Growth Marketing and Lean Innovation for the Internet Era

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Growth Marketing & Innovation Accounting

Growth Marketing, also known as Growth Hacking, means an end-to-end data-driven growth orientation towards marketing. Innovation Accounting is a way to measure progress in early-stage products. We help you focus your attention on the key metrics that matter in each of your product's life cycle phases, and in turn focus your user acquisition and R&D resources accordingly.

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Lean Innovation & Evidence-Driven Product Development

Product teams around the world are realizing that decisions about customer-facing products are best made as close to the customer as possible. To facilitate this decentralization of decision-making without losing visibility or accountability, we help you engineer Evidence-Driven Development frameworks where validated learning is shared with not only the team, but the whole company.

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Customer Development & Lean User Experience

Customer Development is a methodology centered around understanding customer problems by actually "getting out of the building" and spending time with customers. The need for Customer Development stems from the notion that founders / business executives need to see and hear their customers in their native environments to truly understand their context and their actual problems. We can help facilitate this process in a way that makes sense for a business owner.



Growth Marketing & Innovation Accounting

We help you focus your attention on the key metrics that matter in each of your product's life cycle phases, and in turn focus your user acquisition and R&D resources accordingly.

Growth Marketing, also known as Growth Hacking, means an end-to-end data-driven growth orientation towards marketing. Innovation Accounting is a way to measure progress in early-stage products.

We help you focus your attention on the key metrics that matter in each of your product's life cycle phases, and in turn focus your user acquisition and R&D resources accordingly.

Growth Marketing Case Example: Web application company refocuses marketing and R&D efforts

A web application company had reached a situation where it has a nice amount of monthly recurring revenue from multiple revenue streams, but had reached a fairly steady organic growth and was now looking for concrete growth activities that could also be justified as investments and not just burning through cash.

How we helped: measurable growth actions

We stepped in to help with setting up a panel of core metrics in order to understand the customer level acquisition and engagement funnel, as well as estimate the customer lifetime value (LTV / CLV). This underlined the most profitable customer segments and together we prepared a roadmap for concrete and measurable growth activities.

Next steps?

If you are interested in rerouting for a growth path with your business, please get in touch with the information below.

Lean Innovation & Evidence-Driven Product Development

Experience quick wins with the results of a new innovation paradigm centered around the customer

As a widely acknowledged fact, too many companies suffer from a communication gap between sales and research & development. As a result, many innovation programs have been created to combat this problem.

We help you experiment – and experience quick wins – in practice with an innovation paradigm that revolves around the customer rather than internal innovation boards that are typical for a modern large corporation’s innovation funnel.

Aren't innovation funnels working just fine already?

Problem with traditional innovation funnels is that they assume managers know very early on what good ideas look like. This assumption is proven wrong constantly by incredibly successful startups – Airbnb being a recent and notable example – that were turned down by seasoned professional venture capitalists, whose one and only job is to know early on what good ideas look like.

Often these innovation funnel approaches yield little results, as they do not address the core problem: R&D needs to be in constant discussion with the actual users of their products.

Another related problem is that innovations arrive at the marketplace too late. This in turn is a result of the heavy processes that have been established to enable innovation. These kind of processes have not been designed to work well with the radical and swift changes we are now experiencing in market demand, which is the only thing that in the end can decide if an innovation will produce sustained profits in the long haul.

Evidence-Driven Development Case Example: Mobile applications company goes lean with their product management process

A mobile applications company was used to a process where a product owner would prioritize the product development backlog with her best intuition to balance between the needs of various stakeholders in sales, marketing, and so on.

The process was working as such, but the problem was a highly experienced team was disconnected from this decision-making and thus could not contribute in the best possible way, not to mention the communication gap that occurred due to the assumptions not being necessarily discussed as openly as possible.

Our approach: bring in the team into the decision-making process

In an unorthodox approach – from the perspective of the traditional hierarchical management paradigm – our suggestion was to first agree on key metrics that are used to prioritize initiatives, and then involve the whole team into the decision-making process so that they can both suggest ideas but also understand the prioritization process and observe at close range the outcomes of their work.

