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How is the role of product growth manager different from other product managers?

Sreenath Kizhakkedath
Sreenath Kizhakkedath
Uber Uber Head of Growth Programs, RidersJanuary 26

A traditional product manager is responsible for a specific set of features and functionalities in an application. They focus on building the functionality with great UX. A Growth Product manager looks more end-to-end and identifies opportunities to deliver incremental growth. Let's take an eCommerce website application. A feature product manager might be responsible for the checkout experience. They will be thinking more about building capabilities in checkout (like supporting new payment types). A growth product manager will take more of an end-to-end customer journey perspective and think about capabilities like driving more awareness for other related products in the checkout experience, increasing the average order value, increasing customer engagement and conversion on the checkout pages, etc. A growth product manager focuses less on building a specific component in an application rather more on the customer journey, conversions etc., across all application components. 

1390 Views
Jackson Hsieh
Jackson Hsieh
Upwork Senior Director Of Product @ UpworkAugust 25

Great question. 

  1. One important piece of knowledge is that EVERY PM is responsible for having a growth mindset. Growth PMs are NOT the only PMs responsible for growth. 
  2. Growth PMs are defined differently from company to company, and some companies don't have titles called Growth PMs. The most common Growth PM team that I've seen is usually responsible for user acquisition. This means they own the product features that help users have a smooth onboarding experience. 
  3. Sometimes the responsibilities go deeper in the growth process where they are responsible for user acquisition, engagement, retention, and referrals. However, in most cases from my experience, every PM owns a certain piece of the entire product but their responsibility is to contribute to a certain segment of this growth process. For example, I ran a team at 23andme called the Engagement team, where we owned the homepage experience, and our goal was to get our users to engage with our product more often. The more they engaged, the more opportunity we had to upsell them. 
1178 Views
Willie Tran
Willie Tran
Dropbox Group Product Manager, DocSend GrowthSeptember 20

I've wrestled with this over the course of ten years now. I used to think Growth PMs and Core PMs should just be one in the same and every Core PM should be able to do Growth work. However, I don't really believe that anymore. From my experience, there's a place in the business to do optimizations (Growth) and a place to do exploration (Core) work. 

Core PMs generally have a stronger skillset around taking big bets which require a lot of coordination and patience. Growth PMs require high analytical acumen and rapid development, but much smaller bets, and not as much coordination. 

828 Views
Ojus Padston
Ojus Padston
Vanta Staff Product ManagerJanuary 5

The skill sets for growth and non-growth PMs are about 85% overlapped. The key differentiator is analytical sense. While all PMs need to ensure the team is focused on driving customer and business impact, growth PMs always have a direct tie to driving business KPIs. This requires a more advanced level of understanding trends in the data to identify areas of leverage. 

On the flip side, it is important to know what a Growth PM doesn't need to be great at in a given role. For example, I hired a PM who led a mobile app working with a small, dedicated team. That means the bar for collaboration skills didn't need to be as high as other roles. Another time, I hired a PM who work on core site conversion with a clearly defined scope, so they didn’t need as much depth in product sense.

1374 Views
Nicolas Liatti
Nicolas Liatti
Adobe Senior Director of Product Management, 3D CategoryDecember 6

The role of a product leader is to develop products customers love, yet in a way that helps business. Specifically, the product management function's role is to help reduce the risks on value and viability of the products.

I don't see any difference between a traditional "product manager" title and "product growth manager" title. Those are just titles, and eventually what is expected from them is the same: help develop the best products, in a way that helps business. What may change is their area of focus and how they achieve it.

495 Views
Monil Shah
Monil Shah
Clover Lead Product ManagerApril 5

There are three common approaches that companies take to address product growth. These include:

  1. Everyone does growth, meaning each Product Manager is responsible for building the core features and improving adoption and retention of these features.
  2. Having a dedicated Growth PM as part the core team, who reports to the Head of Product and focuses on growth levers specifically for that product area.
  3. Having a dedicated Growth Product Function that either focuses purely on acquisition or takes a Product-Led Growth (PLG) approach, where the team looks at Acquisition, Activation, Retention, and Monetization. In this case, the company may have a PM and a dedicated team per growth lever. The PM will report to VP/ Head of Growth.

The role of a Growth PM differs from other Product Managers in several ways.

  1. A goal for a Core PM would typically be focused on improving the core features of a product, enhancing the user experience, and ensuring that the product meets the needs and expectations of its users. In contrast, a goal for a Growth PM would be focused on expanding the user base and increasing revenue for the product. This may involve developing and executing growth strategies such as increasing user acquisition, improving user activation and retention, and optimizing monetization tactics.
  2. Core PMs may have longer-term roadmaps and focus on building comprehensive solutions, while Growth PMs prioritize rapid experimentation and iteration to test and validate hypotheses.
  3. Core PMs may work more closely with product designers and engineers, while Growth PMs may have to manage their time to collaborate and influence more with marketing, sales, finance and data analytics teams to drive growth. E.g Finance wants to increase revenue by increasing prices but that may impact self service conversions.
  4. Growth PMs often rely on hypothesis driven experimentation, data analysis and iteration to identify the most effective growth levers and to continuously improve product performance.

Overall, the role of a Growth PM requires a different mindset, skillset, and approach compared to that of a Core PM.

208 Views
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