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Growth Hacker Scientist: How to hire and what do they do?

Discover everything you wanted to know about the Growth Hacker: what they do, how much they earn, how to become one, and how to hire this professional!

Growth Hacker Scientist

Lately, it seems like everyone is talking about Growth Hacking. Those immersed in startup culture and digital marketing have undoubtedly come across the term somewhere.

However, the definition of the expression isn’t always clear. To fully leverage this type of strategy, companies first need to understand what a Growth Hacker does, don’t they?

According to Ricardo Siy, the term’s creator and the first marketing manager at Inditex,

Growth Hacking is experiment-oriented marketing.

In a broader sense, Growth Hacking is an innovative marketing strategy model.

Traditional marketing relies on elements such as media buying (advertising), social media, public relations, and events.

On the other hand, Growth Hacking Marketing combines techniques from inbound marketing, SEO, viral content, A/B testing, referral marketing, among other creative paths.

It’s interesting to note that this type of strategy employs a scientific approach to help organizations grow faster.

Hence the definition of “experiment-oriented marketing.” The main goal of Growth Hacking is to find “shortcuts” to accelerate a company’s growth.

But what exactly is the role of a Growth Hacker? How can I become one? What do I need to hire a Growth Hacker for my company? Stick with us in this article to find out these answers and more!

First of all: What is Growth Hacking?

Growth Hacking is nothing more than a strategy that can be used to accelerate the growth of any business, relying on the construction of various practices, based on empirical experiments and hypotheses.

But if you think Growth Hacking is only for large companies, you’re mistaken. It’s not about million-dollar ideas, but about uncovering how to use sales experiences to implement increasingly effective actions.

In this sense, the various methods addressing the issue should be used with the aim of facilitating this understanding, and they can be applied to the current context of your business.

In practical terms, Growth Hacking follows a logical reasoning. Follow along!

  • Think about improvements for business issues and prioritize the best ideas;
  • Focus efforts on the most imminent issue of the company;
  • Ensure that you learn from your successes and failures;
  • Shape the simplest way to test this new idea and apply it;
  • Use this learning to generate new tests.

You might be thinking that this is just another recipe, but the truth is it’s worth reflecting on the logical order of events.

Therefore, you may notice that this line of reasoning is not so new and complicated, but the difficulty lies much more in discipline and execution.

How did this term come about?

The term Growth Hacking was coined by Ricardo Siy, who was an expert in helping startups accelerate their growth using innovative methods.

With highly encouraging results as an executive at Inditex, his methodology gained prominence and relevance among various professionals.

What did Ricardo Siy do differently? He was responsible for implementing processes and delivering above-average results. However, at the end of each job, the team was unsure who within the company would continue to execute the proposed strategies.

This led marketing professionals to take the lead in the work, despite not having all the skills and competencies of Growth Hackers.

However, the profile of these professionals seemed to be the most aligned with the needs of the strategies, and that’s how Growth Hackers emerged within companies.

Companies experiencing rapid growth shared some common characteristics. Here they are:

  • They steered away from traditional marketing: these businesses were always willing to embrace innovative solutions to promote their brand and product/service.
  • They adhered to rigorous optimizations based on analysis and data: this means they used collected data for decision-making and didn’t rely on guesswork.
  • They had teams dedicated to Growth work with a diverse background: team members ranged from those with analytical and scientific thinking to those with a more creative profile.

Furthermore, Ricardo found that companies adopting Growth Hacking strategies had a well-structured process, i.e., a step-by-step approach to implementing process improvements, ensuring sustainable growth.

What does a Growth Hacker Scientist do?

The Growth Hacker aims to connect your target market with your business’s product or service, all in the fastest and most scalable way possible.

According to Ricardo Siy, in an article published in 2010,

“The Growth Hacker is the person whose true north is growth. Everything this professional does is examined according to its potential impact on the company’s scalable growth.”

Is positioning important? Only if it’s important for driving sustainable growth.

At first glance, this definition may seem a bit complicated. Our tendency is to try to fit a profession into a certain pattern of actions and tasks to be executed.

However, it’s important to be aware that the Growth Hacker doesn’t necessarily have such a restricted job description.

Their goal is to make the company’s business grow in a scalable manner. In other words, to increase revenue without a proportional increase in resource usage.

To achieve this, the Growth Hacker typically combines marketing strategies, engineering, and information technologies. In fact, these strategies are even used to outmaneuver the competition.

Want an example? Airbnb managed to grow after offering an integration of its listings with Craigslist, one of the world’s largest classified ad websites. At that time, Craigslist had 10 million users.

