Marketing is a unique profession because there is a low barrier to entry, meaning all types of people have the opportunity to enter the field. Though there are high-level marketing degrees people can acquire, this is certainly not necessary to get your first opportunity as a marketer. And the fact is, more and more marketing positions are opening up every day. In the U.S. alone, “advertising and marketing spend will grow to nearly $390 Billion in 2020,” according to Adweek. Companies are ready to spend, and spend big on marketing if it means expediting growth for their companies. With big budgets comes the need for elite growth marketers well-versed in the industry and ready to execute for them.
Finding the brightest and most diligent marketers can become tedious and often difficult simply because hiring managers are not sure what to look for in prospects. In such a diverse profession, the qualities needed in a good growth marketer are not so straightforward. However, the fact is, true world-class growth marketers, VP’s of Marketing, and even CMO’s, all actually possess very similar and essential traits. These traits are the key reasons why these professionals are able to help brands and companies reach certain levels of success.
So what separates exceptional growth marketers from the rest of the pack?
Here are the 7 essential qualities to look for in a growth marketer:
- Growth Mindset
- Competent and Reliable
- Data and Tech Savvy
1.They Understand Empathy
Of all the qualities a world-class growth marketer should possess, none is more critical than empathy. Now, empathy is probably not what comes to most people’s minds when considering a growth marketer. Still, this particular quality sets the foundation for all the skills and talents that are to follow.
Empathy is the ability to recognize emotions and share the feelings of another person.
“81% of consumers say that before a buying decision, they must be able to trust the brand,” according to a recent report from Edelman. It might come as a surprise, but humans don’t always rely on logic when buying a product or service. More often than not, it’s emotions and feelings that guide purchasing decisions. A great growth marketer is able to put themselves in the users’ shoes and understand their context, pains, and needs. This allows them to anticipate triggers and create moments of connection and trust with users.
So often a marketer’s mindset is one-dimensional, and the task at hand is only to know how to sell or show this product/service to as many people as possible. However, it’s essential to understand what users and potential customers genuinely value and how they feel. You’ll find that a good growth marketer is wired to be concerned by how people perceive things. From there they leverage that to meet potential customers at the right time and place with the right messaging and creative.
2.They Have a Growth Mindset
In her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of success, American Psychologist Carol Dweck introduces a breakthrough concept on mindset and how every aspect of human endeavor can be affected by how we think about our abilities. The book focuses primarily on differences between a “fixed” and “growth” mindset. She explains that someone with a fixed mindset “believes that their basic abilities, intelligence, and talents are fixed traits that cannot be changed.” In contrast, someone with a growth mindset “understands that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching, and persistence.”
You can probably guess which mindset an ideal growth marketer should have. That’s right, a growth mindset!
So how can you spot a marketer with a growth mindset?
First, they are curious and always learning. Today we live in a world that constantly changes. You can go to bed thinking the world is one way, and then the moment you wake up, something drastically new is introduced into society. Marketers with a growth mindset find this to be exhilarating and look at these new trends as opportunities. They are never satisfied with their current skillset and are always looking to improve and learn the latest ideas and concepts.
Marketers with a “growth mindset” also love accepting challenges. In our industry, there are both highs and lows in every task and project you take on. Whether it’s solving a specific campaign problem, hitting a particular KPI, or meeting a specific deadline, marketers with the growth mindset want to take these challenges head-on, knowing it will only make them better.
Having a growth mindset sometimes means just putting in the effort. Achieving greatness in any profession begins with just simply doing it and getting started. It’s no different in marketing. Growth marketers with a growth mindset don’t overthink the process. They are not trying to find shortcuts or black hat tricks to master a skill. Whether it’s writing a blog or copy, building ads or campaigns, they understand consistency and effort are the keys to mastery.
Growth marketing is a collaborative process, and it requires people to hold each other accountable. This means, at specific points, managers and team members will share a certain level of criticism and feedback on your work. Nobody loves criticism, but marketers with a growth mindset can turn this negative into something positive. A marketer will take the feedback and use it to refine their skill set and deliver better work next time around.
3.They Are Entrepreneurial
It makes sense that one of the most important qualities a great growth marketer has is an entrepreneurial spirit. In fact, most great marketers admit that their motive for getting a job is to gain a few years of experience so they can eventually start their own company. If you look closely, you’ll actually notice that there are many similarities between the goals of an entrepreneur and those of growth marketers. These goals include validating an excellent product /service, solving customer problems, driving revenue, and working with a great team. In reality, great founders and great growth marketers are often one in the same. They’re multi-disciplinary executors, they take ownership, and they’re passionate about scaling businesses. A growth marketer that can master these skills is well on their way to building their own company.
Don’t let this particular quality scare you and prevent you from working with great growth marketers. You might be wondering, why should I hire an individual who is already thinking about leaving? It’s a fair question, but in reality, this is actually a good thing. Ambition is a big part of being a great marketer. Growth marketers should be excited about new ideas, change, and progress. Leverage this entrepreneurial spirit and make it a win-win.
