Growth marketing in business is like the scientific method in research. It takes trial and error, but its results are indisputable.
Does your marketing consist of two steps: making and advertising a product? If yes, you may find yourself out of business in ten years. It’s time to transform your go-to.
Modern companies take five steps: make, advertise, analyze, re-create, and re-advertise.
Is your company slow to adapt to the ever-changing customer demands? Growth marketing is agile and adaptive, letting you capitalize on new opportunities. It uses real-time insights to help you grow with your shoppers.
Are you ready to take your customer outreach to the next level? Keep reading to learn all about growth marketing.
Introducing growth marketing
The idea of growth marketing may sound counterintuitive. After all, every marketing effort a company makes has growth as a goal.
Isn’t all marketing then growth marketing?
Not really. This approach is longer-term and broader in scope.
Growth marketing is a strategy focused on fostering customer relationships through data-driven experiments. It’s a marketing optimization tactic for gaining loyal clients to help businesses scale.
You gauge everything, drop what doesn’t work, and scale what does.
The “growth” aspect may mean attracting customers, boosting revenue, or gaining name recognition. The specifics vary between companies, but the benefits remain.
Growth marketing vs. traditional marketing
Why do we consider growth marketing a step up from the traditional approaches? Because of its use of evidence, comprehensiveness, and forward-thinking perspective.
Traditional marketing typically focuses on the top of the funnel. It builds awareness and gains customers through calls to action and clever ad copies. Retention, activation, and satisfaction remain disregarded.
In traditional marketing, you may devise opinion-based strategies. They use what sounds right. Evaluations happen relatively rarely, often upon campaign completion.
Growth marketing goes beyond this large net technique. It focuses on the entire marketing funnel, starting with awareness and going beyond retention. The aim is to ensure a customer has a positive experience with a brand, so much so that they become advocates.
Marketers in this field rely on evidence, not their guts. They evaluate and re-evaluate what works, tweaking their way to perfection.
Growth marketing vs. growth hacking
You might’ve heard “growth hacking” used interchangeably with growth marketing. That’s a mistake: the difference lies in short-term vs. long-term focus. Where hacking seeks fast results, marketing observes the bigger picture.
Here are the main distinctions:
- Growth hacking achieves rapid growth by getting customers as fast as possible. Marketing has full-funnel strategies that retain clients, no matter their number.
- While both are information-driven, their intentions differ. Hacking uses data to refine an outcome, and marketing applies it to develop a strategy.
- Growth hacking is hands-on with testing, while marketing uses automatic, algorithmic processes. Manual adjustments happen periodically.
- Growth hackers address specific goals and pain points a business is facing. Marketers prioritize customers’ pain points to improve their experiences.
Central aspects of growth marketing
Growth marketing builds on top of traditional brand advertising strategies. It leans on these principles:
Here are the main distinctions:
- Integration across teams: Marketing shouldn’t be separate from product creation and customer support. It’s all hands on deck, with every employee working towards a shared goal. It requires large meetings and cross-company cooperation.
- A/B testing: Trying different methods on a small scale is at the core of growth marketing. You test versions of the same material, like an infographic or an email newsletter. You set goals, analyze results, and integrate them into a larger strategy.
- Feedback prioritization: Growth marketers create feedback opportunities and use the collected information. The teams work together to address pain points and scale the best-performing features.
- Agility and adaptiveness: There’s no assumption that a single marketing tool will work forever. Changes are commonplace, happening every time the analytics pinpoint a pain point.
- Multi-channel marketing: Like teams cooperate, so do interactions between companies and customers. You no longer depend on a single traffic source: the strategy employs all ways of communicating with audiences.
How does growth marketing help you scale your business?
Growth marketing helps you scale your business by driving rapid yet sustainable growth. Here are its main benefits for developing businesses:
- Acquiring more traffic: You use data-driven, targeted tactics that expand your customer base. Market reach fuels future growth.