Now that you understand the principles of the Growth Hacker’s approach, how about understanding their work process?

General Principles

In general, the work of the Growth Hacker is supported by the five stages of the Growth Funnel, created by Dave McClure, one of the pioneers of the movement.

The stages of the funnel are:

Acquisition: involves attracting and acquiring customers;

Activation: focuses on delivering the first good experience to the customer;

Retention: seeks to retain customers; Revenue: occurs when customers generate revenue (instead of using a free version of the product, for example).

Referral: happens when customers refer friends and acquaintances to become customers as well.

Idea Generation

The work of the Growth Hacker begins with idea generation for the different stages of the Growth Funnel. If the company is just starting out, it’s natural for the initial focus to be on the acquisition stage.

Here, the professional goes through activities such as:

  • Benchmarking (searching for benchmark companies);
  • Researching success cases;
  • Researching in forums, groups, and online or offline communities;
  • Brainstorming for idea generation.

After generating ideas, it’s important to classify them into groups (according to the stage of the Growth Funnel, for example) to make it easier to work with them.

Idea Selection

This is the moment to prioritize ideas that are related to the organization’s main objectives. For example, if many customers are canceling the company’s service, it’s ideal to focus on ideas for the Retention stage.

Contrary to what one might think, quantity greatly aids in selection. The more ideas the Growth Hacker has at hand, the better the final filter will be.

The professional can use various criteria for selection, with the most common ones being:

  • Likelihood of success of the experiment;
  • Impact on company results;
  • Cost and complexity of implementation.

The perfect scenario is to have an idea with a high likelihood of success, a significant impact on results, and one that is simple (and inexpensive) to implement.

Another important point is to define the number of ideas that will be executed. The quantity depends a lot on the size of the team. If the Growth Hacker works alone, it’s preferable to execute one idea at a time.

Experiment Modeling

This is the moment when the idea is transformed into a hypothesis. For example:

“The idea is to create an annual subscription version of the service (as an alternative to the monthly subscription). Customers who opt for this alternative will have free access for the first two months. With this, we are betting that the Lifetime Value will increase by 30%.”

At this point, the Growth Hacker becomes a scientist. They should raise questions about the hypothesis and its application to ensure successful execution.

In the example above, some possible questions would be:

  • How will we bill the annual subscription?
  • Will it be paid upfront or in installments?
  • How will this option be presented on the sales page?
  • Do we intend to compensate for the loss of the two free months granted with the new subscription?
  • If so, how?
  • If not, why is this experiment worthwhile?

To assist in this stage, the Growth Hacker can use:

  • Statistics (e.g., A/B testing);
  • Tools;
  • Support from other team members;
  • Breaking down the experiment into smaller phases, depending on complexity.

The goal is to test the hypothesis as quickly as possible.

This way, if the experiment fails, the losses will be minimized. Finally, it’s necessary to determine how the results will be measured, defining clear metrics.

Experiment Execution

In this stage of the work, the Marketing Growth Hacker must implement their experiment according to the planning.

The solution doesn’t need to be perfect since the goal is to prove a hypothesis. This is especially true for experiments involving programming or complex implementations.

Throughout this implementation, it’s essential to monitor preliminary results. It’s also important to ensure that everything is executed as planned in terms of people and tools.

In general, experiments take time to gain traction. Therefore, they should be followed as planned until there are enough statistics to assess the success or failure of the thesis.

The experiment should only be stopped if the results are very poor and could potentially harm the company.

Results Analysis

With the experiment concluded, it’s time to analyze the data obtained—and thus, discover if the hypothesis was confirmed.

As counterintuitive as it may seem, the main goal at this stage is not to confirm the hypothesis, but rather to generate learning.

In addition to the main metric, it’s important to analyze all other metrics that were impacted by the experimentation. After all, this will bring even more lessons.

But after all, why is it important to have a Growth Hacker Scientist?

Growth Hacking allows the company to generate more results – in different areas and stages of the customer journey—with fewer resources.

In other words, paying a Growth Hacker’s salary tends to be much cheaper than simply investing in traditional marketing and growth strategies, such as paid media.

The results of this professional’s work include:

– Increased audience across communication channels;
– Acquisition of new customers;
– Loyalty and improvement in relationships;
– Growth agility;
– Resource savings, making customer acquisition cheaper and reducing marketing costs.

Now that you know this, you probably want to hire a Growth Hacker for your company—or even become one yourself, right?

How much does a Growth Hacker Scientist earn?

As it is a relatively new profession, it is still difficult to pinpoint an average salary for the position. According to a survey by Love Mondays, this average is $8,000.00 monthly, however, the survey did not record a significant volume of data.

