02. 09. 2019

Debunking ‘Growth Marketing’ – what is it and why do you need it?

In a time where it seems everyone is focused on marketing, why are some of the biggest companies restructuring to, effectively, remove their Chief Marketing Officers?

In June, pharmaceutical giants Johnson & Johnson’s CMO decided to step down, having been in a successful capacity with the company for over six years. Rather than replacing like-for-like, they decided to remodel the business, in doing so, removing the role to pave way for a ‘Growth Marketing Officer’.

They have followed suit of some fairly successful names, like Hyatt, Lyft and that little-known brand, Coca-Cola.

It’s become, arguably, one of the hottest new C-Level roles, and certainly one for anyone in a senior marketing position to consider.

So, what is a Growth Marketing Officer, and what makes them tick?

Well, to put it in the most basic terms, a GMO (or CGO – ‘Chief Growth Officer’) is in charge of exactly what you’d expect: growth. Growing the company’s branding, branching out into new markets, just as you’d expect a marketing role to do. But growth focuses on some aspects you would perhaps ignore as a traditional ‘marketeer’.

They will add value with things such as customer retention, they will usually be a data-driven individual, keeping an eye on revenue increase, and comfortable doing a lot of analytical work. Rather than using their experience in the industry, or ‘gut feeling’, they will now pick apart data trends; noticing that it’s not just ‘good marketing practice’ to schedule social media posts for a specific time, or day, but actually is rhyme and reason to it.

The Growth Marketing Officer slice and dice data to figure out what strategy is in fact working for their brand.

They will also be creatively minded; they will be the ones to say “let’s give it a try” rather than “we’ve never done it that way before”. They will not be afraid of something falling down, if it doesn’t work then they will try another way – always looking to open new doors.

They will be responsible for overseeing the brand marketing, having to take charge of multiple projects at once – deadlines shouldn’t be something that scare them, but excite them.

As the need for growth continues to evolve and grow (ironically), more and more companies and clients are hiring GMO’s it’s important to align all of the functions – creativity, data driven, unafraid of failure, able to multitask, and more – and hiring a Growth Marketing Officer who can deliver this is vital.

Mike Thompsett, Global Marketing Manager at Adaptive Business Group said: “The world of marketing is forever changing, and we’ve noticed that large amounts of our clients are exploring new opportunities to keep up with it – it’s so important not to be left behind.”

“Whether it’s for a new, exciting start up or an established tech company, it’s become an increasingly attractive position for CEOs to invest in. They need to ensure they are hiring in the right market to keep their company exploring new markets and continue in the right direction.”

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