Whether you’re a startup or an enterprise looking to expand, growth marketing should be on your agenda. But what exactly is it? Do you know the difference between a Growth Manager and a Growth Hacker?
In this guide on “How to Manage a Remote Growth Marketing Team”, we’ll take a closer look at growth marketing and why a remote team is the best way forward. Here’s what to expect:
- What Is Growth Marketing?
- Why Use a Team Instead of a Single Growth Marketer?
- What Are the Benefits of Having a Remote Team?
- What Are the Roles in a Growth Marketing Team?
- How to Structure a Growth Marketing Team
- What Skills to Look for When Hiring Growth Marketers
- What KPIs Should You Track in a Growth Marketing Team?
What Is Growth Marketing?
Traditional marketing methodology encouraged marketers to focus all their energies on attracting customers and passing as many leads to the sales team as possible. Once a consumer makes a purchase and becomes a customer, the marketer’s job is done and they can move on to attract the next customer. You may well have seen this process depicted as a cone-shaped “marketing funnel”.
The marketing team creates campaigns that raise awareness of the brand and its products or services, they generate interest in the company’s offer and they strive to build consumers’ desire until they take action by making a purchase. The focus is solely on the acquisition of new customers.
The aim of growth marketing is not only to acquire new customers but to nurture and retain existing customers. Once a consumer takes the desired action at the bottom of the funnel, the marketing team have the ongoing task of keeping them engaged. The ultimate goal is not only to increase customer loyalty but to turn customers into brand advocates who generate new leads.
It’s easier and more cost-effective to retain customers than to attract new ones. Loyal customers tend to spend more too and if they return to your business time and again, there’s a good chance they’ll bring along new customers through word-of-mouth. A 5% increase in customer retention can increase revenue by as much as 25-95%.
Growth marketing is a data-driven approach to determining which strategies are delivering results and which need adjusting. It’s a scientific process of experimenting, testing and analysing marketing activities to improve business growth.
A growth marketing team will identify potential areas for improvement, design and conduct experiments, analyse results and make suggestions based on the data collected. Tests may be run at any point of the marketing funnel, from the Awareness stage to Retention and Referral.
An example of growth marketing is the use of A/B testing to present different calls to action (CTA) on a particular web page to see how variations of CTA position, text or colour affect conversion rates. A well-known example of growth marketing, or “growth hacking” is Spotify and Facebook’s collaboration. When Facebook users listened to Spotify, their page automatically displayed what they were listening to, which significantly increased brand awareness for the music platform.
Check out our podcast on how to set and achieve your marketing growth goals here.
Why Use a Team Instead of a Single Growth Marketer?
Effective growth marketing requires a wide range of skills including engineering, design, product, marketing and data analysis. It is unlikely that a single growth marketer can offer the depth of expertise a business needs to achieve the best results.
Solo growth marketers may also inject bias into their interpretation of findings. Growth marketing is a scientific, data-driven approach that requires objective analysis of experiment results. Having a second, third or even fourth person evaluate data will lead to more robust and reliable suggestions for improvement.
A growth marketing team will have a greater capacity to conduct experiments and identify areas for improvement throughout the marketing funnel. This situation facilitates more rapid business growth across all areas. If a team is structured so that each individual is responsible for testing one element of the funnel, e.g. attraction or conversion, areas of specialism develop and no aspect of the business is neglected.
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What Are the Benefits of Having a Remote Team?
The number of people working remotely has been steadily increasing year on year. According to a 2019 survey by Flexjobs, 74% of respondents view flexible working as “the new normal” and the U.S has seen a 44% growth in remote work over the last five years. More and more companies are choosing to operate without any physical office space at all (including Exposure Ninja!).
Remote working is a form of flexible working that allows employees to perform their role from a location of their choosing rather than being expected to travel to an office every day. As technology continues to advance, making remote working easier and more efficient, “virtual offices” have become an increasingly attractive prospect for many business owners. This way of working offers benefits to both employees and employers.
- Reduce business costs. Save money on renting office space, hiring or purchasing office equipment, utility bills and more. Having a remote team can save a business thousands of pounds each month, especially for companies located in high-rent areas such as London.
