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Interview with Growth Marketer - Daniel Johnson

October 21, 2022
Growth Marketing

We interviewed a Traktion Growth Marketer - Daniel Johnson to understand when and how growth marketing can help your business. Daniel has 8+ years of experience in growth marketing for startups using data-driven approach. He is a Google Growth Mentor and has worked with brands like Greenscreen, eQuoo and NAVA.

Question: What is growth marketing, and is it different from traditional marketing?

Daniel: "Although I find the definition of growth marketing changes depending on who you ask, essentially, it focuses on building, maintaining, and growing the brand's customer relationship. It’s a holistic and cross-disciplinary process designed to enable an organisation to achieve its goals through data-driven experimentation.

Growth marketing evolved naturally from 'growth hacking' - experimentation by developers in modern startups with limited resources and ambitious timelines. Conventional marketing was just too slow for modern startup methodology.

Conventional marketing looks at the processes of awareness and acquisition. Good growth marketing looks at the entire relationship of the customer and how they’ve experienced the value of the brand throughout the lifetime of the brand/customer relationship.

Modern marketing is inseparable from data: any information that we gather about a relationship between a brand and its consumer. It’s invaluable for focusing our marketing efforts on the right people at the right time and across the right channels. Harnessing quantifiable, numerical data allows us to ignore our own biases and ensure that we remain objective as we create campaigns and analyse the results of those campaigns."

Question: When should large enterprises consider hiring a growth marketer?

Daniel: "Large enterprises are always looking to become more efficient, move faster and have more impact. They're seeing what startups have been able to achieve over the past 10-20 years and are trying to embed similar processes. Hiring an experienced growth marketer who’s ‘been there, done that’ is invaluable in achieving this.  

Startups like Instagram, Slack and Brex have shown breakthrough growth, commanding billions in revenue. Slack grew from 0 to 10 million Daily active users in just five years. I believe that this is due to the iterative, lean process that startups apply to growth: in making decisions, attaining data and taking action faster.

And these growth marketing principles can be applied to larger companies. A good growth marketer will be able to create a marketing strategy tailored to each company and their clients. They may work on one part of the marketing mix, such as messaging, analytics or social campaigns, but more often than not they will look at the whole picture to generate repeatable, scalable growth no matter the size of the company."

Question: How can startups use growth marketing to propel their business?

Daniel: "This is precisely what I talk about in my video. Nearly every company can implement data-driven, customer-focused experimentation techniques and frameworks that have proved to be successful time and again. These can include tools such as analysis of metrics and KPIs, tracking data, customer research, a strategic messaging map, a brainstorming file and a growth plan.

Data can be analysed using Metric and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). Customer research helps a brand fully understand its customers: demographics, interests and persona and a strategic messaging map lets the brand understand its positioning, target customer, and value messaging. A growth plan analyses missed and possible opportunities that the company could maximise.

These tools help us to validate and invalidate assumptions, perform different tests to gather data, then monitor and gather more data, insights, and actions. They can help us to achieve faster growth by eliminating marketing efforts that are not performing well and focusing on those that do."

Question: What are the top 3 growth marketing tips that have worked for some of your clients? Can you share some examples?


"1. Unconventional thinking: If you’ve worked for a startup you know that conventional thinking and processes don’t fit modern ways of doing business. Modern digital marketing has to be more creative, leaner and faster. And that goes for the ideas behind campaigns. I have brainstorming sessions where I invite everyone in the company to contribute ideas: developers, freelancers, customer service people - particularly customer service people. I start off by offering some really out there ideas so that people feel comfortable. It’s amazing what comes out of these sessions.

2. Understand your customer: Understanding your customers effectively is the key to successful growth marketing. Creating a customer persona, using data gathered from research, helps us to understand what our customers need and want; what their problems are and how we can provide solutions. We can then create more defined ad campaigns, copy and creative. A messaging map adds more context and allows us to be generally more customer driven in everything we do.

3. Track everything: We track data to understand attribution (how people learn about us), behaviour (what they do when they visit) and whether we are achieving our goals, all of which can help us to make informed data-driven decisions."

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