Growth Hacking

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

What is Growth Hacking?

Growth Hacking. Before Monday, I had no idea what it was. The word sounded more like putting some JavaScript into my calla lily than something I could use professionally, even though my calla needs all the help it can get. But have no fear; even if you’ve never heard of Growth Hacking, you probably know some companies that have been using it, such as Airbnb. After the grand opening of Tribe Tampere, Y-kampus and Growthmaker's Growth Hacking Event Series, Anssi Rantanen from Growth Tribe had enlightened me.


To me, Growth Hacking is something very interdisciplinary. Growth Tribe had a very good picture what this T-shaped growth hacker’s knowledge map would look like:



Growth hackers have 2-3 skills that they are specialized in, but wide knowledge of several things. With this combination of talents, they can dip their spoon into many soups and stir things up. After that, growth gets on the menu.

Essentially, Growth Hacking disrupts the walls between marketing, data analysis and coding. When there are no rigid structures and people know what their colleagues are talking about, fast-paced innovation bubbles up. And those teams, as Anssi Rantanen from Growth Tribe put it, “get sh#t done!”.

Growth hackers also get deeper into the “Pirate Funnel” (which has got to be one of the best names in the history of time). They don’t just bring people to the threshold like a lot of digital marketers do, but get to know every step of the customer experience.


The one takeaway from Anssi Rantanen's presentation would definitely be testing. Spray that paper with ideas, rank them, evaluate and then test the best. Usually you get one idea, cherish it and then take it into practice. In Growth Hacking, it's no mercy for any idea as they walk the plank at the pace of a treadmill. You can't really predict the winners before testing, so you need to grow your arsenal of options. As you raise the number of ideas, you also raise the likelihood of striking gold. Growth Hacking doesn't have the magical ability to immediately solve every issue you might have. It’s just simple maths of probability and the practice of strategically innovating to crack the problem.

Growth Hacking is everyday marketing of the future that you can start doing today. Growth Hacking is having the mindset of the one-man band from Aladdin. You can execute your vision right now, by yourself, or with a Growth Team if you're in a bigger company. Just remember to water your lily so it won’t die while you’re busy hacking away.

Elina Lumppio