The Growth Hacking Skill No One's Talking About

Growth hackers are well-known for their SQL, programming, analytics, and A/B testing skills, but goal-setting is key to their success.

In this video, Sean Ellis and Morgan Brown of Growthhackers.com join and Robert J. Moore, CEO of RJMetrics, to discuss how the best growth hackers use goals to hack their brains (and their organizations) to achieve incredible results.

You'll Learn:

  • How goals rewire the human brain
  • Common mistakes companies make when setting goals
  • Specific tactics that anyone can use to unlock growth with goals

Transcript

Facilitator: Setting goals isn't a new idea. It's recommended by everyone from business consultants to your fitbit. What is new is how growth hackers are using goals, not just to measure performance, but to learn. Today, you'll be learning from three gentlemen who know quite a bit about this topic.

Sean Ellis is the founder of GrowthHackers.com and also coined the term "growth hacker." Morgan Brown is Head of Growth at GrowthHackers.com. And Robert Moore is the founder and CEO at RJMetrics. So grab a snack, settle in and prepare for a 40-minute crash course on how you can use goals to hack growth.

Sean is going to kick off today's presentation with a great story about how GrowthHackers think about setting goals. In his case, the team at Qualaroo actually failed to hit their goal, but still ended up winning by uncovering new information about how to scale their business.

Sean Ellis: So with Qualaroo, we beefed up the free version to drive distribution and get more people to adopt it. But actually, even though we have a clear goal, we actually learned in the process that in not reach in the goal, that we actually did not improve distribution very much by having a free product. We learned that there was not a kind of price sensitivity on the product.

So that led us to actually make the product more expensive and start to beef up the functionality in the product. That’s what made it more expensive. But we learned that there was an opportunity to grow revenue more effectively with higher price, rather than a lower price. So even though we didn't achieve the objectives that we set out, in going backwards, in figuring out why, we learned something that became important for growth overall. So I’ll take it to the next slide and I'll turn that over to you, Bob.

Robert Moore: Great, thank you so much. When you take a step back and think about goals, a lot of people get scared by the concept of goals because they sound like they have consequences attached to them. In the absence of a goal, you can create a narrative around why things went the way that they did, and whether or not that constitutes success for you. You can always kind of have that rose-tinted vision when you look at the past.

But if you have to find goal, there it is in black and white. You either met it or you didn't. And the most people, and we saw in the poll right now, most of the goals that they encounter are goals that are not set by them. They’re set by the company. When you think about goals only in that light, you can understand why they can be scary because dishonestly is the kind of thing that affect people's job security, honestly. And it can often come into play when deciding whether or not they are going to get promoted or get fired, it’s whether they hit those company goals.

But that's not necessarily the only approach to goals, and not the only approach that we're going to suggest you take here today. The goal of a growth hacker isn't always making its way all the way to the Board of Directors. You may not even need to get off of your desk. To a growth hacker, a goal really is just a hypothesis. And hypothesis testing is really at the core of all data-driven decision making.

So having a hypothesis really just provides you with a framework for knowing when you're done, when you succeeded and what you have learned. And a good goal should really do the same. It's a learning opportunity. So for us at RJMetrics, goals take on really a whole lot of different forms.

I do have that Board of Directors to answer to. Of course, I've got my own expectations for what constitutes success. As a business, what’s worth the time and energy that I'm spending building the company? And for us, that really boils down to recurring revenue, which is a function of customers. And then customers are a function of opportunity, which are a function of leads.

Now, I can set goals at every single level of this funnel. I can set a revenue goal. And obviously we do. But the growth hacking team here is very, very rarely talking about revenue. We don't measure them on that. They're measured on the quantity and the variety of leads they generate.

So a naive goal for a growth hacking team might be, get me a thousand new webinar leads. And the hypothesis there would be, if we have a webinar we will generate 1,000 new leads because the people who buy our product are also interested in those webinar topics. Now, we think about the huge universe of hypotheses. You can create by swapping out these three things – the variable, the result and the rationale. And you can really create an enormous universe of potential hypotheses that you could then turn into goals and test as part of your workflow. And Morgan’s going to talk a bit more about that.

