Growth Marketing Teams

The Rise of Growth Marketing, Growth Hacking and Growth Teams

Since Sean Ellis coined the term ‘Growth Hacking’ in the early 2000s, growth teams have become a departmental necessity for many Silicon Valley tech startups who are serious about maintaining their valuations.

Growth teams help bridge the divide that frequently exists between product, engineering, data science and marketing.

More recently, traditional service businesses have embraced the power of these cross-functional, data-led teams as a way to increase market share and revenue.

Establishing a Growth Mindset

Effective Growth Marketing involves mixing the disparate functions of data analysis, computer engineering and marketing.

In the non-tech world, elements of this approach can be replicated by incorporating a similar multi-functional, data-driven approach that is heavily dependent on periodic experimental testing and validation.

Often this involves an admission that the dominant advertising agency-led model may not be the most effective way to generate growth.

Defining Growth Metrics

Instead of achieving ‘reach’ metrics and assuming a causation to revenue, a growth marketing mindset instead relies upon directing teams towards the achievement of lower funnel goal such as sales or high CLV customer acquisitions.

Perhaps the most critical part of the growth process is defining exactly what growth is to the organisation. Is it sales or is it revenue. Is it high CLV customer acquisition or new customers?

Often one metric (referred to as the Northstar) will be the lead performance objective, but other metrics will contribute to this Northstar. Proving these correlations and causation will be the central role of your data scientists.

Growth Team Structures

All growth teams should bring together personnel who have a deep understanding of the overall business strategy and goals.

Data analysis is required to feed product modifications with the help of marketers and designers who will then get engineering to implement. Often small experimentation phrases will precipitate larger roll-outs.

Most teams have the following roles:

  • Growth lead
  • Product Manager
  • Software Engineers
  • Marketing Specialists
  • Data Analyst
  • Product Designers (can be part of the marketing or product role above)

The Growth Process

The dominant ‘Pirate’ AARRR model is popular, however more recently the concept of Growth Loops has been an popular evolution to this existing theme.

A – Acquisition – new customers/users

A – Activation – user experience, onboarding

R – Retention – limiting churn and keeping customers engaged

R – Revenue – converting unpaid to paid customers and optimizing revenue potential

R – Referral – leveraging the existing customer base for growth

Is Growth Confined to Tech?

If the service offering isn’t digital, the engineering role would be instead be replaced by an operational implementation equivalent. We’ve adapted the growth process for traditional business models successfully multiple times, although we find it does require a readjustment in the mindset of existing marketing teams in order to be successful.

Growth Hacking vs Growth Marketing

The term growth hacking refers to the process of finding vulnerabilities or exploits (usually via software engineering methods) in order to increase the yield of future marketing efforts. For example, certain scraping tools can be used to extract profile information from Facebook, LinkedIn or other websites that include email addresses, names and phone numbers. These data can then be uploaded into other communication vehicles such as emailing programs or advertising systems, in order to hyper-target these individuals in an efficient manner, consequently reducing the cost of communication.

The terms growth hacking has largely been replaced by ‘growth marketing’ or just ‘growth’ however. Typically only smaller ‘scrappy’ startups will employ growth hackers in an official capacity. Larger more reputable businesses will generally avoid the use of the term ‘hacking’ due to it’s negative connotations and instead refer to roles as ‘Head of Growth’ or ‘Growth Manager’ or ‘Growth Lead’.

 Growth Consulting

Depending on your particular requirements, our growth consultants provide assistance to organisations in different stages of their growth cycle.

This could involve audits through to implementation frameworks, vendor due diligence, talent sourcing or even employee training.

Alternatively, you may need assistance with growth strategies or a review of internal systems.


Growth Advisory

A number of startups, SME’s and corporate companies hire us on a retainer as a Growth Advisor to ensure internal teams are kept on track. As opposed to a short term consultant contract, a growth adviser is usually a commitment for 6-12 months minimum.

Growth Marketing Agency

Separate to James Hammon Advisory, our James Hammon & Co agency can assist with the execution of growth marketing campaigns. Visit this website here or call the same central phone number found in the footer of this page.

Connect with our Lead Growth Consultant

James Hammon’s growth consulting division is led by ex-Silicon Valley growth manager  John James.

John’s 12 year background in traditional advertising and marketing lends a holistic perspective to his modern growth consulting work. He’s personally led the digital product development and marketing of 100’s of SaaS platforms and websites. He’s also met personally with Sean Ellis in LA, even teaching him some important Champagne sabrage skills.

It’s rare to find someone who can hold his own with branding experts one minute and then be involved in a coding project the next with the engineering team and speak their language.

Connect with John via LinkedIn today or enquire via this website to start a conversation.

Additional Reading


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