The value proposition is the reason for the company's existence. It's what makes you a diamond in the eyes of your customers. Indeed, you must take the first rule of virality into account for growth: have a good product. But who's this product for? It's essential to know your target audience as best as you can to communicate your messages effectively.
Define Your Channel Personas
You cannot speak to everyone, even if you'd like everyone to use your product. For that, it'll be necessary to cut and segment your market into small portions, and for each identified part, address the channels that suit it.
As a growth hacker, you’ll create channel personas. They’ll allow you to identify new growth hacking channels for your experiments.
It’s important to find channels beyond the usual stomping grounds.
As explained in the previous chapter, Airbnb famously growth hacked Craigslist and used it as a channel persona. Their site was young and lacked hosts, and had no apartments to rent. Craigslist, the classified ads site, seemed to be an ideal source of hosts.
At the time, Airbnb could have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of their budget if they had gone through traditional channels, like a Facebook Ad campaign, because these channels need time to convince, educate, instill confidence, and convert new users to this type of service.
To come up with ideas like this, you have to know your personas! It's more manageable to focus your efforts only on three.
It's relatively easy to consider Facebook or Instagram as channels; channel personas require much more thought and research to be targeted in a relevant way.
Here are some questions that'll help you define the relevant channels. (No need to ask all the questions):
Do my clients have common interests?
What pages or sites do they regularly visit?
What other brands or influencers does my target follow on social media?
What were the top downloads on App Store or Google Play (trends) for my target?
Which groups or communities meet on the internet or in person?
What topics are covered by bloggers in this universe/industry?
What channels do my competitors use to hack the same target?
Where can I find my first fans?
For some companies, considering just 1 to 3 questions is enough to find your persona channel.
For Airbnb, it was the last question: Where did I find my first users? From Craigslist. Airbnb would not have succeeded by using social networks or spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on an advertising budget.
The best way to create personas is to conduct in-person interviews with real people. These could take place in a lounge, during a workshop or better yet, by organizing a focus group.
Personas evolve. Don't think that discovering your personas finishes after a first printed version! A persona is alive. It's important to update it regularly. Little by little, you'll have a better perception of who your customer is. Therefore, it's necessary to update so you can continually find new channels.
The more ideas you have to reach them, the more options you'll have. Remember that:
Most channels are expensive and saturated. Thinking outside the box offers the opportunity to pay less, reduce your investment, and get a better ROI.
The efficiency of a single channel sags over time.
Multiple microchannels per persona have a better impact than a single large channel without a defined persona. Targeting and converting a user segment may be easier on a microchannel than on large channels like Facebook.
But what message should I send to these personas? How can I convince them?
Define Your Value Proposition
One of the pillars of your growth strategy is the value proposition. To convince your targets, you'll have to communicate your value proposition to them. The ideal is to define a value proposition per identified persona to maximize your conversion rates.
You won't be able to achieve strong growth with a low-value proposition. Value proposition allows your customers to understand whether or not your solution addresses their problems quickly. To define it, you should answer these three questions:
What problem are you trying to resolve?
What makes your solution unique?
What concrete and measurable results can we expect from your solution?
When defining your value proposition, take the “Why?” into account (What are your values? Your engines? Why do you do what you do?) more than the "How?" (How does it work? What are the functionalities?). Your users do not buy your products or services for the "How?" but for the "Why?"
How should I communicate my value proposition to my personas?
Your value proposition should be visible everywhere! On your website homepage, on the cover of your Facebook page, on your business cards, etc. In the next chapter, you'll see how to properly write your value proposition on your landing page.
And how you communicate is important.
For example, in the 2000s, when Apple released the iPod, Steve Jobs did not present its functionalities because everyone would not have understood. Instead, he focused all of his communication on the product value: having 1,000 songs in your pocket at a time when we had portable CD players. Do you remember? 😀
Measure Your Value Proposition
Your preliminary work defining the value proposition helps you understand where the value is. But then you need to measure this value: have your customers really recognized it?
To measure it, you'll regularly study customer satisfaction concerning their likelihood to recommend your products/services (net promoter score – NPS). You can do this through surveys or interviews.
The answers are given on a 10-point rating scale, ranging from 0 to 10. Depending on the score given, the customer is classified into one of the following three categories:
Promoter: score of 9 or 10.
Detractor: score from 0 to 6.
Passive: score of 7 or 8.
The NPS is then calculated by taking the percentage of promoters and subtracting from it the percentage of detractors. The NPS is a number from -100 to +100.
Here is what that looks like:
Adapt Your Value Proposition
Once you measure your value proposition, you'll be able to adjust it to the feedback and offer one that is more relevant to your personas.
You then follow the same experimental process as the lean startup: repeat this several times to define, measure, and adapt your value proposition. Your objective is to strive for a more relevant value each time.
Each new value proposition should point you back to your business in the end: your vision. This corresponds to the description of the future condition of your company and its environment.
Now that you understand your targets and value proposition, you can:
Improve your message, product, or service according to the needs of your personas.
Effectively target your digital campaigns: target your efforts based on what your personas like, their spending habits, their Google searches, etc.
Find surprising communication channels to reach your targets: position yourself where your personas don't expect you.
Measure the satisfaction of your users.
In the next chapter, you'll learn about an extremely simple tool to test these actions in no time: the landing page. We'll look at what works and analyze what you often find on good landing pages..