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Yes, Product Managers Should be Growth Hackers and Here’s Why

What’s Growth Got to Do With It?

The answer to that is very simple.

A Product Manager looks after a Product throughout its entire lifecycle. And growth should be built in from the beginning, not at the end. It is therefore, the responsibility of a PM to be something of a growth expert.

Different people have different opinions of ‘growth hacking’ and there’s no one-size-fits-all definition. Generally, growth hacking means thinking out of the box to find new and creative ways of reaching and retaining customers, with the goal of growing and scaling a business.

Growth involves lots and lots and lots of experimentation and testing. So it’s already up a Product Manager’s alley!

What’s in a Name?

Let’s look at job specs for some of these roles, to better understand where growth comes into it.

We can start with a Senior Growth Product Manager for Square (courtesy of SmartRecruiters)…

It seems from this that the main responsibility of a Growth Product Manager (GPM), is the growth of the company via the products they build. As a Growth PM you could expect to have a slightly different set of KPIs to other PMs, and management might as different things of you.

There’s no special training needed for PMs to become Growth PMs, it’s all about mindset. You don’t need to learn a new language or go back to university. You just have to shift your priorities to focus on the growth of the company.

But what about if your title is just ‘Product Manager’? Are you off the hook and don’t have to think about growth?

Absolutely not!

Your Products Need Growth Loops

How do you do that?

A growth loop is what keeps your users coming back for more. This is the key to keeping users ‘hooked’ and turns your product into a habit. It can start small like a notification, conscious or unconscious.

Some companies do this through rewards and gamification, where the user moves along the journey they receive bonuses or points. For example, Snapchat has streaks which users lose if they don’t use the app for a day, therefore rewarding the users who log in regularly. Loyalty is also rewarded by some companies through a points system, which can be used for discounts.

Building growth loops into your product helps your users to market your product for you, via word of mouth and generating their own content. It’s the ultimate free publicity.

Want to learn more about Growth Loops? Check out the all-new and improved Ship It v2!

Map Your Career Trajectory

If your favorite tech giant has an opening for a GPM, you’ll be well set-up to go for it, if you can prove that growth has already been a focus on yours.

To learn more about this topic, check out The Product-Led Growth Collective.

I’m Carlos González, CEO at Product School, and I enjoy sharing weekly tips for Product leaders!

Are you interested in Product Management? Check out our certifications here.
Looking for a good read? Because we’ve launched “Ship It” as a free resource.

This article was also published on The Product Management Blog.



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