GROWS: A Step-By-Step Growth Hacking Method

We are going to see what the Growth Hacking GROWS method is and how to use it to execute your growth experiences step by step (+ examples)
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Growth, growth, growth! It's the mantra of any self-respecting startup these days. But how do you ensure rapid and sustainable growth when resources are limited?

This is where growth hacking comes in, a very pragmatic approach to boost growth, popularized by gurus like Sean Ellis or Brian Balfour.

In this article, I am going to introduce you to one of the most effective growth hacking methods: the GROWS method. Its 5 steps will allow you to quickly launch experiments to find new growth levers. By following this iterative method rigorously, you will increase your chances of success in each cycle.

Before we get to the heart of the matter, here's what you need to know:

  • With practice, your success rate can exceed 35%
  • A full GROWS cycle usually takes 1 to 5 weeks.
  • You need to analyze your business in depth to identify your weak points and the stages of your conversion funnel.

Ready to hack the growth of your startup? Let's go for the GROWS method!

READ MORE: List of Growth Hacks updated daily

What is the GROWS method?

GROWS. is a method of Growth Hacking divided into iterations used to carry out growth experiments through 5 steps:

  1. Gathering ideas (GATHER) : What could I do to improve my OMTM?
  2. Rank ideas (RANK) : Based on certain criteria, which ideas would have the most impact on my OMTM with the least effort?
  3. Describe the tests (OUTLINE) : How could I test the best ideas in the next iteration?
  4. Work : Start developing your experiments now.
  5. Study the results and implement (STUDY) : Analyze the results of your experiments and see if they had enough impact on your OMTM.

Once these 5 steps have been completed, analyze the data from your experiments and decide what steps to follow for the next iteration.

process de Growth Hacking
GROWS: A Process-based Growth Hacking Method

GROWS Method: Pre or Post Product Market Fit?

  • If your business hasn't found a Product/Market-Fit yet :

You should use this experience cycle to get to know your customers better, your market, and improve your product.

  • If your business Found Product/Market-Fit :

You can start looking for better channels to really grow. Not before!

5 steps of the GROWS method in detail

As we have seen, the GROWS method consists of 5 steps:

  1. G - Brainstorm to come up with ideas for growth,
  2. R - Prioritize these ideas,
  3. O - Develop a plan to come up with your best idea,
  4. W - Execute this plan
  5. S - And analyze the result of your efforts.
There are numerous alternatives to the GROWS method, such as the” Growth Machine ” by Brian Balfour or the” Growth Steps ” by Neil Patel - but in practice - they all boil down to the same thing and are only nuances.

Let's take a look at the steps of the Growth Hacking GROWS method. :

1. GAther Ideas//Bringing ideas together

  • Hopefully, you've discovered what the biggest problem is holding back your growth.
  • If this is not yet the case, I invite you to read this article on Pirate Funnel to help you understand your bottlenecks.

Once this barrier has been identified, we will start by drawing up a list of experiments to find possible solutions.

There are no good or bad ideas for experimentation at this stage. Do not hesitate to brainstorm several times to add a large number of tests. This list of ideas will be called your “backlog.”
For example, you can offer new experiences in the following ways:
  • Look for complaints and comments received by your customer service
  • Conduct user tests with your customers or prospects
  • See how competitors are positioning themselves on their website
  • Read case studies of competitors or businesses in other industries
  • Brainstorm with different employee groups
  • Interview people who haven't completed your sales process or customers who are loyal to you
  • Record user behavior on your website or applications with software like Hotjar
  • etc...

2. RBank Ideas//Classify ideas

By now, you should have lots of ideas for your experiments.

Not having the possibility of carrying out all of them, we must rank in order of priority.

The ideal experiment is one that has the more likely to succeed and, proportionally, who requires the least effort.

