Well, to start with, what exactly is this role—and why does it matter? A “growth marketer,” as we define it, is a data-driven, experiment-driven tactician whose role is to look across data of the marketing system for your business to grow, and then identify the best experiments and strategies to take advantage of those opportunities.
(Yes, we totally recognize that’s different from the consumer and B2B tech concept of “growth,” which is more of a product role—what can we say, the world of marketing has co-opted this term.)
A growth marketer for a DTC business uses data—and helps the company create good data, too. They do this by using technical tagging and instrumentation, ensuring that the data set is high-quality, and then they work from data outwards to identify what they think are the best opportunities to zero in on.
One thing to note: often, people think of a growth marketer as a jack-of-all-trades who can do absolutely everything for them from a marketing standpoint. But if you think about it, that’s an unrealistic ask from anyone—no professional is going to be a superstar at every single aspect of their industry. That said, you can bring in only a growth marketer at the very early stages—they’re a good bet if you’re looking for someone to kick your company off to execute some early marketing experiments, or if you’re looking to pivot strategies.
Here’s a good example of a client who got a growth marketer in on the ground floor—even though that’s not who they thought they needed: not long ago, a client came to MarketerHire with a new DTC skincare brand that had been a hit in the early testing and just raised a round of funding. Their first hire was an email marketer because they wanted to make sure there was a great experience waiting for anyone willing to provide their email address to a new brand. You rarely hear someone starting with the bottom of the funnel, but it makes sense if you imagine mid/lower funnel as the shop, and the top as, well... marketing. You wouldn’t start marketing before the shop experience was ready. The company was unsure of their next hire, a toss-up between a paid Facebook marketer and an SEO marketer to help optimize the website further.
But instead, we recommended a growth marketer because the founder of the brand didn’t have the time or experience to be managing a number of channel experts—let alone know how to handle the data. So while they were trying to put together a great team, without a marketing lead managing the people, operations, and strategy there was never going to be a chance of success. It took some persuasion to get away from the idea that they should invest entirely in execution, but two months later, the client considers their growth marketer their right-hand on the business and their most important hire. This allowed the founder to focus on product and brand, and not stress about marketing.
But as we mentioned earlier, growth marketers are also great when you’re looking to try a new strategy. For instance, a leading DTC menswear brand came to MarketerHire not sure what to do, but they weren’t happy with how their overall marketing was performing. They had multiple agencies running different channels and an internal marketing hire who was far overworked running 4-5 remaining tactics—everything from organic social to designing email templates themselves. As we often do in these situations, we let the client know they have two good options: replace this hodgepodge with experts from our platform which would certainly save them time, money, and management cost, or simply start with a growth marketer who can audit what is happening first, and then work methodically with their internal team to optimize the marketing team and investment towards what is working best.
Understandably, the client wasn’t sure how to even evaluate the performance of the agencies they were using, so they ended up going with the second option. It took around two weeks for the growth marketer to audit and evaluate, and another two weeks to make significant changes. Some of the changes they made included reducing the number of channels the client was investing in—they were spread too thin on both time and budget—and then putting a tighter leash on the agencies by auditing their work in detail each week and holding them more accountable to properly attributed business revenue, as opposed to their own channel reporting (which is always inflated). Their marketing dept is now performing better and costing less—and yep, that includes the cost of the growth marketer.