Must have skills of a Growth Marketer, or a Conversion Rate Optimization Professional

by Optimizely ‎11-10-2014 November 10, 2014 - edited ‎10-08-2015 October 8, 2015

The winner of this contest is:@Florian. To see what @Florian thinks are the must-have qualities, check out his post here. Florian is a Growth Analyst at Indiegogo, so I'm sure the qualities he posted are based on first hand knowledge. 


Unfortunately, the contest piece of this campaign is over, but I encourage you to continue discussing and voting on the top qualities of a Growth Marketer. 


Conversion Rate Optimization has risen in popularity over the years, but the identity of someone who works in this specialization is still not well defined. Even within the Optiverse, a community of experimenters and CRO professionals, there is a wide variety of job titles and day-to-day responsibilities.


However, there is a commonality amongst all of us: we are all obsessed with growth. What we do directly contributes to company growth and has a large impact on the wins & fails. We’re pivoting from “traditional” marketing and moving towards a marketing cycle based on iterative testing and early feedback -- all in the name of improving the customer experience and growing the product. We are all Growth Marketers.


Given your experiences, what are the must-have skill(s) to be an effective Growth Marketer?


  • Reply to this post with the top skill(s) you believe are must-haves to be a Growth Marketer and you’ll receive 1 contest entry
  • Describe why you chose the skills that you did and you’ll receive an extra entry into the contest!
  • Vote on the skills you agree with most by clicking the heart icon

What can you win?


The winner will receive a pair of custom Optimizely branded V-Moda “Crossfade M-80 Silver” headphones. We'll announce the winner via email and in Optiverse during the week of Novemer 23. 


headphones prize.png


What are the rules?

Each user can only post one submission. For the Terms and Conditions of this contest, please click here.


‎11-10-2014 November 10, 2014

There are two skills that I think a good conversion rate optimisation expert (Growth Marketer) will have, they are:


1. Open-Mindedness - A good CRO/Growth Marketing professional will be willing to listen to the ideas of others and understand that nothing should be shot down with further consideration and testing. To often I see people in the industry reject ideas because 'they' don't believe they will have a positive impact on performance. Often they may be right, but don't miss out on that life-changing moment because you could not see the benefits of other peoples ideas.


2. Patience - Let's be honest, we have all stopped tests far too early in the past when we see a strong result and want to look to roll it out across the whole site as quickly as possible. We were all 'newbie' CRO professionals once but one of the best skills you will ever develop is the ability to be patient and wait for your results to become statistically significant! - It will also give you more confidence to share your work with your peers.


Do you agree?


P.S - Please give this post a 'heart'. I really want to win the headphones!!!

Level 11
by Pauline
‎11-10-2014 November 10, 2014

1) Creativity: If you are responsible for Optimization at your organization you need to come up with new ideas all the time and then work with UX to translate your ideas into visual solutions


2) Analytic: Running a test is nothing if you are not able to analyse the results. When you have a winner it is fairly easy but trying to understand why a test is a loser or neutral is more challenging. 


3) Good communicator: I need to be able to communicate about the Optimization program to the entire organization. (Presentations to promote optimization, weekly update emails, confluence pages...). At the same time you need to manage strong stakeholders and be open to any suggestions.





Level 2
by KevinWilhelm
‎11-12-2014 November 12, 2014

In my opinion, in order to be a Growth Marketer, you have to be Fearless - not afraid to make the changes necessary to see impactful changes.  Maintaining an open mind is crucial (as stated by adzeds) and creativity is a MUST (as stated by Pauline) but you need to be courageous when it comes to experimenting and testing variations.  More often than not, the most bold changes are the ones that elevate a brand to new heights.

Level 1
by jhwall
‎11-12-2014 November 12, 2014

1) You have to be able to dissociate what you want to work versus what actually works (i.e. being able to utilize data from A/B testing as opposed to going forward with creative you think will work). So, as everyone else has said, open-mindedness is critial.


2) You have to be able to constantly develop new ideas and be able to carry those ideas to fruition. Using the same "set up" for all of your campaigns might work, but you should ALWAYS be trying new "set ups," be it landing pages, ads, whatever your campaign entails.


3) You have to be able to get stuff done. Like, constantly. If point two constitutes creativity, this point constistutes dedication. For king and country and all that.


