How to build a successful growth team

April 15, 2021

  • Marketer

Sebastian is the EVP Growth at Marketer, and he is managing a very dedicated team that has grown immensely both in size and results during the most recent 6 months. Sebastian has previous experience from different start-ups in the US and Netherlands, one of them as Head of Curriculum in the well-known company Growth Tribe.

First off, what is a Growth team and what does it actually do? A growth team can potentially make a crucial impact for all commercial departments in a company that want to improve or accelerate their results. Such a team can for example benefit a marketing team, increase client satisfaction by assisting customer operations, or they can fuel the outcome from a sales department. In other words, they both directly and indirectly help the company increase customer acquisition, customer retention, and revenue through different beneficial initiatives and activities. A growth team is usually made up of data scientists, analysts, designers, and so on.

The growth team at Marketer manages thousands of campaigns across different channels globally, with a focus on improving their performance continuously. But, what is the secret behind a successful growth team? Let’s ask Sebastian!

First of all, what is a successful growth team in your opinion?

I believe it consists of several key elements. Maybe the most important one is the culture within the team. A team that clicks well and works well together is a very important factor to success, at the same time as having a diversified team in terms of backgrounds, skill-sets, personalities, etc.

Personally, I focus on creating an environment where people want to continue to learn new things, where they remain curious and adventurous, and where there is room for taking chances and potentially also failing. An important part of this is also to share dreams, wins and failures with the team, and giving each other constructive feedback.

A successful growth team should also have easy access to data, as well as a good process for experimenting, and evaluating what is actually valuable and not.

What activities do you implement for the team to be organised and motivated?

There are at least two important activities we do every week which I would like to highlight. One is that we have reflection meetings every friday. These meetings represent a “safe hour” where the team openly can speak about their - exactly - dreams, wins and failures, but also about any concerns, new initiatives or positive thoughts. We also share if we have learned anything new, which I think helps people to reflect on what they have actually done throughout the week and hopefully see a learning curve. Finally, it is also a shared evaluation on how we collectively are doing as a team.

The other is that everyone in the team has their own OKR (Objective Key Results) established for every month. The OKRs are there to give each team member personal goals to reach for every defined period. All the OKRs accumulated also provide an overall picture of both the development as well as the long term goal for the team as a whole.

Summed up, I think it works well as a team to be transparent with each other, both in terms of personal goals, achievements, challenges and failures. My view of the job as a leader of our growth team is not to tell people what they should do and how they should do it, but rather to constantly remind and motivate everyone on the goal ahead of us - while creating a positive and inspiring atmosphere for all team members to move in the desired direction. I believe in a flat structure, where everyone both feels and experiences that their input and contributions are just as important as those of anyone else.

"Sebastian is an excellent leader! He has put together the team from scratch and has built an environment and culture which is made for growth, both for the company and team members. I'm excited for the future and know that we are only scratching the surface of what the growth team can achieve together" says Axel Rein, Performance Marketer at Marketer.

Sebastian’s 3 tips to manage a Growth team:

  1. 1Make sure everyone in the team knows what the priorities are at all times.
  2. 2Provide structure and clearness in everyone’s tasks.
  3. 3Giving your team the right framework, guiding them in the right direction.

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