head of growth is a relatively
new role within both
startups and larger
corporations. The unique role of
a Head of Growth sits at the
value innovation and growth
marketing, which varies from
company to company. Their sole
focus is to hit growth targets,
so their primary concerns are
growth management, value
retention, and upsells.
Three Main Areas of
Head of Growth will be interested in
three main areas of work:
① growth hacking,
② growth management, and
③ growth nurturing.
Growth Hacking Team
A growth hacking team is made up of marketers, developers, engineers and
product managers that specifically focus on building and engaging the user
base of a business.
Growth hacking is not just a process for marketers. It can be applied to
product development and to the
continuous improvement of products as well as to growing an existing
As such, itís equally useful to everyone from product developers, to
engineers, to designers, to salespeople, to managers.
What is a Head of Growth?
Published on Sep 23, 2021 in marketing-titles by
Have you considered hiring a head of growth?
This relatively new role is in high demand, even
Startup founders from all tech-related verticals
should be paying attention and, if it makes
sense, consider hiring a head of growth of their
own. These superstar employees may be in short
supply, but the results they bring to the table
are increasingly valuable in our startup-driven
Weíre going to look closer at heads of growth
(aka the powerhouse of your marketing strategy)
and how they significantly impact company
success. Letís consider:
What a head of growth is
Characteristics of a head of growth
Your head of growth and customer insights
What type of companies need to have a head of
When to consider hiring a head of growth
Are you ready for whatís coming?
What Is A Head Of Growth?
A head of growth is focused on growth and growth
Their unique role sits at the intersection of
marketing and product development, which varies
from company to company. Their sole focus is to
hit growth targets, so their primary concerns
are customer acquisition, activation, retention,
Your head of growth will be interested in three
main areas of work: growth hacking, growth
management, and growth nurturing.
Growth hacking refers to strategies regarding
the reach of your company. It may involve new
marketing initiatives, A/B testing, or
experimental trials to discover what works and
what doesnít. In this role, your head of growth
is focused on scaling your company as quickly
and sustainably as possible.
Growth management is a twofold term. On one
hand, your head of growth may be responsible for
managing other marketers, freelancers, or
strategic planners. On the other hand, they will
be heavily involved in KPI measurement and other
ROI metrics. They keep a finger on the pulse of
what works and what doesnít, and pivot your
strategy to meet upcoming needs.
Growth nurturing refers to the use of new or
existing strategies that retain current
customers. This task may be shared with other
members of your marketing department.
Characteristics Of A Head Of Growth
Not everyone is cut out to be a head of growth.
These employees arenít really a part of your
marketing team, and they arenít necessarily part
of the product development team. In truth,
theyíre a hybrid; they have a foot in each
department and understand the importance of both
acquiring and retaining customers.
Before hiring a head of marketing, consider some
of the elements needed in a potential candidate.
Heads of growth are extremely creative, and
partner their natural talents with data and
analytics. They also choose their tech stack
carefully; after all, they need particular tools
to perform their research tasks, which range
from split tests to KPI reporting.
These professionals are experts in acquisition
opportunities for owned media, earned media, and
paid media. They offer superior management and
leadership skills that ensure your team is
pulling in the same direction. As your companyís
growth objective evolves, your head of growth
will communicate changing parameters to their
team, internal audience, and all industry
Letís look at this from a different point of
view. In the early days, your companyís
objective may be user onboarding and outreach. A
few years later, it may be time to switch focus
to user retention. The goal of your head of
growth will be to mark the right time to make
the switch, create strategies focused on
pivoting as quickly as possible, and make sure
teams incorporate the appropriate goals in their
campaigns and strategies.
Your Head Of Growth And Customer Insights
The nature of growth is ever changing, which is
why your head of growth must be tuned into
customer insights at all times.
A good head of growth can quickly explain where
retention rates stand, how they are moving, and
where problems arise in their funnel and
acquisition journey. Importantly, they need to
be certain of how to improve negative growth.