So yeah, I think everyone is on the same page here Smiley Happy

Level 2
by danrussell
‎11-12-2014 November 12, 2014
  1. An ability to apply cutting edge tools to a focused strategy: It's tempting to rely on a slew of new SaaS companies and services to grow your business, but they're most useful when pointed in a productive direction. The best growth marketers start with a strategy and know which tools to use and which ones don't align with the strategy.
  2. A willingness to measure absolutely everything: "If you can't measure it, you can't improve it". This extends from inbound marketing campaigns to outbound calls to internal processes.
  3. Follow-through: It's also tempting to throw in the towel on a new campaign or strategy if it doesn't gain traction immediately. Having the patience and stamina to wait for statistically significant results is key, and often the reason that campaigns/strategies are given enough time to truly show what potential they offer.

Any thoughts on this?

Level 1
by Nick
‎11-12-2014 November 12, 2014

The only 'skill' you truely need is to be able to persuade yourself never to say 'that's done'. 


There's no such thing as 'done' with software development and allowing yourself accept the status quo as good enough will eventually lead to falling KPIs as competitors catch up or user behaviour changes. Keep coming back to previous experiements and try and iterate on them, or at least rerun experiements using previous iterations as variations. 


You don't have to be especially creative with tests or clever with your analysis, just keep asking yourself 'how could this be better'. The rest will come naturally as you try and answer that question. 

Level 1
by xptrt
‎11-12-2014 November 12, 2014

I know it is trivial but so many businesses out there fall on that first hurdle: Measure!


Because you cannot analyze if you cannot measure and you certainly cannot improve if you cannot analyze.


In my experience, it has to be iterative of course with A/B testing or multivariate testing to accelerate the reach to your sweet spot.

Level 2
by ReneeDoegar
‎11-12-2014 November 12, 2014

I think a great growth marketer requires the following skills:


1) you need to be organised. Keep records of your trials, failiures and successes. Only then can you get a better picture of what is working for your marketplace, clients and products.


2) be prepared to be wrong. People don't act the way you expect they will, so test (and re-test and back test) everything you think you know they will do.


3) a love of data. Data tells stories. It tells you what works, what doesn't, how people act, what you need to do in reaction to that action or can break it down into the smallest segements, the most circumnavigated customer journey, the most unexpected purchase points...if you love the data, it will love you back.



Level 1
by KioskCreative
‎11-12-2014 November 12, 2014

Attribution - The single most important factor is the ability to determine what media is driving growth and have the ability to optmize your marketing budget to maxamise investment in media by performance.


Great User Experience - If your online site fails to impress or is difficult to use marketing is moot. Eveywebsite needs to be optmized to provide the best user experience and the reduce the barriers to your marketing goal for users.

by hdykiel
‎11-12-2014 November 12, 2014

1) Calculated Risk Taker


2) One must push boundaries and try new things with a scientific approach in order to "fail fast" and perserve with activities that lead to positive outcomes.

Level 1
by Matt-Optivert
‎11-12-2014 November 12, 2014

There are 2 primary skills required to be an effetive conversion marketer (growth marketer). Broad-view curiosity and Innovative Creativity.


Broad-view curiosity is the ability to stand-back or hover at 30,000 feet and see the bigger picture. Any conversion enhancement is normally only one link in a very long chain. Learnings from one test can often be applied up and down the chain or funnel. Once you understand the why behind the test result, you can then start asking better questions of other areas of the funnel to create alignment.


Innovative Creativity is the ability to think outside of the box and be willing to try completely new ways of conveying your message. Good copy, good page layout, good CTA's and low-friction UE's will always be important but we all thought horses were a good mode of transport 150 years ago but look wehere we are now! Always be innovating.

by Dherleikson
‎11-12-2014 November 12, 2014

I think one of the biggest thing a growth marketer or growth hacker needs to be aware of is traction. You can have all the traffic in the world, but if none of it converts well, you don't have anything. Finding loads of traffic is great, but getting solid converting traction will point where you'll marketing efforts should be directed. Growth marketing is often about throwing everything out there at once and finding out what sticks, but then being able to recognize your strengths and follow the traction is key. 

Level 1
by grandriver
‎11-12-2014 November 12, 2014

3 words - "Let It Go!" (Are you singing the song?)  

