Why Your Team Needs a Growth Manager

Growth hackers…growth managers…growth marketers — startups these days are all about growth. But are these titles just different names for the same kind of job? And if you’re in the startup world, which type should you hire and why?

This article will help shine some light on one of the hottest and most lucrative jobs in the marketing field today, while taking a closer look at how to hire the right kind of person to propel your company forward. Let’s jump right in:

Growth Manager, Growth Hacker, Growth Marketer?

At their core, all of these types of jobs have a singular focus: growth — both of revenue and reach. According to Steven Walling, former Product Manager for Wikimedia, “growth” in this case is, “a shorthand term for the cycle of acquisition, activation, retention and reactivation of users or customers.”

Every company, particularly startups, attach a different meaning to these terms. But the overall concept is the same:

  • If you’re a growth manager, you balance your time between initiating and nurturing the growth of the company. The manager part of the title implies that you may also be responsible for a team.
  • “Growth hacking” is more of a mindset than a position. People who embrace this idea are not afraid to stretch boundaries and think outside the box to get results. They may be growth managers or growth marketers or basically anyone who has an experimental mind.
  • Growth marketer is more of a “catch all” phrase that refers to someone who dabbles in growth hacking, but may also leverage more traditional marketing methods as well to get the intended result.

What Does a Growth Manager Do?

Back in the early 2000s, simply having a business on the internet did a lot of the heavy lifting for you. Companies were growing at breakneck speed and having investor money thrown at them from every corner. Things were happening so fast that there was an avalanche of bad judgements, questionable decisions and weak foundations.

Even the big companies were not immune. Amazon invested in Pets.com, which is now widely considered to be one of the biggest dot com failures. Some companies shut their doors, others stumbled but managed to hang on. It was simply too much of a focus on growth for growth’s sake.

Enter the growth manager.

Rather than build companies that are fueled by hype and publicity, growth managers look at data and results. They find ways to rise — sometimes aggressively so, mostly because of the “hunt or be hunted” competition online. Rather than hope that the playing field is leveled, growth managers are out there with digital tractors, making it happen.

Some of today’s most well-known companies, including Uber, Dropbox and even Google are hungry for growth managers. So what exactly do they do?

In essence, growth managers set achievable company growth goals, then set about making them happen. This can be done by way of data collection tools (like Kissmetrics) to determine a baseline for what’s happening on your site. They reach out to customers, look at trends, and ask themselves “how can we build upon this?”

But it’s not enough to simply grow, nor do you want to hoard data to go through later. Growth managers use the data they’ve collected to create customer personas, improve revenues and minimize costs and expenditures where possible.

Finding these actionable gold nuggets is, in itself, a full-time job. Having a growth manager on hand to not only sift through the data, but also get other departments such as product development, sales and marketing to work together as a cohesive unit, is a smart choice that nearly every company, especially startups, can benefit from.

What to Look For When Hiring a Growth Manager

According to Ivan Kirigin, who was an early growth manager at Dropbox, understanding both the skills and the role your growth manager will play within your company is vital to getting the best possible results with one.

Kirigin explains that there are no “silver bullets” in the world of growth marketing, so zeroing in on the most important areas of focus will help your manager and team work together more effectively and efficiently.

He continues in elaborating that, off course, hiring someone who can understand not just the alphabet soup of online marketing – like SEO, PPC, PR and CRO, is important, but so too is realizing that one person cannot do everything.

He recommends finding someone with a core layer of skills, such as a background in statistics, UX or branding, along with other helpful skills like split testing, copywriting or funnel building. Then concentrate on their specific knowledge channels, like Facebook ads, social media, PR and so forth. Here’s a helpful chart showing the different layers of expertise for a growth manager’s career.

