If the collapse of the speculative internet bubble, or dot-com bubble, taught us anything, it is that an extreme desire for rapid growth can result in poor judgement, bad decision-making, and consequently weak businesses. After all, lately a large number of internet companies have been growing like crazy …
And the end result? Billions of dollars wiped out. Profitable companies like Cisco and Amazon lost 80%+ of their market value. And most importantly, we all learned that growth alone means nothing. The harder you come, the harder you fall. Sales and profits are what is important, not growth. This was common knowledge from around 2001 until 2010. But then …
As recently as 2010, nobody was clear on how Facebook would make money. We knew that the company and its services were growing at breakneck speeds, acquiring 100 million new users each year … But we didn’t know how (or when) Facebook would (finally) be profitable. Pundits were arguing that the website was overrated at $33 billion dollars. And for all we knew, they were right.
Until things started to change … fast.
Just 2 years later, Facebook made $1.59 billion in revenue. Then it bought Instagram for a cool billion. And then things started getting really crazy, with growth-based businesses getting valued at multiple billions of dollars.
Somewhere along the way, we all learned a valuable lesson. When growth is guided by skepticism and results, instead of hype, it can be – and is – a valid goal to build a business around it. Moreover, aggressive growth is often the only way for small companies to compete with huge corporations and their vast budgets. This is why companies like DropBox, Google, Instagram and Uber have been heavily recruiting growth managers and growth hackers.
The question is, should you be doing the same? We think so because in a world where the competition for growth is increasingly aggressive, you need a dedicated growth manager. Not having one makes you easy pickings for the competition. This might even cause your business to shrink and ultimately fail instead of ending up at the top, where you ideally want to be.
So, here are 6 reasons to start looking for your growth manager that can level up your growth strategy sooner rather than later. The first, of course, is…
1. To set growth objectives
Growth is not necessarily the main goal of your existing departments. Marketing, R&D and Sales all have their own priorities and making your company bigger is not one of them. That is why you need one person responsible for growth goals. This individual will decide how much you need to grow and how you are going to do it. He/she will also hold your other employees accountable, making sure your company gets to where it needs to be.
With growth being a necessity, and not a luxury, you need someone to oversee growth – and that person is your growth manager. However, this is not (strictly speaking) a primary reason to hire one, because it is superseded by the next 2 points.
2. To collect and interpret data
Growth hacking (and growth marketing) are driven by data derived from real-life results. This means that a growth manager’s primary function is to create an effective way to collect and interpret data. This is the foundation that your business’s growth needs to be built on. And it the single most important ingredient of continued growth.
Specifically, a growth marketer will …
- Create a data collection system for your business. In the digital world, this means using tools like Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, Mixpanel, … to learn more about what people do on your website (and in your app).
- Research current best practices that may benefit your business.
- Interact with customers and evaluate their experiences with your business.
Once all that is done, it is time …
3. To use data
Once data has been collected, it can (and should) be used to provide customer insights. Specifically, the data should be used to make better customer avatars, identify consumers’ needs, wants and habits, figure out ways to increase sales and minimise costs and returns. Once you start acquiring data, turning it into valuable insights like these becomes a full-time job – which is what you need a growth marketer for. And of course, there is also the question of …
4. Coordinating marketing, sales and R&D
There is no “I” in growth, and this is important, because consistently growing your business requires your whole organisation to work in unison. Specifically, the sales department has to work to find new ways to move more products while decreasing returns. Marketing has to improve advertising ROI and find new ways to acquire clients (while reducing churn). R&D has to consistently create products, product uses and packaging options that appeal to buyers. And who is going to coordinate all the employees in these departments? Your growth manager, of course! And that is reason #4 to have one.
5. To come up with new ideas/experiments
Once you have all the data you need, and your departments are working together, you need to try out new things. That is how you will find new ways to sell, grow and build your brand. All well, But who do you task with coming up with new ideas and experiments? Your growth manager, of course! He/she is on top of all the data and therefore should have the best perspective to come up with new things.
At this stage, you might be wondering how one person is going to have the time to do all the things mentioned above. Great question! We will answer it with the sixth, and last, reason to hire a growth manager.
6. To automate, scale and systematise
As you are probably realising by now, growth is time and labour-intensive. For this reason, growth managers are the way-to-go to find ways to automate tasks, even those that cannot be automated on first sight.
In fact, the rise of growth hacking has directly led to the creation and growth of services like Zapier and IFTTT, which allow you to create chains of actions across hundreds of apps, like Gmail and GetResponse, and as such reduce tasks that might take hours to one click of a button.
Now, let us recap by going over the 6 reasons you need a growth manager:
- To set growth targets
- To collect data
- To use data
- To coordinate other departments for optimal growth
- To come up with new ideas and strategies
- To automate and scale your operations
Of course, hiring a new member of staff is a big commitment – and not one you are necessarily prepared to make right away. After all, getting the wrong person into your organisation is a costly mistake. And if you have never had a growth manager before, you might (and should be) worried about making the right choice. This is why many people turn to growth teams like ours instead of hiring a single growth manager outright.
Aside from being a prudent choice for many companies, it is an opportunity to build an organic growth strategy & culture in your organisation before committing to any new employees.
Thus if you would like to learn more about bringing in an outside growth expert, why not talk to us? We would be happy to schedule a call with you and see how we can help you. All you need to do is reach out and we will get in touch with you!