As growth marketers, we need to let go of all of our old assumptions, opinions, past-experiences and industry best-practices.  While they can guide us, it's easy to think there are right and wrong answers, or that we know what end-users want for every single brand experience based on what we think or know.  We need to let go of doing things the "old way" - invest, build, and keep our fingers crossed that whatever we developed generates ROI growth.  


To truly embrace growth, we must believe that anything is possible in testing and anything is possible in our test results. We need to embrace what end users want (not what we want as the marketer), what delivers ROI (yes, everything is getting to be measurable!), the fast pace of the industry (on-the-fly changes), the continous need for improvement (reiterative testing) - and get excited about the endless possibilities ahead! 

Level 1
by SarahV
‎11-13-2014 November 13, 2014

Site testing is awesome!


1.  Openess to change

2.  Abilility to communicate with all levels of management to embrace results and react

3.  Analytics, Analytics, and talk to it..

4.  Ability to motivate and always have a positive attitude with clients (there are no bad ideas)

Level 2
by Florian
‎11-13-2014 November 13, 2014 - edited ‎11-13-2014 November 13, 2014

If I were the hiring manager at an Ecommerce or Webapp company the job requirements for a Growth Marketer would be:


  • understanding of how marketing tags/pixels work (experience with Doubleclick and/or a tag manager)


  • Google Analytics or Catalyst experience: particularly setting up / implementing an account, ad tracking with UTM, pulling multi dimensional reports for funnels to build marginal CPA analysis per customer cohort 


  • Advanced knowledge of Excel (Pivot tables FTW)


  • 2014 front end coding knowledge - Expert HTML/CSS(a simpler language than JS), moderate knowledge of JS/jQuery to understand UI and UX opportunities and be able to implement tests with an A/B framework (Optimizely!)



Combining these components you can manage and optimize an advertising campaign from the view, to attribution, to how to optimize your UX per cohort.

Level 2
by dansullivan
‎11-13-2014 November 13, 2014

The top skills to be a great growth marketer:

The ability to help your client and team identify the *real* goals.  This is not always straightforward and can require some savvy to extract with the client actually wants.  It's often not what they say (at first).


The ability to identify (or create) on-site actions that can be tested that are actually connected to their real goals.


The ability to take findings and turn them into decisions and results!



Why I chose the goals:

Optimizely reduces the technical headache, so it makes operator skill even more of a differentiating factor in getting great results.


Level 2
by charles
‎11-18-2014 November 18, 2014 - edited ‎11-18-2014 November 18, 2014

1. decision-making


very useful as a serious discipline, and incredibly deep. could be as simple as using the OODA loop [1], though may encompass stats/data analysis, knowledge management, and #'s 2 & 3 below.


2. design of experiments (DOE)


DOE might be the most popular component of growth marketing (and subset of decision-making). it's foundational for running controlled experiments, which we need to produce repeatable and predictable results, which in turn inform subsequent decisions.


3. psychology, sociology, (digital) ethnogrophy, anthropology, etc.


can be helpful in deciding what to test, and perhaps even why. also fun because these can deal with both quantitative, and qualitative, human elements.


an aside: a couple fun ones imo are human factors, which can be useful for framing UX/UI experiments, and some type of cognitive/behavioral psychology (or critical/analytic thinking), which can help identify useful heuristics, biases, and logical fallacies to know.


bonus: influence and credibility


influence* and credibility can sometimes help others overcome testing anxiety. for example, i've proposed tests which seemed so counterintuitive to other stakeholders they would've never seen the light of day without a confident, "trust me. i've done this before, and i know it seems crazy, but it's the right thing to test."


*in this context i'd clearly define influence as the ability to inspire another to collaborate on a project, or to help guide a stakeholder toward the right decision. 




[edit to add]

i read the other answers after posting, and feel @Florian nailed it WRT describing the (practical) skills of an effective growth marketer. 

Level 2
by andreamoro
‎11-19-2014 November 19, 2014

* Techie - A good growth hacker / manager should have a good knowledge of several working domain. It's pretty much like building a brick and mortar house. You need to know roughly how to do everything on your own, from the pavement to the roof. Even better if you can liaise directly with the stuff you want to change. 
Time is precious in this job; everything need to be proved before you can say it's worth the implementation. Hence, reducing the friction between your tests and the Dev team (who normally require stuff to be prioritised) it is a must.


* Innovative - Keep relying on old assumptions is the best way to lose the game before it even commence. Stop immediately if that's your spirit. 
Make assumption, test, evealuate ... make assumption, test .... 


