Growth Marketers: What they Do, Why They Matter, and How to Hire Them


First there were men, then marketers, digital marketers, and finally growth marketers. Evolution is a beautiful thing. Growth marketing isn’t going anywhere for a while, so make sure you know what’s what.

In case the name “GrowthMentor” doesn’t give it away, we’re impartial to a little growth marketing here — and we know a fair bit about it. Whether you fancy becoming a growth marketer, hiring a growth marketer, or you simply want to figure out what an earth a growth marketer is, you’re in the right place.

Whatever you do, just don’t ignore growth marketing altogether — unless you don’t really care about growth and you’re happy for your company to go stagnant. Yeah, that’s what we thought.

What is growth marketing?

First things first, the golden question. What is growth marketing, anyway?

Ultimately, growth marketing is about approaching everything in the most efficient, effective way possible to foster high growth. It involves experimentation and clever strategies — which is why it’s often called growth hacking.

(Okay, technically growth hacking and growth marketing are slightly different, but the two terms are often used interchangeably).

To understand why growth marketing is special, it helps to make a comparison with its not-so-distant ancestor, traditional marketing, works.

Growth marketing vs traditional marketing

When marketing first came onto the scene, marketers didn’t have the technology or data they have today. Sure, they could still craft amazing buyer personas and write excellent copy — but spreading the word about a business meant huge, expensive campaigns like sending sales letters or running TV adverts.

Traditional marketers also didn’t have the luxury of easily checking in on existing customers or leads and keeping them engaged.

This meant they had to get things right the first time, there was lots of guesswork involved, and there was too much focus on the top of the sales funnel (lead generation).

Now, everything has changed. It’s possible to use technology to carry out A/B tests, segment email lists automatically to optimize open rates, retarget website visitors through social media — and far, far more.

Yet many marketers continue to do things the old way, unwittingly limiting their growth — crazy, right?

Growth marketers embrace the science of marketing, taking every chance they can get to inform their choices with data and use automation. They also work on retaining existing customers and encouraging them to make referrals, ensuring that the company continues to grow in every direction.

Can you see why growth marketing is so revolutionary now?

Growth marketing according to growth marketers

Who better to ask about what growth marketing is and how it works than growth marketers themselves? That’s right — growth marketers aren’t just an urban myth, they’re flesh and blood like the rest of us.

Our Growth Mentors are expert growth marketers with a proven track record in both the field itself and mentoring. Listen very closely to what they have to say.

Don’t be fooled by this buzz word. There is more to it than meets the eye. To truly make a success out of the AARRR funnel, you’ll need to first look at your product and ensure it truly meets the needs of your target audience.

Bahram Ehsas, Head of Demand Generation at Holded

I perceive growth hacking not as a separate discipline. Growth hacking is a state of mind which helps you do all your standard marketing activities more effectively keeping in mind limited resources and unlimited growth potential.

Daniil Kopilevych, Head of Growth at HelpCrunch

Career progression for growth marketers

So, you think you can be a growth marketer, huh? We applaud you for the excellent career choice — but you might be wondering what to expect. Growth marketing isn’t exactly a career path you hear people discussing very often.

Let’s take a look at how you could progress, from your first break to when you’re a professional with years under the belt. Spoiler: there’s plenty of room for advancement.

Year 0-1

Everyone has to start somewhere. It’s daunting to launch into a brand new profession, but the good news is that this is a growth area (get it?) and more companies are learning about the value of growth marketing.

Why not try a growth marketing bootcamp or online course to stand yourself in the best position possible?

Once you’ve upskilled yourself, it’s time to find your first growth marketing career. Your route to entry depends on your experience level — current marketers will have a head start on fresh college graduates and are likely to progress faster. Nevertheless, most people can expect to start in a job role like “Growth Marketing Associate.”

You’ll also face the choice of whether to join a smaller startup or a larger firm. Startups generally pay less but can offer faster progression. It’s a tough choice that only you (and the hiring manager) can make.

We recommend starting your job search on Slack communities — you’ll show you’re a cut above the average candidate by being proactive, you’ll be able to learn from the information shared within the community. You might even be the first to hear about new opportunities!

Some of the best out there include Automated AF, Measure, Product-Led Community, DemandCurve, and OnlineGeniuses.

However, you can also go through conventional means, like using job boards or sending cold emails to the companies you want to join.