- Converting leads into customers: Testing and tweaking techniques increase your success rates. It maximizes the efficiency of your marketing.
- Increasing customer lifetime value: Being customer-centric makes your shoppers repeat and loyal. You’re soon gaining money without spending it on acquisition.
- Scalable marketing channels: This approach exploits various ways to market your business. It identifies those with the highest return on investment, showing you what pays to scale.
- Allocating resources right: Marketers test different techniques on small samples. You adapt techniques before making them larger-scale and more expensive.
Setting goals for growth
Growth marketing operates throughout the funnel and has more objectives than traditional perspectives. Which you set and prioritize depends on your company and current performance.
This modern marketing paradigm adapts to companies struggling with various aspects of outreach. Let’s see how it looks in practice in three distinct scenarios.
Traffic & visibility
Boosting website and social media traffic is the goal of any marketer. After all, more visitors mean more potential sales.
Examined through a growth marketing lens, here’s how traffic boosting works:
- Current baseline: Analyze your existing traffic as a benchmark to measure progress against.
- Specific goals: Define what you want to achieve in terms of traffic. Be realistic, striving to raise the baseline incrementally.
- Key metrics: Determine traffic objectives, like website sessions, unique visitors, page views, and bounce rates.
Then analyze current trends and competitor data to devise experiments. Try different content and ad styles, tracking website metrics throughout.
Leads & conversions
Traffic is an excellent starting metric, but it’s only valuable if it leads to new customers. Your goals may include conversion rates, subscribers, or paid plan purchasers. It’s all about making your website more actionable and persuasive.
You may analyze different website pages to pinpoint the ones with high drop-off rates. Then experiment with outlines to see which is the most streamlined. The same goes for click-through rates in email campaigns and social media posts.
The basic process is the same: analysis – goal setting – experiments – result measurements. Test different headline lengths, calls to action, and landing pages for visitor subsets.
Retention & satisfaction
Retention and satisfaction revolve around reduced churn rates, customer value, and brand advocacy. It’s where the growth comes in: you have a steady shopper base ready to support your company’s journey.
Your experiments in this stage include feedback solicitation and upselling. The former lets you pinpoint errors and take advantage of word-of-mouth advertising. The latter increases revenue by encouraging customers to buy higher-end products.
The vital growth marketing principle here is to test your strategy on a small section of shoppers. That way, you check its effectiveness before applying it across the board.
Building a strategy: The AAARRR model
A growth marketing plan encompasses the entire sales funnel. It turns leads into lifelong brand advocates, enabling continuous and sustainable corporate growth.
It’s the most powerful when applied to every part of a user’s interaction with your brand. That’s why the AAARRR framework (aka the Pirate Funnel) is your best bet for long-term success.
Awareness is the first point of contact between a company and the public. It’s when people learn a brand exists.
This stage revolves around the advertising channels and target audiences. It concerns your online presence and includes these metrics:
- Social media post impressions
- Click-through rates on posts and ads
- Vanity metrics like views and follower counts
- Attention minutes, like video watch times
- Landing page visits and bounce rates
Growth marketing considers the awareness stage the prime time to try different approaches. You might borrow ideas from competitors, employ new brand voices, or try demographic-specific landing pages. A/B test everything, from ad copies to fonts and header styles.
Acquisition is the second phase of the funnel. It’s when you make customers engage with your brand and services. The key is to reach as many people from your target demographic as you can.
During this stage, you figure out who and where your customers are. Develop a buyer persona and match your brand voice and ad style to them. Then determine suitable marketing channels for interactions (the Bullseye framework is helpful here).
Meaningful metrics include:
- Traffic driven to your website per channel
- Dwell time on your website
- Click-through, conversion, and bounce rates
- Lead quantity and quality
At this step, your team may assess the conversion rates of your landing pages. Tinker with the layout, ad copy, and overall design to check performance changes. Go small-scale with tiny tweaks or make extensive appearance makeovers: it’s up to you.