Morgan Brown: Absolutely. Well, I think, it goes without saying that focus is critical to being effective, really, anywhere. And focus is certainly important. You hear it all the time with people referring to the one metric that matters, or the North Star metric, or some aligning principle.

And the reason that focus is so important is because when you have a clear goal, it aligns individuals. If you have a team of people you that you're trying to.... If you're playing American football, you're trying score a touchdown. Everyone is a aligned around that goal. And with so many things to do every day, goals really help you focus on the things that really matter.

Because as a marketer, as someone responsible for growth, as a founder, there's a million things you can do every single day. But there's really only a few things that actually matter for driving growth for your business. Steven Covey, if you're familiar with him with his four quadrants, he often says, "What's urgent is rarely what's most important."

And that is sometimes true with growth. That the things that come across our desk every day can be distracting, without really clear goals, and helping us hone our focus on doing the things that actually will matter, and help us meet our growth goals. So the goals are really critical in focusing our efforts on the things that actually matter.

I'll give you an example from the GrowthHackers.com community. In the very early days, as we were starting to get initial traction with the community, we saw that Twitter was a really important channel for acquisition, for bringing new people to the community, and engaging them with the content there.

And so when saw this early signal, we focused a ton of effort and time on it. In fact, Everett, who manages our social for GrowthHackers, spends all day thinking about Twitter. It's a massive investment in time there because it's so critical to the growth of the community. And he spends time thinking about it and optimizing it. And we learned by studying it so much where the opportunities are to grow in. We continue to grow it as a growth channel.

We also realized, looking at the data, that our email is incredibly important to retention, and bringing people back, and keeping them engage with the community. And so we added that as a second area of focus. So now, we invest a ton of time thinking about how to make email more effective for GrowthHackers.com.

And so two very straightforward, simple tactics or channels, but by having clarity around them and focus, we've really been able to hone those, and make those effective growth drivers for the community. And so that's the power that focus, and setting very specific goals can have around making channels, and driving growth within those channels. So now, I'll pass it on to Sean.

Sean Ellis: Thanks, Morgan. So it's pretty universally accepted, and I'm not sure many people would counter the idea that goal setting is really important to achieving a goal. And there's a couple of important caveats there. One is that the goals generally need to be specific, and they also need to be sufficiently challenging. So we’ll talk about some of the risk of making goals rather too challenging. But they really need to be able to stretch you for you to get the big value that comes from goals.

And the more specific they are... If they're not specific, you can be pretty delusional, whether you're hitting the goals or not. So very specific and challenging are a proven way to achieve those goals. So this is just one quote of that, but there's numerous studies that have been out there that highlight that fact.

So the other important part though, is that sometimes you want to not just have a big overarching goal, but you want to be able to take baby steps on your way to achieving that goal. Because there's actually some science behind it, that there's dopamine that's released each time that you take a baby step toward a goal. And that dopamine gives you momentum, helps you be fulfilled in your job, and ultimately keeps you on track to actually achieving that goal.

In fact, there's an M.I.T. study, I will try to post a the link here at the end to it, but it's a really good study that even talks about people with Parkinson's Disease who lack some of the ability to produce this dopamine. And as a result, a lot of times they have apathy toward achieving goals because of that deficiency in themselves. So that these mini goals are a big part of staying on track and actually achieving those goals. Science is a big part of growth hacking and also a big part of making drugs. We celebrate science. But not on the growth side, but definitely on the growth hacking side.

Vero has a pretty interesting example where Vero had set an email conversion goal that they wanted to get to with their newsletters, and their different mail that was going out to their customer base and their prospect base. And what they found was that by being very specific about a goal, they were able to then start to be really creative about achieving that goal. And so through a lot of segmenting of the data and segmenting different messages they were able to... I think, they got about a 300% increase in their conversion rate, just by having a clarity of goal and then being creative about the means of achieving that goal.

So again, we’ll send a link out to a case study on that. That's worth taking a look at. Let me just take this to the next slide here. And let’s talk about some of the risks of goal setting. So up to this point, we really celebrated the importance of polls. And I stand behind that. I think goals are absolutely critical for achieving big results as growth hackers and marketers. But that there are some risks with some goals. So we're going to go through the six risks and we’ll provide these up a bit.

