One Tech Recipe for the Tech Leaders Out There

One Tech Recipe for the Tech Leaders Out There

Problem: So, we all know that big corporates are vulnerable to a bug known as: getting stuck in time and hard to change, this is just a generally accepted reality, so let’s try to debug this.

“Proof of concept” (a fun Hacking term) Fix: So because I come from the tech world, it’s fun for me if I will approach this dilemma using a fun computer hacking method, and let’s call it “Social engineering & Code injection” for now, just to make it fun sounding… and dual value is, you might learn how all the tech dots connect.

“Social engineering” (A fun hacking term):

  1. Observe and Define in your mind who has something to gain from a great new product that can disrupt and change the world.

  2. Observe and Define in your mind who thrives in selling and presenting.

  3. “Exploit” (A fun hacking term) those two elements to galvanise some excitement, by pointing out what kind of epically giant value tech can bring to their customers and therefore their business, which generates passion. Give examples such as Uber, Games like World of Tanks revenue which is bigger than numerous non tech giants combined, Self driving car tech, Electric cars will make going to a mechanic unnecessary, upcoming VR retail, Amazon’s food market moves will make physical food shopping reduce drastically etc.

  4. Because of 1 & 2, you are likely to have easily succeeded in 3. So now the next bunch of challenges come in. Keep reading.

  5. You are unlikely to have the above elements come with skill sets together with any tech delivery skills, so you will need to inject enough tech skills in to those elements just to make them barely useful in tech. This may be tricky but point 3 is helping you here, everyone is excited and wants to change the world. Passion == achieved, so you have good chances.

  6. Draw on the board some typical tech business roles and what they typically do day to day and why and then reference them via some reputable sources. Then try to get the elements 1 & 2 to play those roles (Product owner, Scrum master etc) in a rudimentary fashion. That’s all you need, providing you’re a tech leader, otherwise you’ll need to hire a tech leader who will take the venture by hand step by step.

  7. Now in the point 7 of the recipe you have to know tech or have a tech leader taking the lead. You(tech leader) will need to teach your given elements how to do a product owner job step by step and what a UX expert does, by letting them make mistakes and correcting them via tech logic possible/easy/hard/notpossible method, and turn their usually unhelpful power point and excel sheet presentations in to something that tech finds useful such as industry standard user stories and acceptance criteria, which is routed by a UX/UI expert & tech leader stakeholders.

  8. By this time you will have massive value visually observable by all involved so your strategic credibility is likely to be in good shape, so exploit that and now Teach the elements the point of Agile stakeholder method by demonstrating it in action. This might be tricky because Agile is known to bite elements with incompetency because it expects elements to actually focus on something useful to the delivery of the dream product as opposed to 1 element hiding behind massive amount of different tasks and making themselves appear invaluable while being totally and fully useless to the delivery of the product.

“Code injection” (a fun Hacking term):

  1. At the start gather the username/password for all of third party solutions which will likely be involved because other providers have spent years perfecting their solution which you can make use of. This may be tricky as all big corporates are filled with red tape, so we might need to hack this alone in the interest of delivery and then document them during the delivery, then hand them over at the end. For example: Twilio, Stripe, Paypal etc.

  2. As a tech leader, you need to influence the DB design before the delivery starts in such a way that it will enforce scalability and user stories you have come up with, once you do this, the developers will on the order of magnitude be more clear as to what the user stories are trying to achieve. For example: Table called “all_copy” or/and table called “all_emails” or/and table called “all_settings” <- Getting a pattern?

  3. Typing the code in is cheap (around $28 per hr) but what is hard is tech architecture, so ensure you have a tech architect to bounce theories around with even if you are gods gift to tech architecture, validation is everything. Also involve developers equally.

  4. At all times keep overseeing every super critical element, you have no choice now but to be the glue for everything, such as UX, Product & Tech architect etc., and ensure all decisions and debates are transparent and every developer is seeing them, because you cannot trust managers, they have no use in tech, and they are a single point of failure anyways due to single human memory factor which cannot be expected to be perfect. People don’t need to be managed in tech, management is an obsolete role, agile pin points incompetency instantly because agile roles are well documented.