This also required changes in the availability of high quality financial data and other relevant customer metrics to the team, which started to also widen the team's perspective on the overall business and raised the engagement of the whole team.

Next steps?

If you are willing to experiment in stepping down from the ivory tower of innovation management / product management in order to involve your team to work together in accepting and end-to-end responsibility for the results of the team, please get in touch with the information below.

Customer Development & Lean User Experience

Customer development turns hypotheses about customer need into facts by identifying high-growth business models through constant contact with customers.

Customer Development is a powerful process that has in its core the insight that if the product's developers don't spend time with their customers in trying to understand their needs in their actual context, there is a big risk wishful thinking or complex conceptual models about different customer segments replace actual customer understanding.

The underlying thoughts of Customer Development are very close to the Design Thinking school, and their major differences are in view points: Customer Development was coined by Steve Blank in the context of business-to-business technology startup marketing, whereas Design Thinking comes from design and is thus interested less in sales and marketing. Still, many of their core principles are very similar.

Customer Development Case Example: Innovation Event Changes Developers' Understanding of Their Customer

A team of developers was working on a mobile application that they felt would be very interesting to their customers based on slightly similar apps on the market. Their advisors were also very excited about the use case and were very supportive of the team and pushed them to execute.

Our approach: have the team "get ouf of the building" to validate their hypotheses

Although the process was initially very painful for the team – anyone who has picked up the phone to make cold calls can most likely relate – we encouraged the team to "get ouf of the building" and go talk to people on the street who they felt was most likely in their target audience.

The first lesson learned for the team was that to their surprise not many people seemed to even express interest in the general market they were aiming for, and they had considerable difficulty finding people in their target market. This made them realize that "everyone" is definitely their target audience, and they had to start thinking how they actually should define their early adopter and where to find her.

When finally finding the right kind of people, they realized that the benefits they had envisioned for using the product they were building, were mainly benefits for themselves, the developer, and not of much value to the average person in their target segment. That made the team take a few steps back and reconsider the viability of their initial plan. In turn, this saved them and their advisors a nasty surprise down the road. Fortunately they did not execute on their flawed assumptions and thus saved lots of development time in the process.

Next steps?

If you are willing to engage in radical honesty and actually listening to the customer, in order to find opportunities for true customer satisfaction and thus high growth, please get in touch with the information below.

Who We Are

A Network of Experienced Lean Practitioners

The philosophy of Efekta's value creation for its customers is to assemble capable teams case-by-case from the company's extensive network of professionals in the domain of lean innovation in Finland and abroad.

Our approach with the project organization: work with the best, case-by-case

In the spirit of lean philosophy, i.e. focusing on delivering the full variety of customer expectations through one-piece flow and eliminating all possible obstacles to it, we've decided to keep our organization lean and assemble teams based on the exact needs of our customers.

This is only possible through our extensive network in both lean practitioners and experts in other product development disciplines such as user experience (UX) design, software development, and so on.

Working with us: the aim is to get results in a matter of days

We typically get started by having a casual chat however it is the easiest – at your premises, on the phone, on Skype/Hangouts, or however you prefer. The point is to get a basic understanding of the context and challenges you are facing so we can start rallying the right kind of people around the table.

When we have reached a common understanding of the scope of the challenge, we will propose next steps based on that understanding. Typically we want to get started as soon as possible, and get some results in a matter of days, if at all possible.

We are strong believers in the 'give something first' mentality, which we hope will encourage potential customers on the fence to take action for our mutual benefit.

Management

Timo Herttua has been the founder and president of Efekta since its founding in 2005.

He has been working in diverse industries – from open source media intelligence, B2B software-as-a-service (SaaS), sales outsourcing and consulting, mobile gaming cloud services, to Internet media and digital entertainment – and with diverse types of companies from SMB's, startups, consulting, to multinational corporations and government-owned organizations.

Timo's personal experiences as an entrepreneur, and recently also an intrapreneur, combined with a commitment for sharing learnings for the benefit of the wider community are the driving forces for him to keep expanding his understanding on ways to ease the work of product development professionals in the Internet era.

For contact details see below.

Questions? Comments?

Thank you for your interest in Efekta! Why not drop us a line with the contact info below, and let us know what you think?