What is the Best Growth Marketing Team Structure in 2023?
When assembling your growth marketing team you’ll be anxious to get the mix of skills and specialisms right. The overall growth function includes a lot of different skillsets and assembling a complementary mix that suits your needs is vital.
While the idea of growth marketing teams is still relatively new, and different companies are taking very different approaches to it, a consensus is starting to form about the right way to go about building a growth team. It’s important, however, to not just accept advice you read as gospel – because the key point is that every business is different and therefore every growth team is different.
For the purpose of this article, we’re going to split the team into these broad functions:
We’ll explain what we mean by these terms and the roles they contain a little later.
What is a growth marketing team?
Let’s start with definitions. A growth marketing team is a group of people who collectively contribute to the effort of improving an organisation’s growth. They’ll do this through rapid, data-led experimentation throughout the marketing and sales funnel to improve acquisition, conversion and retention. Their remit can be broad but will largely be focused on one or both of these key challenges: reducing customer acquisition costs (CAC) and improving lifetime customer value (LTV).
We’ve already written plenty about the broad subject of growth marketing. We’ve explained what growth marketing is here and discussed growth hacking here.
Growth marketing teams can be directed at quite a large variety of problems. At any one time they could be focused on improving app store conversion, or webinar attendance, or top of funnel acquisition and awareness, or customer referral rates. They key continuous factor is that they’ll use a process of fast, data-driven experimentation to find ways to make improvements.
Because of their broad range of remits the team needs a variety of skills – from creative asset production, to campaign management, to development.
What are the roles within a growth team?
As we mentioned above, it’s important to remember that each growth team is different. The specific make-up of the team will vary depending on the organisation and that team’s remit. However, there are some general guidelines that can help you create the optimal growth team structure.
As a reminder, the functions that are involved can roughly be divided into: strategic, tactical, creative and technical. Let’s dive into what those terms mean and what the roles are involved.
Strategic Growth Roles
This could be a head of growth, a growth lead, a growth strategist, or even a project manager in some cases. The strategic part of the team is associated with making decisions about ‘where we play’. IE what target markets or funnel areas we are going to focus on, what broad objectives and key results (OKRs) are we using, and what channels to market are we going to use. They will manage the growth team, ensure deadlines are being met, contribute to ideation and experimentation, and brief creative teams.
The key role of the strategist is prioritisation. Ensuring the team’s resources are directed in the most effective way. One of the ways they might do that is through creating ICE scores for experiments.
Generally the strategic roles are occupied by people who are both analytical and creative, understand data, and understand the goals and direction of the business as a whole.
Tactical Growth Roles
The tactical growth roles are roles involved in execution within specific marketing channels. For example, your Meta ads or your CRM marketing. The key here is that they are specialists, not generalist ‘digital marketers’ with a remit to improve ‘online marketing’. The tactical growth roles are specific to their channel – you generally want focused performance ads managers running your Google, Meta or Tik Tok Ads. You want a PR expert running PR efforts, and an SEO expert running SEO programmes.
The reason for this is: if you’re running channel experiments, you want to know that they’re being as well executed as possible. If you use a non-expert to run a campaign on LI Ads, and the campaign doesn’t yield results, you can’t be sure it was because the idea/experiment was poor, or if the set-up of the campaign wasn’t right because you didn’t use personnel with the knowledge to do it properly.
Tactical growth experts are a vital part of the overall team structure. Obviously the specific experts you need depend on your business and marketing mix, and sometimes you can’t be sure what channel expertise you need. That’s why at Growth Division we use a team of pre-vetted freelancers and can bring them in and out quickly and easily.
Creative Growth Roles
The creative growth roles are those associated with creating the assets you need to run your desired growth marketing experiments. They could be designers, creating ad assets. Or UXers designing landing pages. Or copywriters writing your ad copy or SEO content. Or videographers creating explainer videos or pre-roll ads.
Fundamentally, they are responsible for making sure the product, service or specific function look and sound appealing to your target audience. They should have a good understanding of the strategy and business goals, and be able to use their creative nous to find solutions to commercial problems.
They will generally receive creative briefs from strategists within the team which explain the need and specific outputs required.
It’s a great idea to have creatives as part of your growth team because it means you can turn around ideas quicker and deploy creative tests rapidly without having to use an external resource with other deadlines outside of your control. They will also build up institutional knowledge over time, so don’t have to be briefed about the fundamentals every time you need a new asset.
Technical Growth Roles
It’s highly important to have technical expertise in your growth marketing team structure. They’ll help you build out ideas, make product improvements (if it’s a digital product) and track the performance of your campaigns. I’ll divide the technical growth roles into two main groups:
Engineers/developers. Your engineering team will build landing pages or make product/ user journey changes based on the experiments your growth team decides to run. It’s important, however, to not just see them as ‘builders’ who take instructions. When brought into the fold of ideation and experimentation you’ll find that they understand the product and technology deeply, and can therefore both suggest great ideas for improvements and/or stop the growth team running away with hair-brained ideas that could have wider impacts on the tech stack. What may seem like a simple change to a growth strategist could turn into a huge development headache – so talk to your devs early and often.
Data analysts/data scientists. Being comfortable with data is something you’d want from almost everyone in the growth team. But, especially in larger organisations with more complex funnels, you’ll want skilled analysts and, in some cases, data scientists. These are people that can build up your marketing and user behaviour measurement functions, run analysis for you and create valuable insights that could prompt new experiments or strategic directions. They’ll help you understand what’s working and what isn’t and ensure your marketing activity is as efficient as possible. Again, it’s worth including them in the ideation and experimentation process. At the very least they’ll be able to tell you what’s measurable and what’s not.
How to build your growth marketing team structure
We hope the above information is a helpful guide, to ensure you build a balanced growth team. However, it’s one thing knowing you need these skill sets – it’s another hiring them. Finding the right people, ensuring they knit together, and deciding what roles need full or part-time help can be extremely difficult in startups and scaleups. And
That’s why we built our model at Growth Division around flexibility. We have a network of pre-vetted growth experts across all the growth role groups – strategic, tactical, creative and technical. We can bring these experts in on long or short-term contracts to help our clients build a flexible growth-marketing function. We also help our clients to create effective growth marketing frameworks.
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