So the first risk is just around lack of clarity. So what I said is being very specific is really critical to having this be effective. And when you sort of say, you know, we'll just do the best that we can. It's really easy to be just driven by emotion and not... If you're having a good day, you feel like you're really on track and you’re doing well. It's kind of the same set of data and kind of interpreted as you're doing well. And then on a bad day, you may look at that data and say, "Oh my gosh, the world is coming to an end." And particularly for early stage businesses and founders, we go through that emotional roller coaster all the time.

But when your specific about a goal, you're much more easily able to say, "Okay, we achieved the goal. I feel good about it." Or "We didn't achieve the goal. I need to figure out why. And define some of the hypotheses around why we thought we could achieve that goal." So fuzzy goals are a big risk when it comes to setting. And also, be specific, be realistic or be specific.

So this next risk, goal-driven to the extreme approach, is a real risk that, I think, we've all seen it. There's great case study with Pinto, from the from the 70s, where they set the goal, Lee Iacocca set the goal that they wanted to create a car that was going to be less than 2,000 pounds and costs less than $2,000. So that’s pounds in weight, not pounds in British pounds. And by being super specific with that goal, they did a great job. They motivated everyone in the company to really work on those two things and do it by a specific date. I think it was the fall of 1970.

And so as a result, they put the blinders on and said that, "Those are the only things that matter." That was coming from the very top of the company, pushing people to do that. And they started to make sacrifices in areas that they normally wouldn't want to make those sacrifices. So they made sacrifices in safety, in particular, and that resulted in essentially putting the gas tank in the wrong place. But because that wasn't aligned with what the goal is, it wasn't necessarily important to that goal. They just kind of overlooked it. Nobody really made it a priority to address that. And as a result, you started getting a lot of these Pintos that were actually exploding in minor accidents and lots of people died from it.

So there's always a risk when you set a very specific goal, that you can actually do as much harm as good with that goal. So the recommendation from Andy Grove on this is that, “For every metric, there should be a paired metric that addresses the adverse consequences of the first metric.” And I've seen that quote a lot of times, and I really didn't understand it until I read an article that Marc Andreessen had written on this, a blog post. And part of it I didn't understand because I just really didn't think that much about it.

But what is essentially says is, if we achieve this goal what's the worst thing that could happen to us as a result of achieving this? So it's essentially trying to look at some of the consequences to achieving the goal. Like in the case of the Ford, we might overlook safety, and if we did that, people might die. Wow. Safety isn’t actually something that could be sacrificed in the course of doing that.

Enron is another example, where Enron, they set revenue goals where it was these super aggressive revenue goals. But as a result, they sacrificed profit on the way to those revenue goals. So they would need to say, "If we set these revenue goals, what is the potential risk?" Is that we're going to do a bunch of bad deals that could bankrupt the company?

So in each of these cases, the idea is that if you pair it with a second goal, so like in the case of Pinto, if they had actually said, you know, something that's measurable around safety, that they should try to set a safety goal. Because that's going to keep the whole company focused on that goal and the other more specific goal. But it protects the downside of adverse consequences of achieving the first goal. So this is really important to keep in mind. And I think it's something that a lot of us overlooked, but we shouldn't. So I'll let Morgan take this next risk of goal setting.

Morgan Brown: Thanks, Sean. Well, unintended consequences don't just happen when you over optimize on one specific goal. If you're too focused, kind of... Yeah, we talked a lot about focus, but you have to have the ability to take in new information, and adjust goals as you learn things. So if you think of goals, as Bob said, as hypotheses, as you learn things, you have to be able to organizationally, either at the company level, at the team level, or even at a personal level, adjust and modify your behavior based on new data that comes in.

There's actually a really fascinating study done in 1999, where researchers asked people to watch a basketball game, and count the number of passes between the players on the court. And the people were so focused on trying to count the number of passes on the basketball court that none of them saw the woman dressed up as a gorilla mascot walking right across the court.