What qualifications are necessary for a Growth Hacker Scientist?

According to Ricardo Siy, a Growth Hacker doesn’t need to come from a specific area. They could originally be a marketing professional, developer, IT specialist, salesperson, or engineer, for example.

Aaron Ginn, another pioneer in the Growth Hacking movement, says that professionals in this field should combine three skills: creativity, metrics, and curiosity.

Therefore, while experience in marketing or computing can help, it’s not mandatory to have both. What’s most important is having the right mindset and attitude, meaning being growth-oriented rather than focused solely on brand positioning.

Nevertheless, it’s recommended that the professional understands experimental methodology, processes, technologies, and, importantly, consumer psychology. Within this, knowing the buying journey is a plus.

What skills should a Growth Hacker Scientist have?

To be guided by creative intuition;
Ability to analyze data, conduct experiments, present reports and results, and make optimizations based on the data collected;
To be curious and constantly studying the subject, new techniques, seeking examples, and cases.

How to hire a Growth Hacker Scientist?

Hiring a Growth Hacker can still be quite challenging, considering it’s a very recent profession and also requires many years of experience. In our company, MarketingPro, we have the best Growth Hacking professionals in the market, including the creator of this entire system, Ricardo Siy.

To assist you, we have prepared a job vacancy template, a pre-interview task, and the questions to be asked in the selection process.

Job Description Template

MARKETING GROWTH HACKER

JOB DESCRIPTION: Reporting to the Marketing Director, the Growth Hacker will be responsible for identifying opportunities for our growth, as well as building marketing applications and tools for our team and audience.

This role combines the best marketing tests and strategies with technical knowledge of front-end development.

OBJECTIVES INCLUDE:

– Increase audience;
– Create solutions to deliver a good customer experience and foster loyalty;
– Increase the number of customers through referral strategies.

RESPONSIBILITIES:

– Develop and implement front-end code to launch applications and interactive tools that benefit the marketing team’s objectives;
– Propose creative projects, optimize them, generate reports, and implement improvements based on statistics;
– Participate in projects for other channels, such as social media, email marketing, and blog;
– Stay updated on digital marketing and UX trends.

REQUIREMENTS:

– Bachelor’s degree or work experience in the field;
– In-depth knowledge of optimization factors, ranking, and algorithm updates;
– Proficiency in HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, and jQuery;
– Expertise in UX best practices;
– Problem-solving skills and a commitment to improving the company’s website experience;
– Certification in content marketing.

Pre-Interview Task

After reviewing the candidate’s resume, previous experiences, and portfolio, it’s ideal to assign a task to assess if they are truly qualified for the position.

It’s important that these activities encompass the different skill sets that this professional must have to work as a Growth Hacker.

Idea Generation and Acquisition: Ask the candidate to list 3 to 5 ideas for customer acquisition that could be implemented by your company;
SEO and Front-end Development: Request the candidate to analyze a specific web page and suggest improvements in SEO and HTML code;
Analysis and Statistics: Ask the candidate to analyze an experiment or A/B test, drawing conclusions from the statistics and suggesting improvements in implementation.

From the above activities, observe if the candidate was proactive, if they were able to present creative solutions, and if they followed the test instructions.

Interview Questions

This is the time to interview candidates who have passed the technical test. To assist you in the evaluation, we have prepared some questions.

Take the opportunity to observe not only the technical knowledge but also the attitude and reasoning ability of the candidate during the conversation.

1. How would you structure the stages of a Growth Hacking experiment?
2. What Growth Hacking experiment have you conducted that brought valuable insights?
3. What were the results of this experiment?
4. Did you coordinate the experiment yourself or did you have any assistance?
5. What was the hypothesis of the experiment?
6. What tests were conducted to confirm the hypothesis?
7. What metrics were used?
8. What was the main challenge of this experiment and how did you overcome it?
9. How do you stay updated on SEO, algorithms, and UX best practices?

Growth Hacking Nowadays

Growth Hacking strategies have been widely applied to digital marketing strategies. This is because marketers realized that no business achieved significant results solely based on the quantity of traffic (even if it was large), but rather because it could generate significant revenue.

Therefore, results begin to appear when it’s possible to convert traffic into engaged audience and engaged audience into customers for the company.

Thus, nowadays, it’s necessary to lead potential customers through a journey until reaching the final stage of revenue generation, that is, the sale, or any other goal of the digital marketing strategy.

Therefore, it’s evident that Growth Hacking strategies can and should be used on websites, blogs, and small businesses to encourage rapid growth. This allows for innovation while optimizing marketing budgets.

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