Why every start-up should consider Growth Engineering?

March 14, 2023

On their own, Marketing, Product, and Data Science are separate functions within a startup, responsible for their corresponding activities.  However, a new concept has emerged in the past years (first introduced by Facebook), called growth engineering.  It basically overlaps functions of the three and creates a fluid area, where Marketing, Product, and Data all work together to drive product growth.  

What is Growth Engineering?

In simple terms, growth engineering is the process of identifying areas of improvement in order to achieve gradual growth for your startup.  Think of it as a bucket of things you can tweak and each one of them results in improved product success (it can more conversions, better retention, higher revenue, etc.).  The difference is that while marketing focuses on improving product awareness, product engineering focuses on features and realizing the founders’ vision, and data science manages and consolidates the available product data, growth engineering is a function of all 3, with an end goal being understanding user sentiment towards the product and addressing any friction points.

Why is Growth Engineering Important?

Imagine a typical scenario: Founders have a great product vision, they have done market research and validation, and the product is out on the market.   The user base is growing but not at the rate expected, users are churning or abandoning during the signup process, some users leave feedback requesting more features, so the team starts racing with time to deliver those features.  

But there is a problem!!! It was not the lack of features that most users disliked, it was the onboarding process, or the amount of effort they had to put to perform an action because the product was not user friendly. So, the initial issues with conversion and user growth, could have easily been resolved with simple adjustments from a UIUX perspective, which could have costed much less to the company than complex new features.  That is why it is so important to properly identify friction points, validate them with data (that is where the data science team can add a lot of value), and align them with the marketing product positioning (which type of users are they trying to create awareness with and what are those users' needs).  

How to get started with Growth Engineering?

Startups have a few of options when it comes to establishing a growth engineering practice within the company.

1. It can be part of product management driven by the technical lead, technical co-founder, or project manager. They should work closely with marketing and the data/backend teams to implement a process of identifying, validating, and prioritizing friction points in the product, which has a substantial negative impact to users.  

2. For early-stage startups, we recommend hiring a company like Vitrin9 to help establish the foundation of growth engineering and help achieve product-market fit or rapid scalability much faster (we have often achieved monthly double-digit growth).  This is a cost-effective way to adopt the process of growth engineering.

3. Later stage startups with established teams can either hire a full-time growth engineer or work with a partner like Vitrin9, to improve the company growth, which most often is expressed in higher conversions, better retention, and improved user advocacy.

Regardless of which option you choose, growth engineering is an important aspect of every startup looking to scale up quicker and maintain a focused and lean approach to its product.

Growth Engineering at Vitrin9

We founded Vitrin9 with the idea to help startups be user-obsessed and grow their company rapidly, which is essential to success.  We combine complex data analytics, modern design principles, and marketing strategies to create a growth-based model for companies, with little impact to their priorities and product vision.

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