From a skill-set perspective, understanding the different types of customer acquisition channels – including paid and owned media as well as earned media (PR, word of mouth, organic SEO) are vital to the growth manager. Knowing how to understand, filter and work with data, including visualization tools, are a definite plus, as are having strategic thinking skills. There is no real “growth manager checklist” – but using these requirements as a baseline can help you find a growth manager who is flexible as well as data-driven.

How to Help Your Growth Manager Do Their Best

Of course, simply having a growth manager on your staff won’t make magic happen. You’ll need to have proper data infrastructure in place so that they can gather the right details and craft a plan of action. Being able to accurately analyze user behavior as well as prepare and understand experiments, are crucial to growth success.

In addition, your growth manager will likely work alongside and with other departments, ranging from design and sales to engineering and marketing. Once different growth initiatives are in place, the growth manager will go back and look at the results, then course-correct or tweak campaigns and funnels as necessary.

Realize that by bringing on a growth manager, you’ll need to keep an open mind and open line of communication with them and the growth marketing team as a whole. They’ll no doubt have invaluable customer feedback and insights, including changes that should be made to the product or service, the website, and so on. They’ll operate on a mindset of deciding which tests will have the most desired results, how much of an impact will the changes have when implemented, and how much will it cost to make those changes.

Any avenue where the company can make big changes while minimizing costs and broadening brand and reach are changes that are worth prioritizing.

Have You Hired a Growth Manager? Share Your Thoughts Below!

If you’ve hired a growth manager, or you are one, we’d love your thoughts! What has your experience been like? If you’re looking to hire one, we’d welcome your questions! Share your thoughts and comments below!

About the Author: Sherice Jacob helps business owners improve website design and increase conversion rates through compelling copywriting, user-friendly design and smart analytics analysis. Learn more at iElectrify.com and download your free web copy tune-up and conversion checklist today!

Source: https://blog.kissmetrics.com/team-needs-growth-manager/

SMS Is on the Rise for Business: Trends and Stats [Infographic]

SMS messages have much better response rates than email, but some brands have been hesitant to get on board. Things are changing, though. To see whether SMS messaging is right for you, check out the latest SMS business trends. Read the full article at MarketingProfs
Source: https://www.marketingprofs.com/chirp/2017/32612/sms-is-on-the-rise-for-business-trends-and-stats-infographic

Three Top Challenges of Influencer Marketing, and Its Past, Present, and Future [Infographic]

Today, few terms generate as much buzz as “influencer marketing.” But is the result more heat than light? Here’s a look at three top challenges of influencer marketing, along with a big-picture view of this marketing strategy. Read the full article at MarketingProfs
Source: https://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2017/32659/three-top-challenges-of-influencer-marketing-and-its-past-present-and-future-infographic

Five New Skills to Look for When Hiring Your Next Marketing Superstar

Looking to get hired as a marketer? Or to hire one yourself? Here are the five attributes that a modern marketer needs–and the ones that marketing leaders need to look for when hiring a high-functioning marketing team. Read the full article at MarketingProfs
Source: https://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2017/32660/five-new-skills-to-look-for-when-hiring-your-next-marketing-superstar

7 Biggest PPC Nightmares Sinking Your ROI

PPC advertising should be straightforward.

You buy an ad. Your ad appears on Google. That ad gets clicked.

You spend a little dough per click, and voila – you’re a marketing genius.

Traffic is booming and you’re appearing in all the right places.

Except that’s not always how it works.

And for some strange reason, you can’t quite figure out why.

Not to worry. Most of the time, you just need to know where to look.

You need to be able to spot those common problem areas. Many of which might be lying to your face.

Here are the seven biggest pay-per-click nightmares that can kill your ROI before it even gets off the ground.

1. Neglecting Attribution Models

It’s painfully obvious to say that Google Analytics can help you track traffic and conversions.

It will show you exactly which areas of your sales funnel are working vs. which ones aren’t.

via GIPHY

The trouble is that tracking PPC conversions in Google AdWords isn’t quite the same.

Google AdWords uses a “Last AdWords” click attribution model.

