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My problem with growth marketers

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So yesterday I had an interesting chat with a growth marketer in the SaaS space.

Not naming names.

Anyway, it was a cool discussion, we did some brainstorming.

But there was something weirdly irritating in what this growth marketer kept bringing up.

Something that underlines how dangerous this role can be if not done properly or for the right reasons.

Hell, you might be already have been plagued by it if you’ve hired a growth marketer (if you’re one yourself, sorry to spill the beans).

And it’s something I always talk about (because all the masters I’ve learned from, stamped it indelibly into my head).

It’s about principles, vs tactics.

It was as clear as day. All this person cared about was finding the next tactic, the next hack.

In order to grow a company they were just getting started at.

One example:

They started talking about this idea of building a community around their product.

A clear red flag was when they started mentioning how “now all products have communities around them, and you have to give it a theme, a focus”.

Is this the right way to think about it?

I don’t think so.

Main reason is, if we go back to principles vs tactics, your audience might not want or even need a community.

How many overcrowded but completely dead Slack channels or Discords do we want to put out there?

Forget about community.

Forget about focusing it on a theme.

What I would do first and foremost, since they have product market fit is simple.

Not easy, but simple.

Ask your damn market.

You’ll make them a favor and if they don’t want it, it’ll be a double favor. No more useless groups where self serving “hackers” just try to promote their stuff.

You might, counter this with “But my market doesn’t know what they want!”.

Yeah they do, if you know how to ask the right questions.

Something I do for my clients on a daily basis, with surveys, interviews, website polls and more.

Another point to be aware of…

Problem with growth marketers is that they go wide, rather than deep.

Some can really get great results, don’t get me wrong, but the majority just spread too thin.

And it’s always about the latest hack. Yet another tool they can add to their arsenal (and resume).

There’s a great quote from Stephen King’s “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank’s redemption” book.

Red, the narrator is looking at some statues that Andy the main character has carved, by hand in prison and goes:

“I think about what a man can do, if he has time enough and the will to use it, a drop at a time.”

It’s about patience, about doing things that work and focusing on those. One drop at a time.

So what are you going to focus on next?

If you need some guidance let’s talk.

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