Solid Water Marketing Agency Blog

Fast Track to Growth

In this edition of Solid Growth newsletter, we are sharing our five proven steps to becoming growth marketers.
Daria Partas, Strategic Communications Advisor and co-founder of Solid Water:
Dr. Carol Dweck, a leading American psychologist, coined the term “growth mindset” a few decades ago. This is how she defines a growth mindset: In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work — brains and talent are just the starting point. One of the defining characteristics of a growth mindset is being prepared to take appropriate risks knowing that some risks won’t work out.
As a growth marketing agency, here is how we apply Dr. Dweck’s research to our client work:
We see creativity not as a talent but as a skill that can be developed by hours of work and data insights. Of course we are all biassed human beings and we tend to create the aesthetics which appeals to our personal taste, however, as much as possible we root our creative work in data insights (which we collect along the way). As one of our clients said when asked whether he liked the website we developed for his business: “It doesn’t matter what I like as long as it brings me business”. To the point!
We see failed marketing experiments as tolerable risks. We always embark on projects armed with the best educated guess (and plenty of hypotheses) and prepared to fail and learn. A failed experiment equals data which brings us closer to finding the next big growth lever for our client’s business.
Our mantra is that being a good person is not a profession. Our team are all nice and talented people and regardless of how much we like them, we evaluate performance against bottomline results for the client. You are only as good as your input towards a north star metric of the project.

Maria Tsarkova, Growth Marketer and co-founder of Solid Water:
I moulded myself into a growth marketer after a couple years in digital marketing, which led me to being hired as a growth lead at a UK fintech startup Loop which eventually made a multi-million exit. Here are my key learnings from that experience which I swear by and keep instilling in Solid Water as part of our culture.

👩💻 Understand what growth marketing really is

So we are all on the same page, here is our definition:
Growth marketing is a strategic approach that leverages data-driven insights and continuous experimentation to drive business growth and foster customer loyalty. Unlike the traditional approach to marketing, which focuses on promoting products, growth marketing emphasises iterative cycles of analysis, optimization, and innovation. This approach allows businesses to allocate resources effectively to achieve goals like growing the user base, increasing revenue, or enhancing brand recognition.

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📚Eric Ries, The Lean Start-up
📚Matt Lerner, Growth Levers
For a growth marketer it is not necessary to be the best performance manager, influencer relations specialist and content creator. We make sure our team members have a working knowledge of all major marketing channels and what it takes to build and scale them, but even more so we focus on how one can track their performance and quickly adjust the course of action. This is where data literacy comes in…

👩💻 Invest in Data Literacy

This is non-negotiable for a growth trajectory. At Solid Water Marketing Agency we implement a data-driven approach to strategy development and optimization.
How to achieve that? Any decision we make on product or marketing needs to be backed by fact-based evidence (research or customer data). This allows for easier traceability and faster growth.
Naturally, to have a data-driven mindset, everyone on the team needs to be comfortable with basic data sourcing and analysis. My basic pack is: Excel, Google Analytics, Looker Studio, plus working knowledge on how to read and analyse ad accounts data these are the non-negotiable skills for any growth marketer. All the other fancy software comes on top, but these tools can get most start-ups through to Series A and can last for years in some more traditional businesses.
Data training should be part of a company onboarding, period. Where to go for the best training courses? We have a favourite and that is CXL!
After learning how to read and analyse data, one can start adopting the experimentation framework.

👩💻 Embrace a Culture of Experimentation and Learn to Fail Effectively

It is not always easy to embed an experimentation framework into daily operations. Here are some ideas on how this can work:
☑️ For marketing and product teams in a start-up, it can be working in ‘growth sprints’, which means having a testing cycle allocated to each backlog hypothesis derived either from research or customer feedback. That’s the approach we actively embrace at Solid Water.
☑️ In bigger organisations, there could be dedicated ‘growth’ teams that help various departments run their experiments, while the departments themselves are occupied with the day-to-day tasks. Finding the right model may take time, but as long as you make experimentation one of your core values and embed it in your operations: company town halls, department meetings, employee evaluation, you will nurture your teams to be always growth-focused.
❗️Important part of experimentation culture is failure. If your team’s experiments drive only small positive change (1-5%), they are not failing hard enough. Most of us are scared to break things, especially the things that are kind of working. But unless one experiments big, and hence fails big (because the reality of experimentation approach is that 90% of the tests fail), we will never win big either.

👩💻 Learn to put customer needs first in any decision making proces

Anastasia Dobronravova, Marketing Strategist at Solid Water:
Businesses exist for more than just hitting KPIs, producing engaging content, creating presentations, developing strategies, or running advertising campaigns — they're fundamentally about serving people.
Businesses exist for more than just hitting KPIs, producing engaging content, creating presentations, developing strategies, or running advertising campaigns — they're fundamentally about serving people.

This is why understanding your customer is crucial to business growth. If you're looking to boost sales through Instagram, consider who visits your profile and when, so that your content and navigation could meet their needs. To increase enquiries on your website, think about what information your potential customers look for and what might be deterring them (or, even better, gather insights through interviews or surveys directly from your customers).

Sometimes we become too absorbed in our work, losing sight of how the customer sees the funnel — and missing growth opportunities, doing something just because it has to be done or because we (and NOT the customer!) think it’s important. The entire team should adopt the customer's viewpoint, understanding how each of their daily tasks affects the customer experience (hello, North Star metrics!).
The simplest way to include these questions in your daily catch-ups, strategic meetings, and reviews:
❓"How does this affect our customer?"
❓"How can my role meet our customers' needs?"
A good option is to have a list of insights and hypotheses about your customer experience that you update on a weekly basis.

👩💻 Stay up to date with recent successes, failures and industry trends

Encourage your team to stay informed with the latest technological trends and innovations, and empower them to experiment with new tools and approaches to drive growth. The best way to ensure that is either through dedicated newsletter subscriptions or better yet, have dedicated tech enthusiasts on your team do monthly round ups on the new tools/tech developments they find exciting.
🤓Newsletters we recommend:
Growth Marketing

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