This is the final article on the CXL Growth Marketing Mini degree.
When you first start to study a field, it seems like you have to memorize a zillion things. You don’t. What you need is to identify the core principles—generally three to twelve of them—that govern the field. The million things you thought you had to memorize are simply various combinations of the core principles.-JOHN T. REED, REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT EXPERT AND AUTHOR OF SUCCEEDING
And that is exactly what you should keep in mind while learning from CXL Growth Marketing Mini Degree.
Facebook ads will give you greater insight, control, and costs less compared to print ads or TV commercials.
But, if 70-80% of your audience reads newspapers (and not blogs or social media) to stay updated, you’ll want your company to appear in those publications.
Channel is in fact important but most important is fundamental knowledge, principles.
In that case, you need to find out how to become a trusted source in that community.
Here’s the deal:
A lot of good marketers swear by digital marketing, social media, and niched tactics like video marketing or podcasting.
But the best marketers swear by established principles and foundational beliefs.
For example, these…
“Your customers will tell you everything you need to know about how to sell to them”
“Tell stories, not facts”
“Clarity trumps persuasion”
“Good writing is structured thinking”
“Retention is the key to growth”
…are all examples of principles and foundational beliefs.
They don’t focus on specific channels, tactics, or formats.
Instead, the principles act as a reflection of the individual strengths of the marketer.
By completing this course in full, it’s clear that a growth marketer needs to establish a set of principles that can help them make strategic decisions.
These principles will be unique to every person depending on their skillset, except for one:
“Never make an assumption, unless it’s the assumption that you don’t know.”
It’s a way of thinking. An approach to execution. A mental model that helps you understand what you need to know before you start looking for answers.
This is a core principle of each and every course in the growth marketing mini degree.
Every course starts with some kind of research. Of course, you don’t need to spend weeks researching your audience just to run a Facebook ad. But before you set up an experimentation program or if you’re building out a marketing strategy you need to make sure that you are looking for answers to the right questions.
One of the most valuable insights and takeaways for me is that you always need to start with research and ask the right questions.
Because if you’re just looking for answers, you will find answers that support your biased opinions, not necessarily the truth.
Personal review of the courses
I am beyond amazed by the quality of every course. Every course is well-structured, and even though some are recorded with a laptop camera the content is super high-quality.
Some courses were extremely in-depth, and the length of each course ranges from 20 minutes up to almost 9 hours. So there’s a big variance there, and I personally think that some of the shorter courses could cover a lot more than they did.
The project management course is a great example.
The course is about 1-2 hours long, it covers a couple of frameworks and the instructor explains how she plans and runs projects. However, I felt there is a lot more to learn about running projects. Nonetheless, the project management course is incredibly useful.
On the other hand, the A/B-testing mastery course was extremely in-depth — almost 8 hours of calculations, statistics, math, and consumer psychology. It covered a lot more math than I first thought. So even though the course was incredibly detailed and walks you through every single step from how to know when you actually can run A/B-tests, to how you can calculate the business value of a testing program — the focus on math and statistics in my opinion made it a bit too advanced.
Somewhere in the middle, you’ll find the Conversion Research course from Peep Laja, where he walks you through step-by-step how to find bottlenecks in your conversion funnel, and how to fix them.
Here is a list of my favorite courses that make the whole mini degree worth going through:
Landing Page optimization
Content marketing and SEO for Lead Generation
Maximizing PPC audiences
SEO driven editorial calendar
Retention: The most underrated growth channel
Why you should take this course,
A growth marketer is someone who should run your digital marketing efforts. If you find a great growth marketer with leadership skills, you have someone who not only knows how every channel works but also someone who knows how to iteratively get results.
And whether some activities might be outsourced, the growth marketer knows how to kickstart a program and let someone else build upon it.
CXL describes Growth marketing as a systematic process. And any marketer who systematically approaches his marketing will get better results compared to someone doing everything ad hoc.
Growth marketing is very similar to the agile development principles — both follow a spring model, but growth marketers optimize and re-evaluate their marketing efforts.
And like mentioned above, I’ve yet found another course that can even be remotely compared to CXL when it comes to quality and structure — at least not in the marketing world.
If you’re considering applying for the CXL scholarship, you’d be wise to take into consideration that you’ll be spending a lot of time on this. But you’ll be happy you did at the end.
Thanks for one of the best online learning opportunities available, CXL!