Discover what a growth marketer does and why it is a critical figure in the development of a company
All businesses worldwide want to grow, but not many know how to do it, as strange as it may seem. This explains why growth marketing strategies have become increasingly popular recently. Following scientific methods, developing growth strategies, and relying on growth marketers, are fundamental elements to help companies achieve results.
What are the skills required to pursue a growth marketing career? How do companies regard the role of a growth marketer? How will this figure evolve over the next few years? We will answer these questions with the help of a marketing expert with ten years of experience as a startup consultant who supports the idea to include growth marketing in your business.
Growth Marketing or Growth Hacking?
In 2010, marketing expert Ellis coined the expression ‘growth hacker,’ and from then on, he has been advising businesses worldwide to help enhance their growth. Among his clients are Dropbox, Eventbrite, LogMeIn, and Lookout. Sean has also founded Qualaroo, a company focused on client knowledge that serves Uber, Intuit, Starbucks, and Amazon, among others. What Sean did was more than introduce a new concept. His ideas demonstrated that a company’s growth is not fortuitous and that strategies can be adopted to achieve it.
“For meaningful growth, startups must completely change the rules of traditional channels or innovate outside of those growth channels. They are too desperate and disadvantaged to adapt to the old rules of marketing. They have to dig deep creatively and relentlessly test new ideas. If they don’t figure it out quickly, they will go out of business.” Sean Ellis
Therefore, growth hacking is a discipline that seeks to achieve immediate results and in the short term, for example, to increase the number of users, revenue, or influence quickly, and with minimal effort and expense. The word hacker, usually associated with people acting on the edge of IT legality, in this case, indicates people who use their intelligence and creativity skillfully for a purpose.
How does growth marketing happen?
When growth hacking came into practice, it proved that there were different ways to plan growth strategies, still based on scientific methods, but tested out in all conversion funnel stages—i.e., the steps customers follow when they make a purchase. The different stages are awareness, interest, consideration, conversion, and loyalty (and others, such as intent and evaluation).
The method used to enhance business growth was named ‘growth marketing,’ and its fundamentals can be applied to any product’s life cycle stage. For this reason, growth marketing is a holistic discipline that includes many different professionals. Although growth marketing and growth hacking can be confused at times, as they both aim to achieve growth in a business, they use different routes to achieve their goals.
Essential skills for growth marketing
The evolution of this discipline has spurred the creation of growth marketing careers and study paths that encompass SEM/SEO, Social Ads, Funnel, Big Data Technology, User Experience, and even Behavioral Science as subjects. The objective is to turn the student into a digital expert capable of developing all kinds of growth strategies. However, as for other digital professions, you can access this career through different routes.
To find out more about this profession, we talked to Pau Llambi, founder and CEO of Marketers Group and academic director of Digital Marketing & Inbound Marketing Masters at INESDI. Llambi claims that “one of the fundamental qualities of a growth marketer is an analytical ability, as well as good competency in KPI (Key Performance Indicator). Also, they need to know what are the best elements to achieve viral status in digital media.”
Because this appears to be a hybrid figure, it would be better to talk about a set of skills that are desirable to develop such strategies:
- Mastering the fundamentals of A/B tests.
- Knowledge of all funnel stages.
- Using promotional channels on social media.
- Advanced use of new technology and digital tools.
- Ability to work as a team in a multidisciplinary way..
- Creativity and passion for what they do.
Who can become a growth marketer?
Although this depends on the needs and goals of each business, the most common figures are as follows:
-Digital Marketing Manager: permanently in contact with every area of the business, in charge of establishing and coordinating all marketing strategies.
-Digital Planner: develops marketing and advertising strategies centered on various media and platforms. Strategic thinking and observational skills are among their best abilities.
-SEO Manager: dedicated to driving the positioning on the web and increasing visibility of a brand, its products, and its content, which is at the foundation of Growth Marketing.
- Social Media Manager: besides creating a Social Media Plan, they can also design Growth strategies, especially in companies with a significant online presence.
- UX Designer: where growth strategies are focused on improving user experience, this expert can be a suitable Growth Marketer.
- Big Data Manager: the person with the best analytical vision, usually in charge of classifying and storing all the data acquired by the company.
With what challenges do growth marketing teams have to confront?
In his 12 years advising startups, Pau Llambi has demonstrated the importance of growth marketing in their success, which can be generalized to other businesses. “This proves the need for a growth marketer in your business,” he explains,” who is focused on data analysis and experimentation to inform hypotheses, execute them, optimize them...It should be a continuous circle in all businesses.” For this reason, companies have a dedicated growth marketing team taking charge of the following tasks:
Identifying key metrics
Identifying this data helps design a strategy. In Silicon Valley, they refer to a ‘North Star Metric,’ which is the best in representing long-term growth. For example, the north star metric of Airbnb is one night’s booking.
One thing growth marketers never stop doing is to test hypotheses and collect real data. Experimenting stimulates the development of new products, improves the value of those already existing, and increases the ability to get new clients to discover those products.
In growth strategy, everything must focus on the problems that need fixing. Otherwise, you run the risk of wasting energy on other aspects of the business that are not as important. Even so, you may identify new opportunities for growth along the way as you put ideas into practice. You need adaptability to be ready to change strategy quickly.
Growth marketing as company philosophy
Some of the factors that can create errors in this type of strategy are an incorrect metric, not testing the methods sufficiently, or not having the support of your management. In Ellis’s words, “I have never seen an effective growth program that doesn't have strong CEO support.”
Netflix: a success story
Netflix was created as a subscription business. Therefore, its growth depended on subscriber commitment and retention and the acquisition of new viewers. How did they drive growth? They did so by continually experimenting with improvements in their recommendation algorithm and finding new ways to distribute their content.
One of the decisions they took was to become the first entertainment company to broadcast a large volume of content online. In turn, they were able to verify how people interacted with the content and consequently improved their recommendation algorithm and optimized the engagement and retention of their users. The data is clear: Netflix has increased its income by 3000% since 2013 and now has a market cap of $242.05 billions.
You never stop growing
According to Pau Llambi, the growth marketer will become an increasingly valuable figure in companies around the world, as has already been happening in the US. All business has individual goals, but they all have one in common: a desire to grow. There is no need for a magic formula to achieve this objective, as the solution appears to lie in growth marketing.
To explore this topic further, check out any of the growth marketing-related courses available on Domestika here.