You can choose from several different models depending on what stage you are in in the Pirate Funnel:

Pirate Funnel et modeles de priorisation
Ranking of growth ideas by Pirate Funnel stage

Idea Prioritization Method: BRASS

B.R.A.S.S, if you want to carry out experiments on Awareness :

  • Blink : Intuition, instinct, don't think too much (1-5)
  • Relevance : Channel relevant to our product or service (1-5)
  • Availability : Do we have available resources or skills (1-5)
  • Scalability : How scalable is this channel if we use it more? (1-5)
  • Score : Multiplication of all of the factors below
Score BRASS = (Blink x Relevance x Availability x Scalability)
BRASS Growth Methodology
Classification of Experiments - FrameWork BRASS

Methods for Prioritizing Ideas: ICE or PIE

ICE or P.I.E methods are commonly used to perform experiments on The rest of The Pirate Funnel : they are simple, which makes them more accessible.

However, they are subjective, especially when ideas are submitted by the whole team.

For example, some people may constantly overestimate the potential or the difficulty of implementing their ideas, while others underestimate them.

PIE method
  • Probability : The probability of carrying out the experiment (1-5)
  • Impact : The impact of the experiment if it is successful (1-5)
  • Ease : The easy/difficulty of setting up the experiment (1-5)
  • Score : Multiplication of all of the factors below
PIE score = (Probability x Impact x Ease)
PIE FRAMEWORK
Experiment ranking - PIE Framework
ICE method
  • Impact : The impact of the experiment if it is successful (1-5)
  • Confidence : Confidence in the success of the experiment (1-5)
  • Ease : The easy/difficulty of setting up the experiment (1-5)
  • Score : Multiplication of all of the factors below
ICE score = (Impact x Confidence x Ease)

ICE FRAMEWORK
Experiment ranking - ICE Framework

The above frameworks strike a compromise between the following parameters:

  • The wherewithal (how much money, time, and effort invested)
  • The scores (how much increase in conversion rates and revenue they produce),
  • And the chances of success.

Depending on your situation, you may want to give one of these parameters a bit more importance than the other.

For example, if you have a lot of financial resources and manpower, the weighting between these factors will not be the same: You are free to adapt it if necessary.

The growth experiment idea that gets the highest score Is the one you should achieve first.
If this experiment is unsuccessful, you can then move on to the next experience - that is, the one with the second highest score.

3. Outline//Describe Experiments

As Growth Hackers, you need to be fast and efficient.

Define the parameters and what your experiments will look like in advance.

READ MORE: List of Growth Hacks updated daily

Let's see together what an experiment map looks like

Experiment Map: Preparation of Hypotheses

Here is an example of an experiment map.

fiche expérimentation growth hacking
Growth Experiment Sheet

How long should the experiments last?

If you want your Growth Hacking experiments give significant results, it is important that they are not Not too short, not too long.

It is important to estimate in advance the traffic you will need (number of visitors/users), and therefore how long you will need to have convincing results:

Example: 1000 visitors vs 10 visitors will give you a more accurate and clear conversion rate trend

A duration that is too long could mislead you: the expiration time of cookies in your browser is often 30 days (or 48 hours on Safari). This does not allow you to properly analyze the data and determine who your new users really are.

Is it technologically possible?

Do you have the right Growth Hacking tools or the right skills in your team to set up and configure them?

Take the time to assess the difficulty of implementation and the feasibility of your idea according to the members of your team in place but also the constraints of the tools.

Sometimes he goesIt is better to pay a little more for a tool to save many weeks of implementation. The important thing in experimentation is to be able to implement your strategy very quickly to validate hypotheses.

READ MORE: Selection of essential tools for Growth Hacking

What services should you involve in a Growth Hacking method?

Marketing and Sales

You will probably need to let the teams know marketing and saless, so that they can take into account possible additional traffic or changes made to your website.

DSI

The teams of the IT department should be informed if possible in order to:

  • that you are not working on the same components of the information system,
  • that they can help you integrate your tools with the infrastructure in place if necessary.

What skills do you need in your Growth Hacking team?

Should you involve a web developer? A Social Media Advertising Specialist? A UX Designer? etcetera.

It is interesting to have profiles (ideally Growth Hackers T-Shaped) complementary to carry out the experiments as quickly as possible independently.

To give you an idea, here is the composition of the various multidisciplinary Growth Hacking teams:

plusieurs types d'équipe de Growth Hacking

What data should you track?

Nothing is as horrible as discovering “after the fact” that you wasted your time on a useless or flawed experiment, simply because you didn't measure the right data correctly.

