Growth Conference Europe 2019: Two days dedicated to growth & digital marketing. GCE is the largest growth hacking event in Europe and it happened in Milan, Italy in the 3rd & 4th of June.

The successful event was organized in partnership with Growth Hacking Day & Growth Marketing Conference. The key people who brought this venture to life were Raffaele Gaito, Luca Barboni, Gerardo Forliano, Vasil Azarov and Andrea Roberto Bifulco, who was also the fantastic host of the conference.

GCE was the sum of many different speakers and ideas. The 25(!) speakers in total came from various divisions of digital marketing. Therefore, among them, you could find the general manager of AdEspresso (HootSuite), the product manager of Typeform, the head of partnerships of SEMRush, and the CEO of GrowthRocks.

So, did you miss Growth Conference Europe 2019 but still want to catch up on everything you missed?
No worries, this is what this post is all about.

Enjoy!

Growth Conference Europe: Day 1 

Emanuela Zaccone How Remote is Remote

The event started in the morning with Emanuela Zaccone. Emanuela is the TOK.tv co-founder as well as the Marketing and Product Manager of the company. TOK.tv is a sports social media network, with more than 20 million users. The network allows viewers to watch their favorite game on TV while talking with their friends. Emanuela herself is in charge of designing and developing new products for sports fans, and she does so using the agile and SCRUM methodology while leading the development team.

Her speech made a case for remote work. Since the founding of the company, remote work has been the backbone of TOK.tv. 

Emanuela highlighted the significant benefits of remote work:

  • Access to best talents: Hiring without a remote option means hiring the best talent that lives or is willing to live near the geographical location of your company. Remote means hiring the best talent regardless.
  • Happy people: Remote work makes employees happy. Happy employees feel more motivated, and motivated employees are more productive.
  • Cost reduction: 100% remote means 100% not paying for a building that serves as your HQ. Not only that, but you also save from those electricity bills.
  • Environmental sustainability: Daily commuting means moving from place A to place B. And moving from one place to another usually involves some means of transportation, which have an environmental impact. Also, what about that plastic takeaway coffee cup for your everyday latte? 

Emanuela says that if you want your company to go remote, or you are starting a new one with this mind, then you need to hire the right people and make transparency your #1 priority. So what are you waiting for?

Watch Emanuela’s full speech at Growth Conference Europe:


Steve DapperSpeech Connections for Growth

Steve Dapper loves talking. However, he doesn’t like talking as much as he likes speaking correctly. And he likes it when other people speak correctly, too. Steve is an entrepreneur, International Business Developer, Speech Trainer, Vocal & Fitness Coach.

His presentation started with the vocal exploration of the word ‘cracker.’ ‘Cracker’ is a dissyllable word which sounds pretty straight-forward. What can go wrong when you, as a non-speaking English individual, try to pronounce it, right?

– A lot, Steve says, because you don’t say “cracker” but rather, “krakər.”

Among other things, Steve taught the Italian speaking audience of Growth Conference Europe to:

  • Understand the differences between the English and the Italian language
  • Learn about segments (single sound units)
  • Learn about suprasegmentals
  • Explore voicing, articulation, and manner
  • Learn about connected speech (assimilation)
  • The muscular memory protocol (hypertrophy)

Watch Steve’s full speech Growth Conference Europe (IT):


Frances SimowitzHow to Grow and Scale in a new Market

The third speech from Frances Simowitz was all about new markets. In particular, she talked about how a business can grow and scale in a new market. Frances specializes in sales and communities and is the CEO and Managing Director at NUMA, a startup accelerator.  In less than 40 minutes, she explained the importance of bringing together communities, startups, and corporations.

Furthermore, she analyzed how bridging the gap between startups and the US market has helped the acceleration of 347 startups, boasting an impressive 82% startup survival rate, 4 years after the NUMA program. 

