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    In-depth TrueNorth.io Review 2023

    Similar to our GrowthHackers Projects review this article is an in-depth review and analysis of the TrueNorth growth marketing platform.

    We’ll start by highlighting some of the pros and cons but go into far more detail throughout the article.

    Please note feature information is correct as of January 2023. Growth Method has made every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information provided.

    Pros

    • Fully aligned with agile marketing methodologies and best practises
    • A central place to measure and manage all marketing activity in a data-driven way
    • Starting with a marketing or growth goal, and working backwards is a great approach (an outcomes over outputs approach)
    • Data integrations with 3rd party marketing tools
    • Well-suited to marketing activities where direct attribution is possible e.g. paid activity
    • Well-suited to marketing activities with accurate spend e.g. paid activity
    • Compelling design and user experience
    • Well suited to companies with high volume, low ACV sales
    • Full-funnel analytics (from visit to revenue) for companies where this data is in a supported integration
    • A single place to store and score marketing and growth ideas for your team
    • Strong proposition for SaaS, product and PLG businesses
    • Low-cost and simple pricing structure without hidden limits

    Cons

    • Requires existing campaign, data and attribution maturity
    • Enables disparate marketing activity rather than focus on core revenue channels
    • Encourages new campaigns and activity over iteration and improvement of existing efforts
    • Incentivises activities with short-term direct (software-based) attribution
    • Less well suited to activities with longer-term horizons, such as SEO
    • Revenue attribution requires stable and predictable deal values hence unlikely to suit services businesses or traditional enterprise with significant variation in ACV
    • Less well suited to B2B services businesses
    • A lack of ideation on an ongoing basis
    • Tied to the ‘campaign’ marketing model
    • No specific process for capturing and sharing learnings

    What is TrueNorth?

    TrueNorth can be described as a growth marketing platform, growth marketing OS, or agile marketing platform. It provides a better way of tracking marketing plans and campaign activity by integrating activity results in a single place where your overall marketing goal can be tracked.

    Here is how the tools is described online:

    “TrueNorth is the only growth marketing platform to plan and track marketing in one place, with everything and everyone focused on the goal.”

    truenorth.io

    “TrueNorth is a marketing management platform built to help you hit your marketing goals.”

    https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/marketing-strategy

    TrueNorth is a Marketing OS that helps marketing teams move faster and stay aligned by centralising their marketing management and analytics in one place, not all over the place.

    https://www.g2.com/products/truenorth-truenorth/reviews

    TrueNorth provides a better way to manage campaigns at a glance by integrating results with your marketing activity. Below is a ‘What is TrueNorth’ video from the TrueNorth team.

    What is TrueNorth video

    Who is behind TrueNorth.io?

    TrueNorth is the latest venture to come out of UK based Venture Harbour. Founded by Marcus Taylor, Venture Harbour are based in the UK at Howbery Business Park in Oxfordshire.

    Venture Harbour is the world’s-first bootstrapped venture studio. Each year, we build a new venture with one rule; It must be more ambitious than the last.

    Since 2012, we’ve built the UK’s fastest-growing portfolio of independent tech companies inc. Serene, Leadformly & our latest venture, TrueNorth.

    All of our ventures exist to unlock growth in people, businesses and economies. From helping remote workers get their focus back, to enabling websites to capture the leads they deserve, each venture aims to solve a major problem facing tomorrow’s leading companies.

    https://www.linkedin.com/company/venture-harbour/

    Previous Venture Harbour product ventures include:

    TrueNorth Features

    The core value proposition behind TrueNorth lies in the ability to tie marketing activity and results to your wider marketing goals. The team believe marketing works best when everything is connected to the goal hence the software helps teams focus, align, and track marketing activity in one place.

    Here are some of the core features that enable this to happen.

    Growth Projection

    Everything in TrueNorth is connected to your growth projection which is effectively a projection towards your main target or goal.

    When you first login to TrueNorth you are prompted to pull in your campaigns data from Google Analytics, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads or HubSpot.

    Welcome to TrueNorth screenshot

    This is so the software can run your projection as follows:

    1. Understand where you are today from your previous campaign data
    2. Understand where you want to be based on manually entered goals
    3. Run a simulation, or projection, which breaks down your goal into (monthly) milestones
    4. Help you in planning, budgeting and allocating tasks to each milestone

    The concept here is that by using TrueNorth, and seeing all of your activity connected in a single place, you can see whether your upcoming campaigns will deliver what is needed to keep you on track, and can make decisions to change course as needed.

