Measuring Growth Marketing Success in a Start-Up

Published on: | Updated on: | Trisha Miles

If you’re the kind of go-getter who’s involved in a start-up, then you want to see your company succeed. It can be hard to get there, and even harder to know what metrics you should use to gauge success.  

Luckily, there are some key indicators that will help you figure out if you’re on the right trajectory of growth in your start-up marketing strategy.  

Is Your Growth Marketing on the Right Track?

In this week’s Growth Marketing Chat episode, Josh Little, founder, and CEO of Volley, gives insight on his company, his go-to marketing strategies, and how to tell if you’re heading in the right direction from a marketing standpoint. 

Press play to learn about: 

  • Why face-to-face contact is so necessary in business 
  • The importance of the “who/what” pair in growth marketing 
  • Key signals that you’ve got a great product-market fit 
  • The essentiality of customer retention  

After you’ve built your growth marketing strategy, it’s time to figure out if it’s working. If you’re not seeing the indicators you want, then investing in help with your growth marketing might be the right thing for you.  

Watch the full interview to find out how to succeed in growth marketing...and how to know you’re succeeding! 

Video Transcript:

CAROLINE: Hi, welcome to Growth Marketing Chat. Today I'm here with Josh Little. Josh is the CEO and founder of Volley. Uh, prior to founding Volley, he also started uh, different um, tech companies, uh, but this new one is really exciting, really innovative, so I'm really happy to have him here today. Josh, thank you so much for being with me. 

JOSH: Oh, it's my pleasure. Thanks for having me. 

CAROLINE: Uh, so before we start and talk about growth, I'd love if you could tell us a little bit more about Volley and kind of how you're innovating. 

JOSH: Yeah. Volley, it's a new way to move work forward. It's an asynchronous video messaging app for remote teams and it helps remote teams communicate better. So instead of faceless communication methods like Slack and email, Volley helps kind of bring the full context, clarity and humanity of your message because it uses asynchronous video. So in Volley, um, you take turns just like any other conversation, except you record your turn with video. 

And this gives us kind of the best of both worlds, the richness of talking with the flexibility of texting. So you can think Snapchat for work, WhatsApp for work that's, that's, that's the headline. But most people come to Volley because they appreciate the, the asynch video messaging back and forth. Uh, eighty-three percent of Volleys sent are video messages. And so that's why people come and stay. 

CAROLINE: Nice. Nice. So no more misunderstanding what you meant by there's like three little dots at the end of your message. Right? 

JOSH: Right. Yeah. So we, we help clarify any written communication, but what we're finding is for the right, the right team, trying to do big things, communication matters. They're picking up Volley and replacing not only Slack, but Loom as well as some of their Zooms, because a lot of the things that you're meeting synchronously about just don't need to be synchronous, but they do need to be a few volleys back and forth with some context and some empathy and some explanation and it neither Slack or email or other, you know, text-based methods are the right place for those things. So, we're pretty excited to see that that the teams are using Volley for most of their interactions. 

CAROLINE: Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's so that's so interesting. There's so much you can convey even just with voice, right. And facial expression that are totally lost in written communication. 

JOSH: Yeah, that's right. I mean, social scientists say that ninety-three percent of the full picture of communication is attributed to tone of voice and body language. Only seven percent of the message is actually in the words that we choose to use. And that's why we have video on right now is because this would be kind of a weird interview over email or yeah. 

CAROLINE: Um, all right. So that's a very exciting product and it's very disruptive. Um, and so I'd like to learn more about your go to market strategy. And since you know, this is not your first rodeo, uh, you know, how, like, how do you think startups should approach uh, go to market in general? 

JOSH: Oh, that would assume that we have a go-to market strategy. You think we've got it figured out? I'm not sure, but I'm happy to talk about it. So it's different for each startup for each company, Volley is my fourth. And, so each one has had kind of a different need um, and it always starts with kind of a validation process and validating, um, and there's always a who/what pair, who is using a product for what that has to be nailed, even a product like Volley, it's a pretty cool product. It can be used for a hundred different things. So we, you know, our go-to market strategy has to be aligned behind who we're seeing, the, the, who/what pair have most success. 

And that's for us with Volley has, has come down to, um, who, remote teams, what team communication and collaboration. Um, you could use a tool like Volley for telemedicine, or, you know, peer-to-peer sales interactions on Craigslist. But, um, this is who we're finding the, having the most value with Volley. So, that's who we're focused on that for. So first you have to kind of figure out your who/what pair and, and, and make sure that you have product market fit with that group. You had another podcast about product market fit. That's another thing that's um, hard to know, but I love them. 

And Marc Andreessen quote, and I'm going to butcher it. It's it's, but it's basically, you know, when you have it, if you have to ask whether you have product market fit, if you're not sure, if you're trying to figure things out and try different things, you don't have it.  Um, and it I've been in that spot multiple times where yeah, it feels like something's working now, but it's not quite working, and sales seem a little soft and, you know, lead gen is soft or, or whatever it is. And it just means we have some product market fit work to do, and we need to talk to our users. 

CAROLINE: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. And this is, I think this is the single best piece of advice you can give. Any entrepreneur is to focus on this before really investing in unique growth efforts. Because, you know, you can- you can't sell a product that's not ready. Right, so you're going to invest a bunch of money and then not get the returns. So like really if you've done this out first is so important. 

JOSH: It's never that clear though, that's the problem. It's, it's, it's not like no one will pick up the product and use it because in every company you get signal and you see, there are, there is a handful of people that are using the thing, and it it's really working for them, but, but it just feels like it's hard to find more and they're not really referring to others, um, so those are, those are the sorts of indicators. So it's never as black and white as like, oh, we can't get a single person to use this because you can, it's just, you, you're not getting the scale or the, the viral user led growth that you, you need to, to build an enduring and valuable company. 

CAROLINE: All right. It's very right. All right. Well, this is really, really helpful. Is there other signals that you mentioned, like referrals, like if people are using it and then referring other people, that's a good sign that you're like on the right trajectory. Are there other signals that you can find in your user base to show you that you're getting closer to a product market fit? 

JOSH: Yeah, so it depends on the product, uh, but daily active use would be another one for a product like Volley. That's all we're focused on is just creating a daily active user and helping them create more daily active users and making them successful. So, uh, but that's not been the key for products that have been in the past because they're, they're not really a daily active use sort of product. It's more of like a weekly, monthly active use would be a success metric, but, but active, repeated use um, whatever the definition of retention is for your user. 

Like one of the things we're really excited to see with Volley is um, we retained ninety-eight percent of people who send a hundred Volleys. If you get to your hundreds Volley, you're probably never deleting this app because you're in a dozen conversations with people you're moving work forward with and it's valuable, right? The challenge is getting them to that a hundred Volleys, getting that aha moment to happen. And then building that momentum and help, you know, when the ball falls in between two parties, helping pick it up and just say, hey, you want to toss it back? You know, if we could, we could start this conversation back up again. Um, so those are all the little things that we're working on right now, just to try to make that interaction feel magical and it never fizzles out. 

CAROLINE: Awesome. Awesome. Uh, all right. So to sum up here, signals for product market fits, depending on your product, of course, but retention usage is really important knowing when you, when you nailed the retention, I guess like the fact that, you know, okay. After a hundred messages, they're in, they're not going to go anywhere, right. 

Like a lot of people don't know this, but if you need to find this metric and I'm sure it took you time. 

JOSH: Sure. 

CAROLINE: You know to, to get there. So um, yeah. That's really great insight. Thank you so much for sharing with us. 

JOSH: You bet, you bet. 

CAROLINE: Thanks, Josh.