A query for existing Growth PMs

What does a PM - Growth’s typical day look like? What are the obstacles? What is the role’s logical progression? It seems like a smooth method to get to the director’s position. Would like a more detailed description than what is normally given in job requirements.

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I had to wrap my brain around this as I transitioned from core to growth. This is my personal experience with SW, and I’m sure that varies by company.

Making changes to your thoughts and strategy to a hyper-focused area makes a significant difference. Growth often concentrates on activation/monetization journeys with tests along the route to explore how you can make a difference there. For instance, does a particular group of your users like a different setup method, which results in a rise in signups? you can upgrade your plan using self-serve features. After that, basically you’re tweaking things to improve monetization and activation.

With core work, there is typically a greater probability of success because you are solving the issue for the broadest user group (or having the greatest impact). To ensure that it is accessible to a wide range of users, the function could be “generalized.” You then go on to the following issue. You hardly ever get to iterate on the minor things until you’re rebuilding because the issue space is typically larger and there are much too many areas to concentrate on.

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Well, that was very helpful @DianneStinger. Thanks for sharing your personal experience. What I am concerned about is the role I am playing at my current position as a Growth PM. It’s more like a Technical PM. They expect me to interact and guide the engs and the technical team.

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It’s merely pretentious rhetoric that doesn’t truly signify anything. Having said that, anyone who utilizes that term in a posting is attempting to set themselves apart from people who are more strategically minded.

Make sure you have strong communication and stakeholder management skills and learn what it means to prioritize.

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It’s not uncommon for the role of a Product Manager (Growth) to overlap with that of a Technical Product Manager. In many cases, a Growth PM is expected to work closely with the engineering and technical teams to develop and launch new features and products that drive user acquisition and retention.

As a Growth PM in a technical-heavy role, your main responsibilities may include:

  1. Identifying and analyzing user behavior, engagement, and conversion data to identify growth opportunities.
  2. Developing and implementing strategies to increase user acquisition and retention, with a focus on technical solutions.
  3. Collaborating with cross-functional teams, such as design and engineering, to develop and launch new features and products.
  4. Managing the product development process, including prioritizing features, tracking progress, and communicating with stakeholders.
  5. Communicating effectively with cross-functional teams, such as engineers and technical teams, to guide them in the development and launch of new features and products.
  6. Staying up-to-date with the latest industry trends and technologies and being able to communicate it to the technical team.

The challenges that you may face in this role include:

  1. Balancing competing priorities, such as user acquisition, retention, and technical feasibility.
  2. Understanding and communicating technical requirements and constraints to non-technical stakeholders.
  3. Managing the trade-offs between short-term growth and long-term sustainability, while ensuring that the product is technically sound.
  4. Staying up-to-date with the latest industry trends and technologies.
  5. Communicating effectively with cross-functional teams and stakeholders.

If you find yourself in this role, it’s important to have a solid understanding of the technical aspects of the product, as well as the ability to communicate effectively with engineers and other technical team members. Additionally, it’s important to have a growth mindset, being able to think creatively and come up with new ideas for driving user acquisition and retention, while also ensuring that the product is technically sound.

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I am responsible for “growing” one area of the business in my capacity as an IC PM.

Although I agree that it is a fancy term, I believe that it has been given that designation to encourage this kind of thinking. To put things in perspective, we are developing for a new consumer segment; prior goods were targeted at other categories. I work as a PM to develop features for this market.

You are still the PM, and strategy and execution are highly valued.

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@RohitKumar, Would you say a big part of your work is market research and competitor analysis?

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A big part is execution, that is making sure we deliver on our initiatives and align with the business. Another one is connecting with the customers on a regular basis.

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Yes, IMO market research and competitor analysis are important aspects of a Product Manager’s work, particularly for a Growth PM. As a Growth PM, it is essential to have a deep understanding of the market, the customers and the competition. This knowledge is crucial to identify opportunities for growth and to make informed product decisions.

Conducting regular market research and competitor analysis can help a Product Manager to make informed decisions and to develop a product strategy that is aligned with the market and the customers. This helps the Growth PM to create a better product that addresses the customer’s needs and also it helps to increase the chances of success in the market.

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I ran a Growth Team. Growth PMs on my team were responsible for funnels and talking to customers in an effort to uncover problems and needs. In a lot of ways, they were responsible for the P & L of their features, flows, and team. Was a lot of fun, but hard work.

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@RohitKumar, Sounds like a lot of regular customer engagement. Were there tools used to record and track these customer interviews, or were PMs largely left to their own devices?

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Yes, we used usertesting.com and performed lots of in-store interviews that we would document and share. I worked with the team to put in a process that they could all follow.

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What a growth PM does here is not really well understood. I’m a bit flabbergasted.

Traditionally, the marketing staff would be responsible for marketing your product to promote growth.

Growth teams are created to bridge the traditionally walled knowledge and communication between marketing and product teams by utilising all of the possibilities within the product itself to generate growth. Or, growth driven by products. You can accelerate growth in ways you hadn’t thought of by bringing those teams closer together and having PMs who can wear both a product and marketing hat.

How does one lower CAC? Which channels are the best values for us? How can we use those channels to their fullest potential? What options are there to maximise referrals? Exist any potential cross-channel engagement loops? (Considering the hooked model and the available external triggers: push, email, app badge.) How can pricing be optimised? Exist any opportunities to test network effects? Can we employ dynamic or user-generated content to boost organic SEO? (Consider Zapier’s initial growth strategy.)

According to my observations, a growth squad will run at a user to business ratio of 40% to 60% instead of 60% to 40% for a core product squad. When done correctly, they can also aid in fostering a culture of experimentation where knowledge is valued highly.

On a daily basis, you’re typically more concerned with increasing the velocity of your experiments than with major discoveries. How might the cost and friction of delivering an experiment be reduced? How do you involve the entire team such that the PM or design isn’t the reason the experiment fails?

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Even though I work for a startup, I do have some PM duties even though I am not one in particular. In order to boost customer retention, engagement, and activation through product modifications, the growth aspect of my role is centered on communicating with customers, understanding their product concerns, and responding to their feature requests.

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Like most PM responsibilities, this one is timing-dependent. A product that hasn’t taken off yet, is just getting started, is seeing significant adoption growth every quarter, appears to have plateaued, has plateaued and is declining, or has actually dropped below its highs of 2020–2021 and needs to get back on track, might be the company you’re joining. All of those circumstances—which affect user acquisition, engagement, and retention—could prompt a business to hire a PM to concentrate on growth, but they would provide drastically different expectations, issues, and demands.

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The biggest challenges of Growth PM:

Defining your role.

Defending your role.

Growing in your role.

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Nowadays, there are two roles in product: deciding what goes into the product (ie, product management) and deciding how to market/grow the product (ie., product marketing).

Both have the same problems. A continuous, never-ending stream of requests (whether for features or sales tools), and a limited set of resources. You simply cannot do everything that is requested.

Whether you’re in product management or product marketing, you need to be brutal in prioritizing and comfortable saying “No.”