And so that really shows you that if you get too myopic, too unwilling to look at new information coming in, you might actually miss really big opportunities to grow your business. You might have heard this talked about a lot as the phenomenon of reaching a local maxima, where you're optimizing around a goal that you have, but right on the other side, is may be something that's much larger and a much bigger opportunity. So you have to be able to have flexibility and adjust to the new information that's coming to you.

Another problem with goals is that if you have too many goals, that they won't be effective for you at all. Right? So you can set goals across every part of your business, across all sorts of different initiatives. And if you think that setting goals is going to be the thing that gets you to success, you're going to be disappointed. It's called the false hope syndrome for a reason. And the idea that just setting a goal will generate your motivation is really false hope. And this is very clear if you've ever set a New Year’s resolution, particularly if you wanted to exercise more or lose weight. I think the stats are that about 8% of people that set New Year's resolutions actually keep them for the whole 365 days of the New Year. And I think that 8% might actually be a little generous.

And I think the reason that this is a problem is that goals are actually much harder to achieve than we think when we set them out. Right? So most goal setting fails because we are either overly optimistic about what we think we can achieve. And then when we don't get those results, we back slide and give up. Or if we don't get immediate gratification, and we don't see immediate progress towards that goal, we also give up. And so setting too many goals hurts with your focus, and also can lead to false sense of security, and give you a false sense of hope, which ultimately doesn't move you forward at all. So those are big things to avoid when goal setting for growth.

The other big one is, and this happens a lot in organizations, where goals are set that are impossible. And setting impossible goals can have the opposite effect. Rather than motivating a team, impossible goals can be incredibly de-motivating. So it's really important that goals are a collaborative exercise. Sometimes these mission impossible goals come from the top of an organization down. They're handed down to a team from the leadership.

And if you're in a leadership role, it's really important that you understand that there's a difference between setting big hairy audacious goals, those beehive goals, and setting goals that are impossible. It's really a fine balancing act between motivating folks with stretch goals that are challenging, and goals that are impossible to achieve. So that's kind of the “got you” that you definitely need to watch out for on goal setting. Bob?

Robert Moore: Great. Rounding up a list here is a discussion around vanity metrics, and this classic pitfall that I'm sure many of you listening are aware of, which is a tempting to measure your success based on vanity metrics, as opposed to metrics that are more actionable, or that are tied to specific changes in behavior that might happen as a result of them coming out a certain way.

It really speaks to preventing the idea of having a fuzzy definition of success and doubles down on that. I think the trick really to having this work for you is just defining failure as clearly as you define success. Now, if you have a numeric goal, it's obviously very binary. You either cross the threshold or you didn't. But it's really harder when goals are a little more qualitative.

My co-founder, Jake always says, "What are our success criteria for this project that we're working on?" And what he's really doing there, even in an environment where we don't have a chart that will check every single day to check our progress toward goal, he's setting goals, and he's pushing people to identify the line between success and failure.

So I think I that as long as you’re asking that question, and you're following it up with “if,” the extra thing – why doesn't it happen? Will the project still be a success? Or will it be considered a failure? And really continuing to drill down and ask, why, why, why – until the point we can put a very fine line on it, you end up in a much better place if you've done that. Because in terms of understanding whether or not you're going to make it out the other end of your project, and look back on it, and think of it as successful.

So I think that's really the difference between the action, ability, and the vanity of goal is very much like the metrics counterpart. It's just a matter of, will this change your behavior? And will this change the way you think about the progress that you're making as a company? Sean?

Sean Ellis: Thanks, Bob. So I wanted to look at how we can get really actionable with this. So a lot of this has been some of the learnings behind the importance of goals and some of the risks of goals. But how can you actually start to take goals and apply it to your growth hacking approach, to your marketing approach, and actually start to achieve the results that you want to achieve?

So what we came up with was a framework that I want to talk about with the other speakers and get their take on this framework. Because I think that this is not necessarily the only way to frame this up. But just generally, what I think you're doing with a hypothesis is that you're just making assumptions around what is important to the business. And then, what are the K.P.I.s, the key performance indicators that are essentially giving you the health of the things that are important to the business? And then from there, you can start to set specific goals.