Activation follows acquisition and relies on the Aha! moment of your product or service. It’s when people realize your value and become active customers. You then guide them to desired actions, like purchases.
Successful activation requires determining your aha moment through existing customer surveys. Also, use analytics data to see which products or features they use the most.
You can A/B test different value points to see what works best for your customers. While doing so, measure these metrics:
- Conversion-to-resignation ratio
- Website dwell time and view pages
- Drop-off rates
- Time to value
Your marketing team should find ways to engage and onboard the customers. It could look like video tutorials for apps, shopping with promo codes, or software user guides.
Retention is all about maintaining achieved customer relationships. It’s when customers find continual value in your product or service, so they stick around.
Your focus in this stage is to reduce churn rates and ensure customer satisfaction. You do that by continuously improving your product and maintaining the relationship. Social network posts and emails with calls to action are invaluable.
The Kano Model can help you here. It’s a framework that identifies brands’ features and benefits on three planes. It helps you determine what to emphasize for customer satisfaction.
Don’t disregard feedback from existing customers. It’s the best way to keep improving. You can measure your success (or lack thereof) with these metrics:
- Churn rates
- Email open and click-through rates
- Net promoter score
Data-driven personalization does wonders for retention. You can create tactics for segments of your demographic and test their success. Think seasonal promo offers and behavior-specific emails.
The referral stage reduces your customer acquisition costs to zero. It’s when customers refer your brand to others. Since 92% of people trust word-of-mouth advertising, it leads to massive company growth.
A successful referral system establishes incentives for customers to invite their friends. It also optimizes the service to make it more recommendable. Here are the metrics that showcase it:
- Net promoter score
- Referred customers’ retention and purchases
- Positive reviews and social media shares
A/B testing comes in handy. You can try different calls to action and referral incentive programs. Don’t disregard the quality of gained leads: ten conversions are better than one hundred visitors.
The last metric in the AAARRR framework is revenue. It describes the financial gains a company gets from a customer during their engagement. Having a high revenue means a business will continue expanding.
This stage identifies visitor percentages that convert to paying customers. It also deals with repeat customers and the frequency of their purchases. These metrics come into play:
- Revenue churn
- Repeated purchases
- Expansion revenue
- Monthly recurring revenue
- Average order value per customer
Your team should deal with ways to increase your bottom line. For instance, changing the pricing structure to affect purchasing decisions. Companies that operate on a freemium model can seek ways to get upgraded conversions.
5 growth marketing principles to follow
Businesses that adopt growth marketing have laser-sharp targeting mechanisms to reach new customers. They also nurture their existing base, keeping it active, engaged, and promoting the brand.
Success comes by internalizing these five key principles.
1. Put the customer first
The customer persona should be the basis of your marketing efforts. Shoppers’ preferences should drive your channel choice, product features, and messaging.
This outlook builds relationships that benefit both parties.
You can get better at prioritizing customers by:
- Personalizing your marketing: Leverage data and segment your target demographics. Tailor your voice, offer, and methods to every sub-group.
- Practicing customer empathy: Put yourself in a shopper’s shoes to identify their challenges. This technique aids product creation, promotion, and sales.
- Learning from customers: Growth marketing thrives on insights. You solicit and analyze opinions, establishing a feedback loop for improvement.
Also, establish ongoing engagement. Stay connected through targeted content, emails, or social media to collect insights and offer more value.
2. Be specific
The power of growth marketing is in the data. Don’t say you want to “increase traffic,” but have definite, measurable goals and targets. For instance, more viewers on your Instagram stories. Then pick an approach, test it for a day, analyze the results, expand, and repeat.
There’s no way to judge your performance without clear metrics. And the A/B tests become irrelevant if you can’t gauge whether A or B is better.
