How to see another company’s growth tactics and try them yourself

Julian Shapiro is the founder of BellCurve.com, a growth marketing agency that trains you to become a marketing professional. He also writes at Julian.com. More posts by this contributor

Every company’s online acquisition strategy is out in the open. If you know where to look.

This post shows you exactly where to look, and how to reverse engineer their growth tactics.

Why is this important? Competitive analysis de-risks your own growth experiments: You find the best growth ideas to adopt and the worst ones to avoid.

First, a warning: Your goal is not to repurpose another company’s hard work. That makes you a thief. Your goal is to identify other companies who face the same growth challenges as you, then to study their approaches for solutions to draw from.

As I walk through uncovering a competitor’s tactics, keep in mind which competitors are worth looking at: For instance, you should rarely over-analyze early-stage companies. They’re unlikely to be methodical at growth.

Meaning, if you blindly copy their site and their ads, it’s possible you’ll be copying tactics that are not actually responsible for their growth. Their success may instead be [...]  read more

Original Content podcast: Dragons love symbolism, and other lessons from the ‘Game of Thrones’ finale

This post and podcast include spoilers for “Game of Thrones.”

Remember how it felt six weeks ago, right before “Game of Thrones” returned for its final season? The excitement? The anticipation? That was so, so long ago.

Darrell Etherington, the original co-host of the Original Content podcast, joins us once again to wrap up our week-by-week discussion of the show’s final season. And while there were critics who liked the finale, we weren’t among them.

Anthony, at least, defends the first half of the episode, which deals with the fallout from “The Bells” and takes the story to its tragic conclusion. We might wonder why, exactly, a dragon would want to melt the Iron Throne, but it’s a bold, striking image — and the moments around it, with Drogon grieving for Daenery’s death, are surprisingly moving.

But none of us can make sense of what comes afterward. If you look carefully, you can probably see the seeds of a complex and satisfying conclusion — and in his final performance [...]  read more