“Growth marketing” is a term that gets thrown around a lot in the digital world. But while it’s used as a catch-all statement for marketing and even advertising strategies, the true definition is quite specific.
Essentially, it’s the process of experimenting with your marketing campaigns and using the data you glean to grow your business. The key words here are “data” and “experimentation” and of course the actions you take to turn these into outcomes.
What does growth marketing entail?
“Growth marketing is the set of practices, rituals, and processes rooted in experimentation and understanding of the customer that ultimately results in sustainable, repeatable, growth for an organization.” Mark Fiske, Operating Partner at H.I.G Capital
This can involve everything from enhancing your search engine optimization processes and email marketing to A/B testing the content in your social media posts. Then making the changes in clearly defined loops to keep refining and redefining how you get the word out about your business.
Successful marketers know that it requires a structured approach with clearly defined goals and roadmaps to get there. For growth and customer acquisition to be truly successful, you’ll need to make enhancements and experiment along the entire customer journey.
While this may sound like a lot of hard work, there are a ton of benefits to adopting the right growth marketing strategies.
Growth marketers can see benefits from the first campaign
Few approaches in digital marketing work as well as a growth marketing mindset. Why? Because a robust strategy can pave the way for genuine, measurable business expansion.
Retain customers and inspire customer loyalty.
Growth marketing focuses on the customer at the end of the day but through the lens of the data behind the scenes.
With continuous measurement and growth in mind, the subsidiary benefit is that you’ll gain deeper insight into what resonates with your existing customers while acquiring new ones.
It’s one thing to talk about customer retention but to really understand the importance of it, we can take a lesson from venture capitalist Tomasz Tunguz “If a typical SaaS business loses about 2–3% of their customers each month to churn, the business must grow by at least 27%–43% annually to maintain the same revenue.”
This can have devastating effects on businesses of almost any size which is why it’s important to understand customer lifetime value.
Use marketing channels more efficiently.
Growth marketing is an ongoing process of optimization. You don’t just set your marketing channels and forget them.
Instead, you continually analyze the performance of each channel, identify areas for improvement, and make adjustments to achieve better results over time.
This way, you’ll be able to identify high-impact channels and adjust resources accordingly. This emphasis on refining and utilizing your marketing channels to the fullest can yield better results, even beyond short-term growth and into reputation management.
Increase budget performance on future campaigns.
Through data-driven decision-making, growth marketing allows you to optimize your marketing budget effectively. You can allocate resources to the most promising channels and strategies, ensuring you get the best possible return on your investment.
Learning from failures.
Growth marketing also embraces failure as a learning opportunity. When a campaign doesn’t perform as expected, analyzing the reasons behind its problems can prevent you from repeating the same mistakes in the future. But more importantly, it can guide you in a new direction.
What goes into a modern growth marketing strategy?
Defining objectives: The first step in a growth strategy is to set clear and measurable objectives. These objectives should be aligned with the overall business goals and could include increasing customer acquisition, improving retention, boosting revenue, or expanding into new markets.
Audience segmentation: Understanding the target audience is crucial for a successful growth strategy. This involves conducting in-depth audience research to identify their needs, preferences, pain points, and behavior.
Based on this research, the audience is segmented into specific groups with distinct characteristics and interests.
Keyword research and SEO: For a growth marketer, targeting specific keywords is essential to attract relevant organic traffic. Keyword research helps identify high-impact keywords that the target audience uses to search for products or services. Incorporating these keywords into content and optimization efforts improves your visibility in search engines.
Content strategy: Content plays a central role in growth marketing. A comprehensive content strategy is developed based on audience research and keyword analysis. The content aims to provide value to the audience, address their pain points, and guide them through the buyer’s journey. Content should be personalized and optimized for search engines to attract and engage the right audience.
Personalization and a refined user experience: A growth marketing strategy prioritizes personalization to enhance the user experience. Personalized content, product recommendations, and targeted messaging create a more relevant and engaging experience for the audience, leading to increased conversions and customer loyalty.
Multi-channel approach: A modern growth marketing strategy leverages multiple marketing channels to reach the target audience effectively. This can include social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing, paid advertising, influencer marketing, and so much more. Every channel is optimized based on performance data to maximize results.
Data analysis and analytics: Data-driven decision-making is at the core of effective growth marketing. Robust analytics tools are used to track and measure the performance of marketing efforts across various channels and the resulting data is analyzed to identify trends, insights, and opportunities.
A/B testing and experimentation: Growth marketers continually run A/B tests and experiments to evaluate the effectiveness of different strategies and tactics. By testing variations of content, design, calls-to-action, and other elements, they can identify the most impactful changes for improved performance.
