Silicon Valley Startups Stay Ahead of the Game Because of This. Know how to drive growth into your own organization. CXL Institute-Growth Marketing Track 1: Growth marketing foundations “Review”

Adda Villena
5 min readMay 15, 2021


Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

I am writing this blogpost series on Growth Marketing, as part of the mini degree program I am taking in CXL Institute. I hope that you as my reader would learn from this, as I unpack some valuable information and expert knowledge from the best industry practitioners in the digital marketing world.

I cannot stress enough how important for a professional in marketing or even for someone in another field of study to constantly beef up your career tool kit. Because during these interesting times and disruptive technologies, you must prepare for success to meet a lot of opportunities in the changing business and work landscapes.

Hopefully, you would learn a thing or two that you can use right away and bring about some change into your organization and personal life.

For the first installment, know about the fundamental ideas surrounding Growth Marketing and the growth philosophy used among the startups and their teams in Silicon Valley, where you can find the world’s global center of technological innovation. Learn about using experimentation and analytics to inform your programs and campaigns to make them better.

How it Differs from Traditional Marketing?

“Brand marketing traditionally is focused on top of the funnel, like awareness and acquisition. Growth marketing focuses on the entire funnel, so your job as a growth marketer is to drive growth across the business in any way that you can.”- John McBride, formerly growth & community @Lyft. Obama ’12 and Capitol Hill alumni.


The hallmark of growth marketing is its emphasis on doing experiments of the startups or companies to test their hypothesis or ideas. Startups follows the age-old scientific process, but the popular one is Lean Startup Method.


You build your product based on a hypothesis of what the customer wants, and test to confirm or invalidate it in the fastest and most efficient manner. Similarly, for marketer, you use the same approach, for example to your brand campaign. Instead of saying that you are sure what your customers want or don’t want, you begin by defining your hypothesis or intelligent guess about the things that your customers care most about. Then you experiment to see how your customers response to your messaging campaign. You then, learn something more about what your customers want that you can apply to your next campaigns.


The three main phases in building out your growth process are the following:

  1. Define your growth model. These are the inputs you have available to attain your high-level growth goals like increased awareness and high conversion rates. The most popular framework is the AARRR Metric Framework.
AARRR Metric Framework- Pirate Metrics for Startups

2. Map out your customer journey. Imagine the golden path for your customers — their ideal experience at every touch point that they get via email, push, or after their first purchase.

3. Identify your growth channels. Think of all the possible ways that your customers can find your brand.

So when you have your growth model, you design the best ways for your customers to experience your brand and then you identify all the vital channels where your customers can reach you.


The better you know, the easier it is to persuade them. — Paul Boag, user experience consultant that has worked with IBM and other huge companies. He teaches on the approach of marketing where customers take the centerstage.

Sample questions that you should ask to help you understand the customer journey are:
* What tasks are they wanting to complete?
* What is influencing them?
* What are their goals and their pain points?
* What are their objections?
* How are they feeling during this process?

Customer Journey Mapping Workshop

You must think first about the participants in your workshop. Involve others like your colleagues to think of the customers: people who directly work with users, for example, those in sales and those in IT who have insights or have done user research or have valuable user data. Also, invite the senior management to get their buy-in.

Steps in conducting the workshop

1. Define the scope of the workshop. Discuss with your group what different steps in the customer journey that will be covered. Look at the different approaches of everybody and find similar steps and agree on these.
2. Decide on what you want to know about the users as they go through the journey.
3. Vote on the questions on identified steps to reduce the scope of what you’re going to show on the final map to provide you a real indication of what it is your customers care about.
4. Take a picture of the post-it notes on the wall.
5. Then translate this into your final customer journey.

This visualization should guide your projects and influence how you implement those projects.

According to Boag. user-centric approach in marketing does not have to be costly because you must consider the information that is already available to you. For instance, you can obtain this from your peers, data sources and social media.

Using Surveys to Build Your Audience

1. Be clear with what you want to learn from your customer.
2. Timing is crucial. It is best to do the survey during the exit intent or after people complete a purchase.
3. One closed-ended question is enough. But if this is not possible, keep your survey short and focused. Start with the easiest question to ask.
4. Offer incentives to customers like free downloads or free one month use of your product. Mention the reward after they complete the survey, because the unexpected gift would encourage the customers to talk about it to their friends.

If you want to learn more about growth marketing, visit CXL Institute. CXL Institute offers mini degree programs: Conversion Optimization; Customer Acquisition; Data Analytics; Digital Psychology and Persuasion; Growth Marketing; Technical Content Marketing and Technical Marketing. CXL Institute offers digital marketing courses taught by the absolute best practitioners in the world today. Some of the companies that train their teams at CXL: Amazon, Google, Cisco, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and many more.