Review: CXL Institute Mini-degree in Growth Marketing 1/12
In the begining of October I learned about the Mini-degree in Growth Marketing offered by CXL Institute. I learned about this opportunity via my connection on LinkedIn, who successfully passed the certification few weeks ago.
I’m working in the field of (mostly) digital advertising but, since I have a strong background in management, I always wanted to learn more about growth marketing / growth hacking. Because growth marketing is a very new direction in marketing there’s not many recognized institutions offering similar programs or courses (with certification). Few days after I submitted my application for the scholarship, my scholarship was granted and last monday I got the access to the study materials.
Since last week was the first “official” week of the 2nd Covid-19 lockdown in Slovenia, I was a little worried and not very motivated to study really hard. Nevertheless, I completed the first three lessons in the introductury track growth marketing foundations and built a solid foundation to continue my learning process.
I will not go into the details of all the three lessons, but I’ll write down a little bit more about the lesson that impressed me the most in the firts week. It was the lesson Growth mindset: growth vs traditional marketing, taught by John McBride, the founder of We the future. In this lesson he puts extra care into what makes a successful growth marketer, how to become a successful growth marketer and how to build a career out of it. Since it’s the topic we usually don’t talk much about I found it very interesting and extremely useful.
What makes a successful growth marketer?
In John’s opinion there are three main components to being a successful growth marketer and kind of three things that most people get evaluated on in terms of their growth marketing skillset. These three skills are: channel-level expertise, analytical capability and cross-functional strategic thinking.
- Channel-level expertise
This skill is about understanding how different channels work (for example email marketing, Push, SEO, Google ads, Facebook ads,…). It’s easily thought and represents the basic knowledge of a growth marketer. It’s not easy to gain this kind of knowledge for a “newbie”, especially in paid acquisition.
- Analytical capability
It’s one of the most important skills for the growth marketer (it can be just Excel skills or SQL skills, that are next level). As a growth marketer it’s really important that you’re able to extract data to gather insights, to analyze your own experiments and to use the data to achieve a specific bussiness goal.
I don’t have a very strong foundation in this department so in future I will invest more of my time in expending these skills (and learn SQL).
- Cross-functional strategic thinking
This is the key componentof becoming a leader in a growth team. It’s the ability to think strategically and lead a successful project management. It’s being able to come up with good ideas, figuring out how do you actually pick the right experiments, how do you prioritize your roadmap, how do you actually think about your customers’ experience and the customer journey, to identify big opportunities… One of the important things is also the work with other stakeholders because growth marketing is very crossfunctional and does not end with the marketing team.
In John’s opinion these three skills are in general what managers look for in the candidates for the growth marketing position. These candidates later develop their skills in T formation. So they go really deep on one of those things but they also have a strong baseline in all of them. For example you can’t have zero skill or expertise in any of those areas, you need a baseline of those and then most people go deeper on one of those things and specialise.
How to become a growth marketer?
Since growth marketing is a very new discipline in marketing there’s no pre-determined path to becoming a growth marketer and this is way it’s hard to start your career in this area. There are essentially three basic skillsets that are important and that the interviewers are going to be looking for in candidates.
Out of all three required skillsets there is channel-level expertise which is very hard to acquire for a newbie. The other two skillsets (analytical-capability and cross-functional strategic thinking) are very easy to learn about via online-courses, webinars,…
And then, beyond having the specific skills, there comes the understanding of the basic foundations of how growth works in the context of the business that you’re interest in. So, my conclusion is, there is of a great importance for a growth marketer to understand the bussiness as a whole and to have a deep understanding of a product.
He also points out there are some specific soft-skills taht are extremelly valuable for agrowth marketer. It’s important the future growth marketer is teachable, curious and “hungry” for the knowledge and growth in general.
It’s also good to know that the basics of growth are applicable to someones personal life and personal development.
I’m really happy and excited to started the mini-degree in growth marketing at CXL Institute and I’m positive it will have a huge impact both to my professional life and also to my personal development. I’m looking forward to acquire new skills and I hope I’ll have a chance to use at least some of them also at the different projects I’m working on at the moment and in the future. For everybody searching for the in-depth course in growth marketing I can highly recommend this mini-degree.
Also, I’m very happy to start this course at the present moment, when during the lockdown, I have more time to really focus and understand the material and get the most out of this opportunity. And the added bonus is, the time of social-isolation runs way faster when you’re working on expanding your knowledge. :)