Every Good Marketer is a Growth Marketer

Daria Volkova
5 min readJan 24, 2023

Over the past few years, I’ve consistently seen companies actively looking for people specializing in growth marketing or growth hacking. It is often presented as exclusive expertise and unattainable knowledge. It seemed to me something unique until I understood that growth marketing is just a logical approach when you use all available tools and treat the user not as a lead for sales but as a customer who should make a repeat purchase and become loyal to the brand.

With this article, I convey my perspective on growth marketing and dispel the myth that it is unique. Also, I want to urge marketers to stop chasing lead generation and finally start creating real value for customers.

I’ll start with a short story. A few years ago, I applied for the position of Product Marketing Manager in an international IT company. The vacancy involved performing a test task using growth hacking techniques and data analytics.

I did deep research, built hypotheses, calculated potential LTV and volumes of TAM, SAM and SOM, and thought about positioning and creative communication based on positioning. I created one email marketing concept and proposed alternative tools for collecting data about users using Account Based Marketing and Big Data. I was worried a little because I did not understand whether my approach was too banal or whether it deserved to be categorized as growth marketing.

To my surprise, the CMO of the organization told me that my test assignment was the best and they were ready to make me an offer and that very instant. Moreover, it turned out that in 1.5 days of working on the task, I came up with product and marketing hypotheses that their teams took much longer to reach. I just created the usual marketing and communication strategy as I did for previous brands and products in my experience, and it turned out to be a good growth marketing approach.

I didn’t start working with that company. I needed a team that would give me more expertise than I had and opportunities to develop as a manager and team lead. However, that experience made me understand that:

  • We are often critical of our own knowledge and skills.
  • And everyone understands and interprets the concept of growth marketing in their own way.

What is growth marketing, and why do I find the term confusing?

The term “growth marketing” surfaced more than ten years ago. It’s no longer a niche segment and connects the dots between design, engineering, product development and branding.

Growth marketing is a holistic approach to product promotion, where several directions are combined — traditional marketing and product marketing, brand strategy, digital marketing, PR, community management, use of modern technologies and everything else that can improve product interaction and the user.

The concept of growth marketing sounds a little confusing to me because if you think logically, marketing activities are carried out for the company or product to grow. If marketing doesn’t bring growth (revenues, recognition, loyal customers, new markets) and is only an expense item in the company’s budget, it is not marketing.

So, formulating “growth marketing,” says that there is another marketing that doesn’t make growth. Isn’t that strange?

It turns out that any marketer who:

  • knows how to build a strategy that is not detached from business goals but one that will strengthen the business model
  • conducts interviews with users and uses the Jobs To Be Done approach
  • builds Customer Journey Map and funnels
  • creates Value Proposition and highlights the essence of a product
  • conducts A/B testing of hypotheses
  • knows how branding works and knows how to manage the process of its creation
  • knows how to set a task for a designer or developer
  • knows how to use Paid Advertising, SEO and SERM
  • understands how PR works
  • uses analytical tools such as Google Analytics, Similar Web or Hotjar
  • knows and implements Big Data, AI or blockchain tools in practice

…can be considered a growth marketer or growth hacker.

I have never positioned myself as a growth marketer; however, as a brand marketer and product marketer I combine all these functions in my work. This is a usual thorough approach to working on a project, and there is nothing revolutionary in this.

It’s “healthy marketing” or “good marketing,” if you can call it that.

What personal qualities should a good marketer possess?

According to Zach Boyette, the co-founder and Managing Partner of Galactic Fed, opined in an article on Forbes the following skills that a growth marketer should have:

  • Solution-Focused
  • Data Analysis
  • Creative/Visual Design
  • Product Management
  • Experimental
  • Critical Thinking
  • Multi-Disciplinary Marketer

I believe this is a necessary set of personal qualities that a person responsible for promoting a product or company should have.

It’s impossible for a modern marketer or brand strategist not to have these qualities and not have, for example, critical thinking or not know how to analyze data.

Moreover, I want to add the following qualities and skills for becoming a good marketer:

  • Broad outlook and knowledge from various fields.
  • Deep understanding of the industry where the company operates. For example, I don’t believe in the success of web3 marketers who have never used cryptocurrency or AI instruments, don’t visit events in the metaverse, don’t have a decentralized wallet, and don’t understand web3 memes and slang. Without knowing user cases, you cannot build and implement a strategy.
  • Understanding the cultural context and social narratives of the market you sell your product to.
  • Empathy and understanding of the user. This appears based on the previous three points.

Summary

Summing up, I want to emphasize that growth marketing is an effective and logical way to promote products. But it’s a standard integrated approach to marketing, and it’s not just about wording; it’s about positioning and formulating requirements for marketers.

I want to urge founders to reconsider their approach to hiring and evaluating people not based on the highly specialized use of marketing tools but to look at candidates’ logic and way of thinking. A growth marketer or person responsible for promoting your product should think about how to communicate its value first and then — which instruments to use.

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Daria Volkova

Strategist, Brand Marketer and Communications Expert for Web3 products. Master networker. Niche perfumes lover. Proud Ukrainian 🇺🇦