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November 7, 2017
Digital Marketing  |  8 min read

The 7 Roles You Need to Build a Growth Marketing Team

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Sujan Patel

“It is the duty of the executive leaders and management to prepare and equip their teams with the proper mindset and vision to break down these destructive organizational barriers.” That’s according to Inc. contributor Brent Gleeson, who sees “silo mentality” as one of the biggest barriers holding companies back from achieving their ultimate vision.

Growth marketing teams are the antidote to siloed sales and marketing departments.

In the past, marketing teams have been largely skill-driven. Need help with organic search visibility? Hire an SEO expert. Need more traffic? Bring on a PPC specialist.

The problem, of course, is that these narrowly-defined job roles limit the kind of cross-functional collaboration that drives real growth. And when considered in light of how difficult hiring has become in the United States, it’s time for a new approach to marketing team building that fuels holistic growth through hiring for seven key roles.

1. VP of marketing

Any successful growth marketing team needs a leader. And whether you describe this position as a VP of Marketing or something else, this is the head honcho who’s responsible for setting the team’s course and holding it accountable to its goals.

For these reasons, you need a VP of marketing who:

  • Has a growth-oriented mindset
  • Is comfortable experimenting with new strategies and techniques (versus doing things “because that’s the way they’ve always been done”)
  • Is willing to reach across departments and break down silos to ensure that needed insights from all stakeholders are brought into the growth strategy

Benefits of the role:

  • Provides clear direction for the growth team’s activities
  • Mentors and motivates members of the growth team
  • Connects departments so that all can benefit from the shared wisdom
  • Directly responsible for the results generated by the team’s campaigns

2. Full stack developer

The size of your company might necessitate hiring both frontend and backend developers to meet demand, but if you’re just starting out, I’m a big fan of finding a really great full stack developer who’s comfortable working in both disciplines, using multiple languages.

In addition, look for someone who understands the role development plays in marketing and sales. This will prevent the time-consuming back-and-forth that would otherwise be needed to convey the growth goals behind your development projects.

Benefit of the role:

  • Enables growth team to develop marketing assets (such as web tools or mini-sites) faster than relying on external developers

3. Growth hacker

Your growth hacker is your “big ideas” guy. This is the employee who’s digging deep into your company’s marketing strategies and asking, “Why are we doing this? What would happen if we tested a new approach?”

The ideal growth hacker is both visionary and strategic. In addition to coming up with ideas to test, they’ll need to prioritize experiments and assess the impact of each, relative to the company’s goals.

Benefits of the role:

  • Challenges the status quo of sales and marketing
  • Identifies opportunities to improve traffic, leads, revenue or other metrics

4. Content lead

Content is too important these days to not have someone fully dedicated to its ideation, execution, and implementation. Consider:

“Content” for your team might mean blog posts. But it might also be video, interactive content, podcasts, infographics, or some other format. Expertise in a particular discipline is less important here than having someone on board who understands how content should be deployed strategically and how to leverage creative team members to get it done.

Benefits of the role:

  • Optimizes content creation and promotion spend by allocating budget to highest marketing priorities
  • Ensures consistent brand standards across all content pieces produced
  • Creates top-of-mind brand awareness, thought leadership and positive brand sentiment through targeted content pieces

5. Community builder

Your community builder is the forward-facing presence of your growth team; the one who will help you grow your business by connecting you directly with your existing customers or the people who are likely to buy from you in the future. This person connects traditional marketing acquisition with longer-term value attainment, likely concerning themselves with things like engagement, lifetime value, and customer satisfaction.

Social media is a part of this role for sure, but it might also involve recruiting and training brand advocates or forums on which community members are active.

Benefits of the role:

6. Project manager

Your project manager is the conscience of your growth team. They’re the little voice sitting on your shoulder asking whether projects are getting done—and whether they’re the right projects in the first place.

Benefits of the role:

  • Prevents costly delays and lost opportunities that result from slow execution
  • Offers a “check and balance” that filters out the best ideas from all other roles on the growth team

7. Data analyst

Finally, you need a numbers person—someone who has the ultimate responsibility for deciding whether or not the team’s tactics are moving the needle towards its desired outcomes.

Your data analyst should be skilled not just at interpreting analytics, but in selecting the right metrics in the first place—as well as identifying the tools needed to measure them. This person should have exceptionally strong data wrangling skills, as the best insights from connecting disparate data sources together.

Benefits of the role

  • Ensures maximum return on marketing spend by providing concrete data measuring progress
  • Prevents unprofitable programs or tactics from running longer than they should, due to organizational momentum

Having said all this doesn’t mean you have to go out and hire seven new people. You may have existing team members who can transition to these roles or a single worker who can handle multiple responsibilities. Focus on ensuring each role is covered, and growth will be the end result.

Hiring Kit: How to Apply Lifecycle Marketing to Hiring - Download Now


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Sujan Patel is a leading expert in digital marketing. He is a hardworking and high energy individual fueled by his passion to help people and solve problems. He is the co-founder of Web Profits, a growth marketing agency, and a partner in a handful of software companies including Mailshake, Narrow.io, Quuu, and Linktexting.com. Between his consulting practice and his software companies, Sujan’s goal is to help entrepreneurs and marketers scale their businesses.


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