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Optimisation to Innovation: A Marketer's Journey 🏔️ 🚵🏻‍♀️ 🧗🏻‍♀️

My Experimentation Epiphany (and Why It Applies to Everything)

This week's newsletter might be a little different from your usual marketing strategy fix. Today, I want to share a learning experience that's become a core principle in my marketing approach, and honestly, in my entire life (both professional and personal). It all started early on in my career when I was working with an edtech startup.

I was tasked with finding new avenues of growth. Like any energetic marketer, I dived headfirst into the challenge. I created a beautiful, extensive Google Sheet, brimming with 20-25 different strategies, hacks to acquire more users and boost revenue.

Feeling confident and ready to impress, I presented my masterpiece to my manager. He was happy to see my initiative, but there was also a hint of…disappointment? Confused, I dug deeper.

My manager pointed out that most of the strategies I had listed were optimizations rather than innovations. To me, they sounded like the same thing—ways to grow and improve. But he took the time to break down the difference:

  • Optimization: These are incremental improvements, often predictable and low-risk. They tweak and refine what already exists, enhancing performance step-by-step. Think of A/B testing landing pages or fine-tuning your email marketing campaigns. It’s like adding a few more sprinkles to a cake you’ve already baked.

  • Innovation: This is about moonshots—bold, game-changing moves that can be unpredictable but have the potential to revolutionize your growth. It’s discovering untouched marketing channels, building new tools, or launching parallel product lines. Innovation is like inventing a whole new type of dessert altogether.

The Power of Both: Innovation Ignites, Optimization Fuels

At first, I felt a bit deflated. My grand Google Sheet was more about optimization. But then I realized the value in what my manager was saying. Optimization is incredibly important—it’s often our bread and butter. Conversion optimization, for example, is still a significant part of my daily work. Those small, continuous tweaks keep the engine running smoothly and efficiently.

However, innovation is where true breakthroughs happen. It’s the spark that can set you apart in a crowded market. The greatest companies and marketers are known for their innovative approaches. David Ogilvy revolutionized advertising, Neil Patel pushed the boundaries of SEO and paid ads, Seth Godin introduced permission marketing, and Sean Ellis popularized growth hacking. These legends didn’t just optimize; they innovated and changed the game.

You can find more such interesting reads in my Previous Emails, just search for emails sent from “growthfolks.club or if you use Gmail then Just Click On This Link.

Finding the Balance

Since that conversation, I’ve always kept my eyes and ears open for opportunities to innovate, while never neglecting the optimizations that keep things running efficiently. It’s a delicate balance, but one that can lead to incredible success.

Final Thoughts

So, next time you’re working on your marketing strategies, ask yourself: Are you optimizing or innovating? Both are essential, but recognizing the difference can help you push boundaries and find those game-changing opportunities.

Remember, optimization keeps you afloat, but innovation sets you sailing toward new horizons. Embrace both, and you’ll not only see growth but also create a lasting impact in your industry.

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Curious about what happened to my 25+ growth hacks Google sheet?

Well, after that conversation, I narrowed it down to a strategic mix – 5 optimization activities, and 2 bold innovation experiments. These innovations involved some pretty radical changes, like giving away all our learning material for free and completely restructuring the sales team's approach.

The innovation experiments were a resounding success! But you'll have to wait for future posts to dive deeper into those juicy details.

Happy marketing, folks! Keep optimizing, keep innovating, and most importantly, keep learning.

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