The NUMA program itself is a 10-week procedure, divided into 3 phases:

  • Weeks 1-2 are about Setup and Immersion
  • Weeks 3-5 are focused on the Structure and Build
  • And weeks 5-10 include Execution and Scale

In these 10 weeks, any startup aspiring to grow in a new market has to go through 4 steps, Frances said. These steps and their key-points are:

  • Assessment – Find out whether the company is ready to enter a new market
  • Research – Market Analysis, Competition, Product Testing
  • Build – Sales, Fundraising, Partnerships, HR, Legal, Networking
  • Scale – Repeatable Processes, Best Practices, Network Effect

Watch France’s full speech at Growth Conference Europe:


Ryan Kulp Growth Starts with You

After the lunch break, it was time for Ryan Kulp to take over the stage. Ryan is the founder of FOMO, Cross Sell, and a couple of other companies. Although the former is a social proof marketing tool, and the other is an eCommerce tool, all companies have something in common: all of them are bootstrapped. Besides, there are 0 people involved in sales, and also everyone works remotely.

In total, the portfolio of Ryan’s companies counts more than 7,500 paying customers while their needs for paid advertising doesn’t exceed $500 per month. So how does he do all this? Ryan Kulp made a case against mediocrity, how to go beyond it, and how you can reach your full potential.

Thus, he divided everything he’s learned into 6 categories of the do’s and don’t’s that will lead to a better version of yourself:

  • Self-talk, and how avoiding it brings new opportunities you didn’t know they were even possible. 
  • Working environment, and the effect it has on you, your productivity, and your well-beingness.
  • Priorities, their meaning, and how to set them after you shake off some myths about yourself.
  • Trade-offs, as in the sacrifice of immediate pleasure in the name of your ultimate goals.
  • Deadlines, and the importance of setting them to achieve your goals be them small or big.
  • Tools and the importance of bare hands.

After his presentation, and during the Q&A, Ryan, being a very inspirational individual, was one of the speakers with the most questions addressed. And so, he revealed some aspects of himself. Like, for example, that his diet of choice is ketogenic diet, and that nootropics or any other supplements are a no-go for him, besides coffee that is. The next answer was about his favorite tools and which were more or less “Trello – Gmail shortcuts, and text editor.” In the end, he also revealed that his next aspiration is to write good, or better, music.

Watch Ryan’s full speech Growth Conference Europe:


Forbe’s Interview by Marco Barsallina

In the middle of the first day’s presentation, three speakers came up on stage to be interviewed by Marco Barsallina, the Editor In Chief at Forbes.it. Those speakers were Frances Simowitz, who was also the second speaker, Satya Singh (Product & Growth Manager), and Raffaele Gaito (Growth Hacker, Entrepreneur).

The interview touched on growth marketing – growth hacking and the role of the growth marketer today.

Watch Forbes’ full interview at Growth Conference Europe:


Enrico Bruschini Viral Growth in B2B

Enrico Bruschini, the product manager of Instana, came up next. Instana is a Performance Management Application, and Enrico is the creative mind behind the product and its growth. Enrico started off his presentation with a question: “Has anyone achieved viral growth with an expensive product (> $30k)?”. As he explained, the absence of any raised hands was expected.

Although one can find many case studies from companies that have achieved viral growth by selling consumer products, it’s not easy to find the same viral growth from B2B companies that sell expensive products.

Next, Enrico shed some light on the “Viral Coefficiency” factor and presented the use cases and viral growth stories from Gmail and Dropbox. 

Enrico concluded that you should set your product priorities and that you should be very careful not to chase a single prospect for months, regardless of how attractive it may seem. Ergo, the key points he shared were:

  • No whale hunting
  • Avoid drowning to chase a whale
  • 6+ months of development
  • The massive risk to lose a deal
  • Be ready to say “No!”

And, ultimately, B2B viral growth is possible if you:

  • Know your industry
  • Understand trends
  • Build a product that people will love
  • Follow a clear sales strategy
  • Stay focused
  • Hire a great team
  • Love your product

Watch Enrico’s full speech at Growth Conference Europe:


Luca Senatore The Three Pillars of Growth

Luca started off his speech more like a magician than a marketer. Upon coming up on stage, he asked for a volunteer to join him, to whom he gifted his book and a free strategy session with him. The moral of the story Luca wanted to give was that the volunteer, in spite of a possible awkward moment or making a fool of himself on-stage, got out of his comfort zone, walked on stage, and then left the stage like a champion.