  5. Set up collaborative task tools and get everyone transparently using agile tools and open communication methods where as much as possible everyone sees all comms, that way nobody can hide in the system.

So there you have it folks, a computer hack usually involves Social Engineering and some code to work, we successfully applied it to the physical world… Thanks for reading!

Achieving Consensus

Achieving Consensus

People in teams, from senior leadership down to tech and product teams, often believe that they are aligned around a particular direction and certainly usually aspire to be aligned.  But actually achieving real consensus is hard.  Here are some tips for getting there.

  • Get people in a room talking – don’t try to achieve consensus via email or networking tools

  • Commence the process by framing the topic and focus the discussion to ensure the group does not get side-tracked.

  • Get everyone to explain what they believe the strategy or direction to be, and get specific.  It’s easy for a group to sound aligned while the discussion is at a high-level but explaining what is actually meant can unearth differing interpretations

  • Identify underlying concerns and make sure everyone has the opportunity to speak

  • Distil the points on which the group agrees and isolate the outstanding concerns for further discussion and agreement – choose a direction

  • Play back to people what they have said and seek clarification that this is actually what was meant

  • Write points down in the session on a whiteboard and get the group to agree that this is what was meant – this often leads to further discussion and clarification

  • Send round a communication after the session confirming what was agreed, and if possible do a face-to-face communication to explain it to the wider organisation

  • Use the set of agreements in follow-up meetings and keep reinforcing what was agreed

If you need help in formulating a direction and getting consensus, please contact gro.team.

gro.team Cookie and Privacy Policy

gro.team Cookie and Privacy Policy

 

This privacy policy sets out how gro.team uses and protects any information that you give gro.team when you use this website.

 

gro.team is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected. Should we ask you to provide certain information by which you can be identified when using this website, then you can be assured that it will only be used in accordance with this privacy statement.

 

gro.team may change this policy from time to time by updating this page. You should check this page from time to time to ensure that you are happy with any changes. This policy is effective from June 2015.

 

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B2B Growth Hacking 3 of 4 – Finding Your Target Market

B2B Growth Hacking 3 of 4 – Finding Your Target Market

 

Getting Going

OK so you have a B2B product/service you want to growth hack and you have read the first and second posts in this series about B2B Growth Hacking and are ready to get going…fyi the fourth post in the series is here

 

Dipping Our Toe in The Water

We are going to need three things to get going;

1. To have an optimised destination for our growth hacking traffic.

2. A blog.

3. An initial idea of who our target market might be…

Once we have those three things we can start to test and learn on how to communicate with our target market most effectively.


Top Tip – start small. We want to be as targeted as possible as we start to test and learn so we need to break our problem down into manageable chunks.

For example…when Workteam started rather than starting with “SaaS software to increase employee engagement” (which it is) it picked one element of its’ offering, which was managing employee time off, and started with that. It was a much more manageable problem.

Top Tip – a blog is very, very important. It will be a great place to publish interesting/useful content 2-3 times a week and you can easily add a plugin to capture and add email addresses to your email list.

For example…when gro.team started we used SumoMe to automatically capture and add email addresses to MailChimp on our blog . The Pro version of SumoMe (which is needed to integrate to MailChimp) isn’t cheap at $29/month and they will bill you a year in advance.

B2B Growth Hacking – Setting Up A Landing Page and Goal

We need a landing page on our web site optimised for the search engine phrases we have chosen to point our traffic at that has the tags for Google Analytics and ideally Hotjar installed so we can see what happens when they get there (see the second post in this series).

We also need to define a goal in one or both of those tools so we can measure success.

We will eventually need a page per phrase but one page across all the initial phrases will be good enough to get going.

Once we have these things in place we can start to post some content and start testing…

 

B2B Growth Hacking – Finding Your Target Market

If you don’t have have existing content then you will need to create a post that says something interesting/relevant/useful/funny around the “need” your product/service is designed to fill.

 

Top Tip – video is very effective content and using sites like GoAnimate they are much easier to create than you might think. Make the soundtrack first and re-record until you’ve nailed it in one take. Then put the animation to the words. It will take about a day per minute to create great videos like this one from Workteam.

 

Remember to have a call to action (“CTA”) on your content and link to your optimised landing page. Once you have your content post it from your company page on Facebook and LinkedIn.


