talking about the brand awareness side of it. And it isn’t as bad for the other parts where marketing growth overlap, because there is some overlap. But the risk is that brand is a key part of marketing. And if you put all of that together, it’s really, really dangerous. So the solution was actually that until we managed to find a Head of Brand Marketing, that we’d separated out that part of the team from the growth process, they still, we still had a representative at the growth meeting to align with them to make sure we were working together on the same overarching Northstar metric and the areas that needed to be improved to get there. But they had the freedom to prioritize how they wanted to brainstorm how they wanted to focus on brand related KPIs, instead of more like growth, KPIs around conversions, and retention, and referral. And that works so so much better. And it also meant that as a growth team, we weren’t too skewed with only almost having marketing people in there, relative to like, the product side and the upside, and everyone else in the team. And we had a better mix of like representations from the other parts of the organizations and could look more holistically of what led to growth. And I think that’s the ever risk I see is when growth gets put into marketing, it’s like we look at it with a marketing lens. Because if I’m an SEO specialist, I’m gonna see an SEO problem. You know, if I’m an ad specialist, I’m going to see that and first is actually seeing like, where are the biggest levers like one of heights, most powerful things is, is that customer care team who has like a qualified nutritionist on it, who helps customers and it has such an impact in converting people in understanding what they need and creating the right content, but you’d never think of that as a growth lever if you’re thinking of it as marketing. So that was a really long explanation. That’s, yeah, that’s what we saw happening and why I’ve become quite a strong believer in growth as a marketing.
Khalil Guliwala 38:35
Yeah, no, I definitely thank you so much for walking us through that. I think that’s where you know, given that you’ve been on both sides, you can talk about the the interconnection between brand and brand of marketing sometimes I believe in growth marketing. So I think that’s something that just helps people understand the different sides of things. And and so it definitely gives me for listeners who want to, you know, learn from you you know, of all you get used you even learn about your program. We can they keep up to date with what’s going on with you.
Daphne Tideman 39:03
Yeah, sure. So I have a weekly newsletter called growth waves, where I share always DTC growth for startups, actionable tips, and so definitely check that out and join join there. I’m also really active on LinkedIn, I post, usually at least two times a week, and share just, you know, very bite sized content, again, helping through different growth channel Jizz. And if you’re interested in the course, just go to my website, definitely teittleman.com And you can find that on there. So yeah, I’ve sharing a lot of content on different places or some medium articles to help people along in their growth journeys. And I’ve always just loved sharing thoughts and helping out different startups.
Khalil Guliwala 39:44
Thank you so much for being here today. Definitely.
Daphne Tideman 39:45
Thank you so much for having me everyday. Enjoyed it.
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