So specific goals that are going to start to move those K.P.I.s. So specific areas that you're going to focus on, and programs that you can execute to achieve the goals, and to move those K.P.I.s, and start to see and validate the hypothesis or not. Like I gave you the example, with Qualaroo in the early days, I thought expanding the base of users was really important for driving the overall growth of the business. But my hypothesis was flawed in the how I would be able to form, to expand that base of the users, and get more of that promotion out there. So in the process of tracking that progress, I realized that my hypothesis was a bit flawed. We���ve started to make big adjustments.

And so part of this is being really receptive to the new information that's coming in. And when you have a hypothesis, and all of this works, you start to set your goal, and you’re achieving your goals, and you're moving the K.P.I.s against the hypothesis, then you do want to socialize those with the rest of the company, and really let everyone know how the company is moving forward against the hypothesis. But sometimes, it's not going to happen exactly as you’re thinking. So you’re going to want to iterate those. So that's my take on the framework. But I'm curious what Morgan and Bob think on this as well.

Robert Moore: Yeah, I think what's really exciting about this, and I think you'll find this in a lot of paradigms around growth hacking, and really building a business more generally, is that this is probably a bit more cyclical than it appears by the illustration here, just because for a lot of the reasons that you were saying, each incremental hypothesis is really, ideally more deeply informed by the progress and the iteration that has come out of a previous experiment.

So if you're working within a particular department, and working toward one of those toward macro goals I was talking about before, whether it's a revenue or lead count, and you go down the rabbit hole, thinking that a particular channel, or a particular method of boosting those numbers is going to work, you come out the other end with new information that's actually going to help you set the next goal or form the next hypothesis. Even if it doesn't feel the way up to your master macro goal in the first place. And I think that as long as there's an element, you know, there's kind of that mini cycle in there of execution in tracking progress. But I think there's also a mega cycle here, that when you get done with following this framework through, you're going to be better at doing it the next time you do it.

Sean Ellis: I actually have an example from GrowthHackers that I think is pretty interesting here where we set a lot of our goals around monthly active users. And as Morgan took us through before, around using Twitter and email to help to drive top of funnel, really, Twitter to drive a lot of top of funnel, and email to drive a lot of that retention.

But when we looked at our monthly active user count and we looked at those channels, we saw that our monthly active user count was not moving at the pace that we wanted it to move. And so that's where we had to go back and sort of say, okay, the hypothesis was that if we just expose more people to it, then we're going to get them to stay. But then, when we saw that we were not moving the monthly active users at the pace that we wanted to, not growing at the pace that we wanted to, then we stepped back and said, well, it turns out that we're not retaining people as well as we hoped to. Why is that? And really studying the user patterns, and realizing how people were going through the site, and going to other areas.

And then those people who were staying, what were they doing differently? And then actually informing even the product development, and some of the pipeline of activities that we had to then better drive retention. So there's a lot of levers around that. So it's that kind of understanding of, again, the hypothesis, what we think is important at that time.

What we realized was that better engagement was actually important. And so we started to refine some of the K.P.I.s, and goals, and programs all around that. So that's the learning part, when you don't achieve the goals that you set out to achieve, asking, "why?" starts to help you refine that hypothesis, and just get smarter at the business so that ultimately, you’re driving growth across. You're focusing on the lever that matters at any given time. So, Bob, do you want to take us through the Golden Motion?

Robert Moore: Yeah, let’s talk about the Golden Motion. I think it’s a very natural extension of what we're talking about here. This is an example that is rooted in some work that we've done here at RJMetrics. But I think we stand on the shoulders of giants in a lot of respect here, because many companies have been able to use this approach to find an iterative pathway to working toward, and achieving the goals that they're setting.

So the Golden Motion is probably one of the most powerful concepts we encountered in building RJMetrics. It's this idea that specific customer, or prospect actions, or properties serve as really powerful indicators of their future value, or the likelihood of doing a thing that you want them to do. So the cool thing about Golden Motion is that you can often actually find them, or calculate them, or retroactively by looking at data that you didn't even necessarily collect with the intent of doing this analysis on, but can help you identify things like these, based on the customers you've already got, and the properties of certain ones that they really stand apart.

