What is the difference between a growth product manager and a growth marketer?


Today’s modern, fast-growing, and most successful enterprises have proved that both the roles of growth product management and growth marketing are critical for growth. Growth marketing focuses on acquiring and retaining customers. Whereas, growth product management focuses on optimizing customer (or user) experience to maximize the value exchange. The strategy and processes of these two roles are highly collaborative but the two roles bring specific skills to the table. So what are the differences between these two roles?

Growth Product Managers vs Growth Marketers

First, it’s important to note that both roles are highly valuable in growing an enterprise. But they perform different tasks. Growth product managers (PMs) focus on optimizing the user experience to deliver more value from the products or services offered. That is, they take into account user experience on your website, SaaS product, or mobile apps, etc., and try to improve upon it - with new features or functions. For example, growth PMs may use new website flows, personalized recommendations, etc. to deliver more value. Growth marketers, on the other hand, focus on acquiring and retaining ideal users through channels like Facebook/Google, mobile, or email campaigns.

Growth PM and Growth Marketers have different goals

Since growth product management and growth marketing strategies are highly integrated and collaborative teams, it's important to set clear goals. A growth team must be customer-focused with a clear view of customer journeys: acquisition (awareness to sign up or purchase), activation & product/service experience, retention (for both marketing and re-use/visit to product/service), subscription (if applicable), and referral & advocacy. Each role needs to own a specific set of metrics along the customer journeys. Growth marketers typically own metrics for acquisition and some specific metrics of retention and referrals/advocacy. Growth PMs own activation and experience of products or services offered and some other specific metrics, in collaboration with growth marketers, of retention and referrals.

They have different skillsets

Growth product management and growth marketing have several common competencies - customer focus (user behavior and empathy), understanding of new technologies, creativity, experimentation, data focus & analytical, etc. Although, they bring specific skill sets. Growth PMs are required to be strategic when they make changes to the products or services or propose a new product innovation. Most often, any of the changes by growth PMs may affect a large set of users. Growth PMs are also required to leverage metrics of user experience that are specific to their business model and products/services offered. An e-commerce growth PM with hundreds of SKUs needs different user experience metrics as compared to a growth PM who offers certain services (like, accounting) through subscription. Growth marketers must understand the nuances of acquisition and retention channels like Facebook, Google, Email, LinkedIn, etc. They must apply creativity and analytics to target customer behavior and intent, lead nurturing, and monetization (pricing & packaging).


Why it's becoming important to distinguish between Growth Marketing and Growth Product Management

A successful growth team has both roles and skillsets. When one of these skill sets is missing, most often, growth sustainability or profitability or both get affected. We have worked with and helped several growth teams with such challenges. In one instance, a team had scaled an acquisition process through paid marketing. Although, with the lack of equally scalable retention and products, the marketing ROI dropped over time. This led the team to ask for increasingly more budget for paid marketing, adversely affecting the profitability of the company. In a different example, a team had a strong retention process - once a lead came in, they put the buyer (potential user) through an optimized experience journey. Although, they lacked a feedback loop (or an integrated growth product and marketing strategy) from user experience to acquisition process that risked sustainability of growth. For these reasons, it's important to understand the difference between growth marketing and growth product management, and the respective goals and skills of these roles.

"StatsLateral team added great value to our growth strategy through new product innovation, customer focus, and transparency.  StatsLateral has a deep understanding of the ad-tech, mar-tech, and CRM/customer data. They delivered a differentiated SaaS product fast and cost-effectively. StatsLateral's approach of integrated strategy helped with our product launch, go-to-market, and revenue growth.                                                        

-- Anthony Yam, SVP of Product at Flashtalking


Why StatsLateral?

We work hard to create a partnership based on success and apply our core values to each client engagement:

  • We have in-depth expertise covering the breadth and depth of the marketing, CRM, and growth ecosystems.

  • Our people have delivered success as C-level mar-tech and ad-tech executives, product strategists & managers, and growth marketers.

  • We have partnered and worked closely in the industry with both dominant players like Facebook, Google, Salesforce, etc., and with new AI startups that provide innovative machine learning-powered emails, and content/copies, etc.

  • We have been part of tech startups, top strategy consulting teams, and engineering and data science teams to build innovative software.

We apply our unique skill-set to understand the breadth of 7000+ mar-tech solutions and provide depth of customer journeys and experience management for business success. 

Our clients drive these benefits from our approach:

  • Applying our expertise to truly understand a problem and provide a strategic solution

  • Fully transparent pricing based on the impact our consultants generate and low-cost alternatives just like we will do for our own business

Our Core Values

  • Customer success: We do not declare victory without customer success

  • Complete ownership: We are responsible for every success and failure. Period.

  • Simplify: We find ways to explain it to a 4th grader and to a granny

  • Fast & Scrappy: We believe speedy and low-cost innovations are secret to growth

  • Measurable: If we can’t measure, we won’t do it (or recommend doing it)