What is Growth?

Growth = working with Data and Analytics, Product, Marketing, Engineering, and Sales to increase revenue and customers sustainably and efficiently, typically via a combination of qualitative and quantitative data via a systemized process and iterative agile testing.

Through a lot of discussions and collaboration with Brian Balfour and Reforge, one of the best definitions for Growth that we have landed on is from the former VP at SoFi, Steven Dupree called growth the “Scientific Method applied to KPI's.” Brian elaborates on the definition, origins, and future of “growth.”

Round Barn Labs is well versed in many of the growth functions you see above outlined in the Reforge example of what falls under the umbrella of a “growth team.” We implement the outer layers (Growth Model, User Psychology, and Experiments) into our core focus and superpower: Acquisition.

We have chosen three of our strongest linear channels (marketing channels that support growth and a business’s Growth Model) to ensure we provide the highest level of expertise for our clients: 

  1. Paid Social (Managing paid advertising on Social Networks like Facebook & Instagram)

  2. Affiliate / Influencer (Managing affiliate programs with networks like CJ, Impact, and more)

  3. Conversion Rate Optimization (Managing a systematic testing method for your site to improve the primary conversion rate)

Before we support companies with these linear channels outlined above, we work with them to understand their Growth Model. For each business, it can be vastly different. We work with teams to validate that they are headed down the right path. A Growth Model is a representation of that path. It is a qualitative and quantitative view of how they intend to grow their business. Growth Loops support the Growth Model. One of the more prevalent Growth Loops is Paid Marketing. Some businesses are able to combine multiple growth loops for larger gains.

Paid Marketing is a core strength of our team and we have selected two powerful channels within Paid Marketing to focus on 1) Paid Social and 2) Affiliate/Influencer.

Unlike a lot of other consultants and teams, we can layer User Experience (UX) and Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) skills on top of paid marketing expertise to deliver compounding efficiency gains over time.

These three channels can help companies grow more rapidly when they are built and executed together. Higher converting landing pages boost the performance of paid social campaigns and increase affiliate adoption. Quality influencer collaboration yields high-quality third-party trusted content, telling customers how great you are. This can be utilized in “echo campaigns”- highly targeted paid campaigns distributing influencer content reaching your best potential buyers.

Businesses often mistake growth for “growth hacking.” This term exploded about 5 years ago and gave many the impression that growth was something that was hacked or was found in the latest tip or trick.


The reality is that growth is a process.

 How does growth inform our process?

  1. We emphasize taking a more detailed view of customer personas and psychology than most paid marketing teams and implement this data into our three linear channels.

  2. We understand how high performing growth teams work: cross-functional, agile, customer-obsessed, analytical, and competitive. Growth is never done.

  3. We collaborate with internal Product, Design, UX, Engineering, and Analytics teams when needed to improve the user experience and overall performance

  4. We are driven by data. We hold weekly internal team meetings reviewing data and provide detailed reporting and insights for clients to explain the why behind the results.

  5. We roll out effective testing cadence to increase learnings, boost conversion rates, and improve the efficiency of paid marketing spend

As you would expect, we have a process for how we operate internally but also for how we approach each of the three channels we manage. Below is a step by step high-level view of the process for each of our core channels.

Paid Social Process

  1. Needs assessment

  2. Kick Off

  3. Account access

  4. Target customer persona development

  5. Growth Diagnosis (ongoing)

  6. Marketing channel assessment. A stack rank of what social networks/channels to use to reach our objectives and why now?

  7. Marketing channel targeting build. If a channel such as Facebook is selected, we build it with appropriate targeting to reach our North Star Metric. Each channel will also need to align with your product, margins and cost estimates per channel.

  8. Instrumentation audit and validate tracking

  9. Creative ad brainstorm

  10. Creative ad review, feedback, and improvement

  11. Launch highest priority revenue channels, campaigns, and tests.

  12. Focus on impact and maximize learnings

  13. Set up the test to isolate variables (copy, image, CTA) to maximize learnings and best utilize the chosen platform

  14. After reaching significance, report results, and learnings

  15. Document, optimize, and inform future tests

  16. Build the next phase of creative assets to test utilizing new ad units

CRO Process

  1. Needs Assessment

  2. Kick Off

  3. Account Access

  4. Target Customer Persona Development

  5. Growth Diagnosis (ongoing)

  6. Review available A/B testing tools such as Google Optimize, VWO, Optimizely, Adobe Test & Target, etc.

  7. Quantitative analysis of site traffic utilizing available analytics tools e.g. Mixpanel, Google Analytics, etc.

  8. Quantitative analysis of heatmap tracking

  9. Discuss available qualitative customer data and resources and develop a plan for gathering additional qualitative data

  10. UX and CRO site assessment

  11. Brainstorm and stack rank A/B tests

  12. Review of stack rank to ensure it aligns with internal team needs and objectives

  13. Structure first A/B test for deployment including hypothesis, estimated timeline, and impact

  14. QA, deploy and monitor test

  15. Report results only after the conclusion of the test and after statistical significance is reached communicating the volume of unique visitors, conversions, and whether test succeeded or failed against the hypothesis.

Affiliate Process

  1. Needs Assessment

  2. Kick Off

  3. Account Access

  4. Target customer persona development

  5. Growth Diagnosis (ongoing)

  6. Network review: ensure your affiliate network is proving with appropriate tracking, support, reporting and resources required for your objectives, stage of business,

  7. Program Policy Review. Does your current policy match company growth plans, align with brand guidelines and other paid marketing channel strategies?

  8. Affiliate Business Model Assessment. A stack rank of what affiliate business models we want to recruit and optimize

  9. Build a recruitment target list based on an assessment of the program

  10. Review current tracking and validate using our audit checklist

  11. Develop network quality plan to ensure that fraud is mitigated

  12. Creative Ad Brainstorm

  13. Creative Ad Review Feedback and Edit   ------> Creative Ad Development

  14. Creative Ad upload into the affiliate network

  15. Launch highest priority recruitment outbound campaign

  16. Stack rank optimization and test priorities and launch them

  17. Develop affiliate communication resources and schedule

How Can we help?

Let's chat about your marketing and growth challenges.