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Developing a Results-Driven Culture

Lesson #3

This course has now given you an intro to Mobile Performance Marketing and provided the basics of A/B testing. We have suggested that to drive mobile growth you need to be results-driven. This lesson is all about developing that results-driven mentality and hopefully creating a results-driven culture within your team. Because we know that the biggest blocker to seeing results can be not having an embedded culture that supports it within your company.

Definition time

What does it mean to be results-driven? Being results-driven means that, everything you do should focus only on the results that matter. Specifically, the important actions that your customers are taking, such as sign-ups and purchases. Not only should you focus on these actions, but you should set up all of your processes to increase or otherwise improve these actions amongst your customers.

A point of confusion

When most people think of being results-driven, they are really thinking of being data-driven. The concepts are similar, but there is a subtle, yet important difference between the two. People who are data-driven track loads of data. They collect everything in the hopes that analyzing the data will uncover some unknown truths about their products or customers. People who are results-driven, track very little data. They only collect the data that most specifically tells them if their customers are doing more of the things they want them to do.

What does a data-driven attitude look like?

The beauty of this problem is that it is plain to see once you know what to look for.

Way to much information Image courtesy of

I'm sure many of you have seen an analytics platform that looks like the one pictured above. Event triggers for every action in your app, funnels for every step of your app's process, retention and acquisition graphs to top it all off. The problem with this setup is two-fold:

  1. Your most important metrics are not obvious
  2. The data is in not actionable!

What does a results-driven attitude look like?

It is much harder to be results-driven than it is to be data-driven. Being results-driven requires more focus, more discipline and a willingness to ignore the unnecessary. In business, the natural thing to do is to look for as much information as possible in hopes that it will help with decision-making. The only problem is that in most situations more data just confounds the analysis and makes it harder to come to a decision.

only your key metrics Image courtesy of

It may be counterintuitive, but the type of analytics dashboard pictured above, is typical of a results-driven team. The dashboard focuses on a few key metrics, the metrics are tracked in a comparative way, and it is all actionable.

Becoming results-driven

So you now know what it looks like to be results-driven vs. data-driven, but the big question is how to get from point A to point B. We're going to break it down into simple, repeatable steps, so you can always come back to this lesson and see if you are on track.

#1 Determine what counts as success

You should think of this as your big picture indicators to whether or not you are achieving your overall goals. For most it will come down to what is driving your growth and what puts more money in the bank. Realistically everything you do should be trying to take you one step closer to achieving your goals. For the sake of clarity let's call this step setting a destination.

#2 Track only what grows success

Now that you have the big picture or a destination set its time to start driving towards your destination. In this phase, you want to determine the critical factors that are going to indicate to you whether or not you are on the right path.

In a data-driven culture, this would be where you start tracking your route turn by turn. But in a results-driven culture you only need to know whether or not the actions you take are keeping you pointed in the right direction, and if you still have gas in your tank. It doesn't matter the route you take as long as you keep on track. So determine the critical factors to your business that indicate whether you are growing your most important numbers.

#3 Ask yourself if it's absolutely necessary

Like I said above you really only need to know whether you are heading in the right direction and if you have enough fuel to get there. So don't overwhelm yourself with too much data, before you agree to track something make sure that it is absolutely necessary. To know if it's absolutely necessary, think to yourself if leaving this metric out would be like driving without a compass or gas gauge. If it's that important, keep the metric.

#4 Track the growth rate

Now that you have set up your key indicators it's time to start looking at how quickly you are reaching your goals. You may be heading in the right direction, but you also need to have enough fuel to get there. So it is now time to establish acceptable growth rates to ensure you are moving fast enough to reach your destination.

If you want a guidepost on how to think about acceptable growth rates, you can look to none other than the guru of startups, Paul Graham. In his essay "Startup = Growth" Paul says that a good range to be in is ~5% growth per week.

A good growth rate during YC is 5-7% a week. If you can hit 10% a week you're doing exceptionally well. If you can only manage 1%, it's a sign you haven't yet figured out what you're doing.

This type of growth is clearly not sustainable forever, but if you can do it for a few months at a time, you know you're doing something right.

#5 Evaluate yourself

The last step is to take the time to evaluate how you are growing and learn from your successes and failures. Look at what your data is telling you and react to it. Don't continue if your numbers are telling you that you're not moving fast enough, or you're heading in the wrong direction. Take a look at the journey you have already taken and make smarter decisions for the route ahead.

As you grow, your key indicators may change and grow with you, so you should also constantly be evaluating what data you are tracking and if it is still the critical pieces to keep you on track. Just remember, the data you collect should tell you that you are heading in the right direction, and you have enough fuel to get there. The actions you take should always then have the goal of bringing you one step closer to your big picture goals.

Now that you are on your way to being results-driven and have the metrics in place to ensure you are on the right path it's time to start developing hypotheses and testing your way to reliable growth.

Keep an eye out for our next lesson to get you started with developing experiment hypotheses.