What is a Chief Growth Officer?

What is the Chief Growth Officer? The business leader that understands how four key areas of activity intersect in business to create profitability. Marketing. Sales. Product. Finance.

Profitable businesses attract prospects (marketing); turn prospects to leads to customers (sales); deliver value customers buy (product) and ensure more money flows in than out (finance). These key activities must work in unison and with efficiency to generate profit. How can a business find profit efficiency? The better question is who optimizes a business’ activities for profit.

Historically the CFO, COO, CEO, CMO, CSO or CRO all have accountability to profitability. Executive roles impact profits, but rarely have the cross-functional skill-set to optimize business to work asynchronously to achieve optimal profit. A Chief Growth Officer (CGO) has the unique ability to work across the key activity areas that drive growth. In large companies, the CGO is a cross-functional catalyst used by executives to align and optimize their own team’s activities.

Marketing teams work on demand generation loading the sales funnel with prospects. Display ads, emails, live chat conversations collect data about how prospective customers are engaging with the business’s value proposition(s).

CGO ensures all marketing activities originate from a specific value proposition that is measured as prospects encounter marketing messages. Insights are relayed to sales reps to improve nurturing and conversion through value proposition continuity. Insights are relayed to the product team to influence feature development.

Sales teams work to nurture leads through the funnel to complete a transaction. Phone calls, transactional emails, presentations collect activation data from the sales funnel indicating why leads convert to paying customers.

CGO ensures all sales activities maintain value proposition continuity during the sales process and customer interactions are measured. Insights are relayed to marketing team to improve value propositions, campaign messages, channel selection and budget allocation. Insights are relayed to product team to influence feature development.

Product teams work to deliver the value marketing and sales promise to customers. Features, flavors, styles are value delivery points where customers are either delighted or disappointed.

CGO ensures all product development activities are prioritized to deliver the value customers have been promised and expect. Customer experience insights are relayed to marketing and sales to optimize acquisition, activation, revenue, retention, and referral in the funnel. Insights are used to introduce features that could create unexpected outcomes that delight customers.

Finance teams work to allocate resources to marketing, sales, product, and other teams to optimize a businesses profit efficiency. Budgets are the control mechanism finance uses to increase or decrease each teams’ contribution to profit or loss.

CGO ensures that marketing, sales, and product have a budget that allows for experimentation while achieving business revenue and profit objectives. Insights are used to mitigate wasting money on activities which are not moving the business towards managements growth goals.

CGO’s look at the data derived from customers buying products and extrapolate insights optimizing businesses growth and profits. There’s more to dig into here, but suffice it to say that in organizations with thousands of employees or a startup with one entrepreneur – the CGO role is mission critical.

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