A Roadmap to Succeed in your First Month as a Growth Marketing Hire
If you’re reading this, it’s likely because either you just got hired in your first growth marketing role, or you’re considering applying to one.
If that’s the case, bookmark this page because you will want to revisit the tactics and processes outlined below.
In my experience as the founder of a startup (SlidePick) and then as the first marketing hire at Beetrack, a fast growing startup in Chile, I’ve learned some lessons and best practices that I wish I had known on my first day.
This is what your schedule should look like in your first month as a growth marketer for a company that has already achieved Product Market Fit.
But first, do your homework
Whether you’re still interviewing or on the first day of the job, there’s a lot you can do to understand how the company thinks about growth, and what opportunities there are to make improvements and implement new strategies.
- Get a broad picture of the company structure, their business model, current growth strategy, and overall metrics.
- Better understanding of the company and product they are building
- Know their competitors and what growth channels they use
- Identify your first quick win.
My research process is divided into 3 big areas:
- Company analysis
- Find your first win
Who is the founding team, what are their roles, and why did they start the company?
This first step is to understand who the founders are, what their background is, and where they see their business going in the next five years. This is a really important because how well you understand their goals, objectives and vision will make all the difference in how to structure and prioritize your growth strategy.
Here’s how this process is structured:
- Understanding the company history and financial structure using tools like AngelList and Crunchbase.
- Researching the founders on LinkedIn and Twitter.
- Googling this exact query “[Company name] CEO Interviews” and reading everything you can get about the company and the CEO’s vision.
Competitive analysis and current metrics
Understanding what the competition is currently doing and what their current growth channels are could be a good indicator on where to find new growth opportunities.
With this process, you can answer questions like:
- What does their customer profile look like?
- What channels are driving traffic for them?
- How they are converting that traffic?
Then, apply this process to your own company.
This is a great way to determine where they stand today and which channels they have been using to acquire customers. For this process I use tools like Similarweb, Alexa, Ghostery, StackShare, Moz, and Google.
Running these tests are helpful to have a clearer sense of what the company is currently doing to drive growth, and what can be improved in the short term.
Find your first quick win based on your skill sets
Brian goes through the difference between “mastering the fundamentals” and how to “go deep” on growth, explaining the basic growth skills and where to focus your work efforts.
With this in mind, the last part of my analysis is to create an audit for the company based on two main areas:
- Technical SEO — Understand their current SEO structure and areas of improvement
- CRO & A/B Testing — Do a teardown analysis of the onboarding process to see how new users go through their funnel, from visitors to customers
Why these two specific points? Mainly because these are the two concepts that I want to master, and where my learning efforts will be focused during my work at the company. In your case, this could be on brand & messaging, their email marketing efforts, or their content marketing strategy. It all depends on your skillset and what area you want to focus on.
The idea behind this is that as soon you start your first week working, you will have some small but insightful ideas and improvements to start implementing in your first month, giving you your first couple of wins in your role.
Week 1 — It’s all about the team.
- Figure out if your research was accurate.
- Get your first quick win.
- Map out who’s who inside the company.
- Plan and schedule your first month work.
- Validate or correct the data and information you had before starting
- Get to know the people you’ll be working with.
- Understand what the CEO expect from your role, what success looks like for him/her and where they envision the company in the next 1-2 years.
- Start working on your first quick win.
Ensure that your information previously collected is accurate and get your first win.
Before thinking about how to structure or optimize the growth process of the business, it’s crucial to understand what metrics are currently being tracked, which tools are in place to gather this information and how they extrapolate this data.
“Every company I have ever worked with has messy data systems. They use a lot of different tools (GA, Mixpanel, Pendo, Looker, etc.) and different teams use different tools, where some are more reliable than others.” — Nathan Parcells, Marketing Consultant and Former Founder/VP of Marketing at Looksharp.
How to do this:
- Ask the founders what tools they are using for analytics, customer support and sales management.
- Go into their analytics and check their traffic and top user acquisition channels (Top of Funnel Metrics)
- Depending on the business nature of the company you will want to know how their growth funnel is built.
Nathan adds that “The growth person needs to get the team rallied behind one or two of these services and make sure everything is being tracked consistently.”
Based on this information and the previous research you had done, planning and executing your first few growth actions can create a winning “momentum” for the team and you.
The first wins will prove that you are in the company to add value from day 1.
Success in a growth marketing role is directly related to your ability to measure and explain the quantifiable impact that you’ve had on the company’s growth rate.
Map out who’s who inside the company
“Growth teams aim at launching experiments deeply linked to the growth of your company. They aim at discovering growth drivers and optimizing user flows within products.” — Pierre Lechelle
As Lechelle’s definition suggests, growth marketers work across disciplines throughout an organization — they’re constantly talking to the business/sales teams, along with design and product development. Each of these areas plays a critical part in our efforts to turn our business into a growth machine and optimize each part of our funnel.
Plain and simple, communication with your team and different areas is crucial to succeed in your role.
How to do this:
- Know who the key decision makers are and who’s responsible for making things happen within each team. Take each of them to coffee and figure out what you can do to make them successful.
