8 Signs of a Growth Marketer

Are you a data driven marketer aka growth hacker? This list is compiled from the moments when others have called me out for being being a data marketing junkie. Sound familiar?

10 Signs that You’re a Growth Marketer

1. You don’t find it odd that you’re writing marketing copy in Google Spreadsheets. After all, you have at least 5 of them open at any one time, so this only makes life easier with less app switching. Sections of bite sized text works best – ad copy, intro blurbs, and email headlines all lend well. My personal favorite? Video scripts. Place script versions in separate columns for great side-by-side comparisons. The fact that you can do text analysis on this later is just icing on the cake.

2. Your relatives and friends balk at being labeled “just another data point”.Like any good data-driven marketer you invariably collect market research wherever you go, which includes family dinners and social outings. But given that the sample size at Uncle Bob’s picnic is likely small, not to mention biased, you are careful not to let it sway your decision making immediately, noting down responses for future analysis. When your mom phones you up and says that your company’s mobile app is hard to use, you tell her as it is – you need more data!

3. You have trust issues with industry reports.
Somebody sends you a report that’s just been published by a research firm or competitor, a report that contains nuggets and insights into your industry that can validate or debunk your strategy. So what’s the first thing you do? That’s right, you scroll past everything, including the headlines your colleagues are already quoting, until you hit the footnotes. There, in the land of tiny 8-point fonts, is where you sip your coffee and allow yourself a Machiavellian sneer. Let’s see if their approach holds muster against your standards. Did they impute? What are the confidence intervals? Did they ask leading questions? You happily delve into every detail, but at the end of the day, the marketer in you knows it mostly doesn’t matter. Perception is reality. Sigh.

4. You get a lot of blank stares.
Straddling the true line between marketing and technology, art and science, can be a bit … lonely. You can tell a marketer that your team does 2-week sprints only to have them think that your team does long group workouts. Or, you can speak at a data conference about how attribution modeling affects organizational behavior only to get yawns. “Does that mean your decision tree algorithm was more successful than the neural network?” somebody asks. “It doesn’t matter,” you say. “The point is that in either case the marketers being measured are being incentivized to do the wrong thing.” Blank stares. If you’re not getting it, that’s part of my point.

5. You can’t be classified as either introverted or extroverted.
Because frankly, you are both at the same time. Your data-driven tendencies means you can spend days at a computer running R scripts and creating Python dataframes for creating models, charts, and analyses. The marketing part of you balances that out with networking events, speaking in front of press, or rallying a team. I’ve personally taken many MBTI surveys over the years, and I’ve wavered back and forth between the I and the E – I’m always very borderline.

6. You can’t get over design deficiencies with data websites.
For bedtime reading you go and hit up your favorite reader or network and probably land on articles from AdAge, TechCrunch, Moz, GrowthHackers, etc. But then you’ll be looking up solutions to specific problems – marketing automation, tagging, datawarehousing, hiring data scientists – and you’ll end up on sites like CrossValidated and  Data Science Central with a big frown. There’s lots of great content, but where is the white space?! Who selected these fonts and where is the judicial use of ALL CAPs??

7. You wish the term “SQL” didn’t have so many definitions.
B2C marketers might not run into this as much, but B2B marketers will know – Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) are a top goal, if not THE top goal for the marketing department. The fact that anybody with a tech background uses the same term to refer to Structured Query Languages is just plain annoying.Me: “Let’s see what drove that increase last week”
Team member A: “Sure, I’ll look at the SQLs”
Team member B: “Why don’t I do it, I wrote them”
Team member A: “You made up our results?!”
Team member B: “No, just the SQL”
Team member A: <Eyebrows raised> “….”

8. You help get kids started on fundamentals early.
When teaching the alphabet, P is for p-value, S is for standard deviation, and R is for correlation coefficient. When watching YouTube videos, you point out the difference between using TrueView and traditional impression tracking for ad measurement. For their 5th birthday, you get them into Google Analytics. And bedtime reading? This of course.

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