From social media to digital campfires

The Growth Report - #3

This week's topics include

📈 1. Growth Marketing - Profitability vs. Growth

🧠 2. Personal Growth -On Success and Being Original

🔮 3. Tech Trend -From social media to digital campfires

⛑️ Reflections from the trenches - Your mood doesn't matter

In this section, I share some lessons learned from the trenches of building our growth marketing agency GrowthBay.

📈 1. Growth Marketing - Profitability vs. Growth

Most of us automatically assume that monetization or profitability is at odds with growth. A lot of today's startups and scale-ups are focusing on rapid user growth and try to worry about designing a profitable business model later on top of their user base.

The creators of the Reforge Monetization + Pricing course, argue that instead "it's about how monetization feeds growth as part of a holistic system". As part of their research they came to the following conclusions:

  1. Acquisition costs continue to increase due to limited channels, increased competition, and disappearing data tailwinds.

  2. This means that Monetization will become a more important lever in our Growth Model. There is a false belief that Monetization comes at the expense of growth, this is incorrect.

  3. Despite this, Monetization doesn't get put on equal footing as Acquisition and Retention due to a number of internal company issues that create friction.

  4. These factors create a growth opportunity for teams that are willing to embrace the inherent challenges and put Monetization on an equal footing with Acquisition and Retention.

When was the last time the price changed for your product? Or a component of your monetization model? Or even an element on your pricing page? Compare that to how long ago and how frequently you changed something with acquisition or retention, and my guess is you'll find a stark difference.

We rarely touch the monetization aspects of our business, because:

  • False-positive feedback loop occur: When you guess a price early on at the launch of the product and then that product grows, we fall into the trap that that means our pricing decisions were justified as well. So why change it?

  • We fear the rage of our customers. The writers of the article argue: "People react more negatively to the size of the relative change and how you communicate that change vs the frequency of change". So the longer you wait, the bigger the hole you dig for yourself. Because eventually you need to change, and if you have never changed your monetization before, you got that customer rage you were so afraid of.

  • Too many people are involved. Sales, customer success, marketing, product, everyone wants a seat at the table when it's about monetization.

Monetization does not equal price changes.

Your Monetization levers

Monetization is more than changing your pricing. Instead, you can think of the following levers:

  • How much you charge (price)

  • What you charge for

  • How often you charge

  • How your price scales

  • How you combine and package all of the above

  • How you communicate all of the above

"Not only is price given too much attention, it is the one lever that is almost purely zero sum - either the business or the customer keeps an incremental dollar in their pocket. But other levers can be positive sum - simply making it easier to transact or easier to understand what you're paying for can remove a lot of friction from the buying experience."

  • Dan Hockenmaier

Over to you

What changes to your monetization model could you make this year to fuel your growth?

Read the full article


🧠 Personal Growth - On Success and Being Original

This is an excerpt from the 1999 commencement speech from Author Anna Quindlen made an impression on me:

“...nothing important, or meaningful, or beautiful, or interesting, or great ever came out of imitations. The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect [in the way people expect] and beginning the work of becoming yourself." This is more difficult, because there is no zeitgeist to read, no template to follow, no mask to wear. Set aside what your friends expect, what your parents demand, what your acquaintances require. Set aside the messages this culture sends, through its advertising, its entertainment, its disdain and its disapproval, about how you should behave." Set aside the old traditional notion of female as nurturer and male as leader; set aside, too, the new traditional notions of female as superwoman and male as oppressor. Begin with that most terrifying of all things, a clean slate. Then look, every day, at the choices you are making, and when you ask yourself why you are making them, find this answer: for me, for me. Because they are who and what I am, and mean to be...." This will always be your struggle whether you are twenty-one or fifty-one. I know this from experience. When I quit the New York Times to be a full-time mother, the voices of the world said that I was nuts. When I quit it again to be a full-time novelist, they said I was nuts again. But I am not nuts. I am happy. I am successful on my own terms. Because if your success is not on your own terms, if it looks good to the world but does not feel good in your heart, it is not success at all.” - Anna Quindlen

Watch the full commencement speech

🔮 Tech Trend:

From Social Media to Digital Campfires

No doubt about it, social media as we know it is still soaring. "We now spend more time than ever on our phones and endless scrolling through our social feeds being a chief reason why".

Sara Wilson, Harvard Business Review counters:

But dig a little deeper, and a more nuanced picture emerges about social media users today that has important implications for the ways in which brands reach customers. Specifically, when you look at who is — and more importantly, who is not — driving the growth and popularity of social platforms, a key demographic appears to be somewhat in retreat: young people.

For example, 2019 findings from Edison Research and Triton Digital show social media usage overall among Americans 12 to 34 years old across several platforms has either leveled off or is waning, while 2019 research from Global Web Index suggests that the amount of time millennial and Gen Z audiences spend on many social platforms is either flat, declining, or not rising as greatly as it has in years’ past.

Instead, the oversharing and follower-frenzy of the past years has slowly been leading towards a trend the author calls digital campfires.

Digital campfires in her own words:

If social media can feel like a crowded airport terminal where everyone is allowed, but no one feels particularly excited to be there, digital campfires offer a more intimate oasis where smaller groups of people are excited to gather around shared interests.

The Three Types of Digital Campfires

1. Private Messaging Campfires Private and small group messaging with mostly, but not exclusively real-world friends.


  • Messaging Apps - Whatsapp, Telegram, Messenger (groups & 1-on-1)

  • (service for celebrities to have 1-on-1 conversations with fans)

2. Micro-Community Campfires Interactive private or invite-only forums revolving around interests, beliefs, or passions


3. Shared Experience Campfires Mostly public (but could be small circle as well) online spaces, where people can share and experience specific common interests together.


In light of this, digital campfires become a much more attractive alternative — one that requires more groundwork and more careful tending, but one that could potentially have big payoffs for brands in terms of loyalty, retention, and long-term love.

Read the brilliant article in full

⛑️ Reflections from the trenches - Your mood doesn't matter

In this section, I share lessons learned this week from building our company GrowthBay.

Your mood doesn't matter

Do you know that feeling when you have one of those days and you just seem to be in a weird groove and nothing goes your way?

I had a couple of those this week. I guess that's part of the human condition. But how do we act on those days? Are we pushing through? Or are we to cut ourselves some slack for once and wait for better days?

These question reminded me of a passage by Seth Godin that I saved in my notebook:

We often take our moods as excuses. But aren't we just trying to hide—hiding from the important work of making change happen?

If you need to be in a good mood to do your best work, you’re not a professional, you’re a fortunate amateur. Fortunate, because you happen to have a gig right now where being the person you feel like being in the moment actually helps you move forward.

So to me this meant this week, even if I am running at 50% on a given day, I gotta show up anyhow. And do the best I can that day, not more, but also not less.

Because while our moods and emotions will always fluctuate, our missions and priorities shouldn't.

Well, that's it for this week.

Enjoy the sun ☀️

See you next week,