Are you easily bored, motivated by constant change, and driven by a need to know? Do you thrive in a nonstop environment? Are you extremely analytical? Can you easily change gears and adapt to a new situation? If these traits describe you, then a career in growth marketing might be for you.
If you haven’t heard of it before, that’s no surprise. Growth marketing is a fairly new field. The term itself is only 8 years old, coined in 2010. The practice developed in part because of the digital transformation we’re experiencing and in part from a need to quickly generate sales for tech startups. In this environment, we went from tangible products you could touch, see and smell to intangible products such as social media, ride sharing and online software. These new kinds of “products” both demanded and enabled an innovative approach to marketing, one which focused on growth. Techniques and best practices developed that hadn’t been applied or were even possible in traditional marketing. And growth marketing was born. It didn’t remain the domain of tech startups, however. As the field of growth marketing has matured and evolved, its principles have been adopted by other types of organizations as well, driving a need for growth marketers.
The Goal of the Growth Marketer
As a somewhat new field and one with plenty of possible variations in approach, a single definition of growth marketing does not exist…and probably won’t for a while. Although some still define growth marketing as something akin to its original form, broader definitions today usually focus on both getting customers and retaining them, because you don’t have growth unless you have retention. It’s also much easier to sell to existing customers than it is to acquire new ones. For that reason, you will see that some people discuss growth marketing as very product oriented because you must make sure the product works for the customer in order to keep the customer.
A growth marketer has just one job and that is to ensure growth. As a result, growth marketing tends to involve every stage of the funnel; not just awareness and acquisition as with traditional marketing, but also activation, retention, revenue, and referral. And that’s a very different job description for a marketer!
Because the practice differs so, some use the term growth “hacker” instead of marketer, but others shy away from that term because of the negative connotation that comes with it. If it weren’t for that negative connotation, it would be appropriate to call it hacking because that is in a way what you’re doing: You’re hacking (or subverting or circumventing) the traditional approaches to marketing. That’s because a growth marketer should never do something just because that’s the way it’s always been done, but instead should be constantly thinking of new, ingenious ways to tackle a problem or attain a goal.
The Job Outlook for Growth Marketers
Indeed lists thousands of jobs in growth marketing, with job titles ranging from growth marketing associate to growth marketer to director of growth. You’ll also see plenty of job listings for growth hackers, which might or might not mean a growth marketer. Salaries start in the $50,000 range and go up from there. As more and more organizations adopt a growth marketing approach, we should see the demand for growth marketing specialists stay strong if not increase in the near future.
There Is No Typical Day in the Life of a Growth Marketer
If you’re wondering what exactly a growth marketer does all day, that’s a tricky question to answer. A growth marketer is responsible for so many variables, and job descriptions vary so widely from company to company, that it is impossible to describe a typical day in the life of a growth marketer. The only sure thing is that every single day will be incredibly busy and fast-paced. So rather than try to describe a typical day, we’ve described the skills and personality traits you must have to succeed in growth marketing below.
- Growth marketers are extremely analytical and data-driven: They are constantly testing, analyzing results, and optimizing to try to improve upon those results. And they do so quickly: A growth marketer tests learns and moves on. They are regularly experimenting, running campaigns, documenting results and reporting on what they’ve learned as well as putting what they’ve learned to use for the next initiative. A growth marketer has little concern for details like the size of a logo within an ad, because he or she is solely focused on how well that ad performed, and they will break all the rules of landing page optimization if they think they have a better idea. Growth marketers are also experts in marketing attribution because they must know precisely which touchpoints and tweaks drive which results.
- Growth marketers are creative: Keep in mind that they are sometimes called growth hackers. That’s partly because they aren’t hired to do things the same old way or to maintain a status quo. They are hired to drive growth. Period. To do so, they need the ability to see alternative ways of doing things and the guts to bend the rules and suggest totally new and even outrageous ideas.
- Growth marketers know digital marketing: They have to know all the ins and outs of digital marketing so they can tap into those channels and techniques when needed. They must understand social media ad platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, as well as pay-per-click and display ad platforms. They should be comfortable with AdWords as they are with Google Analytics. They need to know ways to optimize a page and how to conduct an A/B test. They should be familiar with email and SMS marketing as well. If it’s a component of digital marketing, a growth marketer needs to know it.
- Growth marketers are excellent communicators: A growth marketer needs excellent written and verbal communication skills and needs to be a team player. In order to make their campaigns happen, a growth marketer works closely with brand managers, content marketers, copywriters, the SEO team, email marketers, developers, freelancers and graphic designers.
- Growth marketers are always learning: They are learning by doing and analyzing results to draw conclusions, but they are also paying attention to what else is going on in digital marketing and what other growth marketers are discovering so they can try out those new ideas in their own campaigns and initiatives.
Getting Started in Growth Marketing
As you might by now realize, growth marketers are under a lot of pressure. They are expected to go above and beyond, both in what they do and in what they know. Although they must work well in teams, they must also work well independently and should be motivated and self-driven starters who are constantly striving to drive more growth while simultaneously keeping up with changes in the digital marketing landscape.
Does this kind of fast-paced career sound like a good fit for you? If you have the personality type for this job, you might be tempted to jump right in as the self-starter you are. But hold on. If you’re interested in a career as a growth marketer, you will need to build a strong foundation in digital marketing first, then stay on top of the field on a regular basis. Courses at Simplilearn can help. With Simplilearn, you can start with a certificate in digital marketing or content marketing, or you can take a deep dive into web analytics or pay-per-click advertising when you choose from the wide range of digital marketing courses offered by Simplilearn.
As a growth marketer, you must be results driven because you will be judged based on those results. After all, results are your job. Fast track your ability to drive results by building a strong foundation in a wide range of digital marketing skills at the start of your career, then keep on learning so you can hack your own growth hacking career.