* Methodic and organized. I don't think I have to explain this in depth. But if you can't keep track your record and coordinate your job with the million things you want to test, there is no chance you are going to succeed. 

Level 2
by greg
‎11-19-2014 November 19, 2014

Lots of great answers here. I'll add something that hasn't been mentioned yet:


An essential skill to being a great growth marketer is being able to see through the BS.


Why am I saying that? Because there's so much misinformation and anecdotal lessons out there that if you were to follow them all you would be wasting an enormous amount of time. You'd be a very diverse marketer, no doubt, but not a very effective one. To be effective (and by that I mean actually moving the needle, whether that's revenue, users, market share, etc) you need to be ruthless and cut through the BS... Have a method for testing new ideas, learning from the tests, and scaling the tactics that work. Leave the puny "growth hacks" behind.

Level 2
by siherron Level 2
‎11-20-2014 November 20, 2014 - edited ‎11-20-2014 November 20, 2014

I'd agree with nearly all of the responses here, so much so that it's difficult to not to just agree and repeat verbatum.


I'm going to put my money on "Knowing the value of Context" as my late entry to the competition. You can learn it, but, more often than not, people discount its value. To me it is a fundament of CRO and something everyone should realise.


Growth isn't just about 'building', it's about knowing when and what not to build. CRO and testing is a large part of that, but sometimes recognising a non-starter is more important. 


There are lots of really great ideas floating around in the ether, but are they relevant to your business? In context with your companies goals and targets? Do you reject them because you can't implement or look for another way to test the same principle in other ways? 






Level 2
by NielsTybjerg
‎11-20-2014 November 20, 2014

Most desired skill: Empathy


Without it you'll never truly understand what makes people click and convert. 

Level 1
by marcopetkovski
‎11-20-2014 November 20, 2014 - edited ‎11-20-2014 November 20, 2014

A growth marketer understands how design, development, and strategy play into the success of digital or traditional products. They are able to put together a holistic and cross-functional plan to test and improve upon key business objectives.


If one understands how to strategically select performance indicators, demonstrate the value of testing and success metrics to a team of devs & designers, and motivate a culture around results... they are really and truly excellent growth marketers. 


The greatest pitfall a growth marketer can fall into is the silo. When you end up doing great work and nobody sees it. When you can only speak the language of marketing and analytics. This happens to a lot of folks and has been a place I have travelled through. On the other side is a place where we all speak the same language - success amongst multiple disciplines. 


Big thanks to Optimizely for fighting the good fight! And huge respect to all my fellow comrades, we're part of something big here. 


Much love.

by tmartino12
‎11-20-2014 November 20, 2014 - edited ‎11-20-2014 November 20, 2014

One word. Resilent.


(of a substance or object) able to recoil or spring back into shape after bending, stretching, or being compressed.
(of a person or animal) able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.
And knowing how to hack this contest Smiley Wink
Level 1
by cvismag
‎11-20-2014 November 20, 2014

It is necessary to have:


1. Willingness to take risks - sometimes you might be wrong on your hypothesis and you might temporarily get a negative effect.  It's OK because you're learning and you know not to do that again!


2. Curiosity - you have to always be asking why and wondering how you can improve.  Status quo will not do here.

Level 1
by Jxgilber
‎11-20-2014 November 20, 2014


Drive Targeted Traffic


Convert Traffic to Customer


I tend to focus on 30-day windows. Are we outperforming the last 30 days? If so, I can sleep well at night. If not, better get on it. 


Don't over complicate this thing. Drive traffic and convert. Smiley Happy


Level 1
by Squidthink
‎11-20-2014 November 20, 2014

A true growth hacker / marketer will understand what the following image is saying:


He or she will need to be sensitive to budgets, project scope, scalability, and have a solid understanding of the digital tools that can not only help growth from one stage to the next, but can also provide insight and analysis into audience needs and expectations.


If they are successful in these regards, success will be measurable across departments and channels. Growth may be incremental at times, but it will be seen to steadily rise, engendering an increasing level of user satisfaction, increased brand exposure, and a wider user base overall.

Level 1
by inathanael
‎11-20-2014 November 20, 2014

Growth marketers need to be creative and be analytical. The core repeatable task is: have a theory about the people you're marketing to and then seek the numbers to prove or disprove that theory. Creativity required because that theory needs to be thoughtful, nuanced, and about real people's real needs; analytical-types required because the theory needs to be proved or disproved by results, not feelings.


