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Business Building

Actionable advice on starting and growing business in a data-driven way.

How Codecademy Saw 5X Growth with Strategic Testing

Codecademy started out in 2011 as one of the first free products that taught people to code.  Since then, we have helped over 45 million learners improve their lives through programming while making major improvements to our product—driven by experimentation. Our goal is to empower the world through tech education, reaching as many learners as possible to support our vision. 

As a subscription business, we knew that small repeatable wins could compound to earn us millions of dollars in additional revenue. As part of the growth team, we were tasked with experimenting on any part of the business that could drive an impact, so we focused on the big, key levers of our monetization flow. 

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How to Craft (Or Pivot) Your Agency Value Proposition

Back in 2016, I read a book called Sprint by Jake Knapp, founder of Google Ventures. Knapp talks about focusing on only the essential activities for shipping new products and testing new ideas.

As advocated in the book, I felt the idea of using restraint would help me quickly execute on new ideas. And so, the concept for a digital PR service was born. The goal was simple: validate demand or move on.

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No-Code is Here to Stay: What’s the Play for Marketers?

No-code and low-code tools are on the rise, with thousands of businesses and makers turning to a faster and cheaper way to test, validate, and build out their ideas. Leading the way, you have companies such as Zapier, Webflow, and Airtable transforming the way we work. 

As the reliance on these tools continue to grow, so too does the opportunity for technical and non-technical marketers alike to gain an edge and advance their marketing skill set. Marketers and businesses who take advantage of no-code and low-code now will be in position to reap the rewards. Those who ignore the shift will be passed by. 

So, as a marketer, what skills should you learn now to set yourself up for future success? For businesses, what’s the most effective way to approach building applications and software using no-code? We’ll take a look in this article. 

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Agile Marketing: How to Implement Scrum for Digital Marketing

Traditionally associated with development and product management, agile is a lightweight and, well, agile framework for software development and bringing features and products to market.

But what is “Agile Marketing?” And how can you apply the principles to your own marketing efforts?

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Crowd

Never-ending to-do lists, department priorities, and bosses who require you to switch focus to action on their “big new idea” at the drop of a hat. That’s the day-to-day reality for most people in any business.

Then, you turn up to people’s desks like an unwelcome door-to-door salesperson, trying to convince them of the virtues of customer-centricity. You’re not just adding more to their plate but also to think about new ways of working—ways that may conflict with their current priorities. 

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Growth

Sean Ellis coined the term “growth hacking” over a decade ago in 2010. Since then, the term has taken on a life of its own.

“Growth hacking” is the focus of dozens of books, new roles, new departments and teams, new methods of thinking, hundreds of articles, hundreds of guides, hundreds of webinars… you get the idea.

Yet, it still feels very elusive. High-growth companies simply have something most companies don’t, right?

Wrong. The truth is, they simply had a solid growth marketing process.

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Sales and Marketing Misalignment Is Costly—But Avoidable

Sales and marketing misalignment reduces revenue, lowers the quality of customer service, and can even dampen company culture. So how do you get aligned?

This post, based on our experiences, covers: 

  • What misalignment looks like—and what it costs;
  • What alignment looks like—and what you get;
  • Four steps to go from wherever you are now to greater alignment.

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5 Agile Practices That Are Fueling Marketing Teams

Each spring, the annual State of Agile Marketing Report sheds light on how Agile ways of working are being adopted within marketing. This year, for the first time in the report’s three-year history, Agile techniques overtook those maintaining traditional processes. 

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Nailing Product Positioning (w/ Examples)

You’ve spent hundreds of hours perfecting your product and countless meetings defining your brand. You feel great about your team, and it’s obvious to your customers that you care. 

Yet, despite your best efforts, your competition gets all the buzz, and you struggle to stand out. Should you change your prices? Add a new feature? Raise more capital? 

Before you go back to the drawing board, reconsider your product positioning. 

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Differentiation Strategy (and the Sea of Sameness)

Legendary Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter defines competition in business as the struggle to attain a profitable, unique position in the market. Instead of “competing to be the best,” you should “compete to be unique.”

A differentiation strategy is a way to stand out from the noise and give people a reason to choose your business over others. You’d think companies would be all about that.

Curiously, not so much. In fact, it’s the opposite—the world has a massive sameness problem. Sameness is the default for most companies today.

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What’s on my mind

Hi, I'm Peep Laja—founder of CXL. I'm a former champion of optimization and experimentation turned business builder.

I do a lot of thinking, reading, and writing around business, strategy, and optimization. I send a weekly newsletter with what's on my mind on this stuff.

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