Research is an essential part of the growth hacking and growth marketing process.
During this phase, we collect the important information about the startup or business before we get into growth hacking ideation.
I’ve used a framework called the 10K Questionnaire which consists of 10 key growth hacking questions you need to ask in order to move to the ideation phase.
Here are the 10 growth hacking questions
- What is your startup’s big goal for the next 6 months?
- If you were given 30 days to grow your startup, what would be the one metric you would focus on?
- What is the current strategy to achieve your desired goals?
- Who is your target customer?
- What would they / do they find most valuable in your offering?
- What are the current top 3 channels that you’re using to achieve your goal?
- Which social media / search channels does your target audience use the most?
- What other apps/services/platforms does the target audience subscribe to or use?
- Who are your closest competitors / direct competitors?
- Who are the influencers (individuals) in your space?
These questions give a good idea about the startup and business itself, as well as the target audience. Some of the questions even help come up with growth hacking ideas directly by understanding the competition and what they’re doing, as well as the other apps and products and influencers in the space.
If you’re a startup or business, I highly recommend brainstorming the 10K Questions together in a collaborative way.
In my growth hacking consulting sessions and live cohorts, we work together to put in all the information in sticky notes as shown above.
Tips to decide and track your startup OMTMs
- Make sure all your OMTMs feed into your North Star Metric
- Brainstorm specific goals: Gather as many ideas from your team as possible and use them to brainstorm a list of achievable goals that will make
- Set timeframes for each goal: Determine realistic deadlines for each goal so that you stay focused on taking action and completing tasks within the set timeframe.
- Prioritize Goals: Assess which goals should take priority over others in order to maximize potential impact; prioritize those with higher ROI or those requiring a quicker turnaround time for completion first.
- Track benchmarks & milestones: Monitor benchmarking metrics regularly in order to understand where you stand at any given moment in relation to other comparable organisations; recognise important milestones when they are achieved!
- Review & refine processes periodically: Iterate upon successful practices while revising ineffective ones; review operations frequently and look for new opportunities/ideas/solutions that could potentially benefit the organisation’s performance further ahead.
Tips to create your target user personas
- Research your current audience (If you have an existing audience): Analyze data collected from your existing customer base to understand their demographics, interests, and behaviors.
- Conduct interviews & surveys: Reach out to potential customers and ask them questions about their needs, interests, goals and preferences so that you can gain deeper insights into their motivations and desires when it comes to making purchases.
- Craft an avatar based on findings: Use what you have learned to create an avatar – a detailed profile of who you are trying to target with your product/service – including age range, gender, location, job title, education level etc.
- Construct user stories: Generate user stories based on the avatar’s actions or behaviors which will help make sense of the end-user’s perspective when interacting with your product/service; put yourself in their shoes!
- Define customer journey map: Visualize how users progress through different stages of awareness about your brand – this will give you a better idea as to what marketing messages resonate best with each type of visitor/customer.
Tips to research your competition for growth hacking
- Monitor competitors’ public channels (like social media) and their branding/messaging: Monitor competitor’s communications such as social media posts, emails, blogs etc., in order to gain better insight into their strategies – look for trends in how similar companies are talking about their offerings or what sort of content resonates most with customers.
- Compare pricing strategies & tactics: Analyze pricing methods employed by different companies in your industry – identify areas where they may be vulnerable that you can exploit through discounts, bundles or promotions of your own products/services.
- Identify & replicate successful campaigns: Examine campaigns conducted by your rivals and analyze which ones had the biggest impact so you can replicate them but add your own unique spin on it; look for ways to improve upon those campaigns in order to achieve maximum visibility!
- Track growth timelines: Keep tabs on competitor’s growth timeline – check when they released certain products/features while also identifying any pain points they encountered along the way; this can help you stay one step ahead of them when executing your own plans!
- Use these online tools: Take advantage of various tools such as SimilarWeb or SEO tools such as SEMRush or Ahrefs in order to gain an overview of a competitors’ website structure and traffic sources which will give you better insight into how efficient their marketing efforts are at driving conversions from particular channels/audiences.
- Research customer reviews: Read user reviews related to competitor’s products/services; use this feedback to determine which areas may need improvement for your own offerings so that customers find them more appealing compared to rival products/ services!
- Identify team strengths & weaknesses: Get an idea of who is part of the competition’s team by searching online for information related to their backgrounds and job roles – assess strengths & weaknesses within a company’s workforce that could potentially benefit or hurt their chances at achieving success down the line.
Finally, it’s important to break down the information to see what we can use for the growth ideation phase, and save the rest as reference for future.
All the information above will help you come up with better growth hacking ideas.