What Does It Take to Be a Growth Hacker?

Industry Experts at The Growth Marketing Conference Share Insights on How a Marketer Can Grow in His Business

Whether you’re a startup looking to attract more funding, or an enterprise creating a platform for innovation, it’s all about growth. From Silicon Valley dorms to New York City boardrooms, digital marketing teams are quickly becoming growth marketing teams. With everyone looking to scale, and some already succeeding, what are the secrets to growth success?

The Growth Marketing Conference that concluded on December 7 had more than its fair share of stalwarts looking to share what they have learned from their experience in the industry. Attendees were treated to hands-on workshops that tackled concepts like Advanced Conversion and Onboarding, User Acquisition, Advanced User Acquisition, Mobile Growth and B2B Growth Tactics.

We asked the experts to share some advice for marketers;

What Is Your Definition Of Growth Marketing?

Ada Chen Rekhi
Ada Chen Rekhi

Ada Chen Rekhi – Founder & COO at NotejoyGrowth marketing is a data-driven application of quantitative and qualitative tactics to drive customer acquisition, conversion, and retention with a product. Growth marketers think about the entire customer funnel to drive retained and engaged high-value customers, and typically work in a cross-functional team with product, design, engineering, and analytics teams.


Brandon Redlinger
Brandon Redlinger

Brandon Redlinger – Director of Growth at Engagio: Growth marketing is a process by which you run small tests at low risk as fast as possible to generate quick wins, then iterate and grow a specific business metric. Growth marketing is about creating a predictable and repeatable process through the collaboration of cross-functional teams, the use of qualitative research and quantitative data analysis, and the rapid generation and testing of ideas to uncover opportunities.


Hana Abaza
Hana Abaza

Hana Abaza – Head of Marketing at Shopify: Growth Marketing comes down to the ability to identify opportunities for growth and capitalizing on them. The actual tactics matter less than the single-minded allegiance towards the overarching goal and the approach. The best growth marketers I know are intentional and systemic in how they think about where to focus their time.

Read More: Understanding Customer Sentiment at Scale: The Secret to Digital Maturity

What Are The Key Skills Marketers Need To Become Growth Marketers?

Ada: As table stakes, growth marketers need to be quantitative. However, being quantitative is not enough. In addition to that, they need to be able to adopt an insights-driven approach that will enable them to build repeatable business processes that translate to growth at scale.

Brandon: There’s an age old debate about being a generalist versus a specialist. I advocate for Brian Balfour’s theory of the “T-shaped marketer” where you have a broad range of marketing skills but a deep depth of knowledge around a few skills. Some of the most important skills for growth marketers include:

  • Technical Chops– This is where the “hacker” mindset comes in. Though you don’t need to be a full stack developer, you do however, need to be able to use the tools effectively to carry out your tests. The quickly evolving technology today allows non-engineers to do very technical things.
  • An Analytical Mindset– Everything must be measured, analyzed, and more importantly, turned into insight. If you can’t measure it, you shouldn’t do it. This keeps all your growth efforts honest and accountable.
  • Creativity– Ideas are the currency of growth. Creativity can be fueled and enhanced, leading to an outpouring of fresh ideas from people and their teams.
  • A Deep Understanding of Behavioral Psychology– Humans behave in very irrational ways. Once we understand the subtle underlying influences in human behavior, we can understand and start to predict with more accuracy what they’ll buy, when they’ll buy it, and why.
  • Strong Communication– You must be able to articulate your ideas clearly to your consumer. Good copywriting can give you an unfair advantage over your competition.
Oli Gardner
Oli Gardner

Oli Gardner – Co-founder of UnbounceI actually prefer a name like “growth hustler”, because to me it’s about having a maker mindset, coupled with a restless desire for change, experimentation, and a lust for the new. The best growth marketers can make things, which requires some  development skills. Not hardcore programming chops (although that’s great), just enough required to build functional prototypes and MVPs. After that, you need to be a full stack marketer. You should be able to write, do a bit of design, understand basic analytics, and know how to use and integrate a wide variety of tools (email, CRM, messaging, CMS, Google Analytics, Google Sheets, Data Studio, etc.).

Recommended Read: Adoreboard’s Emotion AI Feted For Enabling CX Improvements

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