After years of hype, the reality of marketing-led growth is finally sinking in.
And this time, I’m sure it’s more than my wishful thinking.
In the past 6 months, virtually every RFP I’ve read from enterprise-level B2B marketers has been about two things:
- Driving demand and revenue through marketing, and
- Understanding customer needs and jobs better.
I’ll start with the first ask.
And walk you through the four questions I ask my clients when building their growth ops.
After going through this list you’ll know how to set yourself up for success in building your own Growth Ops.
1. What is your growth gap?
Marketing operations in most enterprise-level B2B organisations is campaign-driven.
You’re more likely to find marketing managers wrestling with managing massive campaigns, keeping internal stakeholders happy, juggling between agencies, and reviewing assets for localisation.
This hardly leaves any time in the day to think about what really matters: The growth gap.
In my experience, the most useful way to shake up the status quo is to ask your stakeholders to articulate the growth gap — it’s the difference between where you need to be compared to where you are today.
You need to know how big is the current gap and where will it be coming from, before getting started.
2. How do you know if you’re solving the right problems?
It’s surprising how many times we take accountability for granted.
Accountability starts with evaluating whether you’re working on projects that have the potential to close the growth gap or not.
You will always run into risk aversions when deciding to commit resources to unexplored options.
The best way to avoid it is by starting backwards aka Discovery-driven planning.
It’s super simple.
Identify what the successful end state would be and then work backwards to figure out what needs to happen for you to get there.
For instance, if your goal is to increase monthly revenue by € 10 000, and your current closing rate is 10%, that means that you will need to maintain a pipeline worth € 100 000.
Now working backwards you need to have a plan that delivers a pipeline worth € 100k, including key activities to help you maintain your conversion rate.
3. How will you keep yourself accountable?
Building accountability through action is far more powerful than lengthy strategy presentations.
Accountability guides your actions and what you decide to keep in and out of scope.
And accountability is a team sport.
I strongly recommend using a shared Scoreboard.
I first learnt about keeping a compelling Scoreboard from the 4 Disciplines of Execution.
Over the years it’s become a trusted best friend.
Your scorecard must be simple, and accessible to your team.
Plus it must contain 1 – 2 Lead Metrics or Marketing Goals and 2 – 3 Lead Metrics or KPIs to track your progress towards your goal.
It might sound trivial to create a scoreboard specifically for building your growth ops. (Most marketers argue that having a Datastudio dashboard is enough. Believe me, it isn’t.)
In my experience, a shared scoreboard has two big benefits:
- It democratises decision-making because everyone owns the outcome.
- It also encourages risk-taking and creative problem-solving.
You’ll be astonished how often growth marketing projects get started only to run into challenges with a lack of ownership.
A shared scoreboard minimises that risk.
4. How will you get started?
Here’s a bit of painfully earned wisdom.
If you’re just getting started focus on setting ambitious goals but DO NOT start with a huge team or a major budget.
That’s a recipe for disaster.
Instead, pick a small project where success can be demonstrated, and use it to train people on how to singularly focus on driving growth through marketing.
Encourage people to learn how to test and optimise.
Set learning milestones and celebrate your speed of experimentation, creative problem solving, and lessons learnt along the journey.
Regardless of your past experience bring rhythm and cadence to your growth operations from the start.
Pay extra attention to how you practice and deliver on these key outcomes:
- Ideation to generate potential ideas.
- Commitment to find product/idea/market fit and to test for customer enthusiasm.
- Scale successful initiatives.
In my experience, every growth op needs senior sponsorship and coaching.
So, be mindful to make time for onboarding your team and providing them necessary support and training.