In this interview, I answer three main questions. (a) What skills do you need to become a growth hacker? (b) What can a good growth hacker really do for a small business? and (c) what advice do you feel you give to those who want to undertake this job?

here is the translation from the italian to English:

What is a Growth Hacker and How Do You Become One? Insights into One of the Most Sought-After and Well-Paid Professions of the Near Future

According to Adecco, it is one of the emerging professions. Although not exactly “the highest-paid job in Silicon Valley,” it is certainly one of the lucrative ones, with annual earnings ranging between 60,000 and 170,000 euros. This is because a growth hacker is a relatively rare find due to the myriad of tasks they manage. Literally translated as “growth hacker,” understanding this role requires shedding any prejudices associated with the word “hacker,” which in this context does not refer to a cybercriminal, but rather someone capable of creatively pushing boundaries.

What Does a Growth Hacker Do?

In a nutshell, a growth hacker is a professional who focuses on a company’s growth, with an emphasis on new technologies.

“The ideal growth hacker is what I call a holistic marketer,” explains Theo Moulos, founder and CEO of GrowthRocks. “A growth hacker knows a bit about email marketing, social media, SEO, PPC, and more. They are ‘multi-specialists’ rather than generalists. However, the essential skill needed to become a growth hacker isn’t tough—it’s resilience. A Growth Hacker tests, analyzes, measures, and adjusts. Resilience is the ability to quickly recover from setbacks and persist through failures.”

According to Theo Moulos, a growth hacker today is as useful to large corporations as it is to small businesses, like the SMEs that form the backbone of the Italian production system.

“Growth hacking involves data-driven marketing utilizing low-budget tactics. This is exactly what small businesses need.”

How to Become a Growth Hacker

“To be a growth hacker, you need a strong background in marketing,” admits Paolo Dello Vicario, CEO of ByTek and coordinator of the Growth Hacking Marketing master at Talent Garden.

“Many come from digital marketing backgrounds. However, a growth hacker is a more comprehensive figure, integrating cross-disciplinary methods and skills to contribute to the company’s growth. It’s a job that involves experimentation, but a growth hacker must also be able to assess the impact of their experiments, thus requiring strong analytical skills, particularly in web analytics.”

Omar Bragantini, growth manager at Marketers Accelerator and lecturer in Growth Hacking at the Business Genetics course, agrees.

“This job requires both hard and soft skills. Among the hard skills are a fundamental competence in digital marketing, email marketing, SEO, and copywriting capabilities. Equally important are a curiosity about innovation and problem-solving abilities.”

Where Can a Growth Hacker Work in Italy?

The ideal breeding ground is within innovative companies. However, Paolo Dello Vicario suggests that the profession of a growth hacker is adaptable to any company that is ready for a change that triggers growth (for example, entering new markets).

“There is also much demand in the e-commerce sector, where a growth hacker does not just work to increase clientele but also aims to reclaim lost customers or elevate their engagement level,” he adds.

Currently, most demand in Italy comes from the startup world.

“But such individuals are also sought after by SMEs, although they often don’t call them growth hackers,” admits Bragantini.

What a Growth Hacker is Not

“A growth hacker is not an alternative to existing activities,” counters Dello Vicario. “Because a growth hacker, in addition to assembling diverse skills from digital marketing to web analytics, must know how to tackle problems in new ways. It is not a role that can be superficially added to an organizational chart. Like all activities that bring about change, it must involve all components of a company.”

Getting Started

Approaching this relatively new profession generally starts with educating oneself. Bragantini recommends beginning with two books: “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries and “Lean Analytics” by Croll & Yoskovitz.

Theo Moulos also advises starting with reading materials and signing up for relevant courses. “Moreover, regardless of the specialty you ultimately choose, make sure to learn a bit about both front-end and back-end development. Whether your first degree is in business or marketing, deepen your technical knowledge, if it’s technical then deepen your marketing knowledge. The combination of the two is a real powerhouse. The superpower of a growth hacker.”

From building products to building companies and go-to-market strategies. I’m an engineer at heart, dealing all my life with opening new markets and promoting new products.
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