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“I have no special talent, I am only passionately curious.” – Albert Einstein

That’s how we are at Azendoo, too! So, we’re asking the pro Marketers, Growth Managers, Designers, Founders, and so on, to share their stories with us, just out of curiosity ;-)

Today we’re chatting with Edouard Breine, Growth Manager at News Republic.

Hi Edouard, can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I am Edouard; I work as Growth Manager at News Republic. I have always been passionate about new technologies. It all started back in 1996-1997, when I started creating my first websites. I then went to college and graduated in a Master’s in Marketing. It was in 2008 that I fell back in love with computers. I was living in Australia at the time, and decided to start a new Master’s in IT. I really had to go back to basics: SQL, C# and Project Management. Six months later, I then had to choose my Master’s Major, and by chance QUT, the university I was attending, was opening its brand new “Social Media” major at the time. I spent 2 semesters learning how to make the most of programming and algorithms in order to optimize the visibility of a business or brand, on what at that time was being called “New Media”. I came back to France and started my first real job as “Community Manager” for eYeka, a co-creation online platform. I then worked as User Acquisition Manager for a game editor, and in 2014 I finally landed a job as Growth Manager for Boddy, a startup that facilitates mobile-based physician consultations. I have been working as Growth Manager for News Republic for 9 months now and really enjoy it, as it allows me to combine all the skills I have been learning and practicing for almost 20 years now!

What does being a Growth Manager imply?

A Growth Manager’s role is primarily to focus on a user’s lifecycle of a given product. The Growth Manager (GM) accompanies the users at all the stages of their interaction and contact points with the product:

  • how a user hears about the product for the first time;
  • how the user decides to access the service by downloading it, signing up, etc.;
  • how the user comes to use the services on a regular basis, and eventually becomes a power user;
  • when the user then stops using the product because, let’s be honest, very few products keep their users for an entire lifetime

Which skills does the role require?

I find that having some knowledge of both marketing and IT is very helpful. It helps to understand the business issues, to imagine the craziest communication and marketing tricks, and to match them with the technical constraints. Obviously, having an affinity for data and numbers is also a prerequisite.

What are the main difficulties you face as Growth Manager?

It may be surprising but I always find the measurement part to be the trickiest of all. In fact, understanding a business problem and then finding ways to solve it is not the hardest part. The difficulties lie in finding the best way to measure the outcome, finding the right metrics and KPIs, and finding the best data sets that will help me draw conclusions. In every company I have been working for, we have always had various data sources, and unfortunately most of the time these data sets, or the way the data is presented, don’t tell the same story.

What does the typical day of a Growth Manager look like?

I have no idea what the typical day of a Growth Manager looks like, but I can tell you what my typical day looks like! I usually turn on my Mac and go straight to my emails to make sure there is no emergency sitting there and waiting for me. I then organize the emails according to my Kanban way of organizing my workload: what needs to be dealt with today; this week; this month. Next, I feed all my new tasks or new information into my favorite Kanban tool, and close my mailbox to make sure I’m not constantly being distracted by incoming information. That gives me a clear picture of what my day will look like, and I can organize my time accordingly. I can then focus on what needs to be dealt with; it could be user acquisition or user engagement. It could be about defining strategies, implementing solutions or reporting back on the outcomes of previous actions.

What are the best Growth Manager weapons?

For me, the analytics suite is my most important tool: 99% of my decisions are based on data. I currently use Localytics and Adjust it for user attribution.
Those tools that are going to help the marketing team to engage with users are the second set of tools that I would cite here. This set of tools is composed of mobile-marketing engagement platforms, user-feedback platforms , and user-communication platforms.
I use Localytics as a mobile-marketing engagement platform, which is really handy as it means that the analytics side of the business can be tied in with the mobile-marketing engagement tool (push notifications; in-app messages; emailing). Appboy, Intercom, and Kahuna are terrific products that are worth considering.
We use Helpshift and SurveyMonkey as a means of collecting user feedback.
Finally, I do not personally engage directly with users, but the country-based teams do engage daily on social media, and most of all, within our own apps!

How do you organize the things you have to do?

I have been using the Kanban view as my way of getting things done for the past 3 years now. It really helps me to focus on what matters most, and to get a feeling of achievement at the end of the day, the week, or the month.

How do you generate growth ideas?

I don’t really “generate growth ideas”. For me, growth must be based on data. A Growth Manager needs to analyze and list all of the areas that could be enhanced in user acquisition or engagement. He/she needs to then prioritize and get detailed knowledge of why he/she supposes that there might be room for improvement. In doing this, the Growth Manager will find all the bottlenecks in the user's’ experience.

What is the single most powerful tip can you share with us?

The single most powerful tip I would give is to be able to listen to your users: by listening to them, you will know who they are; where to find them; when to engage; what to deliver.

How do you manage your team?

I would not call them my team. At News Republic, we are all individuals with different skills. My job is to provide data and user insight, in order to drive user acquisition and user engagement on the part of my colleagues.

Can you share with us the last decision you took based on your data analysis?

At News Republic, we decided to translate the app as well as its presence across the app stores (ASO localization) according to the best retention rates observed in those countries for which the app had not yet been translated.

Fred is Azendoo CMO. She focuses her work on Azendoo Users and on finding the best productivity hacks. Besides, she's all about snowboard, couture and books.
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