If you google image search "creative analytical", they tell you the skill is being a "whole-brainer":






I like this one too:


Level 1
by cmolenda
‎11-20-2014 November 20, 2014

Scientific Method - The ability select the best tool for the job, gather data with that tool, and then methodically anaylze it.  This is the root of the job and if this skill set is missing, the job becomes a game of craps; it hinges on luck.


Controlled Intuition - The ability to discover new data points, imagine new tools and ways to look at or analyze require more than just a mathematical and scientific mind.  Just don't let intution suplant methodically collecting and analyzing data.


Tenacity - The ability to constantly reassess and evolve your practices and spend an almost excessive amount of time turning data into useful information.

Level 1
by mhowarth
‎11-20-2014 November 20, 2014

Love Optimizely!  I use it all the time to improve conversion rate on our site.


1. Creativity

2. Curiosity

3. Attention to detail

4. Good communication

5. Team player

Level 1
by jchen344
‎11-20-2014 November 20, 2014

Open to Innovation -- growth marketing calls for a great deal of innovation, but it does not always have to come from a singular source. Ideas can come from anyone regardless of job title and are worthy of being considered for testing and implementation. Additionally, being open to input from individuals outside the organization and the core development team is crucial to being a growth marketer.


Commitment to Continously (and Rapid) Iteration -- the key to growth marketing is never settling for what works. Being able to receive constant and consistent feedback from everyone within an organization, looking at the competitive set for points of comparison, staying up to date on news in a technological and business-oriented way.  Always asking: what's next?


Focus on Long-Term Sustainability -- being strategic in testing and iterating is important, but only so long as the growth and gained share is sustainable. In order to truly being a growth marketer, it is vital that decisions are research-based and set specific measurable goals that can define success.

Level 1
by raghuz
‎11-20-2014 November 20, 2014


Set Goals and be focused.


Urgent ≠ Important
Important = Urgent



Level 1
by Joe_GRP
‎11-20-2014 November 20, 2014

There are, quite literally, a host of specific skills a growth marketer needs, depending on the resources they have available. It is difficult to say which is most important. 


But I find these 3 skills to be required for a successful Growth Marketer:

1. Setting processes for creating, updating and changing campaign strategies. The ability to adapt your strategy in accordance with new technology, data, audience targeting, etc...  is vital.

2. Strong management skills for managing up, down and across. Not just time management for resources, but also managing expectations for all involved in any project you lead.

3. Develop campaigns with precise messaging. Online marketing is all about digging into granular data to find the precise message that converts your ideal audience at the ideal time, then scaling.


Without the above three, more specific skills (such as coding, landing page design, action reporting, seo, ppc campaign management, graphic design, ad copy creation, and the list goes on...) can devolve into wheel-spinning.

Level 1
by baskgan
‎11-20-2014 November 20, 2014

Innovation & Research Skills

A growth marketer should have good innovation and research skills. Think out of the box to come up with ideas that does not exist elsewhere and be passionate enough to test the ideas. Research the market across industries to keep one update with emerging technolgies, tools and Ideas to help them innovate.


Postulate, Test and Analyze

Use experimentaion tools to test the idea and analytical tools to check the results



Level 1
by enarayan
‎11-20-2014 November 20, 2014

I have found that reading comprehension is key, not just to growth marketing.

Level 1
by curtis
‎11-20-2014 November 20, 2014

1. Creativity: if you blend've already lost. 

2. Tenacity: 90% of your new tactics will fail and it's difficult to remind yourself that's a good thing. Standing still with "good" conversion rates means you're falling behind.

3. Be scientific about your growth. Hypothesize, measure, and draw a conclusion. Rinse and repeat.

Level 1
‎11-20-2014 November 20, 2014 - edited ‎11-20-2014 November 20, 2014

In order to achieve any goal, success is found by discovering the underlying contributers to that goal and strenghtening them. Targeting the end goal exclusively can lead to short term results and an overall myopic perspective.


I would assert that rather than being obsessed with growth, the ideal growth marketer is obsessed with satisfying the end user needs. True growth is, as its name suggests, organic. To further that metaphor, we can use fertilizer as an illustration.


