Anoushka Adya, Founder & Partner, Di-Mentions Studio shares some of the key insights she gained from a research on some of the fastest growing start-ups in the country and the world
By Anoushka Adya
Founder & Partner, Di-Mentions Studio
When we launched Di-Mentions Studio in late September, 2014, we wanted to do a conventional “bootstrap”, yet build an agency that would witness exponential growth. So we deeply researched on companies like Uber, Ola, Snapchat, LinkedIn, etc. How did they grow so fast?
Based on our research and two years of experience now, here are the 10 things I've learnt from the world's fastest growing start-ups:
1. It's all about the team: The best companies are growth-oriented. It’s in their DNA. From top to bottom, everyone makes growth imperative. Everyone knows that they’ve a major role to play in driving growth. Also, everyone is working towards the same goal.
2. Growth is nothing without content: The most important thing is to have a saleable product/service and to be the best in the market providing that. Marc Andreessen said, “Companies fail for two main reasons—trying to grow when they shouldn’t or being too timid when they should.” Product is the foundation of growth.
3. Analytics and insights: Big data is available to almost all agencies. Lots of people track analytics, there are multiple metrics that can be measured. In short, lots of numbers but little insight. Focus should be on garnering real insights from big data and using them to create results for clients. At the end of the day, clients look at ROI, if you can provide that, they will stay.
4. Growth is not only marketing, it is credibility: Credibility which is sought after hard work, matters. For transformative and sustainable growth it is important to do amazing work that your clients will speak about and the industry will take notice of. Word of mouth marketing is still the best marketing. It takes really amazing teams across strategy, client servicing, media planning and buying, HR and marketing, to design the growth programmes that move ahead exponentially. On the contrary, massive marketing budgets are unsustainable.
5. Don't copy the competitor, they could be wrong: None of these breakout companies did it the same way as their competitors. They all picked their own path. It’s important to have an edge in the market and do things differently so that people notice.
6. Design is important: Design is the key and very important driver of ROI. Thus, keeping design at the forefront helps other departments.
7. Do things that don’t scale, build things that do: Paul Graham advises start-ups to “do things that don’t scale” to get initial traction. Simultaneously, these companies build systems that could scale in the future.
8. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes: It is, perhaps, counter-intuitive to tell prospective customers what you don’t know. But admitting that you struggle increases your credibility. It shows that behind the brand, there are human beings who are learning and evolving, just like their audience. Take your mission statement to the streets. It could be a blog that charts your organization's journey through case studies of success. It could be that one thing that helps you rise above faceless agencies or brands. So, bring your personality to marketing – whether digital or offline.
9. It does not happen overnight: Even the most smooth success stories have immense hard work and meticulous planning behind them. They didn’t just explode into millions of users and downloads. The products that we think of as “magical” use meticulous growth strategies to drive adoption and growth. In retrospect, it seems like word of mouth carried them; a deeper study reveals that they were all engineered to grow in one way or another. Growth is never left to chance.
10. Innovations along the way: Have a strategy on paper and a plan of action but be prepared to change and adapt. Flexibility is important especially in the tech world that is ever-changing. The only constant is change. Having a passion to find the next growth lever, and the next, and the next, is inspiring.
Feedback: Category: Backbeat Volume No: 13 Issue No: 28
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