Meaning that the last PPC ad someone clicks before conversion gets all the credit for that conversion.

This can make it harder to know exactly where users are engaging, what’s bringing them back, and why they converted.

That’s because PPC attribution is designed to build demand now that you’ll convert later on. It’s less like “click > conversion” and more like:

Generic impression > generic click > generic impression > brand click > conversion

To top it off, there are different attribution models that actually tell you where the credit for your conversions is coming from based on what you find important. You could assign every touch point equal credit for conversions, for instance.

Basically, it’s not as easy as saying, “I got a click and therefore my AdWords are working.”

A better solution is to focus on (1) URL tracking and to (2) create an attribution model that meets your conversion goals.

This is important because some devices act like conversion helpers but they don’t actually obtain the conversion credit.

Correct attribution tracking will display your Google AdWord conversion paths more clearly. Breaking these down into micro-conversions can help you tweak each little step.

That’s why first and last-touch attribution models don’t always cut it.

How many steps do it needs to take before the buyers can be converted?

Did they actually convert from your PPC ad the very first time?

Unlikely.

People just used it last.

✅ Social referred them.

✅ Organic found you.

✅ Email nurtured them.

❌ PPC swooped in to steal all the credit.

Put everything in its place. Don’t lose sight of the big picture.

2. Incorrect Conversion Tracking

The thing about PPC is that your ad isn’t the be-all-end-all.

You don’t sell in an ad. You just get people to click.

PPC ads typically go to landing pages that have CTAs and the CTAs are the thing that’s driving the conversion. (But how would you know if you’re not tracking attributions, right?)

Yet conversion tracking isn’t setup properly.

The primary CTA is ignored.

Or worse, you’re counting clicks as conversions.

It’s not that they were just counting the wrong conversion metrics, though. This example was actually ignoring their CTAs completely.

The primary page CTA was a phone number. Anecdotally, phone calls brought better customers that converted faster.

And yet, no call tracking.

You have nothing without historical conversion data.

❌ You have no idea which campaigns are performing best.

❌ You have no idea which keywords are performing best.

❌ And you have no idea where you’re overspending to cut back.

You’re flying blind. Any campaign tweaks or changes are shots in the dark at best.

Neglecting attribution is one thing. But screwing up conversion tracking is quite another.

Notice that this still applies to things outside of “AdWords conversions.”

More often than not, that ringing phone in the background is the direct result of your digital efforts.

70% of phone calls are driven by digital channels, according to Invoca’s Call Intelligence Index that tracked over 30 million calls.

Now compare that to the pitifully low lead generation rates in the Unbounce Benchmark Report that hang somewhere between 2.8% and 6%. And those are just leads, not even closed customers!

Those phone stats are impressive as hell now.

‘Cept for one teeny, tiny problem.

PPC gets the credit about 0.0% of the time in this instance.

Which means you, dear marketer, get 0.0% of the credit. Which nets you 0.0% of the budget required to keep those calls coming in.

Sure. AdWords call extensions are a start.

But more often than not, someone’s clicking through to your site. They’re browsing around. They’re learning and comparing before dialing.

Those call extensions catch none of this.

You need something, anything, like custom phone numbers to track dials from each page.

3. Ignoring Revenue-Based Metrics

PPC “conversions” aren’t always conver$ion$.

If your conversions aren’t making you money, they’re not conversions.

PPC success is about the big picture and the customer journey, absolutely.

But ultimately that journey should lead to a purchase. It should lead to revenue.

Clicks, impressions, and CTRs matter. To a point. But not in the big picture.

But the same holds true when PPC conversions = leads.

Just because campaign A delivers more leads than B doesn’t mean it’s “better.”

Yet that’s what happens. Every single day. In the team talks and discussions with clients or bosses.

Budget gets pulled from B and put behind A.

