In less than a year, Airtame nine-folded its number of units sold via Amazon, and OrderYOYO increased its customer base with 7500 % in 12 months. At Nordic Growth Hackers #6, four remarkable speakers gave a bunch of actionable tips on how to grow a customer base.
Yet again, Founders House in Copenhagen was the venue of the sixth Nordic Growth Hackers-event on September 28, 2016. The night’s participants were introduced to a variety of growth hacks, and engaged eagerly in the two panel discussions. Besides knowledge sharing and growth hacking, the night included informal networking over cold beer and hot pizza.
According to the participants, the sixth Nordic Growth Hackers-event was even better than the fifth – and the fifth was said to be the best so far.
As usual, Morten Elk, CEO and Founder of SimpleSite, launched the night with a keynote speech, focused on what really drives growth. Morten asked the participants ‘what are the key things that determine your success in building a real scalable company?’ The participants were given 26 options and had to choose three – using their smartphones. The answers were all across the board, and only two out of the 26 options weren’t picked by any of the participants. However, the participants had a top four.
- Focus on customers (46 %).
- Execution (42 %).
- Strength of product (27 %).
- Founder resilience (24 %).
You can see all the options and results here (00:02:30).
‘The review economy’ – how positive reviews can increase sales
Steffen Hedebrandt, CMO at Airtame, was the first of the speakers to take the floor. Steffen introduced ‘the review economy’, and how Airtame went from selling 13.000 units in December 2015 to selling 90.000 via Amazon in August 2016.
‘The review economy’ spans the connection between positive reviews and increasing sales, based on a circular interaction process with the customer, consisting of four elements; marketing – unit sold – follow up – review.
To win in the review economy one must initially be able to separate happy customers from unhappy customers. ‘Net promoter score’ is a marketing tool well qualified for this purpose, based on customers’ answers to the following question; ‘How likely is it that you would recommend [brand] to a friend or colleague?’ The question is answered on a 1-10 scale. If the customer is ranked at 9 or 10, she should be invited to write an online reflection.
In the case of Airtame, Amazon has proven to be the platform, where the reflections have the greatest impact on sales. If the customer is ranked below 9, the reason(s) for the dissatisfaction should be detected and improved – and the customer is not invited to review the brand online, until the issue is resolved.
How to get the valuable online reviews
Airtame uses an automized email flow starting 30 days after the customer’s purchase. Additionally, ‘hyggemails’ are used to follow up on customers that Airtame haven’t been in contact with for some time. These emails have a personal tone and ask the customer whether everything is up and running and working as it should be – if it is, the customer is invited to write a review on Amazon.
The positive reviews’ direct impact on sales in ‘the review economy’ makes them a top priority at Airtame – good reviews generate increasing sales, increasing sales may lead to Airtame getting the ‘best seller stamp’ on Amazon, increasing sales even further.
For more insights from Steffen Hedebrandt click here.
Making a magic money machine
Imagine your business as a bathtub with a drain, but without a plug. Now imagine that your business’ customers are water, filling the bathtub – the more water in the bathtub, the more customers.
The size of the unplugged drain represents your churn rate – the bigger the drain is, the higher churn rate. With this image, Bo Møller, co-founder of EasyPractice, explained two ways to ensure growth in your business.
First, the unplugged drain should be minimized to heighten the customer lifetime value, accomplished by offering a world-class product, continuously developed. Second, great marketing can be used to increase the amount of water pouring into the bathtub – the number of customers.
This process is illustrated by ‘the magic money machine circle’.
‘The magic money machine circle’ by Bo Møller, Co-Founder at EasyPractice
Bo finished his presentation with some key actionables for execution:
- Validate your business through the phone.
- Experiment! – Don’t be afraid to open in new countries and then close again.
- Test new markets by using Google Translate to translate the landing page.
- Track progress, CLV and CAC.
Click here to view Bo Møller’s full presentation.
One size doesn’t fit them all
The third speaker to take the floor was experienced entrepreneur, investor and professor, Michael Moesgaard Andersen, who had three main points connected to creating growth; ‘trend is your friend’, ‘have the right timing’ and ‘keep reflecting on your business model to ensure alignment’.
‘Trend is your friend’ is a consideration from a macro-level perspective, meaning that founders should be aware of the overall tendencies in society, such as how we use our smartphones, and how one can imagine this would further develop in one year, two years or maybe five years.
