10 Skills Every Growth Marketer Needs

1 min read
10 Skills Every Growth Marketer Needs

10 Skills Every Growth Marketer Needs

Growth marketers are in high demand, yet the role they play is often misunderstood. What distinguishes a growth marketer from any other kind of marketer? Unfortunately, there’s no official definition, but we can boil the purpose of a growth marketer down to a relatively simple goal:

A growth marketer is someone who is responsible for driving rapid growth at a business.

However, this definition arguably raises more questions than it answers. There are many ways to achieve rapid growth (not to mention many definitions of rapid growth), which means growth marketers need to have exceptionally versatile skill sets.

What Does a Growth Marketer Do?

Growth marketing primarily involves high-level strategic analysis of the many factors that contribute to a business’s growth (or lack of growth). Most of the work that growth marketers do falls under the umbrella of digital marketing. Here are a few examples of specific tasks that a growth marketer might take on:

Let’s dive into the ten critical skills that every growth marketer needs.

Essential Growth Marketing Skills

1. Data Analysis

As the masterminds behind their organizations’ growth strategies, growth marketers need to be well-versed in data analytics. First and foremost, a good growth marketer should have the skills to develop an analytics framework that accurately informs the organization's current growth needs. 

However, as an organization grows, so does its growth strategy. The best growth marketers in the game build future-proof data analytics infrastructures that will evolve along with their organizations. This helps minimize the amount of time, resources, and training needed to scale reporting and analytics processes down the line.

While growth marketers spend a lot of their time looking at growth metrics from a birds-eye view, they also need to be more than capable when it comes to understanding the data on a granular level. An effective growth marketer should be able to extract valuable insights from the data they gather and communicate those insights clearly to all collaborators — including (especially) the non-technical ones.

2. Analytics Tech Literacy

In addition to impeccable data analysis skills, growth marketers need to be very comfortable with a broad spectrum of digital marketing technologies. Growth marketing tools range from basic analytics tools like Google Analytics, to customer relationship management (CRM) tools, to database management tools, and more. A growth marketer should have a solid grasp on all of these in order to assemble a technology toolkit that meets the organization's precise growth marketing needs.

3. Conversion Rate Optimization

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is inherently a critical growth metric. As a measurement of how successful your business’s marketing materials are at turning leads into customers, conversion rate is a direct window into the state of your business’s growth prospects. In fact, it wouldn’t be hard to argue that a robust understanding of CRO is the single most important skill a growth marketer can possess.

To master the art of conversion rate optimization, growth marketers need to know how to think like customers. The first step is recognizing that there’s a problem — but that’s usually the easy part. Once a growth marketer has identified that a website or a social media account (for example) is not converting enough customers, they need to be able to answer the big question: “why?” What, exactly, about the customer experience is preventing conversions? Where are the pain points that need to be addressed?

4. Testing Framework Development

Answering the “why” requires not only a familiarity with the marketing materials themselves, but also a deep understanding of the target demographic’s behaviors and motivations. To develop this understanding, growth marketers should be experts at running tests. Whether it’s A/B testing different versions of a landing page or soliciting customer feedback about new website features, growth marketers should constantly be gathering information and using it to optimize the organization's growth outcomes.

For maximum effectiveness, these tests should be developed as part of a cohesive testing framework. A testing framework generally includes two main elements:

A growth marketer should have experience both designing testing parameters and streamlining testing workflows, and should understand how these two components work together to form an effective testing framework.

5. Management Ability

You may not typically think of a growth marketer as a manager. But truthfully, growth marketers play many of the same parts that managers do. They often manage their own team of marketing specialists, and they advise other departments on a regular basis. As such, growth marketers need to possess many of the same abilities as traditional business managers, including great people skills and an aptitude for leadership.

The management skills that are most important for growth marketers generally fall into three categories: people, project, and agency.

The best growth marketers have successful track records with each of these three types of management.

6. Revenue Sense

A growth marketer should relentlessly pursue feasible opportunities for growth — but they shouldn’t chase growth at all costs. A good growth marketer recognizes when a growth strategy is not fiscally viable and isn’t afraid to pull the plug if necessary. Sustainable growth can’t happen if the growth strategy doesn’t take the organization’s bottom line into account from the get-go. 

Experienced growth marketers have a knack for identifying quick and easy sources of revenue, as well as for balancing those opportunities with longer-term growth investments. By targeting the most lucrative short-term wins without losing sight of the organization’s long-term revenue trajectory, growth marketing experts are able to develop highly sustainable growth frameworks.

7. Resource Allocation

Growth marketers rely on a wide range of customer acquisition channels to drive growth, and they need to be intimately familiar with each one. A typical growth marketer might simultaneously juggle content marketing, email marketing, website optimization, social media marketing, and more. 

But, as any growth marketer should be able to tell you, not all marketing channels are equal. While each channel has its place, one of the primary responsibilities of a growth marketer is determining which channels will provide the best return on investment given the organization’s specific needs and target audience.