Had he decided that going on-stage was just “too much” for him, he’d never won anything. Growth is usually found outside the comfort zone. 

According to Luca’s perspective, the three pillars of growth can be found by answering these three questions:

  • What do you do?
  • What is remarkable about it?
  • Which problem do you solve?

He then went on to analyze the two primary methodologies regarding goals and growth that he has come across in his career: SMART and OKRs. Luca himself abandoned the SMART for the latter method, which was pioneered by Intel and Google. In short, the OKR methodology is about:

  • Defining a clear focus and direction that the team/company/department can get behind
  • Mapping what is important to you
  • Encouraging you to think big by providing you with clear goals, KPIs and a roadmap
  • Allow you to both allocate resources and to take risks
  • Guaranteeing alignment across the business

Watch Luca’s full speech at Growth Conference Europe:


Satya Singh How Do Product and Growth Marketing Come Together

Satya Singh is a product marketer first and a public speaker second. Nowadays he runs his own startup, Hotels.com. Having a background in engineering and consulting, he had both the knowledge and the experience to analyse why some companies, like Friendster, Myspace and Google+, stagnated and then were wiped out from the digital map. How can one have sustainable growth hacking? 

As Satya noted, the lines between product, marketing, and sales are blurring. Being a marketer for the last 13 years have left him with 3 valuable lessons.

These marketing life lessons can be summed in these points:

  • User acquisition is more important than profit
  • Retention is more important than acquisition
  • Product-led growth is more important than inorganic acquisition and retention

Finally, Satya closed his speech with the classic Maslow pyramid, the basic needs which humans need to fulfil, but with a social media twist: Social media apps have disrupted the pyramid and the way they tap into our – very human – needs.

Watch Satya’s full speech at Growth Conference Europe:


Gerard Compte Send Emails with Love

If you know FindathatLead, then you now also know the man responsible for the tool. As he explained, Gerard built and founded FindthatLead for a number of reasons, but there was one particular (traumatic) incident that was the last straw in his career: sending the wrong email.

In his former company, as an employee, he sent a wrong email. In that email, he had attached the prices from their suppliers and Gerard sent it straight to the client’s Inbox. The cost of that mistake in terms of money was 30.000€, but the impact for Gerard was much higher.

During his presentation, Gerard justified email spamming, given that your product and your company benefit society. 

And thus, these are these 7 Golden Rules for sending emails, according to his presentation:

  • Make it real and direct/emotional
  • Do not use email templates
  • Keep it WhatsApp style
  • Create a relation, not a presentation
  • Always tell them how amazing they are
  • Include one call-to-action in every email
  • Do not reveal who you are or what is your name

Watch Gerard’s full speech at Growth Conference Europe:


Growth Conference Europe: Day 2

Raffaele Gaito Delight me

Day two started with Raffaele Gaito. Raffaele is one of the founders and organizes of Growth Conference Europe. His presentation shed light on the last stages of the marketing funnel, and he expanded upon how to retain users through customer satisfaction and “delightment.”

And so, Raffaele presented 7 ways to “cuddle your users.” After each way, he recommended his favorite book so you too can study the topic.

These are Raffaele’s 7 ways and the books he suggested:

  • Use a personal touch
  • Communication is always P2P
  • Build relationships
  • Customization is key

Recommended book: Outside In: The Power of Putting Customers at the Center of Your Business by Harley Manning, Josh Bernoff, and Kerry Bodine

  • Over-deliver
  • Surprise your audience
  • Beat the expectations
  • Give presents and do giveaways

Recommended book: Overdeliver: Build a Business for a Lifetime Playing the Long Game in Direct Response Marketing by Brian Kurt

  • Build a culture
  • Values instead of products
  • Fight for a cause
  • Pick a side

Recommended book: Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh

  • Build a community
  • Create safe places
  • Always interact
  • Don’t sell

Recommended book: Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us by Seth Godin

  • Create useful content
  • Valuable content
  • Anticipate their needs
  • Leverage user-generated content

Recommended book: Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less by Joe Pulizzi

  • Build a culture
  • Values instead of products
  • Fight for a cause
  • Pick a side

Recommended book: Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh

Rafaelle’s full speech at Growth Conference Europe:


Vasil Azarov How to Start and Grow a Community

Vasil is the founder of Growth Marketing Conference, an actionable, hands-on educational event dedicated to growth, and the biggest growth hacking conference in the world.

