I think one of the greatest fears is working on a product that doesn’t have P/M fit or people just don’t want to pay for it. Exactly what Gagan Biyani mentions. And especially in the early days you can’t figure it out easily.
Build a growth culture in your company
Another one is when a marketer joins an immature team that thinks that growth hacking is some magic that can skyrocket the company from day 1.
They think we’re Gandalf and that we can drive growth overnight without taking any resources from product, design and engineering.
I’ve seen a lot of times great marketers leave their jobs because founders read somewhere about growth hacking and don’t know how growth really works in practice. Unfortunately, growth marketing is a bit more chaotic than driving growth through traditional sales.
In such cases, when the growth hacker asks for changes on the product (e.g. onboarding, virality, etc.) they either get ignored or his/her experiments get super low priority.
To address this, you either need to make sure that the top management/founders know what they’re talking about or be so good at selling growth internally, before doing anything else.
As Andrew Chen puts it:
Growth is not a bunch of small, tactical growth hacks—make a button this colour, etc.) It is a full model and system with linked parts and loops that align with your business.
Some actions that can be helpful:
- put growth on your team members’ title (even if they do product or other stuff)
- As Gustaf Alströmer from Airbnb says, explain them that very few features touch non-users— working on adding features in the product won’t help you acquire more customers.
- Show case studies that growth takes time and train them that failure is a big part of the game.
- Try to get some quick wins as soon as possible, mainly to keep the team’s psychology at a good level.
James Currier talks about some of the above in this great video: