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EdTech Marketing Guide #6: Marketing experimentation - David Arnoux @ Growth Tribe

EdTech marketing guides

Practical tips from leading EdTech CMOs

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The art of marketing experimentation in 4 steps

- David Arnoux, Head of Growth & Co-Founder at Growth Tribe

Growth Tribe enables companies to achieve digital transformation through learning. They offer cutting-edge training and talent around growth marketing, AI, data and other digital skills. They have trained +10,700 people across 900+ companies since 2015. Their mission is to empower people and companies to rapidly gain new skills.

Who David and what is his background?

David is the head of growth and co-founder of Growth Tribe and he is in charge of all the marketing efforts. He is an entrepreneur by background: he co-founded Growth Tribe in 2015, launched two startups in ecommerce & task management SaaS space, and before that spent 4 years in China in the import/export world. During his second startup, he started consulting on how to become a T-Shaped player out of necessity (basically to keep the lights on…) and this is when he fell in love with the world of adult education. He went to business school and, starting at the age of 16, did a LOT of internships in different industries in order to get as much exposure as possible.

What motivates you as an EdTech marketer?

EdTech is simply beautiful and since I used to be in ecommerce and task management SaaS, this is is the very first time I get an emotional reward for my work. Every single piece of content that we publish, all the trainings that we do with our clients that are educating and elevating people are my biggest rewards. There is this great book called “Future Shock”, which basically says that people feel uncomfortable with the future to come, which creates some sort of tech anxiety. So at Growth Tribe, I like to think of ourselves as psychologists who help people navigate the digital world and tell you that “everything is going to be OK and learning new skills will make you powerful”. This unique feeling is priceless to me. Even though the second thing that motivates me might sounds cheesy, it is our team. We built an amazing team of people and I simply love to hang out with incredibly talented people everyday!

How to start marketing experiments in your company?

Let’s start with a basic question for you:

How many marketing experimentations have you or your organisation run this week/month/year? 🤔

If your answer is low, well I’m happy that you are reading this guide. I will share a quote from Jeff Bezos to strengthen my point: “Our success at Amazon is a function of how many experiments we do per month/week/day.” Being wrong with an experiment might hurt your brand a little bit, but not testing at all and being slow will definitely crush your company. With that in mind, today there is a strong focus on visionaries - everybody reads about Steve Jobs, Elon Musk - and we worship them because they are/were brilliant and seem to have the ability to see what comes next before others do. The truth is: being a visionary is VERY difficult and not so common for the rest of us, so we need to validate our gut instincts and think in bets in order to de-risk the future.

That is also true for marketing, as there are an infinite amount of variables in acquiring and retaining customers. To me, the secret sauce for success is rapid experimentation. This will allow to improve your marketing decision making process by being data-driven and/or at least data-informed. It is important to trust your gut but it is essential to test it. Besides, we don’t really have excuses for not experimenting more since it is easier than ever with the amount of tools available for customer acquisition, user research, user retention, campaign optimisation and so on. (👉 Double check this MarTech map for more information on great tools).

In my experience, these are the 4 simple steps to start running marketing experiments.

Step 1 – Select one metric

The scarcest resource for startups is time so the best way to be productive in this case is to focus and identify one key metric you want to focus on (it must be a metric on which your company depends on right now). Note: Finding that key metric is hard but once you have done it will help you define your marketing priorities. To get started, I would suggest to focus on a KPI that is at the top of your acquisition funnel and that is easy to track, such as # of new leads generated, # of new sign ups. Stay away from complicated metrics like revenue or retention that are usually more complicated to track and/or take much more time.

Step 2 – Brainstorm and curate ideas

Now that you have identified your key metric, do research on how to optimise it, test tools, generate ideas around potential experiments. At this point, try to find an experiment that (1) will impact something important in your organisation, (2) is relatively easy to execute and (3) has a high probability of working. In other words, look for quick wins. Note: For ease of execution, choose an experiment that you can run on your own and you don’t need help from developers, UXers and other stakeholders.

Step 3 – Run the experiment(s)

Run the experiment(s) for a few days (maximum 2 weeks) and hopefully, you will get interesting results. Be open minded about the results as they might be counter-intuitive. For instance, you might be convinced that your target audience is males between 25 to 35 years old – but actually, it turns out that your best audience is young women between 20 and 30 years old. This is the kind of insight that marketing experimentation will give you. Just listen to the data, reflect on what was a win/a failure during the experimentation, and most importantly leave your ego & gut feelings outside the room. 😀

Step 4 – Showcase your early results

Once you are comfortable with your data analysis, showcase the results to the rest of your team/organisation to get their buy-in. When showcasing your experiment, communicate clearly and visually what you did, what tools you leveraged, show tangible results. For instance, if you have optimised a product landing page which led to a 50% increase in new sign ups (i.e. potential leads), then extrapolate this number (based on your current conversion rate to paying customers) to estimate the impact on the bottom line you were able to drive thanks to this experiment. While you will still encounter some internal organisational roadblocks to this new mindset, these types of quick wins will certainly get the conversation started in your organisation and the rest of the team. After all, the underlying objective for your organisation is to adopt a growth mindset and embrace this new culture of rapid experimentation at every level in your company.

That’s it! It is a pretty straight forward and scientific methodology. Think about this process as a loop; it is important to come up with new ideas, plan and execute experiments on a continuous basis. This will yield great results over time. Believe me, this is a solid starting point and if you are able to show some interesting results, the rapid experimentation process is very likely to spread quickly to the rest of your team.

Last piece of general advice:

You should definitely subscribe to the Growth Tribe Youtube channel! 😂 More seriously, build yourself up to a T-Shaped marketer - this will make you resistant to change.


In summary, these are the essential tips from the Growth Tribe's experimentation approach:

1. Focus on one metric at a time - the one that matters the most for your organisation.

2. Gather as many ideas as possible and create an “idea backlog”. Rank them by probability of success, impact of your business and ease of execution.

3. Design the experiment and execute it - Quantity (volume) is key and experiments should last approximately 2 weeks.

4. Analyse the results and showcase the outcomes with the rest of the organisation.


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