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Growth Hacking for Marketing by David Skok and SiriusDecisions

The Mass Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC) recently held its annual Sales & Marketing Summit: Building a Lean, Self-Perpetuating Marketing Machine.  For those of you unable to attend, or simply looking for the highlights from this event, I provided below a summary of my takeaways as well as key points by each of the speakers and panelists.

The following marketing thought leaders shared their insight with 300 of Boston’s marketers:

Key Take-Aways

  • Reduce the time to WOW for your buyers with Growth Hacking.
  • Tap into engineering for better marketing.(e.g., free trials, free tools)
  • Identify and eliminate bottlenecks in your buying process to reduce friction and increase conversion.
  • Hire a set of developers in your digital marketing team to enable innovation.
  • Break down the barriers between marketing and sales. (e.g., post your funnel diagram on the wall, ask sales to bcc marketing for buyer questions(this last one I pulled from a recent Social Media Marketing World wrap up))

All insight is sourced, paraphrased and quoted from the respective individuals, except for my personal comments which are in [brackets].

The Art & Science of Growth HackingDavid Skok

David Skok, GM, Matrix Partners @BostonVC  (

  • The customer is doing their research before they come and talk to you. [A reminder for us marketers that with all of the free information available online today(e.g., peer-to-peer communities, free trials, independent product reviews), our online presence matters more than ever. . . Content Marketing)
  • A new combination of skills is required for marketers to become “growth hackers”. Some of these skills along with related best practices include:
    • Funnel optimization: Understand your buyers’ journey as they pass through the stages of awareness(ToFU), consideration(MoFU) and purchase(BoFU).
    • Metrics: At the simplest level, evaluate flow/quantity and conversion rate through your funnel. (check out Adobe’s content marketing and social media KPIs in this post)
    • Put a diagram of your funnel on the walls of your company to help get marketing and sales on the same page.
    • Identify and resolve blockage points in your funnel. [Develop a process flow diagram as part of a root cause analysis to determine where the bottlenecks are in your process to optimize flow and conversion rate through your pipeline.]
  • Here’s a good example of Growth Hacking in action: HubSpot’s website grader uses engineering for marketing
  • You can access David Skok’s full deck on SlideShare:  The Art & Science of Growth Hacking
  • Check out what David Skok has to say about what it takes to be an A+ CMO: SaaS Marketing Insights for CMOs

Growth Hacking for Marketers Panel Discussion


Panelists: Justine Jordan @litmusapp, Damian Roskill @droskill, Brian Balfour @bbalfour, Michael Yaffe @BeyondTrust

  • Free trials have been extremely successful, with a 40-60% conversion rate.  Adding more friction into the buying process results in a 10X increase in cost.” @litmusapp
  • Here are some great reasons why you can’t rely on “one-off” tactics to optimize marketing ROI – instead, rely on process: (@bbalfour)
    • What works for other won’t work for you.
    • Growth is the sum of a lot of small parts. [i.e., There’s no one silver bullet.]
    • Rate of change is accelerating, such as SEO, channels for building awareness.
    • You need a machine(and not one thing) that is scalable, predictable and repeatable.
  • @bbalfour has a set of developers in his marketing organization to enable more advanced marketing.  @droskill also has developers as part of the marketing organization.
  • Michael mandated that all marketing qualified leads met strict criteria(e.g., company size, buyer role) regardless of the fact that it resulted in a significant decrease in the number of leads sent to sales. @BeyondTrust

The Transformation of B2B Sales, Marketing and Productheatherloisel

Heather Loisel, SiriusDecisions, @HeatherLoisel

  • If you’re not using the SiriusDecision’s Demand Waterfall already, start now [Slide #2]
  • You can’t get to “growth” without taking risk, and you need marketing transformational change to catalyze this process
  • If your budget allows it, do check out their upcoming Summit in Florida, May21-23
  • You can access the full deck on SlideShare: The Transformation of B2B Sales, Marketing & Product (including an overview of seven of their new models, with frameworks from marketing to teleprospecting to sales)

Creating a Content Strategy to Align with the B2B Funnel


Alan Belniak @abelniak and Jonathan Burg @Jonmburg

  • Content marketing is not just for the marketing part of the funnel.
  • Tap into the power of different content delivery channels based on your buyers’ needs. (e.g., a podcast is great if your buyers are stuck on a train each day for their commute.) @abelniak
  • Audit the heck out of your content to identify gaps and determine options for better repurposing.” @Jonmburg [check out the Content Marketing Pyramid framework to help optimize content use and ROI]
  • Align your content audit by: ToFU(Top of the Funnel), MoFU(Middle of the Funnel) and BoFU(Bottome of the Funnel); theme/campaign, persona, etc.  Include content success as part of the audit.

Did you hear any other great insights at this MassTLC event? Catch anything interesting on Twitter? Let us know in the comments below.  Interested in other content marketing related events in the coming year?  Check out our list here.


Michael Gerard

Michael was CMO of Curata, responsible for Curata’s marketing strategy and all related activities. He has over 25 years of marketing and sales experience, having successfully launched and sustained three start-up ventures as well as having driven innovative customer creation strategies for large technology organizations such as IDC, Kenan Systems, Prospero (mZinga) and Millipore. Michael received his MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management, as well as a BS in Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and an MS in Engineering from Northeastern University.

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