4.They Are Competent and Reliable
Here are questions to think about when evaluating a growth marketer:
Does this individual possess the competency and necessary skills to solve problems? Is the work they submit of high quality? Do they meet deadlines? And finally, DO THEY GET SH** DONE?!
Now this quality seems like a given in any profession, but you’d be surprised how many marketers believe they are competent, reliable, and go-getters. In reality, most fall short of these traits, sometimes to no fault of their own. Most marketers never work in environments and marketing teams that require such discipline.
Remember growth marketing is complex, and it covers a multitude of different disciplines. It’s a highly collaborative process, and there are often many dependencies and other team members involved. It is not all fancy ads and new campaigns. You want to hire growth marketers who show a certain sense of urgency and commitment to the job at hand. They don’t make excuses and execute experiments and tasks with speed and efficiency.
Growth marketers that possess these qualities also treat their work with extreme professionalism and care. End of the day, they understand the work they produce can be the difference in a company’s monthly, quarterly, and annual success, and this shouldn’t be taken lightly.
5.They Are a Great Storyteller
Facebook and Google have democratized access to sophisticated marketing and advertising tools. On one hand, this is a good thing because no one has a clear advantage, we are all exposed to the same tech and tactics. But this also raises the question of how to distinguish your work and create loyalty with consumers? Now that the playing field has been leveled, marketers are forced to tap into other creativity to help distinguish their particular brand or company. Elite growth marketers realize that in order to truly differentiate themselves; they must have the ability to craft a really compelling story. Famous marketing guru and American author, Seth Godin believes, “marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.” Competency in standard practices and tools is still essential, but with every campaign, marketers must be able to build a strong narrative that is compelling and convincing to users.
A great growth marketer knows that humans are making decisions based on emotions that are unique to them. So when creating a new ad or campaign, marketers are fully aware that the collateral and creative has to align with the story they are trying to tell. It was determined that “61% of consumers are loyal to brands that tailor experiences to them,” in a study done by Adobe. Marketers take the opportunity to break down even the most complicated products and services to tell a relatable story that connects with users. This approach can be the difference between a successful and failed campaign.
6.They are Data and Tech-Savvy
Nowadays, pretty much every marketer is forced to have some type of competency in technology, so it’s no surprise that growth marketers at elite brands and companies must have the ability to execute on multiple tech-stacks and be data-driven.
The days of brand marketers requesting data and reports from a back-office analytics team are gone. Marketers need to be able to pull high-level reports and draw meaningful and actionable insights based on data available. “33% of elite marketers say having the right technologies for data collection and analysis is the most useful in understanding customers,” according to a report done by Econsultancy & IBM,
The same goes for tech-savviness. In another study by formstack, it is expected that ” two out of every four new marketing hires will need technical skills.” Speed is at the heart of the work marketers do and the ability to jump in and make quick fixes to code or design is required.
Growth marketers don’t need to be high-level software engineers, data scientists, or coders. Still, at the very least, they need to know how these processes work, have an understanding of APIs, how tracking works, and the capabilities of different programming languages and frameworks.
7.They are Team-Oriented
Growth marketers are talented individuals that can help brands reach certain levels of success, but it is a “Growth Team” that will ultimately help organizations reach-accelerated and sustainable growth!
As a marketer, it is important that you understand this concept and have a team mindset. Learning to work with others is an essential skill in general, but as a growth marketer, it is a necessity. Each growth marketer has a unique set of skillsets, but it is the combination of these skillsets that ultimately help companies reach their goals. The marketers with a team mindset understand the importance of the team and will see everyone’s success as his/her own. They know there are no winners or losers from an individualistic standpoint. It’s about seeing opportunity in the success of others, and every success they encounter is an opportunity to learn and grow.
However, there are also individual gains when you have a team mindset. Naturally, your ideas, productivity, results, and quality of work all improve when collaborating with other like-minded individuals.
Growth marketing, as a discipline, is rapidly taking off and many companies are realizing the need to hire talented individuals and teams. If you’re looking to hire a growth marketer or team it’s important to remember the qualities we mentioned above. Make sure your hiring managers understand these qualities of a growth marketer and evaluate each candidate through this lens.
Also, if you’re looking to become a great growth marketer ask yourself the following questions, which of these qualities do I already possess? Which qualities do I need to improve on? Check out our list of the best growth marketing courses to help you get started. Evaluate, and take the necessary steps to own these qualities. They are the foundation and building blocks of what makes a growth marketer truly great.
Looking to add growth marketers to your team but not interested in the struggle of hiring. Send us a message! We’re set up as a full growth squad ready to drive results for your business.
This is definitely insightful! My company is looking to hire a growth marketer so I’ll be sharing this with my internal team.
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