Top Tip –  publish your content as an article post on LinkedIn rather than sharing it as an update. It will appear in your connections’s notification feed and you will be able to access enhanced analytics about its’ reach.

Definition – Reach is usually defined as the total number of different people exposed, at least once, to a something (usually a piece of content) during a given campaign time period.

If you are starting from scratch you may need to spend £50-£100 on Facebook boosting your content to get enough reach. If so don’t target the audience – yet. Let’s start off with an unbiased sample.

Now we have content out there that should be relevant to our target market we can start to use the analytics capabilities in Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Analytics to learn about the reach and effectiveness of our content, and who and how people are responding to it.

 

Ready to growth hack? Need a hand? How much does interim B2B growth hacking cost?

Not that much actually. It depends on what the singular target is but to double/treble traffic, sign ups, customers or whatever we would need to do a three-five day deep dive with you followed by a campaign execution phase of one-ten days a month until the target is reached. That normally takes 2-6 months depending on the start and end points.

We won’t take an engagement unless there is an #highROI up for grabs and you will end up “hugely up on the deal”. We really think that the more people we help become more successful the more successful we become…

If any of this is of any any interest why not give us a shout on hello@gro.team or +44 (0) 800 246 5735 for a friendly informal chat about your biz dev needs?

At the time of writing gro.team is #1,#2,#3 and #4 on Google UK for “interim growth hacker” and we have lots of happy clients we can tell you about…

Please also see the first second and fourth posts in this series…

How to track Google search engine keyword ranking for free

How to track Google search engine keyword ranking for free

A lot of sites will track your search engine keyword ranking for you but they can be very expensive (the best known one charging $150/month) but the good news is that you can do it for free by taking advantage of what is now called the Google Search Console.

Google Search Engine Consolesearch console

Google has been changing its’ web master tool set offering frequently lately and it has been hard to keep up. Firstly it brought all the tools together under the “Web Master Tools” banner but has now renamed that to what it is now calling Search Engine Console.

Adding Your Site

The first thing you need to do (if you haven’t already done so) is to add your web site to Search Engine Console here. (You will also need a Google account to do this).

Search Engine Console Home

It’s a fairly painless process to add your site (now) and once it’s done you will see it listed at the Search Engine Console Home.

Google recommends creating a “Property Set” for your web site and adding the main variations of its’ URL as web sites but you can do that later if you want to.

For instance we have a Property Set called gro.team with these web site permutations listed within it – http://gro.team, http://www.gro.team, https://gro.team, https://www.gro.team You only need to add the https:// versions if you are using SSL (and you should be) of course.

Click on the name of your web site/property set and it will take you to the status page.

You should investigate any errors/warnings you see if there are any but if not we can happily click on the Search Analytics Bar and voila here is what we’re looking for…

Search Engine Console Search Analytics

You should now see something like the above with the keywords your site is currently indexed on Google for listed as a column on the left hand side and and Clicks (by default) listed on the right hand side. There is a huge amount of useful SEO information here so let’s have a look…

Clicks – what traffic actually arrived at your site from Google.

Impressions – How many times your site was displayed in the results for that phrase. This shows you the volume for that phrase (i.e. how popular it is) so if these numbers are large it may be worth targeting these phrases for more attention. Conversely if these numbers are very low it may be worth focusing on more popular phrases.

CTR – Click Through Rate. The ratio of display to click. Google uses this as a signal into its ranking algorithm (we think).

Position – What we’re here for. If you click in the box you’ll see your average ranking for that phrase over the time period stated under “Dates”. You may want to focus on one particular country by setting a country in the Countries drop down. Helpfully it is listed from highest (1.0) to lowest. I’m sure you’ll get some surprises in the list – apparently we’re ranking for “give us a job” ha ha.

It’s definitely worth having a look at the “Other resources” page from the Search Console Home Page…there are a lot of useful things there.

If any of this is of any any interest why not give us a shout on hello@gro.team or +44 (0) 800 246 5735 for a friendly informal chat about your biz dev needs?

