What Makes a Good Growth Director?

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It has become apparent that many companies are focussed on growing the bottom line and maximizing profits. This type of tunnel vision logic can hurt in the long run when the well-being of elements such as user experience is compromised. The role of the growth marketer as stated in previous blogs has gone from being a buzz position to a unicorn focussed role that places emphasis on positive ROAS, innovative UA methodologies to custom based attribution. The funny thing is that product related functions in mobile along with marketing are converging yet many companies have not truly embraced this phenomenon even though they will say otherwise. One only needs to see any sort of reporting regarding best practices in platforms such as the app store to notice some glaring gaps with quick win opportunities being missed.  

A good growth director is like that elusive partner that simply does not exist at least in terms that are widely misunderstood by all in the mobile marketing sector. It’s not just a case of managing large budgets, it’s typically an entrepreneurial role on how to squeeze the most out of a buck while creating organic growth in parallel. A very important position indeed. How marketing, product, analytics, design, and operations intersect in a way where a businessperson needs to take charge and make some calls that week-to-week determine positive outcomes for the company.  If one were CEO of an established company, they best be mentoring and or supervising the growth director more so than any other role in the company. It almost overlaps the responsibilities of the CEO in that at its core the job constitutes macro areas that will require media planningbuying and finally the optimization 

We could go on about these three core areas in this blog, but we will save it for a later one which will go into detail on how to plan, buy and optimize under the new age of mobile marketing where the wild wild west of pumping volume has had its day and is forever gone. The companies that have seen the inevitable coming with ATT rates floundering and have had the right data science components set up shall prevail. At the end of the day, data and reporting being through bespoke API integrations is the bread and butter that allows a good growth director to make sound decisions and arguments that not only make sense to all corresponding stakeholders but provide hypothesis that can be backed up. One of the most basic hypothesis in this world may simply be at the creative level whereby certain approaches can yield a more aggressive outcome with less quality whereas a nuanced soft design can win an A/B test on a longer-term basis that is not under an antiquated 7-day ROAS criteria. A good growth director challenges current best practices and flips them around to find that sweet spot that everyone wants but is not necessarily willing to flip the scale. We could go on and on about attribution windows with regards to mobile third parties and or walled gardens as this is at its most basic form reporting that allows a growth marketer to ensure that the numbers balance out. It’s frustrating for some to depend on measurement solely for the element of checks and balances. Optimization should be the key including retargeting and KPI alignment. A lot of discussion may be centered around media partners and which ones generate the best results. A rule of thumb that probably still holds credence today is to test new ones that can be vetted to avoid duplication and to forge out new channels of acquisition that otherwise could not be obtained at the same price point. Testing is the only way to keep the big boys in check as algorithmic changes are typically modified to benefit the platform not the advertiser.  

So, what really does it take to be an awesome growth director? There is no one answer that fits all, but if one had to pick the one golden attribute it would be about understanding the customer and how their needs or feedback is noted regarding their experience. This is as easy as paying attention to the reviews in the app store and responding to them. It could also be executing changes and or promotions such as special offers that yield an outstanding uplift in revenue at the right time. At todoMobile, we believe that growth marketing is now inherently dependent on product roadmaps that include a UI UX revision and or ASO audit that will get to the core of organic growth. It’s not so much about how much one can spend on paid marketing, it is more about prioritizing projects that run in parallel with growth and complement planning, buying and optimization.   Here are our top 3 attributes of a good growth director. 

  1. Having the analytical skills to delve into the product first  
  2. Strong experience in planning across different verticals  
  3. Solid negotiation authority to pinpoint anomalies & to win  

Another overlooked area is understanding what media partners position themselves as networks but truly only act as agencies. This type of behaviour has been dominating the space for several years now. Getting direct access of strong inventory has become more and more challenging and the advertiser has suffered as a result. It can become daunting when one is attempting to navigate the space and is not aware of the true situation. Having a good growth director who knows the reality of the ecosystem is one thing, but truly having the relationship and or trading history with the top networks is another.  

October 12th 2021

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