Growth Manager vs. Growth Hacker

Growth Manager

My last Growth Hacking presentation contains a slide where I made a differentiation between “Growth Hackers” and “Growth Managers”. A topic I had in my mind first time 12 months ago and wrote it down in my eBook. When I think about it myself or discuss about it with my collegues it becomes more and more clear to me. Yes, startups and companies are different in terms of Growth Hacking. But what they have in common is, both parties need Growth Hackers on the one hand and Growth Managers on the other hand. What is the difference and why do you need both?

Growth Hackers do Growth Hacks

Turn the Google-engine on and type in “Growth Hacking“. What you get are hundreds of results with the best Growth Hacks and definitions “What is Growth Hacking“. A paradise for Growth Hackers, who are always looking for new ideas how to get more visitors, more registrations and better onboarding materials to make their customers more satisfied (really good Growth Hackers do that too ;-)). If they are in the position to just implement the right Growth Hacks without any dependencies to other stakeholders, legacy systems and even more have the right analytics-toolset to measure the success of exactly this one Growth Hack, I would say “Lucky you! You have the perfect Growth Hacking environment”. Watch out the best Growth Hack, test it, repeat it. Wonderful world.

Of course, most startups don´t have the dependency-problem. For sure, they often have different issues like low budgets, no traffic, less ressources, no IT-Marketing skills etc…what makes focussing on Growth Hacking even harder.


Growth Managers build agile organizations

Corporations or bigger companies, which want to start focussing on Growth Hacking, need at the beginning a lot of work done by a Growth Manager. Negotation with bosses and stakeholders about the strategic objectives, budgets, dependencies to marketing, IT, partners or other departments and so one. Which is the best organization setup for Growth Hacking in large companies? Building up agile scrum teams in the existing departments or build a new department? Or organize the Growth team externally – to get rid of all the dependencies? Maybe renting an external Growth team for a test project, to show your boss that it works? Hard decision, but even worth it reflecting all pros and cons.

Growth Managers has to build the perfect environment for Growth Hacking, before anybody can start with implementing the first Hack. A hard job, but necessary for larger companies.

The world needs both

For me it´s clear, the business world needs both – professional Growth Hackers for implementing the creative Growth Hacks and Professional Growth Managers to build the perfect playground for the Growth teams. And both are very important for a working Growth engine.

What do you think? What are your experiences with Growth Management or being a Growth Hacker / Manager? Is there a place for both?


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