Rules of Growth Marketing: Activity vs. Outcomes

Jeremy Epstein Business

Introduction: For the past 5 years, I was the VP/Marketing at Sprinklr. When I began, the company had 30 people and was valued at $20 million. Today, there are 1400 people employed and the company is valued at over $1.8 billion.  The point of this (and subsequent posts) is to document some of the “rules of growth marketing” that we employed and learned along the way.

Rule #1: Don’t Confuse Activity With Outcomes

Activity feels good. Make a checklist, get the stuff done, check it off.

“How’s your business going?”

“Great, we sent an email blast to 10,000 people on our list and had a meet up with 50 people in attendance.”

“So, what happened?”

“What do you mean?”

“How many leads, downloads, sales calls happened as a result?”

That’s the difference between focusing on activity versus outcomes.

Too many young companies (and people) confuse them.

Your objective is not to send out emails or hold meet-ups.

Your objectives are of a business nature.

And it’s critical to be SUPER CLEAR with yourself and your team about what you are trying to accomplish.

Each and every activity that you engage in as a marketer should be designed to elevate the relationship between you and your customer.  It is a relationship based on trust and mutual respect, not you using them to achieve your goals.

Here’s an example.

We had an tele-marketing team (I called them “Individual Outreach”). Their job was to identify the right people at a target organization (we were going after Fortune 2000) and secure meetings. A lot of orgs call these people “Inside Sales.”

Most teams like this send a boatload of emails that are copy/paste saying “here’s what we do, can I have 15 minutes of your time?”

It’s “spray and pray.”

I know this to be the case because as VP/Marketing, I was on the receiving end of a ton of these.

While it does work (a bit) and generate some meetings, it doesn’t take into account the number of people who now think less highly of your company.  It also doesn’t really move the relationship between you and the prospect forward in any meaningful way.

Here’s what we did differently…

Our team would meticulously research people.

We looked at their Twitter profile, LinkedIn, blog posts, etc. until we had as deep an understanding of the person as we could get.

Then, each team member would write a highly customized, personalized email that clearly demonstrated the fact that he had done the research about the prospect (without being creepy–though admittedly, some people didn’t like it).

If you liked baseball, we would comment on it.

If you had just come back from a trip, we would ask about it.

If you recommended a book or an article, we might read it and explore the topic.

The point was: we have taken the time to get to know you as a person…and we are trying to engage on that personal level.

What happened?

We sent out a lot fewer emails per day than a typical organization, but our response rate was astronomical.

People saw that we actually gave a damn about them…as people. Not as number, but as real people.

They responded with comments such as:

  • “This is the best pitch email I have ever received.”
  • “Anyone who does this amount of work before contacting me is the kind of company I can respect.”
  • “What a refreshing change from the usual copy/paste!”

And this was a key driver in growing leads by 400% YoY.

The Lesson

This approach of highly personalized emails may not work for everyone and that’s fine, but the key thing we did was just asking  ourselves “what do we need to do?” [drive more initial meetings/leads]

Then we said, “ok, given the way the world works today, what can we do to increase the likelihood of achieving that outcome.”

But always stayed focus on the outcome.

Bonus Lesson

If you say “blast” when you talk about your customer base, you’re headed in the wrong direction. No one wants to get blasted. Treat your prospects the way you would want to be treated and good things will happen.