So during this workshop, we're going to focus on 3 key growth levers.
Quick recap for those that might not be marketers:
Acquisition: How do your potential customers find out about you? How do they find you? How do they get in touch?
Activation: How do you turn your potential customer into paying customers? What’s your conversion rate?
Retention: How do you keep your customers coming back / rebooking? How do you increase their Customer Lifetime Value?
Okay, now we're caught up, let's begin!
Step 1: What’s going well? 👍
So we start with what in the realm of marketing is going well. This is to align the team, build a positive atmosphere, celebrate our wins, and move us in the same direction.
Draw a horizontal line on a whiteboard (or you can use our template for free) and the best boat you can draw like in the image below.
Put 4-minutes on the clock and using the blue sticky-notes write down as many things you can think of that's going well, one per sticky note.
Do this separately! There should be no discussion during these 4-minutes.
After the 4-minutes, one by one, stand up, say to the team what you wrote down on your first sticky-note, then stick it on the wall above the line. Repeat until the first person is out of sticky-notes, then move to the next person.
This should take no longer than 2-minutes per person.
Now we have a whole bunch of things that are going well!
Step 2: What’s holding us back? 👎
Now we do the same thing as before, but this time we're writing down what is holding us back, or what isn't going so well.
Again, we do this in silence, by ourselves.
Put 4-minutes on the clock and start writing!
Once the 4-minutes is up, everyone will put their sticky-notes on the board below the line.
This time, we aren't presenting the ideas so this process should only take 1-minute.
We don't deliver these items in person because this could lead to members feeling directly attacked, instead we let the sticky-notes speak for themselves.
This might feel like not enough time sometimes, but this forces the most important & deep problems to rise to the surface.
Step 3: Prioritising the biggest issues 🎯
At this point the moderator gives everyone 3 sticky dots. Everyone now gets to read and vote on which problems they believe are the most important to solve.
Note, everyone can put more than one of their dots on the same sticky-note if they feel like it's a big enough issue.
This should also be done in silence. No discussion yet.
We don't put any dots on what's going well, just on what's holding us back.
Once this is done, the moderator will arrange the sticky notes in order of priority.
Step 4: Turn all into “How Might We” 🤔
The moderator at this point will turn all the problems with a dot on them into a "How Might We" statement.
This essentially reframes the problem into a more positive statement which is also much more solvable.
You can work with the group to do this to create a more collaborative space or do it yourself for a faster experience.
This step will also allow your team to be much more creative when coming up with ideas.
This statement always starts with how might we, or HMW for short.
Even very serious issues can be reframed in this way to remove the negativity and allow for some amazing problem solving.
So now we have a lots of different HMWs.
Step 5: Map and Target 🗺
Now we have all the biggest problems turned into actionable phrases, we map them.
We start by creation a very broad map of our user journey!
A user journey is how our users / customers flow through our business from finding out about us in the first place, to being a customer for a year.
We start with the acquisition, which includes some of the ways customers can find out about us. Note that we don't need to include every way, just enough to build this map.
Then we move onto how the user turns from a visitor to a customer. With eCommerce they might come from a blog post, click the link which takes them to the product, and they purchase.
For companies with longer sales cycles, this might include landing pages, email subscriptions, phone calls, and more.
Finally, we quickly map out a few milestones the customer will hit under retention. For a marketing agency, this could include the first months retainer review, and the first years retainer review. For eCommerce this could be the monthly email you send out to keep your audience engaged and encouraging repeat purchases.
Once we've done this, we take our HMW statements, and map them on our diagram in accordance to what area they relate to!
Acquiring new users would be acquisition.
Anything to do with converting users into customers would be activation.
And retention is all about reducing customer churn, increasing average purchase values, delighting customers, and increasing customer lifetime value.
This helps us really quickly understand where most of our potential is.
Now we look to see where we have the majority of our HMW statements, and we circle it.
In the case below, it looks like we're focusing on activation!
If you have the space, keep this map on the wall. You can come back to it at any time to repeat the exercises below to cover the other areas of your business!
And if you need to save some space, simply take a photo!
Step 6: Lightning Demos ⚡
Now things get even more exciting.
Many companies have faced and solved the exact same problems you're going through.
Now we know the area we want to focus on, in the example above, activation, we're going to do some research about how we can improve on this area.
We're going to look for 2 - 3 examples per participant on companies that are already solving these issues and doing a good job doing so.
So for our example, we'll be all coming up with examples of companies who have a website where you instantly understand what they offer.
We spend 5 minutes searching for examples, again by ourselves, and then each team member has 1 - 2 minutes to share their findings with the team.
Here were a few of our examples.
There are a few key points you need to include per post-it:
- Company name
- The big idea
- A few bullet points of how they do it well
The goal of this is to get our creative juices flowing and open us up to what companies in different industries around the world have done to solve our problem that we can draw inspiration from.
After we've all heard the ideas, we put them all on the wall in no particular order.
Step 7: Experiment Creation 🧪
Okay, now we have our creative juices flowing, we spend 20 whole minutes digesting everything we've done so far.
The HMW statements, the lightning demos, the whole 9-yards.
Again, we're not talking here. We're processing everything that's happened and we're going to use this time to form our own experiment.
Taking in everything, we're going to design one experiment per person to solve one of the HMWs in the area you've circled above.
What's important are these elements:
- We name the experiment
- We create an explanation and hypothesis
- We create a list of action steps
- We have a clear success criteria
- Finally, there's a clear experiment length
So although below is a great start, you'll note that there's no clear experiment length.
Feel free to draw images, and examples of what you're thinking of. Get creative, whatever you need to really get your thoughts across.
Also for a list of ideas you can deploy, feel free to use our list of experiments!
Now, after 20 minutes, the moderator gathers everyone together and one by one they stick it on the board and performs a quick pitch of what they came up with.
Limit this to a maximum or 5 minutes per person, but ideally less.
Once each person has pitched their idea, it's time for the final vote.
Everyone gets one big sticky-note and writes their initials on it.
The moderator will count down from 3, and when they say go, everyone at the same time votes for which idea they like best.
After you've done this, remove any experiments with zero votes.
Now you have a handful of incredible experiments, it's time to see which one to launch first.
Variations: You can keep repeating this step as many times as you want to generate even more ideas. Alternatively, if you want to focus the group on one main area of improvement, you may instead encourage all participants to solve one specific HMW or one area of the business that was circled in the map above (like acquisition).
Step 8: Effort vs Impact 🎉
On separate sticky-notes, write down the name of each experiment that is left on the wall.
In the above example, we have three experiments left standing, so we'll write the name of each experiment on a separate post-it note for this next step.
Now as a team, work together to figure out where it will go on an impact/effort graph.
The moderator stands up and moves the sticky-note around until everyone is happy.
Remember to relate this back to the area you're trying to improve. If it's an activation solution, how much impact will this have on activation?
And how much effort will it take to build it.
The idea that is closest to the top left corner wins! This experiment will have the highest impact with the lowest amount of effort.
Step 9: Celebrate 🎉
And that's it!
For even more momentum, take a look at the next module on how to track experiments, and there's even some templates you can duplicate to put all this work into.
In that guide there is also an experiments sheet which you can put the details of the winning experiment.
Now you simply go out, execute on the idea, flesh it out more if you need to and watch the growth pour in.
And once that experiment is complete, you can move onto the next experiment.
And when you're out of experiments in that are either within the top right or left, you can re-run this workshop for another 6-months of growth. 🌱
If you have any questions, please get in touch! We're here to help.
Here's to your success. 🥂
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