What makes a good growth marketer?

So you’re considering becoming a growth marketer. Or maybe you’re thinking of hiring someone to handle growth operations at your brand.

But there’s a question in your mind.

What exactly makes a good growth marketer?

What skills and belief sets should someone in this role have?

Well, in this piece I’ll outline the key skills I’ve personally seen make a huge difference when working with growth marketers.

Great growth marketers have a broad range of skills

A lot of the common advice for becoming a freelancer, consultant, or marketer is to specialise.

In the past, when training freelancers, I advised the same thing as it’s the fastest way to get ahead.

However, growth marketing is about more than individual tactics or knowledge of a single channel.

To become a good growth marketer, you have to have a broad range of skills.

The best people in the space are similar to the old T-shaped marketer concept.

You need an understanding of all aspects within the growth marketing model, but you should be an expert in one of them.

For me, my deep knowledge is in copywriting and content. However, I’ve experience in running ads, PR, strategy, SEO, and social media.

Honestly, I’m not sure what job I could go get now as it’s a weird mix of skills.

Thank god growth marketing is a thing.

So what skills are we talking about?

Well, while not a full list, here’s a few areas you’ll need to get comfortable with.

Analytics Skills

  • Growth marketers need to have strong analytics skills to interpret data and identify opportunities. They should be proficient in tools like Google Analytics to analyze website traffic, conversion funnels, attribution, cohorts and more.
  • A/B testing skills are critical to set up experiments that can optimize campaigns. Growth marketers should know how to target test populations, choose meaningful metrics, and calculate statistical significance.
  • Analyzing metrics like customer lifetime value (LTV), churn, and retention helps growth marketers quantify progress.

Creativity Skills

  • Growth marketing relies on creativity to develop compelling campaigns and content. Growth marketers brainstorm creative concepts for landing pages, email campaigns, viral content and more.
  • Copywriting expertise helps craft marketing copy and messaging that converts. Strong copy connects emotionally with users.
  • Design skills allow growth marketers to create aesthetically appealing assets. This improves conversion rates.

Technical Skills

  • Growth marketers need to understand marketing and analytics platforms. This includes Google Analytics, Facebook Business Manager, CRMs, email service providers, attribution tools, etc.
  • Technical knowledge of HTML, CSS and JavaScript is helpful to implement tags and customization on websites and landing pages.
  • API skills allow growth marketers to connect platforms and automate data flows. This improves efficiency.
  • Marketing automation tools are also commonly used, so familiarity with platforms like HubSpot and Marketo is useful.

Strategic Thinking Abilities

  • Aligns growth with business goals – Growth marketers develop strategies tied to overarching business objectives around revenue, market share, branding etc.
  • Identifies growth opportunities – Analyzes data to detect areas of untapped potential, like new demographics, channels, or acquisition sources.
  • Planning and forecasting – Builds models to forecast growth and set targets. Plans initiatives to hit targets.
  • Optimization mindset – Continuously looks for optimization opportunities in campaigns and processes. Tests and iterates.
  • Cross-functional leadership – Works cross-functionally to ensure teams are aligned. Collaborates with sales, product, engineering, and more.
  • Executive communication – Clearly communicates growth opportunities, strategies, and results to executives using data.

Like I said above, you don’t need to be an expert in these to be a good growth marketer. You need an understanding in these elements.

And personally, I think soft skills like understanding your audience are more important.

These areas are harder to fill with contractors and, with the rise of AI, will become less important as time goes by.

Creativity, empathy, and creative thinking are going to become more important while hard skills are going to become less so.

While your emotional intelligence will be an important factor, you can’t let it rule you though.

Good growth marketers remain impartial

It’s easy to do, and we’ve all done it.

You put time, effort, and sometimes money into an experiment and you want it to win.

Even when the data is telling you one thing, you ignore it because you’re too emotionally invested in this thing.

Sadly, this is a losing battle.

To be a good growth marketer you have to remain impartial and trust the data. If it’s telling you you’re wrong, you have to accept that.

If you don’t then you’re not going to be able to pivot and adapt to find success.

The below is by no means a full list, but you’ll want to keep an eye on the below actions to make sure you’re not misleading yourself.

  • Basing decisions on metrics – They rely on key conversion, activation and retention metrics to decide next steps rather than gut feelings.
  • Testing hypotheses – They form data-driven hypotheses and test them rather than acting on hunches.
  • No personal attachment – They remain emotionally detached from ideas and let the data determine whether an initiative is successful.
  • Optimizing based on experiment results – A/B tests and multivariate tests reveal the changes that deliver the biggest performance lift.
  • Analyzing usage data – They mine user behavior data for insights that can inform campaigns.
  • Validating with historical data – Models and forecasts are validated against historical trends rather than estimates.
  • Eliminating opinions – Opinions carry little weight compared to statistically significant data signals.
  • Using data to override anecdotes – Isolated user feedback is verified with quantitative data.
  • Continual optimization – Campaigns are constantly optimized based on the latest performance data.

In summary

Good growth marketers should look to gain a diverse set of skills that enable them to drive results.

They need to be technically proficient with analytics and marketing platforms to interpret data.

Creativity and copywriting ability help them develop compelling campaigns.

Strategic thinking allows them to identify opportunities tied to business goals.

Most importantly, great growth marketers remain impartial by designing rigorous tests and letting data guide all decisions.

They don’t let intuition or opinions distract them. By mastering these various skills and trusting data over emotions, growth marketers can optimize campaigns and maximize their impact.

With the right balance of creativity, analytics, strategy and impartiality, growth marketers become invaluable assets driving business success.

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