Along with positions like Chief Revenue Officer, VP of Growth is a relatively new executive position that attempts to fuse the world of sales, marketing, and product development into a data-driven role aimed at maximizing revenue opportunities.
LinkedIn lists 6,000 open VP of Growth positions in companies that range from manufacturing, startups, financial services and health care. Internally, we are dealing with more and more companies that want to add a VP of Growth to the executive suite.
So what is the position and where is it needed? Read on for concrete examples.
Key Skills for VP of Growth
“It is the VP of Growth’s job to be 100% focused on customers; including acquisition, conversion/activation, retention, and upsell/x-sell,” writes Nick Bonfiglio in a Medium article entitled “Becoming the next product thing, a VP of Growth.”
Accordingly, a VP of Growth needs these strength:
- Ability to pull together data sources
- Strategic thinker who can see the big picture
- Ability to work cross-functionally with sales and marketing teams
Examples of Growth Strategy in Real Companies
A few examples of how growth strategy that fuses data, customer insights, and technology is playing out in different industries:
- Outdoor Voices is a direct-to-consumer sports apparel and athleisure brand based in Austin, TX that used an influencer-based strategy to connect with core millennial consumers. By placing their clothing with relatable and popular personalities on Instagram and other social networks, the brand quickly became a must-have item among younger consumers who were shifting away from legacy brands and towards wearing athleisure on a daily basis.
- Airbnb noticed than many hosts simultaneously listed on platforms like Craigslist as well as on Airbnb. To drive more activity on their site and app, Airbnb made a simple tool to easily create a Craigslist listing simultaneously with an Airbnb listing. Doing so increased their reach with consumers on a platform where they were looking for short-term housing.
- Hubspot exemplifies strong growth strategy in the B-to-B digital services space by hooking in users with valuable free products. Hubspot offers access to several of its valuable CRM features like contact management and lead tracking. In doing so, the company has created a strong profile among its target market of small and medium-sized businesses.
Why VP of Growth is Trending Now
Why is the position so popular now? It’s simple. Companies have access to increasingly sophisticated digital platforms that can feed in data about customer behavior, retention and spending. So there’s a built-in appetite for professionals that can harness that data in a way that filters through more traditional disciplines like marketing.
Do You Need a VP of Growth?
Questions to consider if you are looking at adding the VP of Growth position:
- Does your firm need more data-driven intelligence to drive growth?
- Can your company support new strategic thinking, especially that driven by hard data?
- Do you need an executive who can work cross-functionally with sales and marketing?
Making the Transition to VP of Growth
Sales and marketing professional are also eyeing this new position for future career growth. Those individuals would do well to shore up skills like:
- Data: ensure you are abreast of the most cutting-edge data sources in your field
- Cross-discipline: Marketers would be well-served to beef up their sales knowledge, and vice versa. Good VPs of Growth understand how both disciplines fit together.