Alumni Stories

Growth For Good | Creating Change with Marlene at Rainforest Alliance

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How Growth For Good is upgrading mindsets and skills for those who work towards the Sustainable Development Goals.
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Marlene Höning is the Senior Officer of Data Analytics at Rainforest Alliance, Netherlands. She recently completed the Growth for Good three-day growth strategies course and has since earned a promotion and a new role at Rainforest Alliance. 


We caught up with her to learn more about her background, what she learned through Growth For Good, and what the future holds for her newfound skills. 


What led you to your current field?


I’ve always been interested in the meaning behind the data. What insights can you get from that data, and how can you use it in your decision making? 


What led you to get your job at Rainforest Alliance?


I worked in the corporate world before joining Rainforest Alliance ten years ago. I was looking for more meaning in my life. I wanted to contribute to a better world and a healthier planet. While working at Rainforest Alliance, I’ve had many different jobs, mainly in marketing. But also in impact communication, which is all about meaningful data and how to communicate that to our stakeholders.


Why did you feel the need to up-skill?


Last year one of my projects was to help our content team to become more data-driven. As a result, I have done lots of research and watched plenty of online webinars, but realised I needed to do more than that.


Why did you choose Growth Tribe?


Four or five years ago, I attended a conference where David Arnoux (Co-founder) from Growth Tribe; gave a talk. Back then, we wanted to book a company table for the six weeks course. But the timing wasn’t right. The Head of our department didn’t see the full potential. Without internal support from management, it’s difficult to create change.


How has the course content helped you? What about the trainers?


I think the course has helped me to confirm what I have always felt. But I didn’t have words for it, or I couldn’t explain what I meant. For example, the difference between vanity metrics and actionable metrics and the importance of identifying your one metric that matters (OMTM). In the corporate world, that’s easier because it’s about maximising profit. But as an NGO, that requires more careful consideration. The trainers had great high energy - they were very inspirational. I learned about cutting edge digital tools, but more importantly, about asking the right questions. After the course, I had much more confidence to ask the right questions and to question decisions that had already been made. I think that was the biggest change for me. 


What real-life results and applications have you had after the course? 


The role of data is changing, not only in our organisation but also in our department. It’s a process. My manager and another colleague followed the second edition of Growth For Good. Which was an achievement in itself because without backup from management, it’s really difficult to drive change. Also, my new role (Senior Officer Data Analytics) is partly a result of the course. This function did not exist before. So, by emphasising the importance of using data in our decision making, we’re changing the mindset, one step at a time. We have implemented some testing (copy and design) in our processes, but we’re not yet structurally implementing growth hacking in everything that we do yet. 


What does the future look like for you?


I will dig into Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager and Data Studio. I want to show the team how data can be meaningful for them. So, in collaboration with the team, I will create dashboards that are customised to their needs. I also want to help them to narrow down their focus: what are they trying to achieve and when do they know they achieved it? What is their OMTM? 

Get involved, join Growth For Good!


If you work for an organisation contributing to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and would like to upgrade your skills and learn the strategies, tools and techniques used by leading growth experts, then get in touch. 


You can find out more and apply for the next cohort by clicking the button below.