Growth Experiments: A quick and easy way to implement a growth process into your marketing function.

We’re big fans of growth experiments and in this blog I’ll give you a glimpse of the quick and easy process and the benefits it can have for your marketing team.

This blog is for you if you’re…

…under constant pressure to drive growth across the customer journey?
…looking for new habits for your team that will inspire growth?
…having problems with one area of the customer journey?
…in need of new ways of developing ideas from across the team?

So, if this is you, then grab a brew and read on.

What are growth experiments?

We were first introduced to the concept of growth experiments from the brilliant team at AJ&Smart. They had cleverly blended the principles of growth hacking from Sean Ellis with the sprint methodology of Jake Knapp. (Both books are well worth a read – see below for references).

Growth experiments guide

Having worked with these methodologies for a year, we’ve refined them to develop our own solution that works on three levels:

1) interrogates how you acquire, activate and retain customers 

2) identifies the issues that are holding back your business from growing 

3) develops the solutions to enable growth 


It’s a simple 4 step process:

Growth Experiment Process

In the interest of brevity we’re just going to pick out the growth experiment part of the process.

Growth experiments have a simple structure

Having worked out as a team whether the problem you want to solve is an acquisition, activation or retention one, you then get down to solving this problem by creating ideas for experiments. 

The experiment is written up with a specific structure and importantly has to being implementable in a 4-6 week period. This is so it can genuinely be measured as something that is leading to growth. 

Experiment Name: Give the experiment a name which is short punchy and memorable. 

Experiment Hypothesis: Describe how your experiment is going to work and what problem you’re solving.

Actions steps: Summarise the key steps required.

Success criteria: Should be written as %uplift. Eg 200%uplift in conversions

Give yourselves 10-20mins to individually create experiment ideas.

Alone together 

One of the techniques we’ve really embraced is alone together. You need to pull together a team to run growth experiments (cross functional or within a marketing team), but most of the time, activities during a growth experiment are done individually;  brainstorming, sketching, even voting for ideas . 

The concept of working alone together is that you are all in the same place (BTW we have done them remotely and that works too) but working individually in silence.

The objective of a growth experiment is to get the best solution in the shortest amount of time; something which just isn’t possible without this technique. This is because debates rage, the loudest voice overtakes and distractions are everywhere. Voting and working individually in silence – alone together – although bizarre at first, overcomes this.

Creating new growth habits and rhythms 

Clearly you can use this technique to fix an array of problems at any time. But we have found that getting into a monthly rhythm of growth experimenting works well. This enables you to track your experiments, measure success before moving on to the next one.  We’ve done them as 1 day growth sprints or as 2 hour mini sprints so they don’t have to take over large swathes of valuable time.

For businesses that don’t operate with a growth culture at their heart this can be an easy way of starting to introduce the language and mindset of growth. 

Do it yourself or get the experts in?

The brilliant thing about this approach is that once you’ve been taught the process, you’re off. (Assuming you’re a great facilitator and have a mountain of post it notes and voting stickers of course). 

That’s why we use this approach to grow or our own business. It’s also why we teach clients how to do it or can we run workshops for them – it’s a really flexible solution. And it reaps rewards too.

By Sue Benson

Managing Director

Happy reading or listening…

Jake Knapp -Sprint

Sean Eliss – Growth Hacking –