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Why Marketing Titles Don’t Mean Much

As recruiting veterans, we can tell you, marketing titles can be odd and dangerous. Often people make assumptions about a title based on what that title means in the companies they work for/have worked for when in actuality one title can have many different functions and outputs required.

Let’s start with Digital Marketer - a prime example of a vague title

It could mean general website management, organic content creation, SEO and link building, social media, or any mix of the aforementioned activities. 

Or it could mean someone who has a quota of X number downloads per month while adhering to a strict 3:1 CAC ratio. Or someone who needs to run a set number of monthly outbound campaigns in order to generate a set number of inquiries that turn into future deals; something more similar to what a Growth Marketer would handle.

Then there’s that ever-so-mysterious title Growth Marketing

Generally speaking, all marketing and all sales contribute to "growth" and are in some way part of the "growth strategy." However, from our experience working with employers who are recruiting for a Growth Marketer, there is a real distinction in what this means: activities are directly focused on acquiring net-new customers. However, that is often where the similarities end.  

For a tech company whose product is used by consumers, "growth" may not always mean actual revenue. Growth Marketers here are tasked with growing users. Or growing the number of app store downloads. Or growing the number of conversions from the freemium product to the paid subscription version. They have a quota and metrics to which they are held accountable. 

For example, if I download a fitness app and begin using it to track my food intake and exercise, the vendor has experienced a growth of 1 user, even though there is no revenue. Therefore a Growth Marketer of a consumer product is most likely focused on paid social campaigns in an attempt to get in front of their audience. They will focus on where their persona spends time, based on the data and online behaviour information they have access to. Meaning that depending on the audience,  those who also have held a Paid Social, App Store Marketing or even a Community Manager title may also be aligned for this specific “Growth Marketer” role. 

Whereas a Growth Marketer of a B2B SaaS product might also be called a Demand Generation marketer. They might be developing campaigns through social platforms (same as above) to get in front of the decision-makers of the type of software they're selling. Or they might be in a MAP (marketing automation platform) executing campaigns, drips, and running A/B tests to drive actions that drive "top of funnel" activities that will ultimately convert a lead to a sale. They too will have quotas and stats they are accountable for. 

What Growth Marketers are not

All of the examples mentioned above could hold the potential title of Growth Marketer. While the roles are varied in certain repsoilities and needed experience, they are similar in the fact they are directly responsible for driving growth and achieving growth quotes - similar to their counterparts in sales. These other types (content creation, event management, social media, SEO) work together to grow a business, but they are most often more distanced from the growth numbers. Examples include Content Marketers, Branding, Communications, etc. To muddy the water more, a lot of these titles will be labelled as a Digital Marketer, which as we mentioned at the start can sometimes be a title for someone focused on growth …. Confused yet?

So what does this all mean… 

Due to titles being extremely misleading, we recommend candidates do the following to clearly articulate their role on their resumes and LinkedIn profiles:

  1. In one sentence explain the mandate for which you were hired
  2. Outline what you have accomplished in your roles with as many metrics, stats and numbers as possible
  3. List the tech platforms you used to achieve those numbers  

Doing so will help to ensure you don’t get glossed over in a preliminary assessment because your title said Digital Marketing, not Growth Marketer, when in fact your role was extremely aligned to the Growth role you’d like to apply for. 

This also means you shouldn’t focus on titles alone when looking for an opportunity. Take the time to read the responsibilities of the opportunity as it could be a perfect next step that you potentially missed due to simple title confusion.

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