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In the internet age where information is fast and free, dozens (well, let’s say hundreds) of marketing managers claim to be “growth marketers”, “growth-oriented” or “growth-focused”, but fail to deliver growth.
Largely because they fail to determine what growth looks like for the business or client in question — and fail to understand that it is a constant and iterative process.
Considering how many people out there claim to be “growth” experts, I thought I’d put together a little primer to help distinguish marketing managers from growth marketers.
Here we go.
So, you’re NOT a growth marketer…
We get it. The overarching purpose of the marketing team is to raise awareness and generate buzz, tell the world about a product or service and to attract more customers.
But with a traditional “launch it and they will come” approach, you aren’t really invested in growth: just the process.
As a growth marketer, you look at more than just the product/service, its features and USPs.
And how can you solve the challenges the business is facing effectively, so they achieve holistic (and not just momentary) growth?
Growth marketing is far more than immediate buzz.
So this is where people often get it wrong with growth marketers.
Growth marketers are not a “booster shot” – people who can come in, boost conversions or sales quickly, and leave.
While growth marketers can (and should!) focus on boosting conversions in the short-term, it is not the only focus.
If immediate conversions are the only thing that concerns you, you’re not really a growth marketer.
Growth marketers touch many aspects of a business and focus on more than just sales.
This includes building and maintaining relationships, building credibility, and influencing multiple stages of the customer journey.
If you cannot look beyond sales as a measure of success – then you are not a growth marketer.
When something clicks, and when a strategy works, it can be very tempting to “set it and forget it.” But tracking metrics is very important. It’s not the size or scale of a campaign that matters, but what it achieves, as defined by you and the client/business.
Metrics are the measures of business performance: giving insights on each aspect, from revenue, to acquisition, engagement and retention.
As your client/business scales, you may need to re-prioritize certain metrics or stop tracking some altogether.
Tracking metrics may throw up some surprising data, which could give you some ammunition to course correct, experiment with something new, or even give a glimpse into a trend you didn’t notice before. (Check out how we discovered our SEO experiments were working when we looked into a curious spike in traffic for one of our clients.)
If you aren’t willing to invest the time and energy in consistent tracking of metrics, then you are not a growth marketer.
This is adding on to what we’ve said above.
There is no plug and play model for growth – you have to be open to experimentation.
That means testing out new strategies, being open to trying out and optimising new channels, and looking for creative ways to move forward when things get stuck.
A growth marketer won’t pull the plug on a brand just like that – they will try, test out, pivot and see what works till they hit the sweet spot.
Business scaling needs an appetite for failure. If you can not digest and learn from the failures you are not a growth marketer.
Numbers don’t lie.
If spreadsheets and dashboards scare you or put you to sleep, then perhaps you are not a growth marketer.
Growth marketers need a deep understanding of performance data, because the next step they take or the next experiment they run will be based on the data at hand. (No shots in the dark, folks.)
Acquisition rate, conversion rate, click-through rates – these are all tied to the efforts (and money!) invested, and you want to optimise for the best outcomes.
Growth marketers need to constantly check-in with their channels and metrics: paid media accounts, ad spends, email messaging, creatives and social media analytics…this is then captured and summarised to unlock what works.
At the same time, it’s not necessary that data will reveal everything you want to see. But it certainly helps validate some of the experiments you want to execute before you invest your time, energy and money into it.
This is also where it can get tricky:
These may seem like complex questions, but as you regularly dig into your data, you will realise the importance of these complexities and get better at distinguishing between the data that really matters.
If you aren’t ready to do the (sometimes) exhaustive task of analyzing data, identifying patterns and taking actionable steps based on it – you are not a growth marketer.
What I’m trying to say is: let’s not use the term growth loosely, much like we shouldn’t use the term “iconic” for anything and everything.
There’s a clear difference between being a marketing manager (someone who can execute and plan the day-to-day) versus a growth marketer (someone who can focus on long-term value and results).
To put it simply:
So what are you looking for – someone to manage the marketing process, or someone who is invested in long-term, sustainable growth?
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Amol has helped catalyse business growth with his strategic & data-driven methodologies. With a decade of experience in the field of marketing, he has donned multiple hats, from channel optimization, data analytics and creative brand positioning to growth engineering and sales.
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