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Growth marketer: What are they and what does a great growth marketer do?

Updated 2-1-2023

Marketing chart
Marketing chart

Positions for growth marketers are “growing.”

There are over 8,000 jobs with “growth marketer” in their description on Linkedin at the writing of this, and this got me thinking: what exactly is a growth marketer? So I did what any SEO would do and searched growth marketer to see the prevailing wisdom; unfortunately, Google’s results were pretty ambiguous as to the meaning of growth marketer. However, this week, Google launched free certifications, including “Fundamentals of digital marketing.”

The closest definition I saw that made sense was a marketer who focuses across the entire selling funnel to improve the business. This ability to work across marketing channels and purchase funnel is part of how I think of that role; I think a growth marketer needs to focus on 3 core areas to be truly successful:

1. Where are you going to focus on reaching your customers (whether full-funnel makes sense or not)

2. What data you are going to use to measure your marketing campaigns

3. What are the signals of success or failure so you can scale or move your focus

Growth marketer positions typically list experience requirements across digital acquisition channels.

This requirement means a successful growth marketer should be working across 1 or more channels simultaneously, depending on the business’s priorities. For example, a Shopify or small eCommerce business may focus on fewer channels and lower the funnel to ensure their marketing is profitable compared to a different company. On the other hand, B2B businesses may concentrate exclusively on upper-funnel marketing and have sales take over leads.

Being a growth marketer means pivoting around the organization’s goals by aligning your key metrics and optimizing them in the channels you see presenting the best cases for your business.

Being a great growth marketer doesn’t mean being the best specialist.

One reason I can see growth in marketing roles like this is in such demand is that as online marketing complexity grows, so are the teams doing the work. Many of these roles are geared toward managing small groups or agency partnerships. The expectation of expertise is still there, but the essential aspects of success are collaborating and making strategic decisions.

So what is a growth marketer?

Someone who can “do it all” in digital marketing and prioritize correctly for the business they are working on.

As more companies are looking for talent that can seemingly “do it all,” the role of the growth marketer is here to stay. However, as companies need to fill these roles, they might look internally to some of their specialists and invest in diversifying their skills; this is an essential strategy to develop the most valuable marketing talent.

What makes a good growth marketer?

Growth marketers must stay ahead of current trends and have an eye for opportunity by leveraging customer segmentation, automation, journey mapping, and personalization strategies. To be a successful growth marketer today, one must understand customer behavior through data-driven analysis and create compelling campaigns that convert leads into loyal customers.

An essential part of being a good growth marketer is being able to take risks while understanding the line between comfort and risk-taking. Risk management is necessary because if you don’t push yourself to experiment and innovate you won’t achieve success in the ever-changing growth marketing landscape. Lastly, having strategic vision along with excellent management skills can allow you to effectively run campaigns such as A/B testing or any other kind of tested campaign. Growth marketers need to think outside of the box as well as be able to stay current on emerging trends to make sure their campaigns remain effective over time.