Who Should Attend a Growth Team Meeting
Let's talk about who should be at this meeting.
Okay? Let's talk about who should be at this meeting. Number one, the Lead. All right?
The Lead brings focus and prioritization. Growth teams are not democracies. Okay? They are benevolent dictatorships. All right? So, the Lead is there to lead this. Now, this Lead could be Head of Growth. VP of Growth. Maybe, your Lead is the Chief Marketing Officer. I don't know who's necessarily running your growth team. A lot of that has to do where it structurally winds up getting placed. Okay? I will tell you, your Growth Lead needs to be someone who is very comfortable with data. They need to be very, very comfortable with data, and they also need to be able to effectively manage projects. All right? Like, for me, I hate Microsoftic cell with every fiber of my being. I've never successfully produced an Excel document once in my life that worked. Especially if there are formulas involved. I am not a good Growth Lead. I am not a good Growth Lead.
You don't want me leading that Growth team. I want someone who's very comfortable with data, and someone who's very comfortable with project management. That's the Lead.
You do also need attending this meeting, a Project Manager. That's not a formal title. I know that there's a lot of product managers. What I mean is someone who know the product and can represent the team. So, if it's software, have it be a developer. It doesn't have to the person that heads up your engineering team or anything like that. It just needs to be someone who can speak authoritatively. Because what you'll find happen, and again this team it started out differently and then we started inviting other people and telling other people they didn't have to come anymore. What kept happening is somebody would have a really good idea for a tweak that we could make on the product side that would really help with, you know, activation or monetization, and among the Growth team, everybody's like, "That can't be that hard. "That code can't be that hard. "A code on that can't be that difficult. "We'll just see if they can do it." And because there's nobody there, they're like "Guys, you "don't know what you're asking. "Like, that's freaking impossible." Then, we would come up with all these great ideas that could be ultimately implemented and the meeting was a waste, right? The same is true, by the way, if you're producing physical product. "What if we package and bundle these two things together?" Well, the problem is that, that ships from this warehouse, that ships from this warehouse over here. We'd have to consolidate, bring them into a warehouse consolidating company, completely change our pick, pack and ship schedule. It's gonna throw off the unit pricing on these and it's not gonna work even if the test wins, our costs are gonna be so high, it's not gonna work. So, when I say product, I don't just mean Dev. Right? You need to have someone who really knows the product, even if you're producing information like what's going on here. There should be somebody who's used to working with talent. Say, like, "Okay, they're probably not going to be willing "to do that. I get that that's a great idea but "they won't do it and here's why." So, who knows the product inside and out? Someone on that product team who can speak on behalf of that product team, and you make it clear to that person, "You're here to represent the product team. So, "if you say we can do something from a spec perspective, "and everybody on the team says, 'No, we ain't doing that,' "that's kinda uncool, and you're gonna look foolish." Now this person is going to be a bit of jerk face. They're going to be the buzzkill in the meeting. They're going to be the one who they feel like it's their job to say "No, it can't be done." As the Growth Lead, that's what the Growth Lead needs to be able to press, and understand when they're pushing too hard and maybe they need to go to somebody else on the management side and try to make it work. Somebody from Content/Acquisition, it can be either or. Generally I prefer to have somebody on the Acquisition team if what we're talking about and the theme and focus is Acquisition. But generally somebody who is charged with the creation of the landing pages, and those kinds of things, or on the content side. It doesn't have to be both, but you need somebody represented there. And same with Sales/Monetization. There needs to be somebody who's on that Monetization team because they need to be able to speak to that as well. Yeah, we can sell that. We figured this out because we came up with a great way to dramatically increase the number of qualified leads that were coming to the sales floor. So, we did that. What we didn't know is that our top two sales people were on vacation the week we did that test. Oops. Drove a lot of sales that they didn't get followed up with. People they did get followed up with were some of our less experienced people. Ultimately, the test failed. Did the test fail because the Leads we were bringing in were lower quality? That's what the Sales people were saying. They're just not converting very well. Well, that's what the people there were saying. What folks in the Marketing team were wondering is, yeah but if we had followed up in a timely manner like we normally do and had our two best Sales people, would it have worked? Ultimately, we had to scrape all the data, and completely try again. It wind up working, but it was completely a waste of a week, and a whole bunch of waste of Leads. Had we had someone from that team to say, "you don't wanna run that test this week, you need to push "that off a little bit," we wouldn't have had to do it again. This is a biggie. You need a Customer Rep. This doesn't have to necessarily be somebody on your success team, although it typically is, and this is one where I would actually encourage you to have the Customer Success Manager, because they talk to everybody on the team. They hear what everybody's saying. But, it can also be a rotating position, and I think it's good in all these to have it rotate. Tap different voices present. But, you need to have somebody there who represents the customer. Because, often times people will say, "Oh what if we did this, and that would convert really well" if you can optimize yourself into a really dark place. As a Marketer and somebody who's been doing this for a very, very long time, I