General fertilizer works on the principle of "What you see is what you get". If your lawn is full of weeds, using this type of fertilizer will produce a healthy crop of weeds that grow fast. Weeds also die quickly; but not before choking and forcing out the grass you were trying to cultivate.


Specialized fertilizer feeds the grass by understanding what it needs. At the same time, it starves the weeds or supplies elements that will kill them off. 


It the same way, a Growth Marketer must have the ability to empathize with the target audience of a product. This means not just settling for what they think will satisfy the end user, but actually getting into the mind of each potential user group and fully understanding their needs. 


This approach will produce content consumers which, in turn, repeat visits and tell other about their experience; producing a whole new crop of content consumers who will...


...and so it grows.

Level 7
by SamRichardson
‎11-20-2014 November 20, 2014
Patience - you need to test one option at a time otherwise you'll never understand which elements caused the improvement. If you have the visitor volume then MVT gets rounds this to a degree.
by spritedaway
‎11-20-2014 November 20, 2014


What if becomes let's test it.


With the ability to test something at the drop of a hat the whole mindset towards testing has changed for me.


In an efffort to always improve our site I would often ponder multiple what if questions.

What if I changed the navigation of that page? What if I moved our add to cart button? What if I added a security seal to the top of our header? What if I changed the background image on our site?


Testing for us used to be so cumbersome that with our limited time and technical resources we rarely performed them so that many hunches or ideas would either fall by the wayside or be implemented with the 'hope' that it did indeed improve the site.


Now when I have a what if thought I get a test up and running within 10 or 15 minutes.

Number of tests ran in the past 3 years before Optimizely 15

Number of test ran in the past 6 weeks or so since Optimizely 24


So in summary to answer the question what skill(s) should the growth marketer possess?

The mindset....hey I can test it.

 It's amazing how many what if questions I now have as I interact with our own site and others.

Level 1
by ClaireRW
‎11-20-2014 November 20, 2014

Strong organizational skills: there are always a lot of ideas on the table and priorities are constantly shifting. Each test can have multiple moving parts and tasks that need completed in order for it to be successful. The ability to organize all the details of a request and juggle multiple requests at once is key. 

Level 1
by niedbalski
‎11-20-2014 November 20, 2014

It certainly helps to carry a flexible bag of tricks for growth marketing - possibly with a small hole in the bottom for those deeper, seldom used techniques to fall out so there is room to replace them with new ones!


Two key skills:


Listen - Often we can get too wrapped up in our own agenda, desperately trying to convince our client that they want or need some aspect of what we're offering, when all we need to do is listen to their needs to realize we may be able to accomodate them easily with another product!


Follow Through - Don't let that ball drop!  OK, it might drop every now and then, but make sure you pick it back up before it rolls off the court... The easiest way to lose momentum with a client is to not do what you said you'd do.  Be organized, take notes, and review so items don't slip thru the cracks, and your efforts will be rewarded with loyalty.

Level 1
by bottines
‎11-20-2014 November 20, 2014

Two must-have skills for a growth marketer:


* Keep an open-mind, challenge assumptions to uncover new opportunities.


* Big picture mindset, to prioritise opportunities and avoid getting lost in the detail.



Level 1
by hellojustinoh
‎11-20-2014 November 20, 2014

I feel like any good growth marketer worth his or her salt absolutely needs to demonstrate the following:


1. Analytical Rigor: The ability and discipline to analyze data to understand what works.

2. Strategic Thinking: The ability to understand why something worked.

3. Intuition: The ability to know when to throw out numbers and to go with your gut.

by siminm
‎11-20-2014 November 20, 2014


Ask yourself a question, "What does the user want to do?"


This question must be asked in an unbiased way, meaning that you can't expect the user to already be in love with your product. Once you have a correct answer to that question, see if this can be done without any friction on your website.


The best skill is being able to answer that question correctly!


You may think that the user wants to register, but in fact the user wants to view photos. You may think the user wants to add something to their cart, when really they want to get the item already.

Level 1
by Chasmo
‎11-20-2014 November 20, 2014

Be an Opportunist-

Discovering opportunities is an oft overlooked quality but is truly an essential skill for a growth hacker. The ability to see/find/exploit niches that others have ignored or overlooked can lead to new acquisition channels or audiences.


Examine current practices/targets/markets as well as sift the data for outliers that provide clues to opportunities.


Be Reductive as well as Additive-

Less is often better than more.



