What Is Growth Marketing and How Can It Help Your Business?
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We all know that traditional marketing techniques are a proven approach to gaining customer traction over time.
But what if there was a way to grow your business faster?
With growth marketing, businesses can take a more proactive approach to driving customers and achieving their desired growth goals.
Growth marketing is an iterative and data-driven approach to marketing that focuses on identifying and scaling the most effective acquisition channels. This process begins with setting acquisition goals and then tracking key metrics to identify which channels are most effective at driving new customers.
Once the most effective channels have been identified, businesses can then focus on scaling those channels to drive even more growth. This process is repeated until the desired growth goal is achieved.
So, if you're looking for a way to grow your business faster, growth marketing may be the answer.
- What Exactly is Growth Marketing?
- Growth Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing
- What Do Growth Marketers Do?
- 7 Types of Growth Marketing Campaigns
- How to Make Growth Marketing Work for You
What Exactly is Growth Marketing?
You've probably heard of growth marketing if you're looking to grow your business. But what is it, exactly?
Growth marketing is about digging deep in one or two marketing channels to find new tricks and methods that will accelerate entrepreneurial progress.
Once a new growth marketing method is discovered, it can skyrocket a company to new levels if executed correctly. But the challenge is that these growth hacking techniques are oftentimes only temporary until the rest of the market catches up and does the same thing.
This means that a growth marketer's job is never done. They're always on the lookout for new ways to grow their business. Growth marketing is always changing and evolving, as marketers test different tactics to see what works best.
What Makes a Great Growth Marketer?
The most successful growth marketers specialize in one or two marketing arenas, but also have a good overview of the other marketing channels (and if you're looking for growth marketers, you'll probably be interested in our Marketerhire review). This allows them to quickly spot new opportunities for growth and connect the dots between different marketing channels.
For example, a growth marketer might focus on SEO and paid advertising. But they would also have a good understanding of email marketing, copywriting, and social media marketing. This way, they can quickly identify new opportunities for growth across all channels.
Growth marketers are also excellent record keepers and analysts. They need to be able to track their progress and identify which marketing tactics are working and which ones aren't. This way, they can quickly pivot their strategy if something isn't working and double down on what is.
Finally, great growth marketers are always thinking outside the box. They're constantly looking for new ways to grow their business and are always testing new tactics. They're not afraid to try something new if something isn't working.
Growth Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing
The main difference between growth marketing and traditional marketing is that growth marketing is creative, innovative, and often disruptive. Traditional marketing is more focused on following the status quo and using proven methods to reach customers.
A solid marketing mix will have the qualities of both growth marketing and traditional marketing over time.
For example, a growth marketing strategy may make sense for a startup trying to get its target market's attention. But as they scale, they'll need to add in more traditional marketing tactics to reach a wider audience.
Benefits of Growth Marketing
- You'll be able to reach new customers quickly.
- Growth marketing is possible on leaner budgets since it relies on more flexible and creative solutions.
- It's easy to stand out from the competition with innovative methods.
- You can quickly test and iterate on different marketing tactics, getting data fast.
- Small businesses have the potential to scale at lightning speeds.
Benefits of Traditional Marketing
- There's a lower risk since you're using proven methods.
- It's easier to measure the ROI since there are more established metrics.
- You can reach a wide audience with little effort.
- Although growth is slower, it's steadier and longer-term.
- It's easier to learn marketing strategy since more resources, marketing books, and training are available.
What Do Growth Marketers Do?
A growth marketer's day is always busy. They're constantly looking for new growth opportunities and are always testing new tactics. They fail more often than not. But this leads to a small percentage of exceptionally successful growth campaigns.
Some of the things that a growth marketer might do in a day include:
1. Researching & Testing New Growth Hacking Techniques
This involves reading blogs, books, and interviews on growth marketing. They're always on the lookout for new ways to grow their business.
Technology advances and trends are excellent sources of inspiration for new growth hacking techniques. These wide open spaces for creativity and innovation give a growth marketer an edge.
An excellent example of how technology disrupted the marketing industry is how social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter changed how businesses could reach their customers.
In the past, businesses would rely on print or broadcast advertising to reach their customers. But with social media, businesses could connect with their customers directly, creating a two-way communication channel.
This gave businesses unprecedented insights into their customers and allowed them to create more personalized marketing messages.
