Head Of Marketing At STX Next Shares How To Build The A-Team In Growth Marketing

Published on:

STX Next is the largest Python software house in Europe and we wanted to find out how they got there. Head of Marketing Lukas Gmys on what it takes to build a successful growth team:

The digital landscape is constantly taking new shapes. New tools, new channels, and strategies can make any marketer’s head go round. And, let’s not forget: new jobs. Hiring marketers gets more challenging day by day due to constantly evolving needs and requirements.

All of these changes led to a new approach to marketing: growth marketing. When dealing with growth marketing you can look at an entire funnel and view it from the point of view of marketing, product, sales, design, customer success, and data analysis.

The Beauty Of Growth Marketing: Flexibility

What can you do when you have:

  • Constraining budgets?
  • Limited resources?
  • Fierce competitors?
  • Advanced tools?

Adapt. With a growth mindset, you can always pull a rabbit out of the hat!

Growth hacking puts a lot of emphasis on experimentation across the whole customer journey, creativity, data analysis. The results: consistent growth, higher retention rates, and lifetime value.

Sounds like a fairy tale, right? No, let me tell you a fairy tale turned reality. A story born in Poland that’s shaping the tech landscape in Europe.

The Inspiring Growth Story Of Europe’s Largest Python Software House

I got in touch with Lukas Gmys, the Head of Marketing at STX Next, the largest Python software house in Europe. The purpose: finding out the secrets of STX Next’s formidable growth. Let’s hear him out.

Tell me a bit about your company and what do you do there.

STX Next is the largest Python software house in Europe, and probably in the world. For 14 years, we have been providing custom software solutions and bringing sophisticated digital ideas of globally recognized enterprises and internationally awarded startups to life.

What is your definition of Growth Teams?

Growth marketing is made up of all of the activities of a company that are designed to provide value to prospects, customers, and the industry. The outcome of growth marketing, besides increased revenue, is the overall brand perception among the targeted audience.

A growth team should consist of open-minded people who are passionate about their work and about marketing, sales, and/or operations. These people should empathize with customers and be on a constant lookout for new, creative ways of engaging with them.

This might seem like a broad definition, but I believe that growth marketing in the modern sense goes far beyond just “filling the funnel with leads”. I like to focus on the growing recognition and positive sentiment towards the name STX Next. Ultimately, we need to grow the number of people who hear our name and respond “Yeah, I know them and I like what they do!”

How is your team structured and why did you choose to structure it this way?

From my point of view, each company that wants to build a strong brand needs to see itself as a media company which incidentally also sells products or services. And this media should go far beyond just communicating the value of products/services. Instead, building a modern brand means responding to all of the needs of our audiences, even if those needs are not related to something we want to sell.

That’s why at the core of our marketing department is the inbound/content team whose primary responsibility is to generate outstanding and professional content that makes the lives of IT professionals and decision-makers easier. All their efforts are synchronized and supported by multiple internal experts, e.g., by a search engine specialist, or digital marketing specialist skilled in PPC, analytics, and marketing automation. We also have an extensive employer branding department carrying out multiple projects to build strong local relationships.

What is your team’s main goal?

Our main goal is to build a globally recognizable brand as the #1 choice for Python programming needs. The language is already considered as the fastest evolving technology solution used in custom software development.

We are also looking to amplify the messages that flow from our clients’ testimonials: that we take ownership of our projects; that we are perceived as experts and mentors in programming and Agile; and that working with us feels seamless and fun, even across great distances.

What should a minimum viable growth team look like in terms of people and their responsibilities?

There must be at least one person who is experienced and skilled in marketing, someone who has enough knowledge and guts to take the lead — to show which way to go, and what direction to focus on. One thing is crucial: this person needs to have enough power within the organization to impact departments and coworkers.

How do growth teams change depending on the phase of the business: from startup to mature?