Effective growth marketers recognize which acquisition channels are worth pursuing further and which channels are simply a waste of time and money. For example, a TikTok ad is likely to be seen by a very different demographic than a Facebook ad — it’s up to the growth marketer to recognize which audience aligns more closely with the organization’s target market and allocate resources accordingly. Similarly, growth marketers should always be on the lookout for new, untested growth channels that could be worth exploring.

8. Marketing Funnel Knowledge

Growth marketers possess skill sets that are best suited to planning marketing strategies, not carrying out the day-to-day, “boots on the ground” marketing work. Their expertise lies in the realm of analyzing big-picture metrics and transforming them into actionable frameworks for driving growth. 

For an individual to succeed in a growth marketing role, it’s absolutely crucial that they have a robust understanding of the full marketing funnel. Growth marketers need to be able to identify the relationships between the different stages of the funnel and articulate the value of those relationships to stakeholders. For example, a skilled growth marketer understands the critical relationship between the customer’s location along the buyer’s journey and the tactic that’s used to convert them.

9. Customer Segmentation

In general, growth marketers need to be masters of managing customer relationships. Without a solid grasp of CRM best practices, it would be difficult for a growth marketer to develop the customer-centric perspective that’s necessary to drive conversions and boost growth. In particular, customer segmentation is one of the most important aspects of customer relationship management for a growth marketer to understand. 

Definition: Customer segmentation is the process of dividing customers into groups based on factors like their demographic information, their location in the buyer’s journey, or their purchase history. 

Analyzing segmented customer data is one of the best ways to glean meaningful growth insights, but it’s not so easy to determine how to segment a customer base in a way that’s relevant to your organization’s growth needs. That’s where a great growth marketer can shine. 

For instance, if an organization is struggling with retention, a growth marketer would know to use customer behavior data to identify which customers are at risk of churning so they can be prioritized. On the other hand, if an organization is trying to increase conversions, the growth marketer might instead choose to analyze which marketing channels are resulting in the highest rates of conversion among the organization's target demographic.

10. Hands-on Experience

As we already covered, growth marketers are big-picture strategists. They usually manage a team of marketers or collaborate directly with an organization’s in-house marketing leaders (in the case of a growth marketing agency) to develop a plan to improve growth outcomes. 

However, it’s still important for a growth marketer to have hands-on experience executing the types of marketing strategies they’re planning. A track record of successful execution helps a growth marketer maintain a holistic perspective that’s grounded in sound business practices. It also proves they have the expertise to guide the organization’s marketing efforts in a practical sense and ensure the growth strategy is being implemented effectively.

Growth Marketing Insights for Startups

A good growth marketer is an invaluable asset for all kinds of businesses. Startups, in particular, can benefit from a well-planned growth marketing strategy. However, if you’re a startup founder or small business owner, you’re probably well aware that it’s challenging to find the resources to hire specialized expertise in every area. 

A growth marketing mentor can guide you through the process of developing a growth marketing strategy for your business and give you tips to manage growth long-term. Or, if you’re a budding growth marketer looking for ways to hone any of these ten essential skills, a mentor’s expertise can flatten your learning curve

Check out Mentorcam’s list of pre-vetted growth marketing experts to find the perfect mentor for you!

Get 1:1 advice from growth marketing experts.

Tristram Hewitt

Tristram Hewitt

Ex-VP of Operations - Turo
Startup Growth Expert

Turo
Outschool

Tristram Hewitt is an experienced ops executive with a track record of scaling companies like Turo (Series B to E) and Outschool (Series A to D). His expertise covers customer ops, risk, insurance, go-to-market, and company operations in marketplaces, mobility, and edtech. Tristram excels at data-driven problem-solving and has prior experience at Bain. He got his degree from Harvard and holds his MBA from the University of Chicago.

Turo
Bain & Company
Outschool
Intrax
Harvard University
See pricing & availability
Robin Daniels

Robin Daniels

CMO - WeWork Matterport
Growth and GTM Expert

WeWork
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Robin is a three-time CMO with more than 20 years of experience in marketing and growth leadership roles at companies like Salesforce, Box, LinkedIn, Matterport, and WeWork. He's done 3 IPOs, several acquisitions, and led companies through hyper-growth to become household names. Robin now works as an advisor, speaker, and motivator to fast-growth companies around the world.

Took 3 companies public
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Salesforce
Box
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Lauren Gallo

Lauren Gallo

Brand Marketing - Nike
Branding Expert

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Lauren Gallo is an award-winning, industry-leading marketing executive with expertise in global brand marketing and creative development. She has grown, defined and redefined some of the world’s most iconic brands, from Soho House to Apple to Snapchat to Nike. A proven leader, one of Lauren’s greatest skills—and greatest professional joys—is building and guiding high-performing, complex, multi-discipline teams. As a Forbes 30 under 30 Marketing & Advertising honoree, Ad Age 40 Under 40 and AdWeek Executive Mentor, Lauren is looked to as an industry thought leader.

AdAge 40 Under 40
Snapchat
Apple
Nike
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