OP Lab growth machine


  • Growth strategy
  • Growth operations
  • Growth team building

We teamed up with OP Lab, the innovation unit of OP Financial Group, to build a systematic way to steer the growth of multiple ventures — the growth machine.

OP Lab planned, executed, and operated growth marketing in various ways and methods. We wanted an integrated growth system in place, where the use of strategic growth thinking and agile marketing operations were accepted and in force. By applying these methods, we aimed at being more accurate in identifying product/market -fit, and knowing when to scale.


  • improve the quality and performance of growth strategy and operations
  • make data-based decisions across the organisation
  • identify anti-vanity growth metrics and use them in real-time
  • work together with venture teams to ensure transformation stickiness


Value creation

Growth lives in the value creation zone, where marketers aim at satisfying customer needs at a profit. Growth teams strive to maximise customer equity and make choices based on the long-term success, with customer lifetime value and retention in mind.

Sustainable & scientific growth

A quick and quirky hack can steal the show, yet it’s not the intention of growth. Instead, we set off a chain of experiments that aim to move us closer to the product/market -fit. The success of a growth experiments is not important. Learning is. When the focus is on continuous learning, our focus shifts from hackticks to sustainable growth.

Transformation that sticks

Successful growth is equivalent to the growth team’s ability to execute. It’s made of the understanding of the fundamentals of sustainable growth and how to put it in practice. To make sure we can change things for good, we wanted to make our culture as the vessel of learning by doing as a team.

The Process of Growth


We created the process of growth with the following requirements in mind:

  • assess ventures on how fit they are for market in terms of creating value and sustainable growth
  • have a holistic look on the end user, business model, marketing, and distribution
  • take a hands-on approach to growth for learning faster in the real market environment
  • put actionable and real-time growth metrics in place for data- and insight-driven decision making


Growth theory

For meeting our strategic requirements, we chose the Four Fits Framework and the Growth Machine theory by Brian Balfour, as our guiding principles for building sustainable growth.

Assessing ventures with growth readiness

We developed growth readiness assessment and canvas as tools to gain a full picture of a venture performance as quickly as possible. We based the growth readiness assessment on the heuristic principles of the business model generation and lean startup.

Building the Growth model

Growth readiness gives insight on in which stage the venture is in its lifecycle. The Growth model uses this insight, to build a strategy of how the growth team can take the venture to the next stage.

By following the set growth principles, and to make sure the venture can graduate to the next stage, the growth team must look into:

  • Transforming user personas into human behavioral models and data-driven segmentation models
  • Transforming user journeys into growth loops
  • Transforming the value prop hypothesis into validated and scalable messaging hierarchy
  • Creating the KPI framework and retention models
  • Creating the organic growth core

Building the operational model

When the growth team has built the the strategic growth model, it’s time to put it in practice by operating growth in in the real market with real humans. The growth team runs its operations with an aim of either validating or disproving the growth hypotheses.

The growth team sets a single metric, the North Star metric, for its main guideline. The growth team runs a lean startup infused daily growth process to ideate, prioritise, run, and learn with scientific experimentation methods. The aim of the growth team is to be as fast as possible to experiment with as many experiments as possible to move the needle of the North Star metric to the right direction.

The growth team works in sprints, and comes together to follow its progress and make decisions based on venture-based and tailored data visualisation models.

Team Play

Growth teams loan methods from different disciplines and walks of life, a growth team is hence not made of professional growth marketers but from all professions and roles that make a product team.

Growth team has an agnostic view on experimentation, since we cannot foresee what really works. This is why growth is a horizontal theme which goes everywhere and affects everything. Growth is thus a mindset that should be shared by all members of the growth team.


Real-time analysis and decision-making

We built a BI model based on a KPI framework to be able to monitor different ventures at different lifecycle stages in real time.

This solution gave different stakeholders, all the way from growth hackers to the steering group, data-proven decision-making power.


  • Set the Process of growth for OP Lab to unify the growth marketing principles, processes and tools
  • Run a portfolio of growth ventures in mobility, banking and insurance through the process of growth all the way from growth readiness to scaling
  • Built a BI model for making data-driven decision for venture development across the organisations, from the single growth hacker level all the way to the steering group level
  • We helped the organisation transform from a traditional marketing culture into a data-driven growth culture, and to actively share the growth mindset as the truth of growth shared by all involved in growth


Let's build something together.

We are a good fit with teams who want to grow by creating meaningful everyday experiences for their customers. Get in touch with our CEO, Antti Mäkelä.

Email Antti Book a call with Antti