Apart from being the co-organizer of the GCE event, Vasil made a presentation about community building, which he shared with the audience. His main concern was growth through relationship building and event marketing.

Vasil shared his 3-step guide on how to start an event, and how he does it: 

  • Get on meetup.com. Meetup is a 40-million member platform, with 320k meetup groups and 12k daily events. Create your own meetup and make it stand out.
  • Host an event. Do your research, find a venue, and recruit your speakers. Have your first event ready to go before the meetup announcement.
  • Follow-up and get feedback. Do a survey, meet your speakers in-person, send them gifts, and connect with them.

Vasil stressed that when it comes to relationship and community building, quality beats quantity. In order to also communicate this value to your audience, this is what you can do in your first conference: 

  • Make the event exclusive. Even if that means having as few as 20 people in your event. 
  • Make the seats to your event limited. That said, you shouldn’t create fake scarcity.
  • Promote your competitors. It may sound counter-intuitive, but success will stem from the value you can provide, not from just being the owner of a community.

Last but not least, the founder of GCE gave a few tips on growing a community without creating an event.

  • Become an expert in your industry
  • Start consulting
  • Create a blog
  • Start a podcast
  • Join an existing community
  • Speak at other events
  • Write a book

Watch Vasil’s full speech at Growth Conference Europe:


Theodore MoulosMoving from Services to Products

Theodore Moulos is the group CEO of GrowthRocks & Viral Loops. GrowthRocks is considered to be one of the best growth hacking agencies in the world; googling “growth hacking agencies” and seeing the company on top means that at least they know their SEO game. On the other hand, Viral Loops is a B2B SaaS company with products revolving around viral & referral marketing solution.

What Theodore presented in this 30-minute speech was the role that growth hackers should play and what the term “growth hacking” means today.

First, he explained what a growth hacker is supposed to do as a Digital Marketing Auditor (DMA) and why their role is essential. Hence, a DMA will:

  • Investigate all your digital marketing efforts. A DMA will check the performance of all your practices, strategies, ads, and posts, and he will try to find your “digital gaps and loopholes.”
  • Suggest optimisations and will give you alerts at an earlier stage.
  • Analyse every digital funnel, identify any leakages, and suggest solutions.
  • Train you and your team to become better communicators so you can have better briefs, intelligible requirements, and better planning.

Next, Theodore explained the necessity of progressive profiling of your potential customers, and why you need to collect from your customers more than just their email. According to the Group CEO, the best way to achieve that is to give them some value first and get some of the info you want later. Then, give them some more value again and get a different piece of info about them. Your goal should be collecting their data, such as Messenger ID’s, phone numbers, Facebook ID’s, and Push Notification ID’s through time.

Ultimately, the modern growth hacker should:

  • Identify gaps in the market.
  • Know how to grow a product or a service.
  • Have the ability to monitor trends, spy on the competition, and validate their ideas or fail – and fast.

Watch Theodore’s full speech at Growth Conference Europe: 


Massimo Chieruzzi How we Grew AdEspresso With(out) Growth Hacking

Massimo Chieruzzi is the Co-Founder and CEO of AdEspresso, which has been under the Hootsuite umbrella since early 2017. AdEspresso is a social media tool that assists you in the creation and optimization of your ads. And Hootsuite is, well, Hootsuite – one of the top social media management platforms out there.

Back to Massimo, he shared with the GCE audience how he managed to grow AdEspresso: how he transformed it from a $90k/month company to a $30M/month company, in 3 years. All of which happened with only 2 full-time employees doing marketing, 3 contractors doing content writing, and less than $10k/month in paid advertising.

