Methodologies for creating a better marketing and product experience for your customers.





Evernote, a story.

"People who are thinking about things other than making the best product, never make the best product." — Phil Libin

  • No marketing for the first few years.
  • Began with closed beta for "user testing" — generated A LOT of buzz. Began with 100 invites. Spiraled to 125,000 in 2008. 
  • Freemium model worked - a lot of value. 
  • Key partnerships with 3m. Sticky notes and subscriptions.
  • Pioneered an Ambassador program.

This addresses a real concern. #OfficeLife

(Plus, people love to be credited as being the person to find the coolest new thing.)

Good day, friends.

I'm Jeff Golenski

Psst. I just made you look here.

UX Designer working on Jetpack


Focus on:

  • Overall customer experience
  • Marketing & product
  • Research & growth

Follow along, live.

Let's learn today.

  1. Growth "hacking" as a methodology
    • ​​History, What is it?  Traditional marketing vs. Growth, Process
  2. How growth design transcends marketing and into product
    • ​​A3R3 growth funnel model & application over your work
  3. Harnessing growth design to help your marketing and product
    • ​​Quantitative & Qualitative research, overplayed tactics
  4. Resources + Q & A

Growth as a methodology. 

What are all these terms?






Let's set the stage.

It all began just before the turn of the 21st century...

  • Startups were exploding. The Internet was gaining worldwide popularity.
  • A new type of mindset for marketing for a new type of person.
  • Traditional marketing tactics used for centuries: Expensive, wasteful.

What is Growth hacking?

Growth hacking was the answer to a few problems.

  • Discovering Product Market Fit. What the product should be.
    • Let's talk about Airbnb
  • Pivot and evolve or risk irrelevancy
  • No budget? No problem
  • It's about experimenting and moving quickly

Growth marketing vs. Traditional marketing.

  • Awareness & acquisition of a product or service
  • Spending money to drive awareness to a vast amount of people. Think: radio.
  • Can get really expensive. Lookin' at you Squarespace, Wix & Shopify.
  • Making people want the product: No influence on product

What growth marketing is:

What traditional marketing is:

  • Experiment-driven. Research & development style

  • Low cost

  • Targeting the right people. it's contextual.

  • Making a product people want: Heavy influence on product

  • Story time — Midnight Shift Photography

A contextual experiment

  • Hobby photographer & I want to be able to cover my costs with the hobby itself.
  • More people than ever before are "photographers" how do I compete?
  • Posting photos on IG / Facebook - no initial sales. How can I improve?
  • Location based targeting worked! 

A little process helps.

Advanced mode: Staggered process.

Growth design transcends marketing and product (or service).

By tying in marketing and product design together, you end up with a more cohesive experience from start to finish.

A3R3 funnel


What is it:

Why its important:

Success stories:

Education: Informing people of what you're offering and becoming known.

Top of the funnel. People can't become customers if they don't know who you are or what you offer. 

Hotmail's email footer plug & ambassador programs


What is it:

Why its important:

Success stories:

Getting people emotionally invested in what you have to offer.

If you don't intrigue people or offer a solution to a problem, why would anyone care about your product?

Exclusivity + Virality:  Facebook & Mailbox app in the beginning


What is it:

Why its important:

Success stories:

The moment someone enters their info and clicks "sign up."

It's the official conversion of a potential customer to a customer. Free or otherwise. 

Jetpack connection in /wp-admin/


What is it:

Why its important:

Success stories:

Keeping happy customers, longer.

Acquisition rate needs to be more than churn rate. Otherwise you're losing. 

Facebook, twitter, & Instagram: @mentions + #Hashtags


What is it:

Why its important:

Success stories:

Utilizing your customer-base to help drive awareness, acquisition, and activation of your product.

When you can leverage customers to help perpetuate your product and drive more adoption, you win.

Dropbox & Groupon


What is it:

Why its important:

Success stories:

How do you make more revenue?

We don’t make movies to make money, we make money to make more movies.” — Walt Disney

Growth funnel overlay.

Harness Growth Hacking to help your marketing & product.

Some tips & tricks to get you started.

Research is yuuuuge.

  • Remember Product Market Fit — you need to know who you're building for and marketing to. At the very least you need to figure who you want to build for.
  • Establish a baseline of information for ideas
  • Quantitative & qualitative research both have their place in the growth methodology. Utilize them both.

Quantitative research.

What is it:

Empirical investigation — numbers

It's quantifiable. 


How it can inform your work:

Great for primary investigative work — baselines.

Monitoring behavior — what people are or are not doing.


Google Analytics & Jetpack stats

Heatmapping software like Hotjar or Full Story

Be care of:

"Vanity Metrics" — total pageviews, 

follower counts, etc. They're not

as important as conversions and 


Qualititative research.

What is it:

Personalized customer research.

Digging in and learning about nuances.


How it can inform your work:

Deep diving into problems. "Why doesn't this feature work for you?"

"What do we do that's good?" "What could we be better at?" etc.



Interviews: You + open ended questions.

Be care of:

Not interviewing a large portion 

of people. Small sample sizes

may not give enough "trends."

Some tips to get started

  • Start with research and begin the methods I've mentioned today
  • Develop a process that works for you
  • Visually map your IA and flows for a high level view of interest points
  • Don't overplay tactics, they can backfire
  • Follow-up is essential
  • Continuously experiment. You don't know until you try
  • Test often. Split testing works wonders - There are a ton of plugins for this

Overplayed tactics

Incessant "personal" emails to potential customers or customers.

Invision did a good job at this and now it's been killed. 

Overplayed tactics

Acquisition pop-ups immediately upon page load. Knock it off — it's not the right time, you haven't earned this yet. 

Thanks a million!


Twitter: @jeffgolenski

Instagram: @jeffgolenski


A few writings by me