You need to dig a little deeper. You need to analyze how Cost Per Lead, Revenue Per Lead, and Lifetime Value of a Customer look before making those resource calls.

If you were trying to track LTV, for example, you would want to open up your Google Analytics, set the acquisition date range, select your LTV metrics, and select a few comparison metrics.

This would show you whether or not all your blood, sweat, and tears were actually making you money. Or if you’re still just measuring things that don’t matter in the long run.

4. A/B Testing Bad Offers

Uh oh! Ad CTR is low.

Better A/B test to make sure things are working smoothly, right?

Yes and no.

A/B tests can often be a huge waste of time.

It’s not to say that testing is totally useless. But most of the time you’re not actually ready for it.

Many small businesses and startups simply won’t have the transaction volume when they launch a campaign for A/B testing to make much of an ROI difference.

Roughly speaking, when you have less than 1,000 transactions (leads, signups, purchases and so on) per month, you will be better off pouring your efforts into other areas.

But look.

I know you’re probably going to A/B test anyway. I get it. Some growth hacker said it was a good idea.

If you do want to double check whether or not your campaigns are working, you should focus on testing your offers. Not fiddling with colors or CTA buttons or other A/B testing elements.

Offers are the most important determining factor sabotaging your conversions.

Want better results? Un-suck your offer first.

Don’t spend so much time and energy obsessing over A/B testing PPC ads.

Not when your offer needs help. Not when your landing pages are fugly.

And not when your unique selling proposition isn’t so unique after all.

5. Focusing on Keywords Instead of Search Terms

Google often recommends that you bundle single keywords in an ad group that revolves around the same common theme.

In fact, they recommend you “start with 10-20 keywords.”

This is great advice.

If you are Google. Because it means you make more money – off of people that follow this advice, get terrible results, and then have to spend more on ads.

That many competing keywords makes message match impossible to pull off.

You’ll end up bidding too broadly or bidding on short-head terms.

You won’t be able to laser target ads or landing pages. And you’ll overpay to get competitive traffic that’s not ready to convert.

You might select keywords. But you’re paying for search terms.

And one look at your search terms report will unveil the reason PPC conversion are nil.

In an ideal world, you should keep your keywords as tight as possible in each ad group. Some say limiting it to just a single keyword per ad group.

The reason is because you want to constrict the number of variations each ad shows up for.

Then you can refine with negative search terms to disqualify the leftovers and squeeze more from less.

6. Missing Message Match

The last tip sets up this one.

That way, each one is laser targeted to the ad and landing page.

People will convert better because your results perfectly line up with their query. And you’ll get an added bonus of better quality scores to pay less per click.

  1. The keywords someone types in, should
  2. Show up in the ad you show them, which
  3. Repeats the same messaging on the landing page

That’s how message match should work in an ideal world.

However, that’s not always how it does work.

One day, Oli from Unbounce decided that he was in too good of a mood. So he decided to make himself miserable by clicking on 300 different ads.

The result was that 98% did not match correctly.

Thankfully, there are two easy solutions to solve this problem.

AdWords Dynamic Keyword Insertion.

Create a list of keywords that can be swapped in-and-out depending on what someone searches for.

Let’s say you sell multiple types of furniture.

You can use one basic ad template that will automatically switch out the exact product keyword someone uses (like “Couches”).

Image Source

Dynamic text replacement on landing pages.

Same idea, but this time on your landing pages.

You can run the same scenarios to make sure that the product ad people searched for lines up with the same ad and landing page.

Image Source

In the Stone Ages of digital advertising (like seven years ago), you used to have to do all of this manually.

You would literally create variations of both ads and landing pages to literally match every single keyword you advertised on.

Technology saves the day yet again.

7. All-Around Bad Ad Creative

Sometimes, you just suck.

Own up to it. Admission is always the first step.

Your ad text is still lame. Or, God forbid, your ads or landing pages are not mobile optimized (← yes, this still happens in 2017).