- Increase productivity. Many employers shy away from offering remote working to employees for fear they will spend all day watching Countdown in their pyjamas. In reality, remote workers are generally more productive than in-house employees. They can choose how, when and where to work and have none of the distractions that are often present in a busy office.
- Recruit the best talent. Remote workers can be located anywhere they have access to wi-fi. There is no reason to restrict your recruitment efforts to the local area if employees are not expected to commute to the office. This flexibility gives companies a much wider pool of talent to draw from. This is especially valuable to niche businesses that must rely on a relatively small group of suitably skilled and qualified individuals.
- Retain your best workers. According to a study by Stanford University, remote workers are significantly less likely to leave a company for alternative employment. The research showed that attrition rates decreased by 50% in home-based workers. You will not lose your best worker because they are relocating to another city. Equally, remote working is one of the most desired work perks, one which employees are reluctant to give up, meaning they are more likely to remain loyal to a company than their in-office counterparts.
- Boost employee well-being and brand reputation. Remote workers are happier, less stressed and have more control to manage their work-life balance. A happy employee is a more productive and loyal employee who is less likely to take sick days or be lured by another job offer. A contented workforce will do wonders for the reputation of the company, which will make recruiting talent and attracting customers a breeze.
- Enhance customer service. Recruit a global team of remote workers and your customers will have access to 24-hr service and support. You can also provide the highest standards of customer service due to the exceptional talent of team members recruited for their skills rather than the convenience of their location.
These benefits are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to having a remote team. They can also make your business more eco-friendly, inclusive and diverse. Find out more about how to manage a successful remote marketing team in our blog.
What Are the Roles in a Growth Marketing Team?
As previously discussed, growth marketing has a broader focus than traditional marketing. It’s company-wide, cross-departmental and concerned with the full marketing funnel — not just the acquisition stage. As a result, the roles in a growth marketing team are many and varied, but often include:
- A Growth Manager — the person who brings together the different roles and responsibilities within the team. It’s their responsibility to analyse data and initiate strategies that help the business to grow. They set achievable growth goals, identify consumer trends and create customer personas to improve revenue. Depending on the size of the team, a growth manager may also assume project management responsibilities to ensure that strategies are worthwhile and well-executed. Neil Patel provides a more detailed look at the role of a Growth Manager in his blog.
- Data Analyst — Growth marketing is a scientific approach that relies on quantifiable metrics. A growth team needs someone who can make sure the right metrics are being measured to facilitate the achievement of growth goals. A Data Analyst will crunch the numbers and accurately interpret results, allowing the Growth Manager to develop marketing strategies that effectively drive growth.
- Content Marketer — Content marketing is one of the best ways to get your business in front of the target audience. It may involve writing press releases, website copy, blog posts, outreach articles and more. It can also include digital PR infographics, videos and influencer marketing. A growth marketing team needs a content marketer to help position your business as a thought leader, generate leads, increase sales and establish relationships with influencers. If the budget allows, it’s helpful to have more than one content marketer in a team to cover the broad skill set required to achieve all of the objectives of this role.
- Growth Hacker — This person’s role is to come up with the zany, out-of-the-box ideas that will set your brand apart from the competition. It’s more a way of thinking than a job title. Growth hackers need to be creative, open-minded and objective. Don’t expect a high percentage of “wins” from this team member. It’s their role to try out weird and wonderful new ideas, many of which won’t stick. But those who do could deliver amazing results.
- Full Stack Developer — You need a competent developer to help you create all the tools and assets required to deliver successful marketing campaigns. A Full Stack Developer combines the skills of a Front End Developer (a pro at making your website or app look awesome) and a Back End Developer (who creates all the “behind-the-scenes” wizardry that makes your website work logically). In short, they can do it all!
- Social Media & Community Manager — The purpose of this role is to engage the online community and develop innovative and effective ways for consumers to interact with the company brand. The role often splits between two team members, but if you have limited resources, it is possible to combine the two.
