Hi, there budding growth marketer!
The first 90 days in any job is stressful, particularly one as multidisciplinary as growth marketing. You have to integrate into a company, absorb lots of information and find a way to add value – all with early Uber-like growth expectations.
I should know, I’ve been doing this for over six years, working with high growth companies and Google through my own growth agency We Scale Startups, around the UK, EU and USA to absolutely dominate for my clients.
To make life more structured, I have split this article into three sections, the first:
- 7 Days
- 30 Days
- 90 Days
In each section, I also include actionable steps that you can take to implement the recommendations.
First 7 Days
Aim – Learn more about how the startup works and the people you’ll be working with.
Now is mainly the time for auditing, absorbing and reviewing, not necessarily the time for creating things. Use this opportunity to learn more about the company culture in action and the expectations they have of you as an incoming growth marketer.
Although we often think about the tools, systems and processes we use when executing growth activities, we often miss important aspects; the people!
One of the most frequent complaints growth marketers have is the difficulty in getting stuff done, whether that’s getting approvals from higher-ups before getting campaigns live, budget allocation or resources from other departments. Most commonly, the main issue behind this isn’t actually a business problem but an internal politics problem.
As you begin to dive into the inevitable mess that is their Google Drive, it’s an ideal time to get to know the people you’ll be working with daily.
This is also the best time to discuss business goals, working style and expectations with your manager or managers. In fact, it should have been discussed during your interview.
Take the time to learn more about the following:
- What are their preferred ways of communication? For example, is it via slack, email, Whatsapp or something else?
- What are the ideal times for communicating with them?
- Do they have preferred ways to get stuff done, such as timeboxing tasks?
- What are the challenges that they face that may also affect you?
- How can you help them to help you?
- Where are the inefficiencies?
Go through the list of tools and applications at your disposal and ensure you have all the right accesses and account permissions. Learn more about how people use and have set up the tools.
Questions to ask yourself:
- Is anything missing?
- Is everything correctly configured?
- What is their setup?
- Where are the gaps in knowledge?
- What are the urgent and important tasks to complete?
First 30 Days
Aims – Execute change, implement quick fixes and identify key metrics.
Your success in a growth role is directly related to the depth with which you understand your customers. The better you understand the customer, the more accurately you can help them solve their problems, write content, target them, and personalise your communications.
If the company has conducted customer research, review that, and if not, it’s time for you to roll up your sleeves and get cracking!
Steps for reviewing customer data
- Go through all existing customer data making notes which you’ll use later.
- Be aware of the quality and accuracy of data. Speak to other team members about data collection methods.
- Review the customer personas. Update them or recreate them from the ground up if necessary.
- Whip up Google Data Studio dashboards with your main KPIs to provide accountability.
Managing Expectations With Founders
When working with founders that have limited experience, be careful when setting expectations. Unfortunately due to the rise in ‘growth hackers’, lots of founders expect unrealistic CPAs, quality of leads and timelines. Ensuring you communicate regularly and set realistic growth goals should be one of your top priorities!
Related: How to navigate being the first marketer in an early-stage startup
KPIs and Metrics
It’s vital to identify the core KPIs, business goals and OKRs before executing marketing campaigns. This should be one of the first conversations you have with the CEO or senior management team, and the first 30 days is the time to go deep and turn those numbers into actionable goals.
Turning KPIs into Action
- Understand the key business goals and objectives.
- Find out the primary KPIs and metrics for each department and the business as a whole. This bird’s eye view of what’s being measured will help you to understand what is important to the business.
- Now focus on the marketing KPIs – identify the areas you need to focus in the short, medium and long term. This also helps to clarify expectations.
By now, you have a fairly good understanding of the tools and software available to you. You should be able to identify issues in configuration, data processing, reporting or missing sections.
Steps for Fixing Tooling
- Write down all the tooling issues into a spreadsheet
- Add tags for the areas the issues affect the most. For example, dashboard reporting or SEO lead gen.
- Focus on the tasks that will have the most impact in the shortest time. In the beginning, you can do this from gut feeling, but later on, you’ll become much more accurate.
Here is a useful tool issues template that you can use.
First 90 Days
Aims – Execute change, Implement Quick Fixes and Identify Key Metrics.
Developing a Growth Culture
As discussed in the ‘First 7 Days’ section, as a growth marketer, it’s important to ensure you have a good relationship with those you’ll be working with. But as you continue your journey, it’s your responsibility to develop a culture of growth. This means working with everyone to instill in them the growth mindset, and explain how they contribute to the growth objectives.
If the culture of the company you’re going into isn’t as open and flexible, changing the culture will be a long term process.
Steps for Creating a Growth Culture
- Start by communicating what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. I find an update presentation either in person via Google Slides on Slack every week helps to ensure everyone feels involved. Encourage questions and identify what areas to focus on.
- Have casual conversations with people about their understanding of growth and how it ties into their responsibilities.
- Hold weekly meetings to discuss aims, objectives and responsibilities for that week.
Setting up automatic reporting is one of the most underrated small tasks that you can do within the first 90 days. This will help stakeholders automatically find or receive the information that’s important to them and can be done in multiple formats depending on what other people want. Setting up automatic reporting solves one of the biggest challenges of our work, which is communication!
Steps for Setting Up Data Reporting
- Identify the KPIs that are important to different stakeholders.
- Identify the stakeholders’ preferred methods of communication, for example, data dashboards, slack messages or auto emails.
- Create a draft version of the report and get their feedback.4. Revisit the automated reports every quarter and update it based on different metrics or information required.
Growth Marketing Experimentation Plan
Longer-term, you may wish to explore more complex growth models depending on your resources, growth goals and skill level, however, I have a beautiful framework based on the ICE technique that will help you get up and running ASAP!
Check that out here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1qifuUVKi6_PQUtcCyogpfedwqMfyS9us-4NcdfBA0W4/copy
Steps for Creating Your Own Growth Marketing Plan
- With your team, generate as many ideas as possible.
- Prioritise those with the ICE method (see spreadsheet)
- Create a detailed hypothesis for each idea
- Test those ideas
- Analysis of the data for how well it worked, what went well and how to improve
- Scale what works!
Looking for a more detailed setup? Book a growth mentor appointment with me and I’ll help you implement a growth marketing campaign for your company.
By now, you should have some campaigns live, and you should have taken some notes on where the inefficiencies in your role lie. Although it’s often difficult due to the sheer amount of work you have to do every day, spending some time to automate processes will help you save time.
Steps to Optimise Internal processes
- Take note of tasks that are repetitive throughout the first few months.
- Ensure you keep notes about how important those tasks are and how many times you have to repeat them.
- Identify ways to automate the most time-consuming and repetitive tasks, whether that is using tools such as Zapier, outsourcing to offshore VAs, hiring a dev or delegating it internally.