At the time of writing gro.team is #1,#2,#3 and #4 on Google UK for “interim growth hacker” and we have lots of happy (and more successful) clients we can tell you about…

B2B Growth Hacking 2 of 4 – Getting Started

B2B Growth Hacking 2 of 4 – Getting Started

Getting Ready

OK so you have a B2B product/service you need to growth hack so let’s do the first things first…there are some things we need to know and some things we need to do…

If you need a quick intro to growth hacking have a look here …please also see the first third and fourth post in this series.

 

B2B Growth Hacking Task List

[su_list icon=”icon: square-o”]

Fact Find

  • What is your primary geography – The UK? USA? Needless to say this affects the growth hacking approach needed. Google is very dominant in the UK with an 86.94% market share according to statista.com but is much less dominant in the US with a market share of 63.6%.

  • What is your target company size – 1-10 employees? More than 1,000? Smaller companies tend to have low barriers to purchase but can be very price sensitive whereas big companies will have the resources but can be very difficult and bureaucratic to transact with given their approval cycles…

  • What is the target “subject area” if there is one? Google Analytics talks about in market segments like Travel/Hotels & Accommodations, Software/Business & Productivity Software, Employment/Career Consulting Services…

  • What is the target customer role? CEO? Head of? Manager of people? Don’t make the mistake of assuming that your B2B service will only be purchased top down. A lot of products/services can be adopted by teams/individuals bottom up.

  • What is the target customer persona? Is there a demographic that your typical customers fit given the nature of your product/service?

Site Pages

  • HTML5 responsive web site – we need landing pages and a funnel. Can be existing or new.

  • LinkedIn individual/company page – an effective LinkedIn presence is very important in a B2B context.

  • Facebook company page – depends a bit on target customer persona but Facebook can be an important weapon in our armoury.

  • Twitter page/account – should probably be part of the toolkit but results can be underwhelming.

  • Instagram/Pinterest account – nice to have and generally underused in B2B growth hacking.

Analytics

  • Has a Google account been created?

  • Has the Google Analytics JavaScript code been added to each page on the web site?

  • Has the gro.team Growth Hacker been added to the account?

  • Has a goal been created? An alternative is to set up a funnel in Hotjar (see later).

  • What is the daily/weekly/monthly session and conversion baseline?

Visitor behaviour (usage heatmaps, session recording, conversion funnels)

  • Has a tool like Hotjar been implemented? Implementation can be as easy as adding a JavaScript script tag to each page (in the same way Google Analytics is implemented).

Email

  • Has an email list management list tool such as MailChimp been implemented?

Search Engine Optimisation

Ten’ish target keyword phrases to generate search engine traffic need to be selected.

  • Using the Google Keyword Planner or similar tool the optimum search phrases need to be selected.

  • 2 – 4 word phrases will probably be optimum. Single words will be too generic and competitive.

  • Ideal phrases take the form <actions><product/service key benefit> For example gro.team is working with Workteam which is SaaS software that helps companies and managers improve employee engagement. A good keyword target phrase for Workteam might be “increase employee engagement”.

  • Optimum keywords are the ones that deliver maximum traffic at minimum competition levels. The Google tool will tell you the average search volume and AdWords Cost Per Click bids which is a good proxy for how competitive the phrases are.

  • One of our other posts here shows you how to track your keyword positions for free (the best known web site charges $150/month).

Content

A draft content creation and publishing plan needs to be created.

  • What kind of content will be created and what “voice” will it use?

  • Who/how will the “foundation” content be created?

  • Who/how will the “front of mind” content be created?

[/su_list]

Ready to go?

Ready to growth hack? Need a hand? How much does interim B2B growth hacking cost?

Not that much actually. It depends on what the singular target is but to double/treble traffic, sign ups, customers or whatever we would need to do a three-five day deep dive with you followed by a campaign execution phase of one-ten days a month until the target is reached. That normally takes 2-6 months depending on the start and end points.

We won’t take an engagement unless there is an #highROI up for grabs and you will end up “hugely up on the deal”. We really think that the more people we help become more successful the more successful we become…

If any of this is of any any interest why not give us a shout on hello@gro.team or +44 (0) 800 246 5735 for a friendly informal chat about your biz dev needs?

At the time of writing gro.team is #1,#2,#3 and #4 on Google UK for “interim growth hacker” and we have lots of happy clients we can tell you about…

Please also see the first third and fourth post in this series.