A Startup’s Guide to the Circle of Growth

Every startup founder out there is sure that his idea is the best. He got the problem all figured out and the solution he offers is the best way to solve that issue.
Problem is, that’s never the case. As your startup grows, you start iterating and pivoting your product to fit around your users. Smart startups that develop LEAN, usually change the product more but iterate faster and get better results.
In comes the Circle of Growth. As Ash Maurya said: “Life’s too short to build something nobody wants”. If you want to start building your product around your users, here are a few things to keep in mind.


Every start-up should know four crucial things about its users:

Who is using the product?
Finding out users’ gender, occupation, degree, relationship status, behavior and personality.

Why is this person using the product?
Finding out the story behind each and every user.

How is this person using the product?
Finding what are his/her key features, how often are they using our product and how users rate our product.

What would make this person a better user?
What users like and what would make them more engaged with the product.


Why is it important to understand your users?

  • It will help you acquire more users, especially by engaging users who you know more likely to share your product (Promoters).
  • You could understand who is your real target audience, this will make it easier to find the right market for your product or the right pricing strategy.
  • It will prevent you from making assumptions. Testing new features, interfaces and scaling prices are much easier when you know what is going on in your users’ minds.
  • Save development time and money by focusing your team on features and tasks that would really make a difference.


The Circle of Growth (CoG)

It might seem hard to get answers to these questions and act on them, but that’s exactly what we had in mind when we developed Gotcha. It’s all about getting the right data and using it to turn users into promoting customers. This goal is achieved with three simple steps that complete a full circle of marketing.
This circle is built to keep your users in a proactive loop: Getting the data you need, Researching users personally and Triggering actions.
Now, let’s get our hands dirty and plan our Circle of Growth!

Circle of Growth for startups

Step one: What are your goals?

Every business has its own needs and every business needs data about its users. Whether you run a SaaS, e-Commerce store, startup or a website, it is important that you get the data needed specifically for your product’s needs. You should set the goals you want to achieve, like improving usability or maybe selling more t-shirts. All this starts with launching micro-survey queries to start getting answers. The “query” phase of the Circle of Growth.

Why Micro-surveys?

After numerous interviews with product owners, user experts, marketing strategists, and users, we found that traditional surveying platforms like google forms, typeform, etc, were driving lower answer rates than expected and skewed answers due to “answer fatigue”. We also found that users didn’t like answering questions because they were “a bit boring to answer” and “takes too much time to fill”. Approaching users in a light way at the right time and without being intrusive, drives better answer rates and meaningful answers.

Gotcha's preview screen - circle of growth

Gotcha’s queries screen: Add and customize queries to ask your users

Step two: Put each user in the center

One of our achievements with Gotcha is placing the dashboard around the user. It is much easier to communicate with a person when you understand his or hers unique point of view. Hey, it’s a person!


Gotcha's users screen - Circle of Growth

Gotcha’s Users screen: One simple screen to know them all

Step three: Turn data into actions

As a start-up, you have a lot of tasks to tackle. Automating the process of engaging with users takes a lot of pain and time out of the equation. So now, that you have the data that you need, turn it into actions. Set triggers based on users’ data and automate marketing, social shares and content. The growth screen makes it easier to come up with new ideas for interacting with your users.

Gotcha growth triggers - Circle of Growth

Gotcha’s Growth screen: Market the right users with the right content

Step four: Market the right content to the right customer

Solid data about your users provides a positive line of communication which turns users into happy customers who become more engaged with your product. Once a deep level of understanding is established, marketing the right content to the right customer is much easier.
For example, let’s say you run an e-Commerce store and you figured out, that a certain user likes the color red. It might be a good idea to trigger this user with a coupon for all red items in your store.


To conclude, start asking yourself Who, Why, How and What, keep doing it constantly and keep maintaining that Circle of Growth with your users. The more you have, the greater it’s influence on them.

Got great advice for startups? Have some trigger or query ideas? Hit that comment button!

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