How to Build a Growth Marketing Process: CXL Minidegree Week Two Review

Aaron Ejeme
6 min readApr 5, 2021

Learn how to build a growth marketing process, and define the growth model that will help you reach your business goals.

Last week, my Growth Marketing training program at the CXL Institute was focused on having a growth mindset as a growth marketer.

I also learned about how growth marketing was built on the principles of the lean startup methodology where, you have to define a hypothesis, run an experiment, collect results, and use the results to make better decisions.

This week, we learned about how to build a growth marketing process.

Just like I did last week, I am going to share with you my key takeaways from my training classes for this week.

This is what you are going to learn from my article this week:

  • What are the 3 phases of building a growth process?
  • What are the most important metrics to monitor in your overall growth model?
  • What is the best approach to mapping your customer journey?
  • How do you Identify growth opportunities on a quarterly basis?
  • Understanding the ICE framework for prioritization

The 3 Phases of building a Growth Marketing Process

There are 3 main phases of building out your growth marketing process:

Phase one: Also known as the high-level strategy, it covers:

  • defining your growth model,
  • mapping out your customer journey and
  • identifying all of your growth channels.

Phase two: This is also known as the quarterly planning phase, which is when you:

  • explore previously available data,
  • identify your quarterly goals and start
  • building the roadmap to achieve those goals.

Phase three: Also known as the in-quarter execution phase, which is where you

  • build experiments,
  • test them,
  • analyze the results and either automate if it works or completely scrap the experiment and try again.

What are the most important metrics to monitor in your overall growth model?

When starting out a growth team, your job is to build strong foundations for your growth strategy and model.

Ask yourself:

  • What does your growth model look like at the highest level?
  • What are the inputs available in order to achieve top-level growth goals in your company?

The most common framework for growth models is the Pirate Metrics by Dave McClure, which is the AARRR framework.

A — acquisition

A — activation

R — revenue

R — retention

R — referrals

This can vary slightly for different businesses, but it is the entire view of your funnel, giving you the ability to figure out the different ways you can affect growth by:

Acquisition — bringing in new customers

Activation — getting to take an action by,

Revenue — making their first purchase,

Retention — getting them to stay around longer,

Referral — getting them to tell their friend about your company.

All of these metrics represent opportunities to grow your business in different ways.

The startup metrics by Dave McClure

The right approach to mapping your Customer Journey

Before anything else, when it comes to walking through your customer journey, you need to ask yourself this question:

What does it look like from the perspective of the customer to go through the entire funnel?

Going through the exercise of mapping the customer journey from the perspective of the customer is very valuable.

It is much better to think carefully about the perspective of your customer because it is at that point that you start getting a sense of the channels at your disposal to increase the metrics in your growth model.

When looking at your growth model through the lens of how to increase the value you offer to your customers, puts you in a better position to come up with the right hypotheses to rest and the right experiments that can improve conversion.

Mapping your customer journey is not something that you do only once. It is a process that should be done repeatedly in our growth process, at least once every quarter because it is very easy to lose sight of how things actually look after running different experiments.

How to Identify growth opportunities on a quarterly basis.

After you have established the basic foundations for your growth team, defined your growth model, mapped the journey of your customers, and Identified the right channels, is when you can move into the quarterly planning process.

To Identify growth opportunities, you should do the following:

Explore data: Guesswork is not the best way to look for the right opportunities. You need to have enough data to understand something about what is working and what is not working for your customer.

Please note that you should not start a growth team until your business has reached Product-Market-Fit.

The reason is that at that point where you have reached PMF, you’re already trying to accelerate an already existing business and you should have enough data at this point to understand what works and what doesn’t for your customer.

Another way is to find more qualitative data, like talking to your users, conduct user surveys, focus groups, etc

Use the data to set your goals: The common goal-setting framework we work with is called the OKR

OKRs stands for objectives and key results.

Objectives are high-level qualitative goals like growing monthly users, increasing activation, etc, while the Key result is the quantifiable metric that determines whether or not we achieved our goal.

For example, an objective could be to grow monthly active users, and the key result is to achieve 500,000 monthly active users by the end of the quarter from your existing baseline of 400,000 active users.

Setting effective goals are very important because E]effective goals are motivating, ambitious and aggressive but at the same time, they must be achievable.

Understanding the ICE framework: Impact, Confidence, and Effort

When trying to prioritize which experiments to run, your job is to come up with a concept to figure out your predicted return on investment.

To do this, we work with the ICE framework, where you estimate the impact of the experiment, your confidence that you’ll see the result that you’re projecting, and the effort that will be required to implement the experiment.

Projected Impact: One way to do this is by setting up a rating or scale system to be able to roughly estimate the impact based on the size of the audience. Your projected impact will be a lot higher when a much bigger audience is affected.

Confidence: This is about how sure you are that you’re going to see the projected impact that you are expecting to see. Getting better at confidence is one of the most difficult parts, but the longer you work on the growth, and the more experiments you run, the better confidence you have.

Effort: This is how much time, energy, and resources go into shipping an experiment, getting it built in front of your customers.

The key takeaway here is that when implementing the ICE framework, make sure you go for the one that takes way less time to implement, will get you results faster, and you will reap the benefits of successful experiments longer.

My personal thoughts from this week's class.

I have realized that the best way for me to use this growth marketing training to my benefit is by applying each lesson to my own business.

Even though it was mentioned that you can only grow a growth team after the business has reached Product-Market-Fit, I believe that these lessons are a good way to structure your business and set yourself up for Product-Market-Fit.

As we learned last week, having a growth mindset is all about admitting that you don’t know everything about your customer, keep testing new ways to understand your customer better, and use those learnings to grow your business.

This new week, we are going to learn about User-Centric Marketing.

I promise to share my thoughts with you, as my journey into Growth Marketing is just beginning.

This article is the second in a series of 12 reviews of studying Growth marketing Minidegree at CXL Institute.