This 30X growth, according to Massimo, was based on 4 Pillars:

  • Content Marketing: Massimo’s numbers say that 20% of the blog drives 80% of the website total traffic. Every piece of content should also provide unique data, explain the ins and out of a topic, and save time searching for resources. 
  • Code as Content: “Code as Content” practically means the release of new products – usually for free. The value you will give that way will return to you by letting you leverage product launches on the Press and media, e.g., ProductHunt, which can result in a lot more traffic. 
  • Branding: Massimo described how building a strong brand was a key element to AdEsrpesso’s success. Effective branding includes a consistent visual design, a reachable team for the audience (AdEspresso did that through a Facebook group), and a unique tone of voice that communicates openly one’s values.
  • Maximizing Lifetime Value: Like so many other GCE speakers, Massimo stressed the importance of customer retention. He explained that there are some excellent ways to maximize your long term value: pricing experimentation, creating product bundles, upsells of discounted upgrades to annual plans, or one-off high-ticket advanced training seasons. 

Watch Massimo’s full speech at Growth Conference Europe: 


Steli Efti Why Growth Hacking Doesn’t Work Anymore

Steli Efti was born in Greece but was raised in Germany – he also prepared a speech for a growth hacking conference with the intention of making a case against growth hacking. A man of many contradictions it seems – or is it? 

Steli is one of the co-founders and CEO of Close, a sales communication platform founded in 2013. Unfortunately, Steli was sick and couldn’t make it to the conference. Regardless, through a video, he sent his regards and his valuable insights on what growth hacking should be and what it shouldn’t be.

Steli started his “case against growth hacking,” saying that, far too often, hacking equals to tricking. And tricking customers is not suitable for long-term business. So, for example, when Eli came back from his holiday and was browsing through his endless list of unread emails, it was one particular email that caught his attention. The subject line read: “Very disappointed.” As one should expect, Steli boarded a thought train which looked more like a Disneyland roller coaster: “What did I/we do wrong”? “Who did we disappoint”? he wondered. Steli , as anyone would do, insta-clicked and opened the email, which read something along the lines of:

“I’m very disappointed […] that I’ve sent you so many emails and we haven’t been able to connect.
We are an outsourced developer team that can help you build [whatever]. […]”

Steli wondered, how can you trust such relationships when, right off the bat, they use shady tactics and try to manipulate you?

In this fashion, growth hacking may come in the form of ‘BS metrics’ such as “80% open rate” and “200% conversion improvement”, when in reality they could mean +20 email openings and +5 customers respectively. Conclusively, focusing on so-called “hacks” is increasingly a waste of time, as the returns are short lived. What we should do instead is to think and act with a long-term scope.

Watch Steli’s full speech at Growth Conference Europe:


Clayton Wood 2019 Top Google Ranking Signals

Clayton has built two multi-million dollar marketing brands from scratch with 0 investments. He’s been in the digital marketing business for over 10 years – be it coaching, personal branding or SEO, which was what he talked about.

In his short yet highly valuable speech, Clayton shared with the GCE audience the Google Top Ranking Signals for 2019. 

As the years go by, Clayton described, Google is increasingly focusing on 4 on-site behaviors:

  • Direct web visits
  • Time spent on site
  • Pages per session
  • Bounce rate

There are 5 more behavior signals that more behavior signals do count for Google, albeit they aren’t as important:

  • Referring domains
  • The number of backlinks
  • Total referring IPs
  • Total follow-backlinks
  • Content length

Next, Clayton briefly explained a lot of different aspects, like search intent optimisation, how Gohttps://youtu.be/Zssvv0BYzxEogle’s RankBrain works and uses UX signals, organic click-through-rate, the reality of voice search content, technical errors, and of course, backlinks.

Watch Clayton’s full speech at Growth Conference Europe:


Phil Byrne You Can’t Hack Happiness

Phil Byrne has been with Intercom for more than 3 years, and he is responsible for the production of the company’s educational videos, demos, and tutorials it releases. In case you don’t know about Intercom, it is a customer messaging SaaS platform which has received more than $240M in funding and currently has more than 30k paying customers.

In his presentation, Phil delved into how we “can’t hack happiness,” and he did so through demonstrating the way Intercom changed its onboarding process.