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO): CRO is a vital aspect of growth marketing, focusing on optimizing the user experience to increase conversions. A/B testing is relevant here as well, along with heatmaps, and user feedback, which are used to identify areas of improvement and refine the customer journey.
Iterative optimization: A growth marketing strategy is not a one-time effort; it’s an ongoing process of iterative optimization. Based on data insights and feedback, the strategy is continuously refined and adapted to evolving market conditions and customer needs.
The dos and don’ts of growth marketing
DON’T: Try to drive customer acquisition with disjointed growth hacking tactics
Ask any growth hacker and they will tell you, there are ways to see quick wins but at what cost? While these may help in isolation, they can create misalignment between your teams.
A good strategy carefully considers the marketing funnel, customer feedback, and, most importantly; data. data. data. This needs to be approached holistically with key performance indicators firmly in mind.
DO: Pay attention to the customer lifecycle
The growth marketing customer lifecycle refers to the various stages that a customer goes through from initial awareness to becoming a loyal advocate for the brand. Growth marketing focuses on optimizing each stage of this lifecycle to drive continuous business growth. The typical customer lifecycle in growth marketing can be broken down into the following stages:
Awareness: In this stage, potential customers become aware of your brand, product, or service. Growth marketing strategies aim to increase brand visibility through various marketing channels, like social media, content marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and advertising.
Acquisition: Once customers are aware of your brand, the goal is to acquire them as leads or customers. Growth marketing employs strategies like lead magnets, email marketing, content marketing, and targeted advertising to attract and convert prospects into customers.
Activation: Activation is the point when a customer makes their first purchase or completes a key action that shows they are engaged with your product or service. Growth marketing focuses on providing a seamless onboarding experience and highlighting the value proposition to encourage customer activation!
Retention: Retaining customers is crucial for sustained growth which is why growth marketing strategies concentrate on providing an exceptional customer experience, personalized communication, and ongoing value. This helps keep customers engaged and coming back to make repeat purchases.
Revenue: Growth marketing aims to increase Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) by maximizing revenue from every customer. This can involve upselling, cross-selling, and implementing strategies to increase average order value.
Referral: Satisfied customers can become advocates for your brand and refer others. Growth marketing leverages referral programs, social proof, and incentives to encourage customers to refer friends and family, leading to a cost-effective customer acquisition channel.
Churn Management: Churn occurs when customers stop using your product or service. Growth marketing identifies potential churn indicators and implements strategies to reduce customer churn, such as targeted re-engagement campaigns and personalized offers.
Loyalty: Loyal customers are valuable assets for any business. Growth marketing focuses on building strong relationships with customers through loyalty programs, exclusive offers, and excellent customer service.
Advocacy: At the advocacy stage, customers become brand ambassadors, actively promoting your business to their networks. Growth marketing nurtures these relationships by rewarding loyal customers and fostering a sense of community.
Feedback and Iteration: Throughout the entire customer lifecycle, growth marketing gathers feedback from customers and data analytics to identify opportunities for improvement. This continuous feedback loop allows for iterative optimization of marketing strategies and tactics.
The dos and don’ts of growth marketing
DON’T: Call it growth marketing if you’re not iterating.
In some cases, a marketing team will report on wins and call it a day. However, a key part of growth marketing is building on successes through experimentation and iteration. While your brand presence and business performance might be growing, the digital landscape is generally in a state of flux. So you’ll need to keep experimenting to make sure you can keep up the momentum instead of simply maintaining the status quo.
DO: Communicate the results of your growth marketing campaigns to other teams.
One of the benefits of growth marketing is that it brings together teams with different disciplines and asks them to work together for the best collective result. This means communication between these departments is key. In some cases, teams already collaborate well together but if you find yours are more siloed, it’s important to create opportunities for them to share their learnings and plan campaigns across disciplines based on shared data.
DON’T: Let valuable data go to waste.
While tools can help you evaluate data in line with outcomes, customer feedback can be just as valuable to your growth marketing efforts. Compliment your quantitative data with qualitative feedback right from the source.
DO: Experiment with new strategies in structured and meaningful ways
Traditional marketing strategies don’t always prioritize data, and this has to change for businesses that want to develop an effective growth strategy. Throughout the entire customer lifecycle, growth marketing gathers feedback from customers and data analytics to identify opportunities for improvement. This continuous feedback loop allows for iterative optimization of marketing strategies and tactics. If used correctly, businesses like yours can get a competitive edge.
YDA can help your business expand
Looking for a growth marketing team to help you reach new customers? At YDA, we can work with your in-house marketers to start shaping a growth strategy that helps you expand your business and meet your customers where they are. Contact us to find out more.