So a good example from the early RJMetrics days, we have always offered a free trial with our products. And obviously conversion rate is paramount there. And we always kept it really close, high on how well people in the free trial were converting. And what we decided to do at one point was look back at the population of people that had and had not converted. And then see if there were properties that could help us identify what the people that converted had in common.

And what we really came out to the other end was this idea that… When you look at the data from a high level, you can look at all kinds of stuff. Do they login? Did they view dashboards? Did they set up email summaries? How many charts did they build and edit? How many other users did they invite, etc., etc. And we found over really overwhelmingly that our Golden Motion was editing charts. So going in and actually performing analysis in the tool, iterating on analysis, rather than just viewing what was there.

If a user never edited a chart, they converted at about 30% of the time. Users who edited at least one chart, that number doubled to 60% . Ad users who edited two or more converted at 77% rate, which is really incredible. So because of that, we changed our behavior. We knew exactly what to execute on. We built guided tours and training sessions around the building a chart experience.

And this really ensured that 100% of our free trial users were able to experience the full power of the system. And that has pushed our overall coverage rate today to about 65%. So better than double, what it was before we did the analysis. And that's a really, really powerful thing based on this that we could use this data to better these rates.

Sean Ellis: Thanks, Bob. It sounds like you're… Bob’s recovering from sickness, in case anyone has noticed that. Your voice is holding up. But hang in there we're almost at the end of the session.

Robert Moore: Yeah, no sweat. It's funny. I would love to blame it on the call quality, but it is my human biology unfortunately.

Sean Ellis: Exactly. But it's only on these long times that it starts… But we’ll really get there . Okay. I'm going to jump into the execution and share, really, the process that we use inside the GrowthHackers team. Well, also inside the Qualaroo team. So we really have them divided out. I mean, that’s all the same parent company but we've got a couple of different products right now.

And what we're going through is essentially using a system to prioritize test, where we actually guessing, really, on the potential impact that a successful test would have on an idea. How confident are we that it will be successful? And then how easy is it to implement and test? And so we score everything on a one to 10 scale. Others have done that. It's kind of similar to a Pi metric. It's just something that says, what are the key factors we should be considering on figuring out what we want to test against the goals? And then prioritizing a set of things that we could be testing.

So with that, in order to prioritize these set of things, you have to have a pretty healthy backlog of ideas. So what we do is encourage the whole team to submit and share ideas, and so we can build a big backlog. I think we're sitting at about 65 ideas. It’s our idea backlog right now. And the more ideas we have, the more this sorting criteria, it gives us an idea of what we want to essentially move into the testing cue, and then start to run those tests.

So it becomes really important to feed the pipeline of ideas. And also important to have a good cadence of, what are we testing? And when something works, how do we communicate that with the rest of the team? And get that sort of... especially that these are the many, many ideas against the goal. So this is part of where that dopamine kicks in, is that when we communicate a win out to the rest of the team, and when we say, whose idea it was, that person gets that burst of dopamine, and gets excited about the success. The whole team gets excited about that success. And really pulls everybody into the process, so that we're all catapulting in the same direction and moving things forward.

And it's not just what I think is important that I'm pushing through. But even the scoring is a pretty collaborative process where, right now, we do it all online. So we're moving to where we're going to be sitting in a weekly meeting, and going through these scores, and really figuring out, okay, what are the key tests that we want to run this week. So this has been an ongoing process that’s continuing to refine that process. Knowing that good cadence and backlog of ideas is ultimately how you achieve those results. And that directionally, those ideas are a function of the goals that you’re setting in the first place. So, Bob, do you want us take us through how you do the progress tracking? So actually, why not I take this? I'm going to save your voice.

Robert Moore: Awesome. Thanks, Sean.

Sean Ellis: Based on what I heard, the cat’s disappeared in there at the end. So, yeah, let’s talk about the importance of short feedback loops, that those short feedback loops help you both adjust to the information that is coming in, but also gives you the little rewards when you have a win. If you don't have a win, you learn. So you're able to say, why didn't we get that win? Why did that not turn out the way that we thought it was going to turn out? And then you inform your hypothesis, and you have some level of learning.

