Starting a new Growth Marketing Journey: CXL Institute Growth Marketing Mini Degree — Week One Review

How I got an online scholarship to study growth marketing, and what I have learned from my first week at the CXL Institute.

Exactly one week ago, my Scholarship application got accepted, and I started a new journey as a Growth Marketer in Training at the CXL Institute.

This training program is going to last for 12 weeks, and during these 12 weeks, my training will cover 7 cumulative tracks:

  1. Growth Marketing Foundations
  2. Running Growth Experiments
  3. Data and Analytics
  4. Conversion
  5. Channel Specific Growth Skills
  6. Growth Program Management
  7. Management

After passing my final exam, I will get certified as a professional growth marketer, and I will join the ranks of the top 1% of Growth Marketers in the world trained at the CXL Institute.

Every week, I am expected to write an article sharing with you what I have learned for the week, how you can apply these learnings to grow your skill as a growth marketer and to help grow your business.

What is the CXL Institute?

According to their about page, “CXL is your shortcut to greatness.”

They offer paid training programs including recognized certifications, and all their courses are taught by top marketers and industry leaders around the world.

They Offer Courses and Minidegres.

Their courses are well structured to cover topics like Content marketing, A/B split testing, SEO, etc.

They are around 49 courses on their platform that give digital marketers the right information and tools to become part of the top 1% of digital marketers in the world.

Their Mini Degree programs are more streamlined to cover specific areas of online marketing, just like what I am doing for the next 12 weeks.

For now, their Mini Degree programs cover:

  • Conversion Optimization
  • Customer Acquisition
  • Digital Analytics
  • Digital Psychology and Persuasion, and
  • Growth Marketing

Week one Review — Growth Mindset: growth vs traditional marketing

This week’s training was handled by John McBride. He used to be the senior growth marketer at Lyft and is now the current senior manager, B2B growth at Calm — a Health and Wellness Company.

For this first week, there were 5key lessons I focused on, and it includes:

  1. What is the difference between traditional and growth marketing?
  2. How does the Lean startup methodology align with your growth marketing efforts?
  3. What is Growth Hacking really about?
  4. Where does growth fit into T-shaped marketing formation
  5. How to lay a strong foundation for your growth career

Traditional Marketing vs Growth Marketing

A traditional marketer in most cases is mainly focused on the top of the sales funnel, which is basically awareness and acquisition.

A traditional marketer is also used to a one-strategy-fits-all approach.

But a growth marketer is focused on all the stages of the entire funnel and has a mindset to always experiment with different strategies.

It is the job of a growth marketer to drive growth across the entire business in every single way that is possible.

To a growth marketer, growth is a process that is mainly driven by experimentation, and this is the major difference between traditional marketing and growth marketing.

Growth is a process that is mainly driven by experimentation.

How the Lean Startup Methodology aligns with Growth Marketing

The Lean Startup methodology as we all know was built on the principle of using experiments (Minimum Viable products) to understand what your customer wants and build a better product.

The principle of the lean startup methodology is broken down into 3 simple steps:

Step one (Define) — Define a hypothesis of what the customer wants, and find the fastest and most efficient way to test that hypothesis

Step two (Test with MVP) — Test the hypothesis by running experiments, we do this by building minimum viable products

Step three (Validated Learning) — Use the learnings from the experiment to build a better product.

Growth marketing was built around the principle of the lean startup methodology.

According to the lean startup principle, whether the results from your experiment turn out right or wrong, doesn't really matter as the most important thing is that you are gathering data and learning exactly what your customers want.

Growth Marketing was built around the same principles as the lean startup methodology.

As a growth marketer, you must understand that you need to:

  • Define your goals
  • Define a hypothesis to reach that goal, for example, our customers care about X, so we are going to run an experiment to see if it is actually something that cares about
  • Run a series of experiments, for example, an experiment can be a messaging campaign, an explainer video, to see if they really do care about X as we assumed in our hypothesis.
  • Use the learnings from your experiment to build a better campaign.

If your hypothesis is proved right, you can double down on your efforts, and if your hypothesis is wrong, you can still use that information to build a better campaign and run other experiments.

What is Growth Hacking really about?

To understand the principle behind Hacking as a concept, we need to study what happens during Hackathons.

During weekend-long Hackathons, your focus isn’t on the most perfect elegant solution, instead, you hack something together to see if it works.

Hacking is also the principle behind the lean startup methodology, it’s all about hacking together minimum viable solutions to test in the market.

Growth Hacking has become a buzzword in the tech industry and some companies feel like growth hacking is a silver bullet that will magically give them that one “growth hack” to help them reach their goal.

I used to think that way too, but thankfully, I know better now.

As I mentioned earlier, growth is a process.

There is no one magical hack, instead, there is a series of hacks that make up a process that involves constantly experimenting and learning so that you can get to your goal faster.

What types of campaigns are well suited for experimentation?

The Experimentation process for a growth marketer is around choosing a goal, defining a series of experiments that you can use to achieve that goal, and gather learnings along the way.

Coming up with a hypothesis is very necessary to run a growth marketing experiment.

They are 3 layers of depth that you can go with an experiment:

  • Does the experiment have an effect on the goal?
  • What is the right message, offer, or campaign?
  • How to tailor the right message to the right customer.

Examples of campaigns well suited for experimentations include:

  • Email Marketing Campaigns
  • Facebook ad campaigns
  • Push Notifications
  • SEO campaigns etc

As a growth marketer, you need to run experiments regularly, and even if you fail, your learnings are very valuable.

Where growth fits into T-shaped marketing formation

To become a successful growth marketer, there are many skills you need to have, but these skill sets can be broken down into 3 components.

  1. Channel Level Expertise: how well you know your marketing channels like email marketing, Facebook ads, push notification, etc
  2. Analytics Capability: you need to be able to use tools like Excel and SQL to extract data to gather insights and to analyze your own experiments because data is the lifeblood of growth. You need to be able to get your hands on data, interpret it, and use it to make better decisions
  3. Strategic Thinking: This is the key component of becoming a leader in growth. You need to be skilled in strategic thinking and project management.

It also covers coming up with good ideas, figuring out how to pick the right experiments and how to prioritize the roadmap.

Growth is a mindset, and the best growth marketers are people that apply that same thinking to themselves in their own lives.

Growth in the context of business is all about trying new things, constantly improving, and constantly getting better.

Remember that as a growth marketer, you need to be skilled in channel-level expertise, analytic capability, and strategic thinking.

This means you need to always be hungry for knowledge and you must invest your time in learning new skills.

How to lay a strong foundation for your growth career

Growth is a mindset, and the best growth marketers are people that apply that same thinking to themselves in their own lives.

Growth in the context of business is all about trying new things, constantly improving, and constantly getting better.

Remember that as a growth marketer, you need to be skilled in channel-level expertise, analytic capability, and strategic thinking.

This means you need to always be hungry for knowledge and you must invest your time in learning new skills.

In Conclusion, why am I doing this?

Personally, I am a strong believer that no business can grow with a strong marketing team.

But instead of working with just any marketer, I have realized that I must have a growth mindset, and apply its principle to every area of my life.

This means being humble enough to admit that — yes, I really don’t know anything about what my customer really wants and so, I must set goals, define a hypothesis, run a series of experiments, to really understand what your customer actually wants.

My class for this coming week is around: “How to Build a Growth Process”

Kindly look forward to my article next week Sunday where I share with you my learnings for the week.

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

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Currently Leading Growth at Engage.so | Email Campaign Creator | Alumni @Mestafrica

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Aaron Otene Ejeme

Currently Leading Growth at Engage.so | Email Campaign Creator | Alumni @Mestafrica