Luke Summerfield, Program Manager and GDD guru at HubSpot, shared with Campaign Creators how to apply Growth-Driven Design tactics to your campaign funnels today to boost your results and his predictions for the future of GDD.

This blog post is part of "Your Definitive Guide to Lead Nurturing" blog series.



Apply GDD Tactics to your Marketing Funnel in 3 Steps

Step 1: Find Your Bottleneck

Analyze your entire funnel - from the ToFu to the BoFu and all the workflows, landing pages and emails in between - to determine where your biggest bottleneck is. This is where you should focus your efforts first. 


Step 2: Do Some Digging

Determine what your user is trying to accomplish at the point of the bottleneck and what the challenge (or friction) is that is holding them back from accomplishing this action.


Step 3: Brainstorm and Prioritize

Brainstorm a list of action items you implement to decrease or eliminate the friction that your user is experiencing at that step.

Prioritize your list of action items using the following evaluation criteria from 1-10 (or small, medium, large, xlarge):

  • Impact - If you implement this action, how impactful will it be on your bottleneck?
  • Effort - How much time or effort will it take to implement this action item?
  • Priority - Is this action item time-sensitive?

Using this criteria will allow you to adjust and sort your list of ideas to determine the most impactful, time-sensitive, and least effortful action you can take to relieve your bottleneck. And often solving one bottleneck will have a ripple effect throughout your entire funnel.



the Future of Growth-Driven Design


Since Luke began talking about GDD a year and a half ago and HubSpot released it's GDD certification in June, 650 agencies in 56 countries are have completed the certification and every month this number is increasing. Luke has no doubt that GDD will be the way websites will be built in the future, and that this is the approach we should also be taking towards our marketing and sales enablement activities because its the smartest approach to getting the results we seek.


Tools and Tech

Most of us lack the skill set to examine and determine where our bottlenecks are and therefore where we should be investing our time and resources. Luke believes we will start to see software and technology working behind the scenes to accomplish these tasks. This tech will be balanced with an easier and easier interface for the end user via the use of bots and machine learning.

We want to thank Luke Summerfield for sharing his GDD passion and wisdom with Campaign Creators. What are your predictions for the future of GDD? Where can you begin applying this philosophy to your business? Let us know by commenting below.


Interested in enhancing your inbound strategy? Follow this free Inbound Marketing Ecosystem worksheet to create the assets necessary to start generating and converting your leads at a rate like never before.


Video Transciption

Tammy: At Campaign Creators we really focus on creating theseinbound marketing campaign funnels for our clients. I'm curious how you see, you talked about these principals of growth driven design; how do you see, or maybe the top three principals as being applied today to something like a campaign funnel?

Luke: The first thing that we talked about, I'll kind of go back to some of the principles and then boil it down into "Here are the tactics and the things that you can start implementing." The first thing is looking at where you're putting that investment. In a campaign of course from top of the funnel, middle of the funnel, bottom of the funnel, and all the steps that go in between, and all the work flows; there's a lot of moving pieces.

There's a book written called The Goal, it's written about the lean manufacturing world. Essentially what they want to look for is, in the manufacturing world you want to look where is your biggest bottleneck. If we use the analogy of a manufacturing floor, and all the steps of all the machines, and all the people as steps in the process of building a widget; we essentially have that exact same process but in the context of all of these top of the funnel work flows, middle of the funnel, all the way to producing a customer, and maybe even beyond that.

What we want to look for is where is the biggest bottleneck in that line. That allows us to start getting focused on then going through and talking about all the things we talked about earlier; what's the job they're trying to do at this step?

I think instead trying just to shotgun approach the entire process, is first do an assessment of "Here are all the steps and here's our biggest bottleneck. This is where we should focus our time and energy back to the investment." We know we invest a dollar into solving this bottleneck or an hour into this, we're going to get a disproportionate return on that goal that we're trying to achieve.

Tammy: That helps you prioritize instead of thinking it's broken and trying to fix everything at the same time. You can really hone in on biggest bang for your buck.

Luke: Right. A lot of times if you solve one of those bottlenecks, it's going to have a ripple effect later down in the funnel. You can end up finding that one little bottleneck that we're going to spend a lot of time and energy really solving that versus something a little bit later on where you spend the same amount of time and energy but don't get the output.

The takeaway on this is it's very important for you, just like startups model their business model, it's very important for you to do what we call growth modeling, where you do each one of the steps in Excel, in a spreadsheet. What's your conversion rate? What's the growth of it? All these different things, eventually you have this kind of model within Excel that you can play with.

You can say, "Hmm, I think this step is where we should focus our time right now. That's where we should invest our time. What would happen if we managed to increase this from 1.5% conversion to a 2%?" You plug that in, and when it's in Excel, Excel magic happens and you see what the output is. You're like, "Okay, that's okay. Let's rewind that, hit undo. What if we focused on this area?" You can maybe change whatever you thought you could increase there. When that trickles all the way down that's really going to have an impact.

Spending the time to model that out and then kind of use that model to best, like we talked about, figure out where is that focus that you can narrow in on.

Tammy: That's great because you could apply that one document that you used, that Excel document, to your campaigns over and over again; just new numbers, but if you have the infrastructure.

Luke: Yeah.

Tammy: That's great. Any other key principals that you think can be applied to a marketing campaign, an inbound campaign?

Luke: Step one is figure out where's our focus. Step two we go through some of those things that we've talked about, figuring out what's the challenge users are running into, do the research. Then we get to the brainstorming when we have all these things.