Take the time to discover your OMTM and to monitor the data well with the right tools.

READ MORE: List of Tools to Analyze Your Marketing or Sales Data

When was the experiment successful?

You must determine in advance the data required to validate your hypothesis.

Do it before carrying out your experiments Will give you a view more objective results obtained.

It's easier to come up with ideas when you have a clear, clear goal.

By specific goals, I mean goals that are small and achievable.
Let's say Company X is looking to increase profits. This objective is too broad and will require some simplification.

In contrast, increasing the number of monthly active users (MAU) is relatively easier to target and reach. Such a goal is clear and easy for everyone to follow.

The more experienced Growth Hacker you become, the easier it will be for you to estimate expected results and success metrics: start with clear and achievable goals from the start.

How long will it take to start the experiment?

Or rather, how can you ensure that it takes as little time as possible?

Personally, I recommend Do not spend more than 2 days setting up the experiment.

If you think that you need more than 2 days to set up the experiment, you are probably already thinking too big and you may be wasting time and effort.

READ MORE: List of Growth Hacks updated daily

4. WFork//Work

It is a fairly clear step. A few more tips:

Start the experiment

Try to get together with your entire team while setting up the experiment

You will then be able to progress more quickly and communication will be much more effective.

Follow-up

Daily meetings (10 min max)

Have a daily meeting with your team to manage the progress of tasks, the sticking points and promote communication within the team.

Weekly meetings (1 hour max)

Each week, talk to your teams about information from the previous week as well as the week ahead. You will want to cover the following topics...

  • The number of experiments you were able to carry out in the last week
  • How many planned experiments were not carried out last week
  • New lessons learned from the concluded experiments
  • Your performance in relation to your KPIs
  • What experiments are you going to conduct soon
Task tracking

Create a backlog with the following columns where the tasks of the current iteration appear:

  • TO DO (To do),
  • IN PROGRESS (Ongoing)
  • DONE (realized)

This way you will have a clear overview of what still needs to be done and who is working on what.

5. STudy//Analyze the Results

It's the most important step of all!

Check if you have collected enough data to be able to draw conclusions.

Translate this data into concrete information that other employees in the company can use in their daily activities.

It is useful to Formulate ideas in visual form (examples, graphics, or video) rather than as percentages. Other people may be less good at data than you think.

As far as the management of the company is concerned, it is very useful to communicate in terms of benefits or financial potential.

If you have new ideas to test based on your results, you can add them to your to-do list for future iterations.

Below you will find a template for analyzing your experiments to download.

Experiment Map: Analysis of the Results

résultats expérimentations growth hacking
Growth Experiment Results

Why keep the results of your experiments?

Well-maintained, easily accessible, and easily searchable archives are important for several reasons...

  • You will be able to create clearer reports that are easily shareable within the team
  • You'll avoid running the same experiment twice or learning the same lessons over and over again.
  • You will be able to bring new hires up to speed quickly.
  • You'll be testing smarter in the future.

Why share the results of the experiments?

La dissemination of your knowledge is just as important as conservation.

There are several reasons why you should share your learnings across the company...

  • To prove the value of your growth process and get membership of all.
  • To ensure that your knowledge can be used by others in other services.

Keep repeating this Growth Hacking method

This growth process can work for any type of business and any marketing function, as long as you are determined and diligent. And, of course, as long as you're ready to get rid of that addiction to the growth hack.

Here you go

  1. Validate your product and your business model before starting a growth process.
  2. Pick a repeatable process and based on data rather than launching tactics in every direction.
  3. The return on investment from your growth process is multiplication of ideation by execution.
  4. Set goals and timelines, find ideas for experiences.
  5. Classify your ideas of experiences in order of priority.
  6. Realize the experience.
  7. Analyze the results.
  8. Preserve and share the lessons learned.

If there was a formula for success, everyone would use it but contrary to what many might think:

A failure is a success because it makes it possible to invalidate bad options and therefore to approach other channels that would be much more efficient.

Some teams even organize “Fails Parties” to celebrate these “failures”!

Example of a Fail Board used at Growth Tribe
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Stephen MESNILDREY
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