Year 1-3

Your first year is all about getting some experience and dipping your toes into those choppy growth marketing waters. But once you have a year or so under your belt, career-focused growth marketers should start thinking about progressing to a mid-level growth marketer position.

One of the best ways to do this is to choose a clear specialism — you’ll be more valuable to a company with a unique skillset. Common options include SEO, PPC, and email marketing. As a growth marketer, expect to always be learning.

And if you’re wondering what exactly your work life could look like with one of these specialties, don’t worry — we’ll cover that in an upcoming section.

Year 3-5

Once you get to your fourth year as a growth marketer, you’ll probably feel like an old hat. But this isn’t the time to get comfy and complacent — instead, it’s your chance to break away from the pack.

How? By using your specialism to your advantage.

Some marketers strike lucky and manage to get the progression they’re looking for while staying in the same company, but for most people, applying for a more senior position at a different firm is your best bet.

The most driven, talented growth marketers could even move into the position of a senior-level growth marketer by the end of the five years. Not that there’s any pressure…

Year 5+

If you make it to your fifth year as a growth marketer and you’ve successfully passed through each of the stages outlined above, congratulations — this is where things can get really good.

At this point, you can start to think about joining the management team. Many of our GrowthMentors have positions such as Head of Growth or Growth Manager. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to join them if you put the work in!

Naturally, this is when you can start to earn the big bucks — the average salary for a Head of Growth is $117,110, while a Growth Manager can expect around $98,827.

Some even found their own growth marketing agencies or consultancies.

What does a growth marketer do in a typical day?

Now you’re sold on how great a career growth marketing can be, you’re probably wondering more about the nitty-gritty. What exactly do growth marketers get up to all day?

We hate to say it but, well, it depends on what exactly your role is. We’ll take a look at the kind of workday you can expect as an SEO-focused and PPC-focused growth marketer and as a Growth Manager.

SEO-focused growth marketer

The average SEO-focused growth marketer starts the day by waking up at 7am, doing some stretches — nah, just kidding. We know you want to get to the juicy stuff.

As an SEO specialist, your job is to analyze how a company’s web content is performing and think of ways to improve it for greater reach. Expect to spend a huge chunk of your time using software like Ahrefs, SEMRush, and SimilarWeb and analyzing the information to come up with new strategies.

This could involve tasks like:

  • Building links to give your site more authority
  • Creating unique URLs so you know which content came from where
  • Carrying out keyword research
  • Handling technical optimization — like HTML structure, metadata
  • Coordinating with other digital marketing teams — like content marketing and social media marketing
  • Keeping your web content up-to-date with Google’s latest changes
  • Checking where your traffic is coming from and which pages are performing best

PPC-focused growth marketer

Growth marketing is all about experimenting and making data-driven decisions, while PPC is all about bringing in as much traffic as possible from minimal resource expenditure.

Put those two things together, and you have someone who spends the bulk of their day tweaking paid ads to optimize their performance.

Here are some key daily activities:

  • Setting up and managing PPC campaigns — including research, ad copy, and design
  • Analyzing campaigns — checking Google Analytics or equivalent for changes and making relevant adjustments
  • Making reports — compiling metrics on performance and making recommendations
  • Figuring out how to target and retarget the right audience

Growth Manager

As a Growth Manager, your role is likely to vary depending on how large the organization you work for is and how it operates — you might be responsible for a huge team or just a few people. Typically, you’ll report to the CEO or vice-president of either Marketing or Product Management.

But one thing all Growth Managers have in common is that their day involves variety. Although your ultimate goal is to come up with a coherent growth strategy backed by data, you’ll spend your workday coordinating across multiple departments, from operations to product management to marketing.

It’s certainly not for the faint of heart!

Here’s a (very) brief overview of what you might be involved in:

  • Using a wide range of analytics tools
  • Deciding growth objectives — such as which parts of the marketing funnel to focus on
  • Assessing performance
  • Thinking about how to improve customer satisfaction (using data)
  • Considering how to improve products to foster growth
  • Designing and carrying out tests

How to hire a growth marketer

If you’re a founder, executive, or manager, you might have figured out that it’s easier (and smarter) to hire a growth marketer than to learn the entire discipline yourself. But how can you find the best talent?

There are two main options here: to find a freelancer and to take on a full-time employee. And the right choice? Not to be annoying, but it depends (again).