have been head down saying "Okay, what if we decided this little step? Oh yeah, "that worked. Okay, now what if we did this thing, and "what if we added this timer? Then what if we set this? "What if we do this? Oh my God. It's working. It's "increasing. The sales are up. The conversions are up. "Average order values are up. This is great." And then you pull back for a second and you go, "Crap. I'm a jerk. I'm a horrible person. Look at this thing "that I've created that, yeah it's working really well, "but the customer experience is terrible. People are "coming in to rain on this thing and we're basically "clubbing them over the head and stealing their wallet." You can optimize yourself into some extraordinarily dark places. Okay? I know because I've seen me do it. All right? I know because I've seen me do it. And you want this team focused on growth. You want the team focused on growth, but this is reason that I want Success as a part of this team. Remember, that they are a check on monetization. Remember the balance on blame? That's that check. So, there needs to be somebody there who's sitting in the seat of the customer. At Amazon board meetings, they do that. You've probably heard of this, right? In major Amazon meetings, in the board meetings, they have an empty seat that's there to represent the customer. You heard this, right? Because they want to be a customer centric company. That's nice. I guess an empty seat representing the customer is nice. I think what's better is having a voice. A literal voice there representing the customer. And you want it to be somebody from customer care, because they're gonna say, "this is gonna blow up our "tickets. Please don't do this to me. You're going to "make my life miserable." They're also going to remember times when you did stuff that you forgot about. You forgot that you did it. You tried it. It didn't work. You moved on. They had deal with all the fallout for days and sometimes, weeks of terrible decision. "Okay, so, don't do that. Please don't do that, okay?" So you have to have this person. I know I'm lingering on this point for a long time but it's really, really, really critical. And finally, you must have a Data Analyst. There's got to be somebody there who's crunching numbers. There has to be somebody there who's crunching numbers. You don't need a data scientist. I'm not saying you need to hire somebody from MIT. But you need to hire somebody who's comfortable with statistics. And that is the actual job description of the Data Analyst, Somebody who's comfortable with statistics, preferably someone who has a marketing - they've worked at some marketing place in the background. This is one of those essential roles that you need on a growth team. And if you ask your growth lead to do it, even if they're comfortable with it, they're going to be head down manipulating data all the time, and they're not gonna be able to lead the team. This person needs to be looking at the data. They need to be making data driven suggestions to the lead. But you need to lead up looking around because often times these data folks will chase an outlier. They can get very confident because math will lie. Statistics can lie. Right? So these people, God love 'em, will unintentionally lie. So you gotta have somebody separate from them, who can check it. You've seen this happen before? Yeah, this happens. It happens all the time in companies. You will chase something that's like "Ah! This is working really well." Now, again, in terms of the growth meeting, these are the people that really need to be there. So you're looking at six people total that need to be there. But in addition to that, other folks who have offered a growth idea can attend as well. They're generally there as observers. They can speak when it comes time - and it's not like "don't talk until talken to." Wow. Don't speak until you're spoken to. (laughs) But, generally, these are the folks that are running the meeting and are having a regular voice. Okay? Yes.
So, we're hiring Head of Growth, so a lot of these positions we're hoping will be in that one person, starting out. The data analyst, have you ever dealt with it being outsourced, and what was your experience around that?
You can have outsourced people like, crunching numbers and submitting reports. But, you really want this person, Ill tell you, our data analyst, we've always pretty much had in-house. Again, we're not talking about a data scientist. This started out as an intern. And I would recommend, before we hire an outsourced person, hire an intern. Hire a college kid who's comfortable with excel. You know, took a statistics class or two. (laughs) Who could piece some of these things together, but we used to not include this person in the meetings. They would submit a report that would be here, because we wanted to keep the meeting small.Not that, like, we didn't like them, like, "You can come to the meeting." It's like, just sitting there bored, we don't want to bother you. Because I do believe, generally the big problems with meetings is that there are too many people in it. We found that we kept having to go, "Hey, John, can you come in here for a second? What did "you mean by that? What was that-?" Data without interpretation is meaningless and very often they haven't had an opportunity to interpret. They don't have the context either, so it's good just to have them in there. It's sort of like a court reporter, right? "What did the "person say earlier? Can you read back the statement from "earlier?" That's really what this person is. So, I would absolutely make that investment. I would absolutely make that investment. I'm going to give you some resources in just a little bit where you can find salary ranges and things like that. If you hire an intern, you might be able to get somebody free. Although, I paid somebody, but a data anaylst, the type that we're talking about here. Somebody who really is comfortable with analytics, it's not a six figure kind of person. You can find them and they're really worth the investment. In terms of having a Head of Growth in the Lead capacity, so you would have that person, but all these other people should already be on your team. Right, so you wouldn't have your head of growth who's also your customer success manager. These really shouldn't be the same person. The only one you might be able to combine is this one and this one. We did that for a while. It didn't work.