How to build a Growth Hacking Team?


Now that we all know the basics of Growth Hacking, it’s time to dig a little deeper. Emmi Tervala and Anton Ikola from Columbia Road shared their knowledge on Monday of building a winning team in the second part of the GrowthHacking Event Series.

So, what makes a great Growth Hacking Team?

First, having fearless attitude towards learning new things, because Growth Hacking is all about experimenting. Also, noticing that not all can or should be Growth Hackers.

Growth Hacking Team is a multidisciplinary team of talents. Even though most pictures have four people, it can be a team of 1, or 10. According to Columbia Road, growth should not be outsourced. External help might be needed to get things started, but Growth Hacking needs to come from within. 


Growth owner is the team leader who is responsible for growth. They are process driven, analytical, creative and T-shaped. They also need soft skills and a thick skin. Designer has customer empathy, loves A/B-testing and knows front-end coding. They have the mentality of shipping fast and fixing later. Developer also shares that mentality. For developer, tech is a tool, not the product. They do fast iterations and are data-driven. Marketer & analyst does inbound marketing, handles small and large data sets and has back-end understanding.

Ability to make decisions and take action is also needed. The core team of Growth Hackers need to communicate with key stakeholders in a corporation, such as managers, IT owners, customer support etc. The team needs to go and speak to them to get things done. Though sometimes its easier to show results in the spirit of “do first, ask permission later”. The team needs to be doers, not talkers and sometimes approval processes just take too much time.

Making space for growth is very important, as is taking ownership. The team needs to have a strong mandate from the management, so they are able to take action where it is needed. According to Columbia Road, there is no need for a separate growth budget or tools, as the growth teams operate in the same environments like for example marketing teams. But having their own room is surprisingly important for the team, as Emmi enlightened us.

So exactly how to start a growth journey? Asking these four questions give you a good start.

1)     What do we want? Install data analytics, focus on KPIs.
2)     Who is the customer? Focus on customers problems.
3)     Where are the bottlenecks? Use customer journey map and sales funnel mapping.
4)     What are the pain points and opportunities? Align with the stakeholders and interview them.

Elina Lumppio