I participated in a few startups as a co-founder, and honestly, although I learned a lot, it was the toughest time of my life. Now, looking back, I can point out that most of the work we did in relation to growth and marketing was utterly misguided. Long story short, through all stages of entrepreneurship, there must be a vision of the company, and each crucial part of the concept should be assigned to an owner, an expert in a given domain.

The same applies to growth teams when the company is mature, at which point more crucial and essential things can get done in-house, with ownership. I also noticed that the growth team is evolving from being more focused on product-market fit and traffic, to being more oriented towards enlarging an influential, recognizable brand.

It doesn’t matter which stage your organization is at, what’s essential is that there must always be someone showing the direction for growth. Usually, the most significant contribution to growth belongs to the CEO, who has the best view, knowledge, and experience within the whole company.

How do you retain and engage the team members?

I believe in honest and mature relations between team members, where directness, advice, mentorship, and guidance should be prioritized over daily tasks and KPIs. I’m always open to ideas, feedback, and criticism, and I expect the same from my team members.

We are on a mission, and only teamwork can move us forward. There is no room for “I,” the team is the core.

Job hopping – how can you fight it?

It’s widespread nowadays but usually happens only if a person isn’t improving, doesn’t have enough challenges, or doesn’t see any room for future development.

So a leader must take care of his coworkers, show them possible career paths, and motivate them to grow within the organization. Personal progress happens when people are trying new things, are testing innovative solutions, taking risks — that’s what I’m endorsing. A friendly atmosphere and maintaining work-life balance also helps to retain and develop great talents.

Where does the growth team fit in the company structure?

I wouldn’t box a growth team within a company structure. The growth team is the whole company, beginning with the CEO and ending with freelancers completing minor tasks.

Undeniably there should be a leader with a vision for growth, who can analyze, plan, and execute assumptions, who can infect and inspire others to strive for improvement and growth. Usually, the Marketing and Sales departments have the best competences, tools, and knowledge to adapt and implement growth strategies. However, this shouldn’t be limited only to a few individuals. Anyone within the organization should have the possibility to be an initiator and implementer of new ideas.

Growth, product, marketing. How do they overlap, how do they differ?

Progress is all about synthesis and synchronization.

I compare the outcome of growth to a beautiful fresh-baked cake. To be successful, you need to prepare, gather, and mix all the ingredients, set up the oven, and be patient. It’s important to notice that you could either follow a recipe or make one up on your own. But in both cases, it is better to be prepared for failure. But the magic works only if you don’t give up and continuously look for improvement of the baking process and the recipe.

So growth, product, and marketing are just words, labels describing the buckets of ingredients. It’s up to you how you’ll mix and synchronize them. It’s worth emphasizing that the ingredients are your resources, people and their skills, so take good care of them!

Is there a workflow you use, a certain methodology? Agile, Scrum?

We use a mix of Scrum, Kanban, and our own solutions. We work in biweekly sprints.

What is your opinion: one metric at a time versus more metrics? Why?

The way you set up and follow metrics depends on your approach to growth and what strategies you’re following. At STX Next, we have set a plan for 2019 to grow faster than ever, and we summarized this goal in one sentence: “We aim to hire over 100 amazing people this year.”

This statement/metric-in-one has:

  • expressed the company goals,
  • motivated and set all departments on track,
  • aligned business objectives between all departments,
  • communicated and resonated within the company and with the outside world,
  • impacted the industry and the market,
  • positioned the company as a leader.

Various other numbers are subject to this metric, but this one is easy to understand, share, and to track. So if you want to communicate a metric far and wide, make it as simple as possible.


At the end of the day, growth marketing is the job of every employee at a company. As Lukas pointed out: “Anyone within the organization should have the possibility to be an initiator and implementer of new ideas. “

So, you should figure out how to align your colleagues on the overall vision, how to motivate and onboard them in this mission called growth.

If you’d like to read other compelling success stories, you’ll find them on our blog.




Sharing is caring!