More precisely, Intercom has changed 5 things regarding its onboarding, and Phil had one tip to give for every one thing Intercom changed:

  • Listen to your customers: Listening to your customer is often something that many companies think they do, but don’t really do. Phil and  Intercom try to gather as much data as possible through surveys. The questions customers answer have to do with their role, the main reason they plan to use Intercom for, and the type of features that are most important for one’s business.
  • Define your activation criteria: Activation criteria refer to the actions that turn a lead into a long-term happy customer. 
  • Delete everything else: This tip starts with the perspective that every user on your website has a defined energy reserve. Every click your user makes and every message they get drains some of their energy. As a result, staying focused should be a top priority. It is also a good idea to give some rewards along the way.
  • Stay classy after the sale: Phil reminded us that in the SaaS world, our customer chooses our product every month. For that reason, you have to stay in sales-mode all the time and avoid being boring, confusing, and cheap after the first sale or subscription.
  • Always be testing: Phil stressed the importance of A/B testing and tests in general. So, for example, he presented an experiment they did with their onboarding flow. That test resulted in a 10.5% increase in activation, which led to a 9% increase in customer moving from the trial period into being a paying customer. 

Watch Phil’s full speech at Growth Conference Europe:


Ignasi Buch Empathy Driven Growth

You may not know that Ignasi Buch has a thing for numbers, but you probably know the company which he works for as a product marketer and a data scientist – Typeform. Ignasi described how empathy is a core value for Typeform and the way it defines how they hire, how they treat each other, and how the brand talks to its audience. 

His journey with Typeform allowed him to make a lot of tests, and Ignasi presented one of the most impactful tests they did: The test begins with the hypothesis that what users want is to get into the Typeform editor immediately, start building forms and distribute them as soon as possible. Is this what users really wanted? What would happen if they removed their entire in-app onboarding flow? 

First of all, Qualification went up, because it depends on the number of events that will take place. Since users do more stuff, the number of events went up as well. Activation didn’t move at all. And subscription tanked. But why did this happen? As a data scientist, Ignasi could explain what happened but not why that happened. 

He and his team wanted to have a solid understanding of the user behavior that made up those metrics. For this reason, they paused the experiment and started doing some research. Two data scientists, one UX designer, and a product manager started asking the right questions. After a while, the team drew its conclusions:

  • Activation does not lead to Subscription: 80% of customers pay before activating.
  • Most qualified signups don’t activate for 3 main reasons: They either didn’t have the time, were waiting for approval, or faced other difficulties.
  • Slow activators were 4 times more likely to become paying customers than fast activators. 

Watch Ignasi’s full speech at Growth Conference Europe:


Fernando Angulo Content for people and for Google

The next man who walked on-stage is involved with digital marketing for over 10 years, and for the bigger part of his career he’s been working at SEMRush – the famous 360 digital marketing management platform. Fernando’s speech was all about Google’s featured snippets.

Before he moved on with his research presentation, he explained why you should care in the first place, and what are the benefits of ranking for a featured snippet.

And so we have:

  • More traffic
  • Increased CTR
  • More revenue
  • Used for voice search

SEMRush analyzed 80 million keywords and 6.9 million featured snippets, through which he drew some big conclusions. Moreover, there are three types of featured snippets and three basic types of keywords

Types of snippets:

  • Paragraph
  • List
  • Table

Types of keywords:

  • Questions
  • Preposition
  • Comparison

Fernandο also shared the anatomy of a successful snippet. What are the common characteristics that featured snippets share? Fernando suggested that if you understand that anatomy, you can have a much higher chance at being featured if you wish. In this manner, the recipe for formatting your future featured snippets goes like this:

  • The paragraph should be 46-84 words long (272-370 characters)
  • The number of the total headers and subheader should be close to 22
  • The snippet source should come from a secure domain (HTTPS)
  • Include around 33 external link citations
  • Don’t forget the ALT text of the images
  • The images should be landscape, with a 4:3 ratio
  • Avoid walls of text
  • Be succinct; the Flesch-Kincaid reading level should be around 7th’s grade

Watch Fernando’s full presentation here:


Naser Alubaidi Why Partnerships are The Ultimate Growth Hack

A growth marketer from Canada, Naser Alubaidi presented and analyzed his favorite and ultimate growth hack, which is no other than Partnerships. As Naser described himself, he was the type of kid who was always looking for shortcuts. However, the strategies he usually ended up adopting were neither scalable nor sustainable.

