Every Startup’s Secret Weapon

NYC’s Maisonette talks about the power of the growth manager.

Written by Avery Komlofske
Published on Nov. 08, 2021
Every Startup’s Secret Weapon
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Imagine that your company has created the perfect product: a digital newsletter for memes. 

Finally, the grandmas and dads of the world can subscribe and learn what the kids are talking about without having to figure out TikTok, Instagram or Snapchat. Now, as growth manager, your job is to help the team reach new goals and get this product to the next level.

You start your workday by meeting with the team and discussing your weekly goals — whether you’ve met last week’s and what this week’s look like. Then, you spend a few hours reviewing and analyzing subscription demographics, customer feedback and other important analytics. Finally, you round out your day with a meeting between the heads of product and marketing to prepare for your upcoming campaign. 

It’s a good thing you’re there, too. When you show up, the two of them are arguing furiously about whether a hot dog is a sandwich, and you have to explain to them that sandwich discourse last peaked way back in September 2020 — which you know because you’ve been studying google search trends to keep up to date. By the end of the very productive meeting, you’ve got an airtight marketing plan for the next several months.

While the above account is fictional, it functions as an example for why a growth manager is a key player in any startup’s journey to success. For a dose of real-world wisdom, Built In NYC talked to real Director of Growth Katie Bullman of Maisonette, who outlined a day in her life as a growth manager. 


Katie Bullman
Director of Growth • Maisonette


Tell us a little bit about the work you do as a growth manager.

I’ve worked in growth marketing positions for over ten years. My day-to-day work evolved from having my hands on a keyboard to my current position as a people manager. Since growth marketing at Maisonette requires coordination across multiple internal and external teams, a good portion of my day is spent collaborating. Currently I’m responsible for performance channels, site marketing and promotions for Maisonette.com.

I typically start my week off with a team business review to look back on performance for the previous week and month, which helps guide priorities. I also conduct business reviews with outside partners and agencies. The rest of the week fluctuates based on the season and how the business is doing. Some example activities include coordinating upcoming campaigns across marketing channels, developing learning agendas for A/B tests, forecasting budgets and KPIs, creating strategy decks and developing a use case for a site feature enhancement.


How do you determine where to focus your efforts for maximum impact?

This may sound cliche, but ultimately I focus on work that helps me meet my goals. Maisonette sets company, team and individual goals through an objectives and key results process, so I have measurable, time bound objectives — which I highly recommend for all teams and organizations. Additionally, I’ve found action priority matrices to be a good way to help prioritize work based on evaluating level of impact versus effort.

Otherwise, a core tenant of a growth marketer is the use of data-driven decision making — so staying close to the data through weekly business reviews, A/B testing, dashboards and so on will ultimately provide some sense of impact and guide day-to-day prioritization of work.

A core tenant of a growth marketer is the use of data-driven decision making.


What is a project or campaign you’re working on right now that you’re particularly excited about?

Since we’re a young company, I’ve invested a lot of my time building core competencies for the organization over the past year. I’m really excited about all the work we’re doing from a site marketing and SEO perspective. We’ve built more relevant content on the site to match customer demands, created unique and curated product assortments, and optimized the site via functionalities like the homepage, navigation and landing pages so it’s easier to shop. We’re currently expanding this type of work to up-funnel channels, like paid social. For the future, I get excited thinking about integrating our marketing channels and investing in a data strategy — I want to provide a seamless customer journey for our customers from the first touchpoint through after the purchase.


Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images via listed companies and Shutterstock.

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