Curious to find out what exactly a Growth Coach is?

The Reference has had a Growth Coach since the beginning of 2019.
‘A what?’ you may ask. The Growth Coach is a senior consultant who coaches enthusiastic young marketeers, helping them to take their digital marketing skills to the next strategic level. Compare it to a ‘turbo’ button you can push to make these enthusiastic marketeers have a valuable impact on your business even faster.

Birgit De Vries is our first Growth Coach, who set up the project with Birger Schrevens. The two of them are ideally placed to explain exactly how the whole thing works. 

Why did you decide to bring in a Growth Coach, in fact?

Birger: There is still a great need for digital marketing expertise. A large number of young digital marketeers with a lot of appetite and drive have come onto the employment market in the last few years. They have overwhelmingly big responsibilities in a rapidly evolving digital world. But they often still lack the precise strategic insights to transform the marketing approach from good to fantastic. By providing support when selecting the right candidate and making use of a Growth Coach, we unlock the potential in these talented youngsters within ambitious companies where they can get permanent contracts at a later stage.

What do coaching days entail? 

Birgit: I start each coaching day by going over the past week. And we deal with urgent issues immediately. Then we continue working through the Growth process. That means training and work meetings in alternate weeks. It is always pragmatic and down-to-earth, which means that we get actual work done during the coaching sessions as well. And we have a good laugh while we’re at it! Sometimes we really let our hair down during brainstorming sessions in particular. But that is precisely what increases the maturity of our approach to marketing.

I always ensure that the process contributes to the customer’s growth. Conversations with management and the digital marketeer beforehand reveal their needs and the company’s goals. We put together our process on that basis, combining two aspects: individual training sessions to fill the marketeers in on anything they may be missing, and working meetings on various issues in digital marketing that the company and marketeer need. 

What is the ultimate impact of Growth Coaching?

Birgit: The Growth Coach enables the marketeer to grow in terms of digital maturity, and that helps the company do the same. Through training and empowerment. We teach them to draw insights from masses of marketing data. They learn to think strategically and what marketing strategies, tactics, optimisations etc. are important to their company to deliver genuine business impact. And they are brought out of their comfort zone to try considering things from a different angle.

What hashtags should we use for your role?

Birgit: support, challenge, strategic thinking, growth and marketing impact.

And what do the coachees think?

Birger: They feel it adds enormous value to have a Growth Coach behind them, providing support at strategic and day-to-day level.   

When do you feel satisfied yourself? 

Birgit: My Growth Coach sessions are only a success if I hear someone exclaim at least once a session, ‘Wow, I didn’t know that! That’s something I can really use!’
In the longer term, I feel satisfied if I see a visible difference in the approach to marketing and the business impact. If I see that a company is growing and a marketing colleague is growing within their role, that gives me a huge energy boost!

Do you want to know how our Growth Coach can help your business?


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