That changed when Naser read a book by David Deida, which made a striking analogy for Naser: Life is an onion. At the core of that onion resides everyone’s purpose and their life goal. And to reach that core, you will have to start peeling the onion first, which translates to aligning many aspects of your life with your goal.

From a book about life to growth marketing, Naser describes the 4 Principles of Marketing for mastering the Art of Partnerships. As you should expect, the acronym of those principles create a catchy and relevant word; in our case – PEEL:

  • Process
  • Empathy
  • Exposure
  • Leverage

In the second part of his presentation, Naser explained how he and his company, Venngage, put those 4 principles into action. From 2015, when they had just got some traction, to 2019, Venngage grew by 4,000%, and today they get 40k signups a week, while their annual recurring revenue is over $6M. The beginning was tough, as their core goal was organic traffic through a link building strategy. And the problem with that was ‘How do you build links when you have no domain authority and no value to offer’? However, Venngage overcame that obstacle multi-ways by:

  • Making what Naser calls “guestographics,” through which they manage to partner with Hubspot
  • Createing co-marketing projects
  • Making multi-company offers and integrations

Watch Naser’s full presentation here:


Luca Barboni Growth Hacking as a Service that Works

Luca Barbon is the founder and VP of Marketing of the Italian marketing & advertising agency 247X.

He described the filtering mechanism the agency applies at the beginning of the communication with potential clients. As he said, the agency focuses on eCommerce and B2B clients and there is also a list of questions that asks their clients in order to understand more about them and find out if and how it can help them.

The questions of this process include:

  • What is your Business Model?
  • How much budget do you have?
  • On which areas do you need total leadership/collaboration?
  • Do you cover channel/strategy expertise?
  • Do you have goals or deadlines set?
  • Is the product/service validated?
  • How much marketing is already happening?
  • What is your revenue – and profit?

In his presentation, Luca shared the growth hacking process of the company, their growth strategy, and the journey their clients make. 

Watch Luca’s full presentation here (IT):


Braulio Medina Art & Science of Data-Driven Growth

Braulio came all the way from Rio. He is the co-founder of Growth Team Brazil – Brazil’s first growth hacking agency. He opened up his speech with the Top 5 factors of success. Those factors came from a research they did with more than 200 companies. According to the research, those factors are: 

  • Timing
  • Team Execution
  • Idea “Truth” Outlier
  • Business Model 
  • Funding

Brulia is a mathematician and a data scientist, and therefore, it came as no surprise that his presentation was filled with charts and numbers. Being also a big fan of A/B testing, Brulia showed some of the tests: from a media company’s landing page registration to his LinkedIn image optimization.

Next, he made a small analysis of what really makes good content. Braulio underlined that when the content is good, this translates to some algorithmic triggers. So, for example, when users start paying attention, they click “See More.” When they keep watching/reading, the algorithm keeps track of said time and can also understand how engaging the content is by the number of likes, comments, and shares. And thus, when using reverse engineering, the content creator should try to:

  • Build curiosity: Open with a bang – usually some drama. It’s what you already do with your email subject when you are writing an email. If your subject line doesn’t convince the recipient that it worths any of their time, they won’t read not one word of your email. Likewise, if users don’t engage with your first sentence, they will probably won’t engage with everything else you’ve written past this first sentence. 
  • Make the reading flow: Writing on social media does not equal to writing an article. So loosen up, both in style and structure.
  • Add a Call-To-Action: If you want more people in your audience to engage with your content, sometimes asking for a like, comment, or share will suffice. So go ahead and add a CTA.

Watch Braulio’s full presentation here:


Gerardo Forliano 7 Common Mistakes in Digital Product Design

Gerardo Forliano is a man of many things. He is a growth hacker, the admin of Growth Hacking Italia – the leading Italian growth hacking community – the CEO of Growthalia, an Italian growth hacking agency, and the event organizer of Growth Hacking Day – the most significant European growth hacking event.

Whenever Gerardo goes hands-on in marketing, he will be around product design, UX, or content marketing. Playing different roles has allowed Gerardo to acknowledge some mistakes in product design.

