Why Growth Teams Are Imperative In the Age of Ecommerce

Let’s face it: Retail is a crowded market, especially with the emergence of ecommerce in the past two decades. As it has become increasingly more difficult for brands to capture the attention of potential customers, growth teams have become an invaluable asset for the companies they serve.

Typically speaking, a growth team is responsible for finding unique avenues to acquire customers and grow a business that traditional methods aren’t able to. It blends marketing, engineering, and product development teams to form a unique hybrid of results. This type of team requires individuals who can adapt easily, leaning more on the product side one day, or a generalist digital marketer the next. It’s important to have a mix of disciplines to execute on growth. For example, you need a marketing minded product person, engineering resources, and someone that can execute on design in order to cultivate a successful growth team.

Any company can implement a growth marketing team, but it requires the right resources and people. Read on to learn more about how your company can implement a growth team that produces successful results.

Build a growth mindset into your company from the beginning

It’s not easy early on to determine what tactics will drive the best results for your brand. However, the implementation of a growth team during this phase is paramount. By continually testing new ideas, you’ll be able to determine what works and what does not, as well as what you should focus on in the long-term. After all, in the consumer and ecommerce space, a new competitor can pop up seemingly overnight and knock your brand off its pedestal. If you’re not testing multiple new ideas in a month, your brand can easily take a back seat.

Growth teams help to ensure their companies never get too comfortable or complacent with their strategies. Something that worked very well a few years ago may no longer produce results as your company continues to grow and scale.

Indisputably, this is why instilling a mindset of growth into your company from the beginning is so crucial. This will make sure you never fall victim to impeded growth because you’re too reliant on a channel that stops working.

Define what that team is, and is not, responsible for

When first integrating a growth team, one must determine what the team is both responsible and not responsible for. Since it can be easy for these types of teams to fall victim to handling commonplace marketing activities, make sure you’ve created a clear line of distinction by setting goals and providing resources.

For instance, you may decide your growth team’s primary responsibility is to grow sales from new customers. Once that and a budget, as well as an annual return on investment, are agreed upon, company leadership should give growth teams full permission to test any idea they may see fit. Anything that may generate growth should be left on the table.

Run growth experiments & generate ideas

To grow, companies must first experiment. This is a critical aspect of any growth team. Teams should be cognizant of finding opportunities that both work and scale. It’s also important these teams are able to generate experiments at a rapid rate, which can be both an exciting but tiresome activity.

Moreover, growth teams should be aware that many of their experiments will ultimately fail. It’s an unfortunate but inevitable part of the job. However, if teams are learning from their experiments, successful or not, then they should not be considered a failure. Deployment of funds is necessary to validate new opportunities.

Teams shouldn’t cross failed experiments off their lists forever, either. Just because something didn’t work in the moment doesn’t mean it won’t be successful later down the road. Instead, put them on the backburner to revisit later on. Things might change and one day those failed experiments might become achievable again.

Set initial budget and performance measurements

One part of growth teams that is often unnavigable at first is the budget. It’s not only difficult to estimate, but many companies are apprehensive to allocate a significant portion of the budget to something that isn’t a sure thing. To offset this, many growth teams will start with a small budget initially, and then grow it as they see results.

One key performance indicator that can help signify the success of experiments is how your cost per acquisition (CPA) is trending. From there, it’s beneficial to identify what can be changed and doubled down for future success.

While growth teams often navigate the unchartable, they are also a crucial resource for any company to grow and maintain success over time.

Jon Corwin is Director of Growth at Readers.com