Pierre Lechelle– Pierre is a B2B SaaS marketing consultant based out of Paris. He helps SaaS companies generate more revenue through growth marketing. So far he has helped 60+ companies achieve higher goals.
Avlesh Singh- Avlesh is a co-founder and CEO of WebEngage
Instead of adding the transcript like most people do I have instead added the summary of the conversation. I have intently listened to it and have dared to use my words where I thought the meaning would get clearer without getting altered.
A- First thing first, what is Growth Marketing?
P- Growth Marketing is basically identifying what is broken in your business and then launching small tests, from the product standpoint, to see what improves the results.
You basically experiment with various things and identify what is moving the needle by looking at the data.
Data is one of the most important pillars of Growth Marketing. Because, it’s the data which is going to inform your decision- tell you whether or not your experiment is working.
A- We hear this term a lot- ‘Growth Hacker’. People from marketing, product, and tech are inclining towards the role of Growth Hacker in the organization. How does one define a growth hacker?
P- Growth hacking can be seen as a myth. Most people look at big companies doing tons of stuff and see their growth rocket. And then they are like “I want that growth as well”. But that’s not the sustainable way of working on growth.
To work on growth, Pierre has stressed on the need to have a formalized process in this blog of his. He mentions in the blog, the essence of which he iterates on the podcast too, that “most people will start experimenting tomorrow and never start an experiment again.” Not the great way of working on growth.
Growth marketing is about finding the customer-centric ways to deliver value. When you hear growth hacking, for most people it is actually about scrapping mailing lists and doing similar stuff but that’s not growth marketing.
A- How are product and marketing roles blending when it comes to growth?
P- Product and marketing are definitely blending. In this age, more and more products are being built in such a way that it is doing the marketing for itself. For instance, some SaaS products have such good onboarding, UX, attention to use-cases etc that the client gets onboarded himself and signs the contract without speaking to the Sales team.
So we can say that they are definitely blending.
There is a huge overlap between them as most the experiments that you are going to run are going to be product driven. For instance, if you want to introduce a new feature or a minor change in the UI you are going to need product’s consent and help.
A- What’s your advice for companies that want to start a growth team from scratch?
P- The main issue while launching a growth team is that their task overlaps with that of other teams.
Pierre gives an insight into this problem under the header ‘political misunderstanding’ in this blog of his where he talks about growth process failures.
For instance, if the company hired 2 or 3 people to work on growth then they are most likely going to be working on the product. This is going to create a tension with the product team.
The best way to do this is to start small and include people from every team. How can you achieve that? I find what Dapulse did very interesting.
Dapulse is a project management tool that organized a company-wide sort of growth hackathon. First, they identified the growth problems that they are struggling with. Thereafter, they created multiple teams each comprising people from every department (design, dev, product etc). These teams were then asked to find the solution to those growth problems in the span of 3-4 days.
Growth and culture
As Pierre share nuggets on the above point, Avlesh touched upon the importance of ‘metrics’. He tells that this is where the Growth Mindset starts. Pierre takes it further and stresses on the dependency of growth on culture.
P- When you are running a small team which is doing less than $10 million in revenue then everyone should be concerned about growth. It shouldn’t be just CEO’s or CMO’s or VP Growth’s responsibility. It should be embedded in the culture and must be everyone’s responsibility.
The other day I was speaking to a VP of Growth who was running experiments. However, the product team was always slowing him down. That’s because the code he was shipping wasn’t up to the product’s standard. So the product team was unhappy and wasn’t taking the code live.
However, it’s not entirely product team’s fault here because the VP didn’t educate the product team about his goals. They didn’t know that the code he is shipping is only for an experiment and not for long-term production.
A- Are there any significant differences between B2B and B2C in terms of growth function?
The tactics and strategies that you are going to use in B2B and B2C are going to be vastly different but what matters is the commonality- which is that you have a process in place, you are able to iterate tests and constantly help your business.
If you are a good growth marketer then you should be able to adapt yourself to every type of business- be it a traditional hairdresser or a strong hardcore SaaS product.
A- The reason I asked that question is that in B2C there are multiple touchpoints. There is mobile, website, social as opposed to B2B where there is just desktop. Yes, there are other touchpoints as well, like Success and Support but the complexity changes at a whole different level between these two domains. Does that also reflect in the Growth function?
P- If you have an issue in your business, say, the conversion is better on desktop than on mobile then you would do “hey! We need to improve conversion rate on mobile”. But it’s not because you are a B2C business that you are going to improve mobile but because it’s a pressing issue.
I was recently working with a B2B business whose clients were most reachable on facebook messenger. They don’t spend their time on email as much as they do on Facebook. Should we have aligned with the B2B rule which means stick to email, slack channel etc? No. We reached them via the most fitting channel.
A- A piece of advice from Pierre to all the founders out there listening to this podcast on how can they grow and grow faster
I think it’s all about focus- at all steps of the business. Focusing on what matters. For instance, we all know that following the Pareto principle, 80% of your activities would bring 20% of the growth or revenue. What most entrepreneurs do wrong is that they spread out and spread too thin on some many subjects, thereby spending time on things that don’t matter.