Fortunately, we’ve broken everything down into one quick table. Don’t say we’re not good to you!

  Freelancers Full-time employees
Best for

Growth marketing dabblers
Smaller organizations
Those who want specialists
Finding add-ons to fill in a team’s gaps
Applying a more specialist knowledge of growth marketing

Growth marketing die-hards
Larger organizations
Those who want generalists
Building a team/finding someone to manage a team
Developing a greater understanding of your business
Expected salary

Junior: $35-50/hour
Mid-level: $50-99/hour
Senior: $100-250/hour

Junior: $70-85k
Mid-level: $85-110k
Senior: $110-150k

Whether you opt for a freelancer or employee, here are some skills to look for:

  • Analytics — especially experience with SEMRush, Ahrefs, SimilarWeb, etc.
  • Decision-making — any growth marketer can test a hypothesis, but only great growth marketers know which hypotheses are worth testing.
  • Creativity — look for someone who can think outside of the box to grow your business and drive innovation
  • Design skills — it’s always a plus if a growth marketer can craft presentations, ads, and landing pages themselves
  • Technical know-how — the exact knowledge depends on what you need them for, but the usual suspects include PPC/SEO/copywriting/marketing automation

Exclusive free video content about growth marketing

Using “exclusive” and “free” in one sentence might sound like an oxymoron, but hear us out.

Our GrowthMentor summit is a selection of hundreds of hours of content from our Growth Mentors. Usually, you have to pay to access everything — but as a special treat, we’re giving you exclusive access to four of our top talks.

Growth Marketing: From Framework To Experimentation in 90 Days

In this practical video, Christoph Schachner, the Head of Growth at Hackabu, outlines how organizations outside of the Bay Area can take a Silicon Valley approach to growth hacking. He covers mindset, team building, and ideation.

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Christoph was awesome! Gave me clear simple tactical advice that I can act on immediately. Was great to talk to and gave me a ton of links and resources to study. Highly recommend!

If you won’t take it from us, take it from one of his mentees

The best part? You can schedule a call with Christoph right now!

Growth Marketing Tactics – From Growing Revenue to Reducing Churn

As the Head of Marketing at Piktochart, Agata Krzysztofik knows a thing or two about growing a company the smart way. She’s kind enough to share her strategies with everyone in this talk, including customer acquisition, reducing churn, user communities, and more.

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Absolutely fantastic CRO teardown by Agata. She will now be a go-to person for me for whenever I’ve been looking at a site too long and need someone else to step in and take a look. Her analysis was thorough, it was obvious she prepared before the call and took the time to really think about the site.

According to a mentee

Sound good? Arrange a call with Agata.

The 5-Step Framework for Identifying Your Top Growth Channels

Sid Bhrath is an SAAS Growth Marketing Consultant for his own company — in other words, an expert in the field. In this talk, he discusses a step-by-step process for approaching growth marketing for smaller startups with limited resources.

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Sid challenged me to think more critically about how to test an MVP – leading me to come to some creative solutions that I’m going to start testing. He also provided recommendations on efforts involved to get the first couple users. Great session.

A past mentee says

To find out for yourself, request a call with Sid.

Generate Sustainable Growth by Tailored Experimentation Process

Wondering how to find the right growth strategies for the long term? This talk by Head of Growth Marketing at Tagvenue, Bartosz Pielaszek, will be perfect for you. He explains how to adjust one of the many frameworks out there to your particular business based on his vast experience.

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Bart provided me with some very valuable tips on creating growth strategy as well as insights on effectively mapping the user journey. He also recommended some nice tools to improve my processes. I’d definitely recommend him if you need help with anything growth-related.

One mentee says

You can achieve similar results by organizing a call with Bartosz now.

Start growth marketing today

Has reading this made you realize that your marketing efforts are stuck in 2008 and you need to pull up your growth marketing socks ASAP? After you’ve had a few moments of silence for all that revenue you’ve probably missed out on, it’s time to start taking action.

If only you could receive tailored advice on how to implement growth marketing strategies to your business for maximum effect — oh wait, you can. At the click of the button (and a very reasonable fee), you can hire one of our GrowthMentors and receive advice from one of the best in the industry.

Every business model, target audience, and brand is different, so a 1:1 appointment with a proven expert will cut through the noise to deliver the tips that are most relevant for you. Besides, most Mentors offer a free exploratory call — what are you waiting for?