    Growth projects tutorial

    Marketing funnel analysis

    The growth projection is tied to your marketing funnel, so you should know each step of your funnel and approximate metrics and conversion rates at each stage.

    The growth projection can also be tailored to the different steps in your funnel, which is effectively your path to revenue. In the demo account these are:

    • Visitors
    • Demos
    • Proposals
    • Customers
    • Revenue

    However these steps are customisable so could be something like Visits, MQLs, SQLs and Revenue.

    TrueNorth Growth Projection

    Where you would normally track a user from (for example) Subscriber, Lead, MQL, SQL, Opportunity, Customer in HubSpot, you can translate this to funnel steps in TrueNorth.

    What if I don’t have a metric to map to every funnel metric for a campaign?

    The minimum mapping you will need to do for each campaign is just one metric. This is to ensure that we can register at least a result for a campaign. The metric doesn’t have to be the same across all your campaigns. We use the funnel to standardise the reporting across different metrics, and different campaign sources.”

    https://support.truenorth.io/en/articles/6643020-quick-start-guide-how-to-import-campaigns-from-google-analytics

    Ideation

    Ideation sessions are using to collect and prioritise ideas to help achieve your marketing goal. You can invite your team to ideation sessions, which are effectively like a virtual brainstorm with a focus on a specific milestone or growth target.

    As we have talked about previously, ideas are the rocket fuel for growth, hence being able to capture these outside of team meetings, and from stakeholders outside of the marketing team, is an important piece of any growth marketing strategy.

    For example, a goal could be “how might we increase our monthly SQLs from 500 to 600 by January 2024?”. You can then invite team members to submit ideas around this goal.

    Once all in can ICE score

    Ideas are scored using the simple ICE framework (Impact, Confidence, Effort) and receive a score out of a maximum score of 100.

    Storing marketing and growth ideas in this way avoids the mess of Google Spreadsheets, Google Docs etc, and is a far more remote-friendly way of performing ideation.

    Campaigns & Campaign Planning

    Whilst you can add campaign data manually, TrueNorth can import campaign data from HubSpot, LinkedIn Ads, Facebook Ads and Google Analytics. These “integrated campaigns” allow the software to track campaign performance and spend in order to show ROI and results without the need for manual reporting.

    The Google Analytics integration is the preferred method of importing campaign data, and is able to detect UTM campaigns, Google Ads, Bing Ads and more.

    Campaign reporting enables teams to measure campaign performance in one place, make adjustments quickly, and identify changes needed to maximise changes to achieve the overall marketing goal.

    For example, below there are 2 campaigns tagged under Content Marketing:

    1. Get a total of $1350 Revenue for $1050 spend as a result of publishing 30x new feature landing pages. Revenue currently at $126 versus a spend of $62.50 resulting in an ROI of 101.6%.
    2. On-demand webinar experiment has a goal of 55 demos for $500. The result was 11 demos, $125 spend and a $3.63 revenue generated, resulting in a return on investment of -97.1%.

    TrueNorth.io Integrations

    TrueNorth integrations currently include:

    • Google Ads
    • Microsoft Ads
    • Facebook Ads
    • Instagram Ads
    • Google Optimize
    • HubSpot
    • Stripe

    At the time of writing, support for GA4 is currently in beta and “you may experience issues”.

    TrueNorth Pricing

    The software platform costs a flat $99 per month, which gives your whole team access to all of the platform’s features. There are no plans, upgrades, or usage limits to worry about and you’re not paying for each team member.

    “You can try the product for free for 14 days with no obligation or credit card details required. And you’ll continue to pay the same amount that you sign up for on day one.”

    Pricing page

    There are 2 (small) points to be aware of:

    1. The entire yearly fee is charged upfront should you decide to continue with the software after the 14 day free trial
    2. Pricing is per team, so if you were to add additional teams (as an agency, for example) this would incur additional cost

    Reviews and case studies

    At the time of writing there is little in the way of third party reviews of the TrueNorth agile marketing software.

    TrueNorth.io Alternatives

    Looking for a growth marketing or agile marketing platform? Here are some additional software products you may wish to consider.

    Resources

    Here are some related articles and further reading you may find helpful.