If you’re just starting to make your way in growth marketing, it can be difficult to know where to begin. There are so many blogs, books, cohort-based courses, and thought leaders, and it seems like everyone has their own unique take on growth.
But while strategies and tactics continue to evolve, the fundamentals remain consistent, and some advice remains evergreen.
In this post, we’re sharing ten tips from some of the top growth marketing minds in the world. We’ve included advice from leaders from all kinds of industries, from SaaS to DTC, so no matter what you’re working on, we bet you’ll find something that’s directly applicable.
Each of these growth marketers brings a different perspective. But one thing they all have in common? A proven track record of delivering huge growth, at scale.
As you read these quotes, think about the lessons you can apply to your business, interrogate your current strategies, and reflect on what you might change going forward.
We’re excited to see where you go.
#1 Cynthia Kleinbaum Milner on Customer Experience
A seasoned marketing leader with experience leading teams at Bonobos and Gilt Groupe, Cynthia Kleinbaum Milner is now at Walmart, and leads marketing for Walmart+, Mobile, and Online Pickup & Delivery.
Heading up growth initiatives at the world’s largest retailer might seem complicated, but for Cynthia, it’s all about keeping the customer experience simple.
“Simplifying the customer experience enables higher conversion rates and better retention. It allows companies to use resources more effectively—if you’re always working towards a small number of goals, and everyone is aligned on what success looks like, it’s easier to optimize your human and financial resources, enabling synergies”
#2 Gabriel Weinberg on Finding Scalable, Effective Growth Tactics
Gabriel Weinberg is the CEO & Founder of DuckDuckGo, a search engine that puts user privacy front and center. He’s also the co-author of two best-selling books: Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth and Super Thinking: The Big Book of Mental Models.
As a founder taking on the behemoth that is Google Search, Gabriel’s focus is on constantly iterating to find highly scalable growth tactics. Here’s an excerpt from Traction, where he shares his thoughts on how startups should configure their growth marketing stack:
“The faster you run high quality experiments, the more likely you’ll find scalable, effective growth tactics. Determining the success of a customer acquisition idea is dependent on an effective tracking and reporting system, so don’t start testing until your tracking/reporting system has been implemented.”
#3 Lucy Heskins on Customer-Led Growth
In a recent interview with TechCrunch, Lucy shared the concept of customer-led growth, a strategy startups can use to optimize every aspect of their customer journey, improving experiences and driving significant growth:
“Look at the entire customer journey, from the struggle stage right through to when they’re a customer, and break each section down to where there’s an opportunity for growth. It’s really helpful for startups—especially post-COVID because chances are, your customers’ needs have changed.”
#4 Eric Ries on Vanity Metrics v. Actionable Metrics
Eric Ries is the best-selling author of The Lean Startup, a book widely regarded as an essential manual for founders and growth marketers. Drawing on his background as a successful founder and investor, Ries proposes a framework that focuses on rapid testing and iteration to reach product-market fit as fast as possible.
In this guest post on Tim Ferris’ blog, Ries discusses the importance of focusing on actionable metrics over vanity metrics:
“The only metrics that entrepreneurs should invest energy in collecting are those that help them make decisions. Unfortunately, the majority of data available in off-the-shelf analytics packages are what I call Vanity Metrics. They might make you feel good, but they don’t offer clear guidance for what to do.”
#5 Joanna Wiebe on Effective Copywriting
Effective copywriting is central to every growth marketing strategy – regardless of what your business sells. As the cofounder of Copyhackers, Joanna Wiebe is regarded as the original conversion copywriter.
These days, she helps digital marketers and entrepreneurs sharpen their copywriting skills through a series of online courses. Here’s one of her most fundamental tips about copywriting for growth:
“Here’s the only thing you’re selling, no matter what business you’re in and what you ship: you’re selling your prospects a better version of themselves.”
#6 Ryan Holiday on Growth Loops
Ryan Holiday’s book, Growth Hacker Marketing, explores the mindset of growth hackers, teaching readers the core principles of growth hacking in an accessible, concise manner.
Though the book was published back in 2013, the lessons still hold up today, including this tip about the compounding effects of growth marketing:
“Growth hacking is about scalability––ideally, you want your marketing efforts to bring in users, which then bring in more users.”
#7 Laura Fitton on Value Proposition
For any business to be successful, it has to solve a clear customer problem. Laura Fitton knows that better than most.
After pioneering the use of Twitter as a growth marketing channel, she spent eight years at Hubspot teaching companies how to leverage inbound marketing. These days, she’s working on a new startup that’s putting market forces to work solving climate change.
Here’s her advice on defining your company’s value proposition:
“Focus on the core problem your business solves and put out lots of content and enthusiasm and ideas about how to solve that problem.”
#8 Brian Balfour on Building a Growth Machine
The ultimate goal of growth marketing is to build a scalable growth machine, but that’s far from easy, as Brian Balfour, former VP of Growth at Hubspot, will attest.
On his blog, he shares thoughtful essays on user acquisition and growth strategies, which include this nugget of advice on building a scalable growth strategy:
“The reality of growth is that there is never a silver bullet. This doesn’t mean you won’t have experiments that produce outlier results. You absolutely will. Most outliers result from combined learnings of a bunch of previous experiments. They come from knowing your channel, product, and customer better than anyone else on the market and taking informed risks based on those learnings.”
#9 Kristin Luck on Building Brand Awareness
Kristin Luck is the Founder and Managing Partner of ScaleHouse, a management consulting firm that helps startups scale. She’s founded and sold several successful companies, has helped launch dozens of brands, and regularly writes in publications like Forbes and The Journal of Brand Strategy.
Here’s her advice on how businesses can grow brand awareness:
“A brand launch or awareness push should be a coordinated multichannel strategy. Ensure you’re building a strategy that incorporates every potential client touchpoint, from your website to social media, to utilizing press and media outlets.”
#10 Julian Shapiro on Content Marketing
Julian Shapiro is the founder of DemandCurve, a full-service growth marketing agency that also provides training programs to marketing teams around the world. He writes about growth marketing extensively on his blog, Twitter profile, and in TechCrunch.
His handbook on Growing a Startup is a must-read for founders and growth marketers, covering every phase of growth marketing in great detail. Here’s an excerpt explaining his thoughts on content marketing:
“Content marketing applies to every business. There’s no reason not to test it. But content marketing is no longer a factory farm approach. There are no reliable SEO shortcuts. Content has to be extremely high quality and must satisfy the searcher’s intent. And it has to be optimized for conversion.”
Embracing a Growth Mindset
There’s plenty of growth marketing thought leaders out there, and new ones are emerging all the time. The growth marketing community is active on Twitter, and there’s a lot of podcasts and additional growth marketing blogs where you can dive deeper on all kinds of growth topics.
Consume this content with an open mind, but make sure to question how the strategies and tactics that are discussed apply to your business.
Did we miss any of your favorite growth marketers out here? Drop the team a message and let us know!
Hello, I’m Christian! I’m a Search and Content Marketing Manager based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I’ve spent the past seven years creating content for software, financial, and hospitality companies. If I’m not combing through keyword lists and coming up with SEO strategies, I’m probably working out, hiking in the mountains, or planning a trip somewhere cool.