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LeanIX meetup: first principles of growth & why you can’t hack them

Posted by Simon Barth

10x Content Growth Hack by Simon Barth

Growth hacking is definitively a hot topic right now. You just need to count the blog posts that offer you the ultimate top 10 hacks to finally be successful. There is nothing wrong with growth hacking in its original sense, namely rapid iteration to find traction. However, there is a lot wrong with only hunting after quick fixes in B2B growth marketing. Sustainable growth in B2B businesses follows fundamental principles which you cannot cut short.

Simon Barth, VP Demand of LeanIX is responsible for growth at LeanIX. During the LeanIX growth meetup he shared a lot of insights regarding what he and his team have learned about these first principles of growth during their multi-year journey of more than doubling the company’s revenues year over year.

During the meetup, a lively discussion evolved around these five topics:

 

Create 10x content

Content is the fuel of any modern B2B growth engine. It is the starting point of any promotion, channel strategy and funnel optimization. If you don’t have to offer anything of real value to prospects, there is no need to reach out to them. At LeanIX, the Demand team has developed three guiding principles on how to evaluate content:

  • Is the topic searched for? (i.e. is there demand)
  • Could you charge for it? (i.e. is the value high enough)
  • Would our customers love it? (i.e. do we hit our target persona)

Content creation at LeanIX follows an elaborate process: ideation, research, concept, draft, design & publishing. Creating content is a challenging but rewarding task, which we drive mostly inhouse, as we believe that you can’t outsource 10x content.

We are actually currently looking for a Senior Research Analyst to take ownership for this topic at LeanIX. If you are interested, check out the Job Profile: Senior Research Analyst

 

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Image 1: Content principles

 

Find your bullseye channel

The bullseye framework helps find channels that work for your company. You test in a structured way what is possible, what is likely, and finally what is working (the most fun part).

If you found what is working, you double the efforts for this channel. While we constantly experiment with new channels, we have found the following ones to work for our growth:

  • Search engine marketing
  • Social and display ads
  • Search engine optimization
  • Social channels
  • Content marketing
  • Business development with partners
  • Specialized trade shows

LinkedIn growth marketing is an area where we have found particular success and believe that we are cutting edge in terms of our tactics around automation, targeting and scaling our content promotion. Check out the 42-page Slideshare by LeanIX expert Laura Mauersberger on this topic: B2B Leads on Linkedin 

 

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Image 2: The Bullseye framework

 

Automate your processes – in a smart way

LeanIX is a tech company. And we are a growth team that loves tech. We have built a sophisticated technology growth stack around our core platforms Hubspot and Salesforce. Currently we are experimenting a lot with chat bots, data enrichment, lead scoring and a smart customer journey.  All in all, we use close to 50 of the best tools on the market to generate leads for LeanIX.

 

Build an agile growth team

The LeanIX Demand team works, like the whole company, in two-week sprints. Our key focus is to finish stories in each sprint, which have to create value in terms of achieving our team’s mission: generating predictable sales pipeline for sustainable growth, while delighting prospects in the process. We believe that this is a key ingredient to achieve LeanIX’ overall mission, becoming the global #1 SaaS helping companies to modernize their IT architectures.

So, in case you are interested in being part of this, go on and have a look at all our open jobs in the Demand team!

 

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Image 3: An agile growth framework

 

Setup minimum viable analytics

We love KPIs in the demand team. They tell us what works and what doesn’t. They tell us at the end of a week if we did a good job and keep us focused on what is relevant for achieving our goals. We believe that in order to achieve this, focus is imperative.

This is why we make sure that everything that we measure is actually part of our three top-level KPIs; 

  • New Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL)
  • New Live Demos scheduled
  • New Sales Opportunities created

For example, we might set a KPI of the number of call-to-action (CTA) clicks on the blog. This KPI actually would be a part of the primary goal "New Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL)".

These primary KPIs are also reviewed on a daily basis in our standups. If we see that we are behind, we focus all our attention on these and if we are on track, we always make a note of what it is that is working.

So, all in all, what we want to say is that there is no hack without putting in the work... but you can go about it in a smart way.

By the way, let us know if you have any experience with these topics! We are in constant exchange with other companies, to learn and grow. We would love to have a chat with you also, so feel free to leave a comment down below and we will get back to you.