Some PPC hack once told me that, “Most of the time we’ve found that people don’t even pay attention to the ad, it’s the landing page or website impression that matters most if we get that click.”

So maybe the problem you think is a problem isn’t really the problem.

But the good news is that this one is easy to fix.

You just have to avoid some of the most rookie mistakes and focus on the tried-and-true PPC methods like using headline formulas, landing page formulas, and, where appropriate, power words.

If you try to run through the exact process your customers will, these problems should become obvious.

Here’s a perfect example.

This morning I looked for a “aptitude test for digital marketing” for hiring new people.

Everything started off great, until the first result’s ad text started going into MS Excel and a bunch of other random stuff that has very little to do with marketing.

Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt, though.

I decided to overlook the irrelevant ad copy to click on their site and check out if they had what I was searching for.

I immediately regretted it:

There are so many issues with this page it’s hard to know where to start. But here goes:

  • Zero message match. Page headline doesn’t match ad text or search query.
  • Cheesy stock photos don’t perform well.
  • A wall of text. Seriously. No one’s reading it.
  • Random salary and employment stats.
  • “Free Trial” CTA that doesn’t communicate benefit you’re signing up for.

You can see the page right here for yourself.

I’m not trying to be a jerk. (Not completely, anyway.) But so you can see how obvious these issues become.

Scroll down below the fold and here’s what you see:

More random junk.

Look:

They’re paying good money for these ads! I bet it’s not cheap.

Yet they’re shooting themselves in the foot with basic errors.

There are plenty of places you can go to learn about this stuff. You just have to do your own research. Spend an hour reading any good blog on PPC and you’d spot these issues instantly.

At the end of the day, you have to know the game in order to improve your game.

Not taking the time to learn the basics, or not learning which metrics are important or which ones you should ignore, can sabotage your PPC results.

Conclusion

Nobody said PPC was easy.

But there are certain things you can do to make it easier.

And there are many cases where you make it harder on yourself then it needs to be.

Look for conversions that lead to revenue. Track metrics and data that matter.

Don’t bother A/B testing miniscule information when it’s your offers and value props that dictate results.

Segment your funnels, but make sure each step in that funnel aligns to everything matches properly.

All of these mistakes are common. But they’re not surprising or new.

The solution is out there if you know where to look for it.

About the Author: Brad Smith is the founder of Codeless, a B2B content creation company. Frequent contributor to Kissmetrics, Unbounce, WordStream, AdEspresso, Search Engine Journal, Autopilot, and more.

Source: https://blog.kissmetrics.com/biggest-ppc-nightmares/

Is a Loyalty Rewards Program Right for Your Brand? [Infographic]

A good loyalty rewards program increases not only the number of repeat customers but also average order value—which can have a significant impact on the bottom line. Check out the infographic for more on how a loyalty program can help you. Read the full article at MarketingProfs
Source: https://www.marketingprofs.com/chirp/2017/32602/is-a-loyalty-rewards-program-right-for-your-brand-infographic

15 Practical Email Marketing Tips for E-Commerce (With Real-Life Examples)

These 15 email marketing tips and best-practices (with real life examples) for e-commerce are entirely actionable, and you can easily implement them to increase your conversion rate. Read the full article at MarketingProfs
Source: https://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2017/32655/15-practical-email-marketing-tips-for-e-commerce-with-real-life-examples

#SocialSkim: Facebook and Instagram Redesign, Amazon’s Spark vs. Instagram and Pinterest: 10 Stories This Week

This week: Facebook, Instagram aim for engagement with redesigns; all about Amazon’s Spark social platform; LinkedIn’s smart share options, a court case it lost, and its native video; Apple pushes original shows; much more! Read the full article at MarketingProfs
Source: https://www.marketingprofs.com/chirp/2017/32647/socialskim-facebook-and-instagram-redesign-amazons-spark-vs-instagram-and-pinterest-10-stories-this-week