Day to Day difference between traditional PM and Growth PM

How does the difference from an outcome/scope perspective actually manifest in the day-to-day operations? It sounds like a ton of experimentation and data analysis (which might be similar to some PM roles) but less heavy on things like user research and GTM planning (just examples).

Anyone who’s transitioned from one or the other care to highlight key differences, so others can determine which is a fit for them?


“Growth PM” is a made up title.

Every PM job will be different. The only people who can answer his are the people working in and hiring for this position in this company. There are no standard definitions or expectations.


Functional Area is the product you’re on. This could be privacy, infrastructure, user features for the variety of software, ar/vr etc.

Archetype is the type of PM you are. This is usually defined top down, via management chain. We have: 0-1 space (entrepreneur), growth (scaling an existing product), generalist (utility player), specialist (where industry specific knowledge is required), and Captain (the drivers of super complex multi org, transformative products)

So, you can technically be any of these archetypes on any product. Growth specifically, for us, is focused on taking that existing product, that has product market fit already (typically the realm of the entrepreneur) and growing users, engagement, revenue etc (whatever the goals you set).

That said, most are generalists


Thanks for the explanation! I was always wondering how that worked out!


The work is different and title tries to define that - it’s as much of a made up title as any.

Here’s a good reforge article that tries to explain the different PM roles based on the work that those PMs do - The Growing Specialization of Product Management — Reforge

"Product managers that focus on Growth work are Growth PMs (yes, this is the most intuitive specialization naming!). Growth PMs are typically laser focused on the customer’s journey with a product, through the lens of business metrics like acquisition, CAC, sign ups, free trial starts, conversion/purchase rates, monetization, ARPU, and retention.

Although there may be slight overlap with Core PMs, Growth PMs usually focus on parts of the experience related to sign up/registration, onboarding, conversion/monetization, pricing, referrals/sharing, retention/transaction moments, and revenue growth.

Some other names (and sub-specialities) for Growth PM = Activation PM, Engagement PM, Retention PM, Monetization PM, Conversion PM, Growth infra PM. To learn more about growth work and growth PMs, check out Reforge’s Growth Series, our flagship program on how companies grow and how to think about growth in your own role.

Key Growth PM skills = experimentation, optimization, speed to deploy, marketing skills, financial / experimentation modeling, quick decision making, channel-based skills like SEO, pricing philosophy, solid data and statistics skills, iterative development

Extra close collaboration with: Finance, Data, Marketing."

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Growth PM role is not a made up role like some claims here nor similar to Product Marketing Management. As a Core Product Manager who has just switched to a Growth PM role, some of my observations are that

  • The metrics you the need to move the needle for are directly business related, like activation and signup to customer conversions, etc.
  • The processes are the same, you work as PM with POs but the nature of your epics and stories are more experimental rather than building products from scratch or comprehensive interactions
  • You are more in collaboration with external stakeholders like the sales team since you will need to align them in most projects while working to boost business-related conversions.

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