According to Gerardo, these are the 7 common mistakes in digital product design you should try to avoid:

  • It should be mobile first – not desktop first
  • It should be about the problems the product solves, not about its features
    • Will this feature bring us closer to our vision?
    • Will this product release add anything of value to our end users?
    • Does this feature solve our customers’ problem?
  • There is too much friction; stay focused and help your users find your content
  • Insufficient user on-boarding. Give your users the “Aha moment” ASAP
  • Mistakes regarding the virtual environment. Consider the external factors of a user experience
  • Too less information: Too often, you may take much of the information you already know for granted. As a result, your Homepage could be missing a crucial value proposition
  • Optimize, optimize, optimize

Before going off the stage, Gerardo left the audience with 3 take-ways to help entrepreneurs and marketers avoid those common product design mistakes. Keep these in mind:

  • Retain current users before acquiring new ones
  • Dig deeper into your customer journey
  • Less is more (keep it minimal)

Watch Gerardo’s full presentation here:


Ben Kaplan How to use Data Driven PR to Grow Sales

Ben Kaplan has a 15-year career in the media and is the founder and CEO of PR Hacker, a Top 100 PR firm in the U.S. He is also a Harvard-trained economist and public commentator in the education field.

As Ben suggested in his speech, public relations can be used as a tool to drive core business metrics: KPI’s, user downloads, sales, and acquisitions. Data-driven PR, in particular, can be one of the marketing branches with the highest ROI. 

Ben recommended a shift in perspective towards data. Upon a closer look, data can share some characteristics which you can leverage. Data can be:

  • Proactive
  • Responsive
  • Timely
  • Scalable

For example, you can leverage proactive data with this 5-step process:

  • Leverage a timely news peg
  • Make a data study related to the news peg
  • Post a study on your website
  • Pitch data story to mass media
  • Media links to the full data story
    —————————————–
    Get inbound traffic and SEO!

Next, Ben introduced another concept of PR Hacker: blueprints. Blueprints aim at getting your story covered in the media – worldwide. PR hacker has 27 of these blueprints, with each of them posing a question and at the same time having a methodology about how to execute. For example, the blueprint Georanking answers the question “How can we compare different regions to each other to generate local news at a global scale? The answer to that is found in the 3-step methodology Ben and his company use, which he shared with the GCE audience. Likewise, Ben showed many ways through which you can leverage data and receive massive exposure.

But Ben didn’t stop there. Before leaving the stage, he introduced his very own “growth marketing dance,” which involved an imaginary lasso and a pony(!). Don’t you believe me? Just watch the video! 

Watch Ben’s full presentation here:


Valentin Radu Cognitive Biases & Machine Learning

Last but not least, Valentin Radu was the closing keynote of the Growth Hacking Conference 2019. Valentin is the CEO and founder of Omniconvert, an eCommerce personalization software. He is also an avid blockchain supporter. Cryptocurrencies aside, Valentin’s speech was focused on Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) in regards to the human element.

Valentin began with a story of his from 1997. Then-young Valentin wanted to make some money to go on holidays. And so he got a job: selling cookbooks on the streets of Bucharest. It was a rough start, but in just a few weeks, through tweaking his strategy multi ways (number of prospects, locations, pitch), Valentin started selling more and more – his CRO was going up.

This experience let him draw some conclusions:

  • A/B Testing pays off if you don’t give up
  • Persistence can be a trap if you insist in the wrong direction
  • Relevant targeting saves the day
  • Framing is powerful

Continuing from his last point, framing, Valentin delved into the framing effect – the different conclusions people draw depending on how a piece of information is presented. In regards to CRO, there is a significantly higher conversion when the information is framed positively than negatively. 

As Valentin stated, there are 103 cognitive biases. Combining that data with the sheer amount of data Omnicovert had in their hands, they concluded that there are 12 cognitive biases that matter the most in the digital world:

  • Availability cascade
  • Bandwagon effect
  • Confirmation bias
  • Fear of missing out
  • Herd mentality
  • Anchoring
  • Framing
  • Zeigarnik effect
  • Authority bias
  • Loss aversion
  • Reciprocity bias
  • Hyperbolic discounting bias

In the end, Valentin shared his insight that the future of CRO is not going to be so data-related, but rather, CRO will address the mentality of the user.

Watch Valentin’s full presentation here:

Last updated on July 4th, 2019