When it comes to growth marketing, “a big part of CRO is psychological” – TechCrunch
As the number of startups competing for investor and consumer attention continues to grow, growth marketing has become more critical than ever.
Based on feedback we received during our ongoing expert survey, Growthcurve, with offices in London and New York, offers plans that allow companies to scale up or down services based on their needs of the moment – like having a flexible, on-demand resource for growth marketing at your fingertips.
We heard about the company’s founder, Mulenga Agley, Hubpay’s Maja Van Paridon through our growth marketing survey.
“Mulenga and his team at Growthcurve are seasoned fintech experts,” Van Paridon said. “Mulenga previously developed Monese from scratch into one of Europe’s leading neobanks. Growthcurve is also Coinbase’s lead agency and leads its creative strategy and production for performance marketing globally, which is a huge distinction.
The growth curve seems to have had a big impact on Hubpay. “Growthcurve acted as our growth and marketing department. We raised our seed capital to bring them on board, and they just helped us close a $20 million Series A round! They were our only partner growth all this time,” Van Paridon said.
To learn more about how Growthcurve works, we spoke with Agley about how the company works with its clients, the advice it offers early-stage founders, and common mistakes in growth marketing.
Editor’s Note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
How do you assess the needs of new clients and what information do you need before you can share an estimate of the project schedule and budget?
Customers choose themselves from three packages according to their needs, and will then be contacted by our new sales team to help them choose the right package. At this stage, we like to understand how their marketing and growth teams (if any) are currently operating, their budget, proposition and business model, their target audience, growth ambitions, and any potential network effects or growth opportunities. unique distribution that we might be able to leverage.
As far as cost and time are concerned, our clients control this from month to month, depending on the team they put together and the set of services they select. In terms of timelines, there can be a number of different goals going on at once; there is very rarely a single “project” with a single deadline.
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The team that our clients make up works to build a growth engine in the company. It involves workflows that span acquisition, activation, retention, referral, and revenue. We set specific goals based on KPIs monthly and review progress against business goals quarterly.
Once a customer successfully passes qualification by our new sales team, they are assigned a Customer Partner to complete their onboarding and help them get the most out of their Growthcurve team and resources. Client partners are experts in a particular industry (e.g. fintech, SaaS, gaming) and advocate for the client.
What is a ballpark estimate for an average project and how often do you communicate with clients once work is underway?
When a business joins Growthcurve, they are able to scale the growth marketing services they need on demand and scale them up or down flexibly.
We have been iterating over and over again to reduce the “time to value” for our customers to an absolute minimum. Our goal was to make working with us feel more like rotating resources on Amazon Web Services or Heroku rather than the usual long and tedious process of commissioning a legacy advertising or marketing agency.
Since our clients typically use Growthcurve as their complete growth marketing service, or at least a significant part of it, they form cross-functional teams with specialists from all three of our plans. The cost depends on the team and the profile of the resources that our clients form.
We have smaller app clients who run all of their international marketing with us for less than $20,000 per month with a KPI of “ROF” (return on fee – basically how much money Growthcurve generates relative to our costs), or “ROAS” (return on advertising spend). We also have larger enterprise clients with up to 10x the team size and cost.
CRO isn’t always technical – brilliant copywriting and visual communication is one of the biggest drivers of conversion, but so many businesses fail at it.
If an early career client came to you today with a budget of $25,000, what would be your priority?
Let’s say it’s an early-stage SaaS subscription business. If there is time, investing in SEO and a highly defensible content moat to drive inbound traffic backed by continued growth experimentation and CRO would be ideal.
However, it’s definitely not an approach that works for all start-ups, either because the model isn’t extremely research-driven (for example, it’s a totally new concept) or because the client wants growth yesterday and simply cannot afford to invest in long-term growth strategies until they have secured a larger fundraiser.
In cases where time is tight, we will prioritize rapid iterative experimentation across paid channels to lock in the most optimal combination of audience, messaging, channel, placement, and creative. We would also invest heavily in robust attribution alongside this so we can be sure which campaigns are performing on a results level. It’s trickier in a post-iOS 14 world, but luckily we’ve developed several brilliant approaches.
Since we are a growth agency, we always support any paid activity with growth loops that multiply every paid result through referral mechanisms, gamification, social proof, and product-driven growth. This can involve custom landing pages, interactive funnels, software and API development, marketing automation, and more.
You offer conversion rate optimization services. What are the three most common mistakes marketing teams make when tackling this key metric?
Loading time. It seems so obvious, but everything should load instantly. We now live in an instant world, and users of any service will move on in seconds if your app, service, or site takes more than the blink of an eye to appear. So design for lazy loading, compress those shiny .mp4 video files, stream data gradually, serve from a CDN network, and replace images with pure CSS as much as possible.
Much of CRO is psychological. A smart person once said, “A confused mind doesn’t buy.” CRO isn’t always technical – brilliant copywriting and visual communication is one of the biggest drivers of conversion, but so many businesses fail at it.
Create a compelling value proposition in the limited space you have, with a second or two of customer attention, and you will see the results.
Failure to record and label the results of previous CRO experiments is another mistake. Accurately recording and tagging past experiences makes it easy for new team members to search past tests and quickly help them build on their existing knowledge.
Repeating tests that have already been done is a huge problem in the CRO industry and a huge waste of time and resources. We have developed our own solution to record and categorize the results of all the experiments we have conducted for a client so that the exact purpose, context, appearance and outcome can be understood.
What is your average time to deliver a campaign after signing a contract? What do you need to accomplish before you can share copies?
We launch a lot of startups. No two are the same. The fastest we’ve done for a startup launch campaign is a week, and that includes client onboarding.
Some campaigns that involve launching in multiple markets simultaneously take longer, but a key part of how we work is to “MVP everything” to get a minimum viable result live as fast as possible and iterate. It’s no different with campaigns.
Since your team focuses on many industries and offers multiple services, how do you decide which customers to support? Are there any marketing projects you won’t be working on?
We are increasingly interested in helping sustainability-focused businesses, as well as businesses that help solve the tough problems facing society, whether it’s with banking in Africa or carbon offsetting in New York.
We believe that private companies can help change the world for the better, and indeed have a responsibility to do so. Generally speaking, we are happiest onboarding disruptive companies aiming to revolutionize an industry and with global ambition that we can help scale through successive funding rounds to IPOs to unicorn status. and beyond.
The companies we plan to work with will need to have at least secured a solid funding round of over $2 million.