- Interview your CEO and manager. Ask them what he envision for your role at the company and what they expect from your work there.
- Get to know your marketing team. Understand the role each one is playing and how you can add value to their work.
Planning to succeed
After you have spent your first week learning about the company structure and team, it’s time to schedule what you will be doing the next three weeks to achieve your goals.
There is one question that you can ask the CEO or marketing manager that will help you in this process:
“If we were to look into the future 6 months from now, what needs to be accomplished by then for you to feel that we did an amazing job?”
“Understanding processes is key to mastering anything.”
Based on this conclusion you can set up the right path to achieve these goals and exceed the expectations they have on you.
Week 2 — Understanding data, data and more data
Your second week is the time to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty.
- Understand the company’s ideal customer profile (ICP) and map out the customer journey.
- Figure out what channels are being used to drive traffic and customers.
- Know which tools are in place to track these data.
- Clear idea about who is your customer, where he “lives” and the typical customer journey.
- Understanding the channels used to turn Leads into Customers.
- Access to the company unit economics like; LTV, CAC and Churn Rate.
- Get familiar with the tools in use and start setting up the ones you think are missing.
Start by working on the customer journey
“Creating a wow customer experience starts with an initiative to map your buyer’s journey in order to understand their needs and habits, pinpoint the key decisions they must make, then creating experiences, content, and guides that influence those decisions.” — Autopilot (State of Customer Journey Marketing)
A key element of your work as a Growth Marketer in the company is to understand what are the processes and paths that your customer is currently taking to convert from total strangers to customers and promoters of your service.
By analyzing this information you can uncover some really insightful information, like:
- Improvements and hypotheses to test in the current customer journey (Growth Opportunities)
- Trends and actions in the conversion flow that define a “promoter” of your service
- Clarity in your customer persona and where to find them
Know your acquisition channels and tools.
An important part of your work is related to understanding the growth processes that are in place in the company, what distribution channels are they using, and how these channels are performing.
Most likely, if you are the first marketing hire or you are joining a relatively small early stage startup, these processes won’t be in place and you will be responsible for turning your company into a Growth Machine.
Focus your week in analyzing the free and paid channels that are working the best, what events and conversion metrics are being tracked, if there is any marketing automations in place, and the set of tools used.
Don’t jump directly figuring out the whole funnel process. Give you a week to understand your TOFU metrics and then move down the conversion funnel.
Here is a list of all the tools I use in my work as a growth marketer to make sense of this data and see if there is something missing — feel free to add any others that you find useful!
Week 3 — Finding the most important metrics
- Get to know what the marketing budget is, where they are spending money, and the company’s unit economics.
- Access to the company’s unit economics like; LTV, CAC and Churn Rate.
At this point, starting your third week into your growth role — you should have already realized that growth marketers don’t just execute tactics. Instead, our role is more focused on the process of understanding the business life cycle, customer needs, and discovering what opportunities could help the business grow.
This is translated into understanding the business unit economics and the most important metrics of almost any profitable company out there — Lifetime Value (LTV) and Cost of Acquisition (CAC).
With this information, you want to answer three main questions:
- Where are we now?
- Where do we want to be in the next 12 months?
- How do we bridge this gap?
This is when the rest of your conversion funnel starts to play a big role in the health of the business, along with mapping your retention rates and calculating the average lifetime value of a new customer and the K factor (Virality coefficient).
Here, my rule of thumb is that your LTV should be 3x your CAC. If I’m spending $50 to acquire a customer, their lifetime value should be at least $150.
Create a habit around your growth process.
This enables you to take advantage of disruptive changes in the customer buying patterns and distribution channels, set meaningful priorities, and understand the need to pursue results in a systematic and methodical way.
“Since most growth ideas fail, it becomes critical to test a lot of them. The faster you can hack together an idea, the sooner you can start testing it for some signs of life.” — Sean Ellis
Week 4 — Sum up your learning, create a work/growth process.
- Round up your learning, structure your calendar and open communication channels.
- A clear plan of action for the next 6 months, with daily and weekly tasks.
- Weekly meetings with your manager or CEO.
After three weeks of work, you should have a much clearer picture of how the company is structured and what is the product you’re selling is.
Knowing about your product, users and channels is the most important thing you should feel comfortable by now.
With this knowledge base, planning your next steps will be much easier and aligned with the goals you want to achieve.
As a growth marketer, you must embrace the challenges involved in designing and building a scalable and repeatable growth machine within your company. Your primary work, from day one, will be to build the foundations for growth and reinforce these processes within your team to help shaping the company culture.
Focusing your efforts and learnings during your first month on the processes that we went through in this article is a first step towards building this growth foundation. These processes are constantly under internal and external scrutiny that pushes us to respond and adapt, but if built under a strong foundation, our growth engines will endure.
Always focus your work and growth processes on maximizing learnings and the value you can add to the team/company.
Congrats on your new role! It’s always hard to make the first step in a new career.
I would love to catch up with you and know about your experience! Feel free to reach me out at Matias Honorato or at email@example.com.
Any grammar, spelling or punctuation mistake, please let me know. So I can keep improving my english…Best!