In connection with ‘trend is your friend’, timing is crucial. If you have an idea, and the consumers aren’t ready to adopt it, then it will not succeed, and you may need to wait a couple of years before realizing the idea.
CBB Mobil and Configit
Two cases with one thing in common – their business models were aligned, creating extensive growth. CBB Mobil acquired 200.000 customers in less than a year, and Configit doubled their turnover in a year.
Apart from targeting two completely different markets – B2C and B2B – the business models varied in several important areas. For example, CBB Mobil was built on a disruptive culture with a young staff, a lean product line with no frills and average technology.
Configit’s business model on the other hand, was connected to a research-like culture with experienced staff, a diversified product and best in class technology.
To view Michael Moesgaard Andersen’s detailed presentation click here.
Where there is a will, there’s a hack
Seed Capital’s fastest growing company so far is OrderYOYO, founded by Thor Angelo.
At OrderYOYO hacking is deeply embedded in the culture, and the emphasis on continuous hacking has resulted in rapid growth the past 12 months, where OrderYOYO has gone from two to 70 employees, 20 to 1500 restaurants and 100s to 10.000s of orders. Thor introduced three hacks from the company – the hire hack, the startup hack and the growth hack.
‘The hire hack’
Whenever an employee at OrderYOYO needs an extra set of hands, an intern is hired based on the following recipe; a Facebook post about OrderYOYO needing interns is created and posted the same night.
Four interviews for the position are held the following day, each requiring 20 minutes. The interviews are booked by a first-served basis. Usually one out of the four applicants is employed and starts the following day. If the new intern does well, she gets promoted within weeks.
‘The startup hack’
Being a startup, the main focus is to keep going, acquiring customers and achieving product/market fit. This takes lots of effort, and in the beginning you should not focus on efficiency and optimization.
OrderYOYO quickly learned that acquiring the right people at the right time, and negotiating with the suppliers at the right time, can result in optimized deals. About a year ago, Thor negotiated a deal with an important supplier saving 20 % of the original fee. The deal was re-negotiated after some months by OrderYOYO’s new (and first) Head of Finance. This time OrderYOYO saved 75 % of the original fee.
The notable difference in the two deals may be explained by a combination of the negotiation skills of the Head of Finance and OrderYOYO’s strengthened position as a negotiator – at the re-negotiation, OrderYOYO had become a much bigger company and was on a continuous growth path.
‘The growth hack’
In the process from getting 100s to 10.000s orders a month, OrderYOYO hacked the onboarding activation. By this time, OrderYOYO is onboarding three different customer segments – existing non-portal customers, existing portal customers and new customers. The ways the three types of customers are acquired are continuously being hacked.
At this point Google Adwords, car stickers, postcards, flyers and print menu distribution are among the marketing tools used. However, new tools can be added anytime, and existing ones can be changed.
– We must hack, there is no other way – it is our culture, says Thor Angelo
Click here to learn more about Thor’s three hacks and OrderYOYO.
The panel discussion had been hacked
This time, the panels consisted of only two speakers at a time. A small change that appeared to have a positive impact on the inquisitiveness among the participants. Both panels where especially focused on digital marketing tools and the importance of the organizational culture in startups.
Yes, you can sell B2B on Facebook
Facebook is a great marketing tool, because of the great possibilities of segmenting and targeting specific customer segments. Steffen Hedebrandt estimated that about 20 % of marketing at Airtame is connected to the creative part, the remaining 80 % is segmentation – and Facebook is great at segmentation.
Additionally, Facebook is useful in creating awareness of your product. As Bo Møller puts it: ‘If the potential customers don’t know that the product exists, how can they search for it?’
All four speakers encouraged the audience to continuously experiment and differentiate ads, images and new approaches to marketing.
Be present everywhere, and when something works, double the effort. To stay top of mind among your followers on social media, it may be favorable to boost your posts.
The focus on continuous experimenting and hacking needs to be supported by the organizational culture. To create the ‘right’ organizational culture it is crucial that the ‘right’ people are hired – especially in the beginning, when the organization is limited to a few people.
Thor Angelo added that getting someone onboard, who has founded and managed a startup before, can be a key to success.
A huge applause for the extraordinary speakers! Thank you for an intriguing night with great actionable tips and inspirational talks. Hope to see you at NGH#7 on January 25, 2017!