You don't necessarily learn what's going to work, but you learn what didn't work. So you’ll get smarter even if you didn't get win. But when you do get a, win that's where you do the hacking of the brain, where you get that excitement for yourself and across the whole team. And then it helps keep the focus. So having clear goals, tracking the progress against those goals, tracking the individual ideas that you are using to impact the goals, gives everyone, really, focus on what's important.

And with the example that I mentioned with GrowthHackers where we had a top line monthly active user goal, we thought the key lever was acquisition. But when we couldn't move the monthly active user goal as fast as we wanted to, then we said, okay, acquisition is not the problem. When we studied all the metrics, it was retention. And so we're actually going to release… Maybe we’ve done it today, or tomorrow we're going to be releasing topic subpages, so that when someone shows an interest in a particular topic, now they can go deep within that topic, and get a new layer of engagement within that topic, and geek out with other people who share their passion around, say, conversion, or around social, or Twitter, or whatever specific area that matters.

So that guides our product development road map. That guides the tactical ideas that we’re running. And ultimately, all of these things are based on a set of hypotheses that may or may not work. But having those clear goals is going to help us help us learn through that process. So that's how we track progress and how tracking progress actually feeds into better learning along the way. So hopefully your voice is better now. You want to take us through how you do it, Bob?

Robert Moore: Oh yeah. I'm back with a vengeance. And lucky for you guys, I get a dopamine rush every time I talk about this subject. So it'll get me right through. I really wanted to focus in on how lucky we are to be doing business in the area of cloud-based software, and all the technology that's at our fingertips, around actually making sure that you can rally your team with goals, and you as an individual can make sure that you are setting and tracking your goals in a way, that does not create an incremental burden on your calendar, or a high tax on the actual work that you're doing to achieve those goals.

So for some people, it's as simple as a Google spreadsheet with some goals in it. For people that use tools like Google Analytics to look at the top of the funnel, you can do a lot of great stuff in there around understanding where you are at any given moment. We even have a thing here at RJMetrics where we've wired up a Raspberry Pi to a windshield wiper motor. And it rings a gong every single time we get a new sale.

That kind of stimulation associated with goal achievement really, really moves right into that dopamine channel. And we really try to tap into that well. We see our customers do this, too, actually in using our own products. So here's an example of a company called Craftsy that has a history of crushing their goals generally. And you can see here where they’ve actually used RJMetrics to monitor their progress against their goal. And it really becomes this compounding, motivating factor over time.

Sean Ellis: Morgan, do you have any ideas you want to jump in onto?

Morgan Brown: Yeah, absolutely. So first of all, I expect a white paper on how to build the automated gong, Bob. After this webinar, it would be outstanding.

Robert Moore: Yeah. It's a trade secret but I'll loop you in.

Morgan Brown: Excellent. But you know there are lots of ways. If you can't build a gong, if you can't find their secret plans online, there's lots of ways to socialize when learning goals and growth objectives. And as Sean has said repeatedly, that dopamine rush is really important and it's not limited just to you. And the best organizations, the best growth organizations, growth is important to everyone in the company. Right? And everyone’s aligned around the growth of the company. And that’s done by communicating the goals, the wins and the losses.

So whether your using a Google Spreadsheet, or you use a Slack channel, or a HipChat room, or you send out weekly or daily emails to the team, or you track results in confluence, or you have T.V. monitors up in the office, or you do lunch and learns with the team. Whatever it is, it's really important to share those wins, share those goals, so that everyone can participate and feel invested in the goals of the company, and the wins, and the learning, and really be aligned with what you're trying to achieve in growing your business.

We did some surveying on GrowthHackers.com around this, and we found that 35% of marketers who answered the survey don't share testing or growth wins with their team. And that's such a huge missed opportunity for organizational buy-in, and forgetting everyone aligned around what you're trying to achieve. Goals work best when people are all aligned around them. We talked about that in the focus section that, focus helps to bring individuals together around a collective objective. And you have to share the objectives, and the progress, and the learning, and the losses in order to align everyone and motivate the entire organization towards that goal.

Facilitator: Bottom line, GrowthHackers use goals to learn. Now get out there and form a hypothesis.