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Build a growth marketing team the right way • businessroundups.org

by Ana Lopez
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Whether you just Once you’ve secured some VC funding or finally achieved product-market fit, you’ll need to build a growth marketing team to really drive your startup’s next growth phase.

Walking to my workplace at Postmates in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood one day, I discovered that our company had raised a $300 million Series E round. After the infusion, our growth marketing team changed abruptly when we suddenly had a war chest to fuel our growth marketing efforts. I was lucky enough to be part of a rapidly growing team that was eventually acquired and absorbed by Uber.

Today I’m sharing what I learned from that experience about what it takes to build a solid growth marketing team.

If you’re looking to hire your first growth marketer, I’ve already covered that in a previous column. If you already have a growth marketer and want to build a team, the information here will show you how to do it successfully.

Growth pillars and who to hire

It’s important to understand the main growth drivers you can hire for, as there are quite a few that make up a full team:

  • Paid acquisition.
  • Life cycle.
  • Organic/SEO.
  • connected.
  • Away from home.
  • Influencer.

As startups grow, so do their marketing budgets and the rigor of required testing. All of this begs for more defined team structures.

It can be challenging to know which pillar to hire for next, but this decision ultimately depends on where the next big opportunity is for your growth efforts. If you already have a few paid acquisition channels, such as Google, Facebook or Snapchat, that have shown promising results and could benefit from optimization and scaling efforts, then you already have the answer.

And if you haven’t set up lifecycle marketing and believe it will help increase your conversion rates, then you also know what to hire for.

Example structure of a mature growth marketing team of 20 people. Image Credits: Jonathan Martinez

After the Series E round at Postmates, our team decided we could benefit from dedicated channel managers for our most promising channel: Snapchat, Facebook and Google. We quickly hired experts to help us ramp up testing and acquisition for each channel.

This isn’t to say that a savvy growth marketer couldn’t have managed all those channels together, but there’s only so much one person can do. In my experience, it is quite inefficient for one growth marketer to manage more than three paid acquisition channels or two growth pillars. It’s quite common for one person to manage one growth pillar, one paid acquisition channel, or multiple paid acquisition channels, but it depends on their capabilities and what they want to work on.

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