Why You Need a Roadmap for Growth

I sometimes find it hard to explain to people what I do. After all, the title ‘head of growth’ sounds pretty vague (and quite pretentious) to those not familiar with growth marketing.

It doesn’t help that if you ask 10 heads of growth what they do, you’ll probably get 10 different answers. The same goes for CMOs, VPs of Marketing, etc. It differs from company to company.

This is a problem, because it can often be quite difficult to know what you should and should not be responsible for. Marketing and Growth has become such a comprehensive discipline that it is constantly overlapping with many (if not most) things going on in a company. This can make it quite challenging to focus your efforts.

This is why you need to have a roadmap for growth.

The way I see my role, is that I create and execute a long term strategy and vision for growing the business. Based on that, I come up with a roadmap of everything we need, to achieve our long term goals. Those goals are then broken down into monthly OKRs, which in turn are broken down into projects and experiments with deadlines, goals and target metrics. I find it helpful to work retroactively, meaning I think of where we want to be in 1 or 2 years’ time (e.g, we want an MRR of X) and I work my way backwards.

My job is then to go through everything on the roadmap, set it up, build a process, guidelines and best practices around it and then involve others (specialists) who can specialize, optimize and scale it. Once this is set up, I move onto the next thing on the roadmap, repeating the process. Throughout all of this, I am also always developing the vision, strategy and roadmap further.

I’ve found that creating a growth roadmap for Recruitee has been one of the best decisions I’ve made. Not only has it allowed me to organize, prioritize and delegate tasks more effectively, but it has allowed me to keep a crucial overview of everything we’re doing and why we’re doing it. It has also been very useful in showing the team what role all of our experiments and projects play within the bigger picture of our company’s growth.

Most importantly, the growth roadmap showed us how far we had already come in the past months and how we were well on track to building one of the most sophisticated growth setups in our industry.

So what does this growth roadmap look like?

The roadmap is split into 3 stages, labeled “Building a Growth Foundation”, “Professionalizing Growth” and “Mastering Growth”. Within each stage, I’ve split the goals into 3 sub-sections, labeled “Lead Generation”, “Branding” and “Product Marketing & Growth”.

Having worked with a lot of companies over the past years, I’ve realized that a huge majority are barely beyond the first stage. Very few companies are at the third stage.

How you set this roadmap up depends entirely on your product, industry, team, company setup and the exact role you’re expected to fill. The biggest challenge is making sure you’re not including things that contribute to growth but aren’t part of your scope (e.g. product ownership, customer success, etc.).

In our roadmap, the ‘foundation stage’ includes things like growth process for experimentation, clean analytics set up, basic marketing automation, first growth team hires and basic processes for UX.

The ‘professionalization stage’ includes stuff like advanced events based tracking, in depth content and branding guidelines, a strong product marketing setup and sophisticated processes for UX, beta testing and new market discovery.

The ‘mastering stage’ includes the most advanced stuff, including data science, internal data-attribution model, A/B testing within the product.

I include everything I can think of in the roadmap, even potential hires, tools and processes. I also keep in mind that the roadmap is a constant work in progress. With a clear overview of everything we plan to do to scale the business, it becomes very clear what the priorities are and how to organize them.

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