“Growth marketing” sounds enticing–who doesn’t want marketing that leads to growth? While growth marketing has gained a lot of recent attention, it can be hard to know the potential it has for your specific organization.
Yet, as we’ll discuss in this post, growth marketing has indeed become adaptable to virtually every organization. It doesn’t need to be adopted in its entirety or even used regularly, but its guiding principles can prove valuable in helping to advance your short- or long-term marketing objectives.
The Makeup of Growth Marketing
The challenge with defining growth marketing is that a large part of its definition is contingent on the fact that marketers can do very different things to achieve it. Essentially, it takes tried-and-true marketing methods and amps them up or applies a creative spin in order to uncover new and innovative opportunities for growth.
Testing, failing and succeeding
Being the updated, younger sibling of traditional marketing doesn’t just happen overnight. For marketing efforts to grow at such a rapid rate, there must be a level of trial and error that allows you to devise methods that truly work.
Growth marketing isn’t about creating a certain checkpoint of ads and emails that you put into your automation tools and check back on in a month. Instead, growth marketing is focused on constantly and consistently tweaking and adjusting those components so you can see results right away.
Digging into data
While the speed at which growth marketing moves and the creativity aspect of it can make it seem fast and loose, it’s actually rooted in facts and figures. Most people employed as “growth marketers” have a background in data collection and analysis. Growth marketers should feel completely comfortable working with marketing tools like Google Analytics, HubSpot, Bizible or any of the popular platforms that collect and help analyze marketing data. Between A/B test results, surveys or ad performance, growth marketers should feel comfortable analyzing and interpreting data across a variety of sources and applying it to strategic updates.
Growth marketing that’s done well is going to hit every part of the funnel, not just the top. It’s not only going to attract potential clients and pull them to your brand, it will also engage them, give them a reason to stay around and eventually turn them into brand advocates.
How do you build a strategy that targets everything in your funnel? A large part comes from the other two aspects of growth marketing. You must move quickly by testing and trying things that may or may not work, as well as using data and key insights to build out various hypotheses and tests. While things move rapidly and with some resulting failure, each experiment and iteration leads you closer to a comprehensive, all-encompassing strategy that can target each part of your funnel.
Who Should Use Growth Marketing?
Growth marketing is centered around moving quickly and efficiently and helping technology companies scale rapidly. With technology constantly evolving and potentially being disrupted, tech companies seek effective and streamlined ways to launch their products and brands in order to get things on the market before competitors. Growth marketing can also be used for two seemingly opposite organization types: startups and long-established companies.
Startups need to know what is or isn’t working right away and improve upon it. If they’re sending out emails for a first product launch and they aren’t capturing any leads from it, they need to dive in right away and apply adjustments to ensure they’re getting their products or services in front of the right prospects and with the right messages.
Long-established companies can also use growth marketing if they want to try out and test new marketing initiatives that may move away from what they’ve been doing for some time. If things are feeling stagnant or stale, growth marketing can help try out some new strategies without tearing down what’s already been built.
Growth hacking and growth marketing: Same or different?
Initially when you saw the title of this piece you may have thought “Oh, I know about growth marketing, it’s the same thing as growth hacking.” While growth hacking is also a topic that’s been buzzing, many don’t realize that growth hacking and growth marketing are not synonymous.
As we’ve discussed, growth marketing is an all-encompassing marketing strategy based on testing, researching and yielding full-funnel results. Growth hacking, on the other hand, is not a marketing strategy. Instead, it’s a smaller piece of the puzzle. If you want to be a growth hacker, you need to focus on one part of your strategy or just one core metric you want to see.
Why such a small focus? Growth hackers are essentially “hacking” the system in that they’re finding one adjustment or one change that costs very little in order to create big, profitable results. Though growth marketing moves quick, it’s still a marketing strategy that’s going to take time and involve multiple parts of your marketing strategy.
Applying Growth Marketing to Any Organization
While we focused in on how growth marketing is a common tactic of tech companies, startups and established companies, the growth marketing mentality is adoptable by all organizations in the B2B sector. Here are the principal ways your B2B marketing team can employ growth marketing tactics to your traditional marketing efforts:
Focus on the data
In marketing, it’s essential to actively collect data from all your marketing efforts. But often, as busy marketers, this data can start to pool up without ever really being looked at. While you’re trying to jump on your next campaign concept, content and design, you’re missing all the valuable data from your last campaign that could be informing your next effort.
As growth marketers know, data can be a gold mine of information on how to optimize your marketing efforts, so it’s a great idea for you to employ one or several people on your team who act as your data treasure hunters.
This data collection and analysis is important for both B2B and B2C, though they will certainly look very different. B2C may be more focused on acquiring new customers and purchases, while B2B data is going to be more focused on seeing how customers are being retained and if they’re returning to your business.
Create stronger content
A big payoff from your improved and focused data analysis can be discovering the types of content your audience wants to see and then strengthening that content. Maybe you’re a financial services company and you realize from your analytics that most of the content your prospects are downloading or clicking to is focused on budgeting. From just that kernel of data, you can create more pieces centered around budgeting, vary the forms of content that your budgeting pieces take and then promote this stronger content through your social and email campaigns.
And don’t forget, you’re also saving time (i.e. money) by understanding the kinds of content your audience wants. Rather than allocating time to researching and seeing what competitors are discussing in their content, you’re learning in real time the content types you should be producing and can feel more confident in producing them. No more searching around in the dark for your next great piece of content—just use look to your data.
Test and test and … test
One thing that may take some time getting used to is the rapid fire that growth marketing requires. B2B marketing can often be seen as a form of marketing that lacks creativity, following a repetitive and formulaic path. However, as B2B marketing begins to grow and mimic some of the traits of its B2C counterpart, that includes the capability to test new variances with your content, campaigns and overall strategy.
As one test may produce lackluster results, you can extrapolate the piece that did show some signs of engagement and pivot towards that. The faster you move on your data and reflect it in your next iteration, the sooner you’ll start seeing improved results and growing your marketing in the desired direction.