Making your goals specific stops you from splaying out on simultaneous changes. That’s not to say you must take it one tiny step at a time. Just to focus on measurable success indicators, like views or purchases.
3. Embrace failure
A long-term growth strategy requires trying different approaches, many of which will flop. Successful marketers recognize that losses let us identify the wins.
Data-driven adjustments require information on what failed. That way, you can cut the fluff and polish your tactics. Adjust your targets, messages, and channels to make future initiatives even better.
4. Get creative
Growth marketing calls for creativity and innovation: it’s data-driven but not formulaic. As long as you track the success of different approaches, no idea is off-limits.
What’s a unique way to showcase your unique selling proposition? How can you weave a corporate narrative into an attention-grabbing story? These questions require outside-the-box thinking and help you stand out from competitors.
5. Think strategically
Strategic thinking is a fundamental component of growth. It drives long-term success by putting marketing in the overall corporate landscape.
Since it’s data-driven, this perspective makes you analyze your surroundings. You learn the ins and outs of trends, preferences, competitive advantages, and competitors. That way, your new strategies don’t shoot in the dark.
Finally, you’re not only looking at one goal. You have a long-term plan that outlines the steps and milestones one, five, or ten years from now.
Hacking tactics worth adopting
Growth hacking is like a bandaid to marketing’s healing salve. It’s valuable in the short term but unsustainable. That’s not to say it lacks good ideas, though.
Using data and analyzing effective marketing tricks, hacking produces rapid results. And growth marketers can make its approaches longer-term and customer-centric.
Notably, these three work wonders for top-of-the-funnel marketing.
Get familiar with behavioral economics
Behavioral economics is the study of how people make purchase decisions. It combines psychology with economics to help companies reach relevant shoppers.
Here are several handy examples:
- Scarcity: A sense of urgency nudges leads to become buyers. It can take the form of limited-time and seasonal offers.
- Social proof: The feedback you gathered has two uses. Beyond informing your strategy, it shows prospects you’re a reliable brand.
- Reciprocity: When you provide value upfront, buyers feel obliged to return the favor. Use this mental hack by offering educational content and tools for free.
These tricks can take many forms and adapt to any section of your sales funnel. Share them with your development, customer support, and marketing teams.
Take advantage of marketing automation
Marketing automation means using software for routine and repetitive marketing tasks. It saves money and streamlines the buyer’s journey by reducing human input. Think more traffic for less time and effort.
Beyond savings, automation enhances data-driven approaches. It lets you simultaneously experiment with several growth tactics on different demographic subsets.
Here are some handy ways to incorporate automation into your strategy:
- Schedule and publish various content formats across platforms.
- Run automated email campaigns with personalized, human-generated messages.
- Track the behavior of your leads and generate insightful reports.
- Use chatbots to respond to inquiries or direct prospects to customer support.
Don’t rely solely on tech. Automate processes and have human employees track and adjust them as needed.
Don’t hesitate to repurpose content
Content repurposing means putting existing content into new formats to maximize its value. For example, turning blogs into infographics, social media posts, or video guides. It’s a cost-efficient way to make the most of each material.
Recycling is a big deal in growth hacking, but marketers can use it for A/B testing. Seeing how posts work across channels and formats informs your long-term strategy.
Don’t repurpose every piece written for your brand. Instead, identify your best-performing content and try it in new packages. Don’t forget to optimize it to fit into its new home platform.
Grow better with marketing: Key takeaways
The business landscape got insanely cut-throat: you can’t thrive or survive without growth marketing.
This perspective is all the rage, and for excellent reasons. It forces you to bond with customers, creating better products and advertisements. We won’t be surprised if people stop sticking with brands that don’t experiment.
Use the AAARRR model to devise a comprehensive growth strategy. Analyze your customers, get your entire team involved, and get creative. It’ll let you enter broader markets, reach a wider audience, and increase your market share.
Contact Kakadu Media for more information on how to grow your company in the Internet age.