This is not an exhaustive list. Growth marketing is still a developing field and there is little agreement about the “right” way to do it — so be brave and create a team that works for your business growth goals. Try not to get too bogged down in terminology — the difference between a Growth Hacker, a Growth Manager and a Growth Marketer. Role titles are often used interchangeably and will have different meanings across companies. Provided your team understands what the roles mean to your company and what the expectations are, the foundations of an awesome remote growth marketing team are in place.
How to Structure a Growth Marketing Team
There is no one-size-fits-all approach for structuring a growth marketing team. A startup will require a different approach to an established business. Understanding the lifecycle stage of your company is the first step to developing an effective team structure.
Startups are likely to have limited human or financial resources. Many adopt a “micro team” approach, which involves a handful of people — possibly fewer — working with senior leadership to set growth goals and fulfil all growth marketing roles. The benefits of a micro team are the minimal impact on resources and the ability to get things moving quickly (fewer people is likely to mean fewer delays or roadblocks). The limitations are obvious — less capacity to test systems and a narrower skill set to call upon. For small businesses with more resources, a “dedicated team” includes more people, which means access to a broader set of expertise and more capacity to run experiments.
Established enterprises have more options to choose from:
- Independent growth team model. Team members are allocated roles and work independently of one another towards a unified goal. They are free to prioritise their work as they see fit, provided they meet agreed project milestones and objectives.You can choose to structure this model in one of two ways. A “Workflows” or “Flows and Features” approach organises team members by agreed workflows. A team is allocated to each workflow agreed, for example, Signups, Onboarding or Notifications. Each team comprises all growth marketing roles and is responsible for achieving goals relating to that workflow.
Alternatively, assign teams responsibility based on specific “Metrics”, such as acquisition and retention. As with the “Flows and Features” approach, each team is responsible for their specific metric. In both cases, the Growth Manager oversees all activities and coordinates the different teams.
- Functional growth team model. This is a more structured approach, whereby growth team members (Data Analyst, Growth Hacker, etc.) act as “functional heads” reporting directly to the Growth Manager or CEO. They each determine and manage their own growth goals. This model can be a good choice for startups as it ensures that team members are provided sufficient support to achieve growth goals. However, it can be difficult to respond quickly to developments due to its more structured nature.
What Skills To Look for When Hiring Growth Marketers
There is no definitive list of skills a Growth Marketer should have. The role is still a relatively new one and it is constantly evolving. Equally, the roles within a growth marketing team are many and varied. However, there is a common theme in recruitment advice; look for generalists with the right mindset, don’t focus solely on qualifications and experience.
According to TechCrunch, some of the best growth marketers are business founders because they have the skills, knowledge and drive to achieve success. Seek out potential founders or those who have previously founded a startup that has recently failed, and you could be onto a winner.
Aside from having the right attitude, it’s relatively easy to come up with a basic list of skills to look for in a growth marketer. Consider the skills you already have in your team and compare this to your business growth goals — are there any gaps? In addition to the role-specific skills required, such as those needed for a Data Analyst or Full Stack Developer, look out for personal qualities which make them a good fit for your growth marketing team:
- Are they a good team player?
- Do they have the motivation and aptitude to train for a new role?
- Are they analytical and data-driven?
- Can they think outside of the box?
- Are they process and goal-driven?
The candidate in front of you may not be a ready-made growth marketer, but if they have the right attitude and personal qualities, you can shape them into your perfect team member.
What KPIs Should You Track in a Growth Marketing Team?
Your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) will depend on the business growth goals set by the Growth Manager. Common growth goals include:
- Acquiring new customers
- Retaining more customers
- Increasing revenue
Learn more about how to set and achieve your marketing growth goals in our head ninja, Tim Cameron-Kitchen’s podcast.
KPIs are not the same as growth or business goals. They are measurable metrics that help you to identify what’s working and what isn’t. If your primary goal is to acquire new customers, for example, you might choose to test how effective free trial periods are. A useful KPI would be the number of customers who continue using your service after the free trial ends.
As with growth goals and company structure, the best KPIs will take into consideration the stage of your company’s growth. If you’re in the process of establishing a startup, KPIs may focus on qualitative feedback and brand awareness. For a company looking to expand, it would be more useful to measure the CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) and CLV (Customer Lifetime Value).