Growth Is Technical
by Chandler Craig
Having spoken with a ton of growth engineers and PMs over the past few months— at companies of varying sizes, across every industry— one thing is clear. Highly technical growth teams are cropping up at a rate that is outpacing the development of a sufficiently technical growth software stack.
The majority of b2b SaaS products developed in the past two decades were built to service historically siloed marketing, product, sales, engineering, and customer success teams. Marketing software like site builders and content management systems, for instance, were designed with a heavy emphasis on low/no-code UX because marketers rarely had dedicated engineers on their teams. Site builders like Squarespace, with drag-and-drop interfaces and sparse API functionality, were once the gold standard. But we’ve reached an inflection point where software in the growth vertical (e.g. CRM, CMS, site builders, customer engagement, analytics) must deliver an exceptional developer experience or die a slow death. The more growth teams I’ve talked to, the more evident this has become. Open-source, headless content management systems like Payload and Strapi have gained rapid momentum in recent years due, in large part, to the rise of the growth engineer– an increasingly prevalent and import role.
Demand for growth engineers has risen as companies have found powerful, new uses for their customer data. Our user research has shown us that most growth teams either have hired or are working to hire engineers who can help sales, marketing, and customer success unite their siloed data to form more complete and dynamic customer profiles, so that each step of the customer journey is as personalized as possible. But growth engineers run up against a persistent problem. All of this customer data lives in systems designed specifically for sales reps, marketing managers, and a host of other team members who have limited technical abilities. Ideally, growth software of the future will begin solving this problem. UIs simple enough for non-technical marketers to operate will function seamlessly alongside straightforward APIs and git-based workflows designed specifically for growth engineers.
We’re building a customer engagement platform which contributes to that future. Products like Dittofeed have traditionally been expensive (especially at scale), proprietary, and solely focused on a low-code UX. As growth teams have become more technical, they’ve begun solving these problems by canceling their SaaS plans to build what they need from scratch. Dittofeed is a modern, open-source replacement to the “from scratch” solution. It envisions a future where email templates are version controlled and marketing campaigns are tested in CI, and where, simultaneously, non-technical people are provided with beautiful dashboards and simple workflows.