I talked about prioritizing, which is huge. There's three different metrics that you could use ... Not metrics but evaluation criteria for each item, we call them action items. First one is impact. Your team gives it an impact score from 1-10, or if you don't want to use numbers, some people use shirt sizes; small, medium, large, XL if you don't necessarily want to use numbers. Sometimes numbers, people get a little too in the weeds when you start getting into numbers. XL, large, that makes it pretty easy where this falls.

Basically what you're trying to say is, "Okay, based of that area, that little bottleneck we had identified; we have all these ideas. If we implement these ideas, how is it going to impact that bottleneck? Is it a small impact, medium impact, large impact, XL?" Whatever that is.

The second thing is effort. You could have two things that maybe will impact at a XL level, but if one you can get done in a day and one's going to take six months, probably prioritize the one you get done quicker a little bit up.

You first prioritize by impact, then by effort and then the last one is priority. Inevitably in businesses things come up; there's trade shows, there's deadlines, your boss needs something tomorrow.

Tammy: Never.

Luke: You could do it with a priority score as well. Then sometimes there may be no priority on it meaning we'll get to it when we can. Sometimes it's like "We have this trade show, so that helps us." Those three prioritizations will allow you to adjust and sort that list, which then you basically can grab off the most important, the most impactful, most time sensitive; start implementing those to relieve that bottleneck that we talked about. I think that's probably another good one that I would say was a good takeaway.

Tammy: Awesome. I think that gives everyone stuff they can do right now and takeaway with their marketing campaigns. Looking ahead, this could be GDD in general; what are your predictions for the future? Do you see usage going up, adoption of this methodology? Any trends you see in the use of GDD?

Luke: I'll give you two things I'm seeing; one will be more on the tool side, one will be more on the methodology. The methodology; for those of you familiar with Agile and the software world of it, a lot of the principles come from Agile and Lean, and have been repackaged into thinking about that in the context of our website. Agile is kind of the backbone, then we add on top of it.

We've already kind of learned some of these things in the software world and now it's starting with growth driven design to pick up some steam in the web world. I started talking about it maybe a year and a half ago and we released a certification for agencies in June, so that's now 10-11 months ago. No, less than that; 10 months ago. We now have 650 agencies in 56 countries that are certified and every single month it's picking up momentum.

I personally, of course I'm biased, but I have no doubt this is the way that websites in the future are going to be built. Honestly, this is that way that we need to start also looking at our marketing, at our sales enablement, and really just take these principles that we talked about, because it's just such a smarter approach to getting the results that we want. Of course I'm biased, my mission is to transform the way of web. I'm going to keep pushing to do that with all the other amazing community members like yourself.

On the technology side, I think this is going to be something that we see both whether it's growth driven design tools, whether it's marketing tools, whatever it is. We hear a lot about all this information that we have at our fingertips; all this data, all this information that we can learn.

We already talked about some of it; what's going on with your users, how are they interacting, where's the bottlenecks? The problem is that one, most of us lack the skillsets to properly go through all of that stuff and figure out "Okay, this is where we should invest our time and money and here's what we're seeing based off the numbers."

The second part is it's very time consuming. To spend the time and energy of sifting through this, doing user interviews. Doing all of this is very important, but it's very time consuming. I think what we're going to see is that as powerful as that stuff is, we're going to start seeing more and more of that power being harnessed behind the scenes.

Looking at how can we use software and technology to do a lot of that for us, so that we don't need a data scientist in house at every single one. We don't need millions of Excel spreadsheets to take us 10 hours to put together to get one little nugget. We're going to see a lot of that starting to be done through computers.

On the flip side of that I think what we'll see is that's going to be balanced with making it very simple for the end user, what the end user sees. We have some of that stuff already, but of course it's very confusing. We have numbers everywhere, all of this. What they're going to see is a very clean, clear interface where it's "What are you trying to accomplish? Let us know." You type it in and it's like, "Let me do some work behind the scenes" and then it pops out your recommendation.

There's a bunch of ways you can do that, I think bots are going to play a big part in making that piece of it, making it very user-friendly, spin to all this powerful technology behind the scenes. Bots are a good way to do that. Of course machine learning as you're doing these experiments, as you're trying new things. You report back and it sees the results, it can get smarter about what it recommends.

That's what we're going to see at the back end of it, behind the scenes, behind the curtain is going to get more and more powerful, and that balanced with an easier and easier user interface. Essentially the goal is that anyone could do it, a five year old can do it. They can jump on and they'll be able to have all that power.

Tammy: All friction gone.

Luke: All that power right at their fingertips, all friction gone. I think that's what we're going to see both in like I said, GDD world, but also marketing and probably sales and everywhere. You see it with some of the acquisition sales force has done recently, some of the announcements that Microsoft has, and stuff where doing at HubSpot. It's no secret that that's the direction we're going.

Tammy : Sean actually, he shared in one of our blogs about his recap, inbound some tools and trends for the future and talked about a lot of those things. Definitely.

Luke: Cool. That's part two, you can watch that next.

Tammy: You can check that out. I want to thank you Luke for stopping by and chatting with us.

Luke: It was a pleasure.

Tammy : You can find Luke on Twitter @SaavyLuke.

Luke: Double V.

Tammy: Of course you can always find us @Campaign_Create. Thanks a lot, have a great day guys.

Luke: See you.

Interested in enhancing your inbound strategy? Follow this free Inbound Marketing Ecosystem worksheet to create the assets necessary to start generating and converting your leads at a rate like never before.

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