Scale & Automation: GMLC Phase 4

About The Author

Ahmad Iqbal

Ahmad Iqbal

Co-founder and CEO at HMS Commerce. Product development and marketing of our suite of apps, as well as providing growth marketing services to select merchants.

Scale & Automation

During Scale we add fuel on the flames created in sprints. This stage should happen when needed, either coming off a hot experiment or waiting for the right season to scale (like the Chinese New Year example mentioned earlier or on BFCM which we’ll cover shortly below).

Your teams should aim to have a scale-ready initiative identified at least once a quarter. If not that’s OK too, just think of every quarter as a time-boxed macro-sprint for the team to use as bookends for their backlog. Running this on a quarterly basis also makes sense because it fits with most organization’s quarterly reporting cadence, and overlaps with seasonal shopping shifts like spring, summer, fall and winter.

Referencing the earlier graph about the difference in 2.5% weekly growth vs 25% quarterly growth, the objective of this stage is to also have a chance at those 25% growth lifts. After all, what’s better than 2.5% weekly compounded growth? The answer: 2.5% weekly compounded growth with the addition of 25% quarterly lifts to boot.

It’s about finding the right levers to pull. It may be that your team has already identified the levers it needs to pull to drive growth for your team. The most relatable example is Customer Retention. You should already know which channels, offers and audiences to pull on and manipulate in order to drive some subset of sales. For example, during Black Friday/Cyber Monday, your team should have historical data on how many orders and how much revenue is driven through an email or push notifications blast. This email channel for retention is something of an “always-on” channel.

In another example real-life example, you created a new customer welcome email sequence that does a good job in creating a 2nd purchase. During the Growth Sprint phase, test new email sequences for different subsets of customers, and when you find something that performs better than the control group, Scale that to “always-on” for this newly identified audience segment.

A seasonal retail sales event like BFCM is ideal to scale proven hypotheses. Not only do we know BFCM will drive X% of our yearly revenues, but by testing several hypotheses around the Email/Push channels, difference audience segments, and content such as language and/or creative, we can implement our best combinations during BFCM and create an even greater lift this year versus last.

During the Growth Sprints, the retention focused hypotheses should test new combinations of the marketing mix. Different combinations of audiences, offers, channels and timing so we can find new insights on why things work or don’t. These learnings may not create that big AHA discovery for a 10x campaign, but it may create more lift for a big retail sales event and will steepen your growth curve incrementally when rolled out during Scale.

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