How to solve the decision making problem between growth team and marketing?


(Tayga Baltacioglu) #1

Guys, we created a growth team inside of the company, and there is a separate marketing team as well. The growth team is focusing on activation, retention, referral, revenue and a little bit of acquisition side but sometimes they try to hit the acquisition metric too. So, the problem is, marketing team is a little bit offended by the ideas that GT created and it could decrease the growth speed. Can I get your opinions about how can we solve this process much more comfortable and smooth? Is there anyone facing the same problem?


(Chris Ruder) #2

Can you give a bit more detail on what the marketing team is responsible for? That would help paint a complete picture.


(Tayga Baltacioglu) #3

Hi Chris, marketing team is taking care of branding, performance marketing (google, facebook , etc) and taking care of all the new customer acquisitions actions. Imagine that 2 departments running in the same direction but sometimes they swich the lanes.( like marketing team has ideas about retention and growth team has ideas about acquisition) .


(Alin) #4

It’s interesting how this discussion evolved, a few years back it was the aligned between sales and marketing, now it’s marketing and growth.

Why don’t the growth + marketing team have a weekly meetings to discuss objectives?
Usually the growth team should handle discovering new channels and marketing while the marketing team implements it ( in the idea that if the growth team wants to try an experimental campaign they will need the marketing team to implement it )

There should be 2 delegated team leads in this case that swap ideas. If there are commissions involved, they may prove an issue for department competition.


(Kingi Gilbert) #5

I am currently experiencing the same problem on a contract, but this client is a Government agency, not a SaaS business. Although the core function in my unit is to connect with communities (and to do this at a speed that matches community growth = facebook growth). I am a believer in eDemocracy and eGovernance. Unfort the older generation that make decisions in the agency dont know anything about growth. They run a linear funnel. Make campaign -> pump -> dump -> next campaign. I feel your pain! My job is to educate up the chain.


(Bill King) #6

I’m all for collaboration at the project level, but also giving individuals the autonomy and room to not only own something, but to feel enabled. For example - your growth team might say “hey we have an activation problem with X cohort”. At the project level there’s a ton of good collaboration, but you need to make sure that each input owns a KPI (or clear piece of the project). It’s not about finger pointing, it’s about learning & getting better.

PS - our GT are a centralized data & insights team with Ops chops, they enable our growth units (sales, marketing, etc) with data that we use to fuel growth and it’s really the directional data points that influence action. I know that’s not typical of companies, but it really works for us and has removed some of the friction that may have occurred with a traditional growth team.


(Andrew Chen) #7

I wrote a bit about this here, as part of #3. https://andrewchen.co/how-to-build-a-growth-team/

In the end, both teams should prioritize what is best for the product (and company!). That’s the overriding thing. On the other hand, some of the acquisition ideas will live in marketing because they have control of levers like ad spend, or email marketing, etc. But product-driven user acquisition is real, and it’s worth exploring as well. Viral growth, referral programs, etc. in particular are product-driven.

If I were them, I’d get the entire team together - both growth and marketing - and host an offsite to brainstorm all the possible ideas, regardless of project ownership. Once they come up with the best set of ideas, then they can figure out how both teams can help. And both will be able to. And then you figure out staffing and ownership last.

There’s the scenario where the teams are both dysfunctional to do that, in which case the CEO has to get involved to resolve. Hopefully doesn’t get to that.


(Dane Madsen) #8

To add, the path forward depends on your history. Are you a sales driven company or a marketing driven company? I know that is simplistic, but in a marketing driven company often the sales/growth people do not support the vision, mission, and ambition that makes up the DNA of the organization. As a result, where sales is a highly competitive environment, they can often miss the nuances that have been baked into the marketing plan. As others have stated, you must get the people together and onto the same message. Having two departments competing internally will tear you apart.

I differ in the point about the CEO though: that person must be involved at the beginning and the values must reflect what has been set for the company, not just this product. The CEO is the protector and keeper of the flame.


(Tayga Baltacioglu) #9

Guys thank you so much for all ideas! I’ll let you know how we fix that problem or how we couldnt:)