Five years ago you probably weren't getting mobile leads. When were you prepared? Are they 50% (or more) of your total leads. If not they will be.



Don't be afraid to rerun A/Bs from the past. What worked (or didn't) then may or may not now.


Test Every Channel-

Just because it isn't driving the lion's share of your leads now doesn't me it can't (or won't). See Anticipate above.


Don't  Assume-
The adage "don't assume - otherwise you'll make an ass out u and me" applies to anything you do as a marketer.


Be the Big Dog-

The big dog is usually the lead dog. Don't be a follower. Leaders lead. Cease letting how others do things or what they think cloud your.thinking or drive your decision making process.

Level 1
by KellyLorenz
‎11-20-2014 November 20, 2014

The must-have skills in my opinion:

Being very comfortable with not being comfortable at all. The *worst* phrase for a growth marketer to say, in my opinion, is "that's the way it's always been done." When you say that, you are part of the growth stagnation problem. 

Advocating for constant change even when others get comfortable. A big hurdle is fighting against good, perhaps even great, results to continually improve. Many managers get comfortable that those strong results will always be strong so nothing needs to change. That will put you the way of the dinosaurs. 

Being a student for life. What does it mean to be an "expert" anyway? How is that even possible these days? 


Level 1
by Optimizely
‎11-20-2014 November 20, 2014

These are all so amazing! Thanks for all of your participation. Don't forget to vote for the qualities you like the best by clicking the heart icons on the post Heart. This will help us refine the list to a few must-have skills

by jeffbill4time
‎11-20-2014 November 20, 2014

Realize that what you think is correct may not, and to be able to put your ego aside and admit you're wrong and don't know as much as you think you do. But then implement and test, test, test....

by pohodo
‎11-20-2014 November 20, 2014

Analytics Mindset - Managing broader KPIs to ensure that your individual test wasn't a success at the expense of a more valuable metric. It's important to have meaningful KPIs at the site, section, page, and often at the component level. Meaningful, actionable metrics are often difficult to define for complex experiences.

Customer Understanding - Talking with real customers routinely helps validate qualitative aspects. And understanding their needs and challenges is critical to prioritizing focus.

Business Savvy - Knowing what the ultimate goals are. "if we could get n more people to do x then we could increase revenue by x without damaging the brand or customer experience."

UX - Knowing well established patterns, emerging patterns, and ideas for new patterns help to formulate test variations.

Human Factors - Understanding behavioral psychology helps in crafting and understanding variation results.

Front-End Development - Consider the highly dynamic enterprise site. Knowing how the Web works (HTML, JavaScript, CSS) and being able to manipulate the DOM directly helps with crafting complex variations quickly, without IT involvement. If you don't know what's possible, it's difficult to come up with original solutions.

Curiosity - People need to be naturally curious to keep engagement with incremental advancement

Intuition - Being able to read situations well helps to speed up cycles because it's quicker to start with a better set of solutions to test. And it's easier to "read the tea leaves" in variation performance to create new scenarios to test.

Goal Focused - Having the ability to stay on task. Less "Squirrel!" or "shiny object" syndrome.

Perspective - "knowing" you're wrong so often can bring you down if you don't recognize they're all incredible learning opportunities to grow your product, experience and career.

Realistic - knowing when you reach the point of diminishing returns. Time spent on eking out minor improvements is better spent on areas with more growth opportunity.

Connecting Dots - It's helpful to be good at linking lots of disparate data inputs to form new hypotheses to test, and better understand results. Understanding the holistic view (SEO/SEM, email campaigns, ads, conversions, inbound vs. outbound traffic, etc.) is important.

Balance - Company needs and user needs are often at odds. Managing both effectively is a bit of an art, and very rewarding.

Level 1
by lindawatkins
‎11-20-2014 November 20, 2014

Flexibility- you must be able and open to changing your approach!  If you find that something is not working, change it. Experiment, measure, and adjust until you're getting the results you want. 

Level 1
by cschroeder
‎11-20-2014 November 20, 2014

I agree with many of the comments here but the one missing trat I think is essential is:


Tactical Strategy: Not only do you need creative and analytic skill but to be effective at growth you need to understand tactical strategy. How will an initiative work with other programs, is there a solution that solves multiple problems at once and if so how will you roll it? Tactical skill, is the execution of a great idea and the execution is sometimes the only difference between success and mediorce. 

Level 1