Future of Growth Marketing

What trends propel growth mindset? What do they indicate about future of growth marketing? What should students and aspiring growth marketers study right now to prepare for this role?

Key trends that are propelling growth marketing: 

We are seeing a new department called “Growth” appear prominently in the organization charts. Growth marketing is taking over some aspects of traditional marketing and sales. It is also gaining influence over many other aspects such as operations, support, product development, etc.Following key trends are propelling proliferation of growth marketing:

1. A greater need for agility. 
Growth marketing was born to exploit digital capabilities and survive in this really fast moving environment. Big data let us understand each consumer better, and social media let us target these consumers at a personal level. Business need to be agile to thrive in this environment. 

2. A leveled playing field. 
It’s no longer true that the player with highest marketing spend will win the greatest market share - you no longer have to buy extremely costly TV commercials to spread your message. A small company with a viral social media campaign has a better chance of winning a larger market share than a bigger company with big bill board ads. 

3. A shift in consumer behavior, they demand personalization. 
Consumers are no longer satisfied with standard offerings, they desire offerings to be tailored to their own specific needs, situation or wants. This requires a different kind of mindset. A traditional marketer equipped with new digital tools was not going to be enough. A fundamental shift in how we think about targeting a consumer was needed.

Future of growth marketing:

Field of growth marketing is in a state of constant evolution. As technology, regulation and consumer behavior changes, the activities performed by the growth function will also change. But the function of growth marketing is here to stay as it aligns all activities of a company to the sole purpose of attaining sustainable growth by constantly generating value for the customer. 

1. Strengthening privacy laws will impact how we reach out to consumers. 
In future, we are going to see increasingly stringent privacy laws, that are going to make personalization difficult. We will see a tug-of-war between the demand for personalization and concern for privacy. In my opinion, it just means we will have to do more with less, and build algorithms which will allow us to target a specific consumer without violating their privacy. 

2. Digital offerings will be more stringently regulated.
Governments across the world have mostly failed to figure out how to best oversee purely digital services. They have been trying to play catch up, and are still way behind. As the digital economy surpasses the value generated by the physical services, governments will define stringent laws to regulate digital businesses. The digital overseeing bodies will be strengthened and we will see their influence in shaping the overall digital landscape. 

3. Consumers will be more empowered; ethical growth will be norm. 
Despite lengthy and hidden “Terms and conditions” that consumers consent to, consumers will be empowered more and more - giving them the right to question digital businesses when they are harmed by them. For growth marketers, it means that we need to stick to the tenants of conducting an ethical business. If our mindset is to “Intend no harm, do no harm”, there is a greater chance that we will not find ourselves in legal jeopardy. 

4. AI will be important; mentoring AI will be a huge part of Growth marketer's role. 
We will see new AI solutions enabling better control over marketing strategy and execution. AI will gather data and generate insights in real-time to provide decision support to marketers. It just won’t stop at being a decision support tool, but will also take micro decisions autonomously as AI can interact with each consumer at an individual level. 

Imagine a fluid consumer journey, content and set of capabilities which gets defined based on who wants to use the product. At that point, growth marketer will have to treat AI as another employee, and train, review and manage its work on a day to day basis. 

5. Growth marketing will become mainstream. 
Growth marketers job is no longer confined to marketing strategy and campaign execution - we have gained a larger influence over rest of the functions in the organization. These functions expect the growth marketer to utilize their growth mind set and lead them through viable insights, experimentation mentality, and persistent sense of urgency. Many C-suite leaders of traditional companies are recognizing the crucial part played by a growth marketer and are actively making space for them in their organization chart. 

In my opinion, this is a much stronger trend than any of the above trends that we have looked at so far. Growth marketer would be expected to be more strategic, be more interdisciplinary and showcase leadership abilities. We have been working with other functions for years - but just on a need basis. Now we will have to own it and incorporate coordination with other functions as a regular item in the roster of our daily work items. 

Focus areas for aspiring growth marketers:

Current and the aspiring marketers will have to keep an eye on the evolving trends, evaluate their skills and continuously work on evolving them. Here are a few key learning items that are crucial:

1. Learn to manage AI. 
Start working with AI solutions of today and be better placed to work with AI solutions of tomorrow. Understand AI’s capabilities and limitations - and build a mental framework of your own job responsibilities. 

2. Keep up on privacy concepts. 
Respect privacy needs of target consumers. Develop a ethical growth doctrine for yourself, talk about it with peers - disseminate it and evolve it.

3. Become interdisciplinary. 
Start actively interacting with other functions of your organization - not just to fulfill your own need but to rather gain a better understandings of challenges they face and capabilities they bring to the table.


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