As a business grows and evolves, its methods need to follow suit. Bjørn Seaton has a front-row seat to this process at Trendhim. Тhe business started as a reseller of men’s accessories and transformed into a company that designs and grows its brands.
To fit in the new journey, Bjørn expanded his marketing vision to create a consistent growth machine based on process, data, and focus. In this interview, he explains how to update your marketing machine in real-time with long-term success in mind.
From Growth Hacker to CMO
Some of the early experiences shaping my thinking today were from the time when I owned small businesses.
I’ve always wanted to start things and build a structure around them. You get to touch every part of a business when you own it; you understand the machine.
I had a variety of career roles. I was lucky to land an early job at a WordPress plugin company as a Remote Marketing Manager. I ended up working with many different parts of the business like pricing and branding. Right after taking a bachelor’s degree in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, I joined Trendhim as an Intern.
The transition from Lead Growth Hacker to Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) was based on the thing we wanted to growth hack next – marketing.
Taking control of the brand
Trendhim started as a lifestyle business, with two guys reselling products on the web. Now we are around 50 people designing fashionable and affordable accessories, growing the business, and shaping the brand image.
The transformation in the business model was a result of 2 big changes:
Building a brand that was more than a list of products on the internet. With introspection and looking outwards, we realized that our potential is much bigger than that.
Recently, a private equity fund invested in us. After a few strategy sessions, we solidified the brand messaging we wanted to spread.
Creating a vision for growth
Men’s accessories are not about dressing up for special occasions, nor are they reserved for a specific group of men. It’s not about gimmicks or necessarily looking good. It’s about telling your story and expressing your uniqueness. One way to do this is through the smaller things you wear – accessories.
Trendhim designs quality men’s accessories that are stylish and affordable. We have 12 brands in our portfolio that launch several collections per year and an ever-growing arsenal of articles to help you get the most from your order.
The scalable growth machine
The engine that propelled Trendhim forward is Google Adwords and our ability to maintain the channel across markets. We are currently developing 27 markets with their own domains and ad accounts. The focus of our work is ads and search optimization to capture our key customers’ touchpoints.
Data & Tooling
From the start, we had a technical cofounder who developed a platform that linked ads to profit. It means we are never shooting in the dark and always know where we stand.
We have real-time reporting on profit and use a customer data platform (mParticle) to feed data to Amplitude for user behavior insights, and Customer.io for messaging. We don’t have an analyst function because our team knows their way around their insights.
We deploy frequent experiments at the lowest cost possible to test and experiment live quickly and discover new, innovative ideas. Once they are live, we see what happens and what the conversion rate looks like. Depending on that, we intensify or stop the trial.
Scaling the process
After a successful experiment, our workflow is structured to dive deep into the results and figure out how to scale the process.
Scaling processes can take many different forms. You could make an improved version of what you have done and increase budgets. As an alternative, you can use the same process to present different products.
We are going over $30 Million in 2020. We are used to growth rates from 60 to 100% yearly. During the COVID period, we saw that drop initially. Over the Christmas period, we witnessed 150-200% growth.
Growing our brand is the mission our marketing crew is on whether it’s a creative, a channel, a concept, a lead generation flow, a partnership, etc.
Find new profitable things and scale them up. That’s how you build a marketing machine, not a funnel.Bjørn Seaton, Chief Marketing Officer at Trendhim