Heads of growth could be just about anyone with
a scientific, analytical mind. Yet keep in mind
that there is rarely any substitute for
experience. Your head of growth will have a
large say in campaigns that get launched, and
need to have the seniority necessary to make
changes as needed. Since they need to be so
in-tune with customer insights, heads of growth
are often plugged into audience listening tools
like HootSuite, TweetDeck, and SocialMention.
What Type Of Companies Need To Have A Head Of
Heads of growth are useful assets for anyone
working in a startup or scaleup business.
According to recent stats, the vast majority of
all startups are within the tech industry. If
you own and operate a startup company, chances
are it will need a head of growth at some point.
The head of growth may be a relatively recent
position, but companies have always needed help
with handling the challenges of scaling. With
only 10% of all startups succeeding every year,
itís clear why more and more companies are
choosing to hire a full time expert of their
Itís important to manage the spread and
consistency of startup growth over time.
Tech-based startups may get more use out of
heads of growth than other industries,
especially since their fields often involve
complicated jargon that doesnít always connect
with consumers. In this case, heads of growth
create new campaigns that help leads understand
company offerings. Tech-based industries like
SaaS businesses and app-heavy programs benefit
the most from this strategy. There are several
heads of growth popularized in these industries,
Brian Balfour (Hubspot)
Sean Ellis (Eventbrite)
Andrew Chen (Uber)
Tech-based startup founders sometimes feel they
need a full-time head of growth right away. Itís
true that young businesses need strong strategic
vision to succeed, and volatile growth solutions
that scale with their own growth. But young
businesses also need time to become flexible,
lean, and risk-averse during their first few
years of life.
Professional marketers recommend younger
businesses wait a while before hiring full-time
heads of growth. While they mature, they can
start to develop an inbound marketing strategy
that focuses their channel growth and
development. An example of inbound marketing
includes content, which Draft.dev specializes
in. Our team helps startups find freelance
content writers to create content for software
devs and technical audiences.
When To Consider Hiring A Head Of Growth
If you canít retain a head of growth right away,
when is the best time to hire? There are a few
benchmarks you may want to hit first:
Do you already have a marketing or sales team in
place? A head of growth without a marketing team
will be limited in what they can achieve. If you
donít have something set in stone, it will be
important to flesh out your departments first.
Do you have enough funds for a head of growth to
work with? This applies to your department
budget, salary qualifications, and current tech
Are there in-house teams currently executing
(and struggling to maintain) the role of a
How good is the communication between your
marketing team and sales team? If itís not the
well-oiled machine you wish it could be, a
growth hacker may be able to help. The ultimate
goal of your head of growth isnít to play
middleman between different teams, but their
presence may kill two birds with one stone.
Are you lacking a ĎTí shaped marketing
professional? ĎTí shaped experts are described
as being knowledgeable in many fields, but
deeply skilled in just one. For example, your
head of growth will be familiar with many assets
of marketing, but extremely skilled in growth
If youíre looking to use a head of growth in the
most effective way possible, itís best to
already have your first employees hired. These
professionals do their best work while
surrounded by a team of other experts who help
identify KPIs, metrics, and current strategies,
as well as execute campaigns. In other words,
itís best to hire a head of growth once your
startup is more mature.
Are You Ready For Whatís Coming?
Your company is preparing to hit a growth spurt.
Your products have already hit the shelves, and
theyíre starting to flourish. Your services are
starting to get great feedback from customers.
Now itís time to channel that growth internally
and ride the wave thatís coming. Thatís the
ultimate purpose of your head of growth.
No matter what your industry is, youíll find an
increasing amount of value from hiring a
full-time head of growth. The only question is:
does it make sense right now?
If you arenít in a position to spend money on a
full-time worker, or if youíre not ready to
springboard into heavy growth initiatives, it
might make more sense to take a step back. There
are many ways to develop a winning growth
strategy, particularly with content and inbound
marketing. Freelance writers are a great way to
do this, and it might increase your ROI in a big