Now, this is a standard marketing tactic, but it began as a growth marketing strategy.
2. Analyzing Data to See What’s Working and What Isn’t
Growth marketers ensure that they collect data on every possible metric of their marketing campaign.
They need to track their progress and identify which marketing tactics are working and which aren't. This data is essential for making informed decisions about where to focus their efforts.
Some popular tracking tools used by growth marketers are Google Analytics, Mixpanel, and Heap.
Once they have this data, they need to be able to interpret it and identify which marketing tactics are working. They are quick to scrap any growth marketing campaigns that aren't working and double down on the ones that are.
3. Testing User Experiences and Conversion Optimization
User experience (UX) and conversion rate optimization (CRO) go hand-in-hand with analyzing data. These human-forward approaches to growth marketing make sure that your website or product is easy to use and that visitors are encouraged to take the desired action.
A/B testing is a popular way to test different UX and CRO techniques. This involves showing users two different versions of a web page or product and seeing which one performs better.
Some common tools used for UX testing are UserTesting, Optimizely, and Hotjar.
Conversion rate optimization is all about making sure that your website or product is designed in a way that encourages users to take the desired action. This could be anything from signing up for a newsletter to making a purchase.
By tracking the entire customer journey, growth marketers can identify which areas of the conversion funnel need improvement. They then use A/B testing to test different tactics and see what works best.
4. Adjusting Their Strategy Based on Their Findings
After taking a look at the data, a growth marketing manager will need to make some changes to their strategy. They will need to focus on the marketing tactics that are working and scrap the ones that aren't.
This might involve changing the way they're targeting their audience, the messaging they're using, or the offer they're making.
Growth marketers understand that it doesn't have to be personal if their initial ideas don't work. What works today might not work tomorrow, so they need to be prepared to change their strategy at a moment's notice.
They also need to be able to take what they've learned from one campaign and apply it to future ones. This is how they continue to grow their business and stay ahead of the competition.
5. Creating New Content and Re-Iterating
Once growth marketers create a marketing funnel that catches the attention of their target audience, they need to create content that leads them down the funnel.
This could be anything from blog posts and ebooks to webinars and email courses. The goal is to provide value at each stage of the customer journey and encourage them to take the desired action.
Making it as easy as possible for users to consume this content is essential. This is why growth marketers often create content that can be consumed in bite-sized chunks.
Marketing efforts that weren't successful get re-iterated and improved upon. With constant testing and tweaking, growth marketers are able to improve their results over time.
7 Types of Growth Marketing Campaigns
Growth marketing efforts can be implemented in almost any type of marketing campaign. Here are some examples of how a good growth marketer would use data-driven marketing to hack their way to success:
1. Paid Advertising
Using data from Google AdWords and Facebook Ads, a growth marketer would identify which keywords and ad copy are performing well. They would then allocate more of their budget to these areas and cut back on the ones that aren't performing as well.
Growth marketers would use data to come up with creative ways to reach their target audience.
For example, they might create a Lookalike Audience on Facebook or use Google's Custom Intent Audiences to reach users interested in what they offer. This helps to identify markets competitors aren't targeting for an edge in brand visibility.
2. Search Engine Optimization
The traditional approach to SEO is to create keyword-rich content with a handful of terms and hope that users will find it when they're searching for something.
A growth marketer would take a more data-driven approach. They would use tools like Google Search Console, Semrush, or Ahrefs (or Ahrefs alternatives) to see which keywords are already bringing traffic to their site.
They would also use tools like Google Trend to take into account changes in search behavior. Based on this data, they would create content that is more likely to rank well and drive traffic.
These marketers may also capitalize on popular slogans or phrases that are being searched for a lot but don't have a lot of results. This is how they get their content to stand out in the search results.
3. Customer Retention
A growth marketer knows that getting happy repeat customers that purchase their services or products over and over again is one of the best ways to increase cash flow.
A traditional marketer may engage in activities like sending out coupons or running loyalty programs. While these can be effective, a growth marketer would take a more data-driven approach.
They would use analytics tools to track customer behavior and identify what makes them happy. For example, if your target audience loves to save money, you could offer them a discount for referring a friend. Or you could bundle free budgeting tools or resources with your financial product.
A growth marketer could also think of a strategy to surprise and delight their customers. This could be anything from sending a handwritten thank you note to giving them early access to new products.
The goal is to make your customers feel appreciated and valued so that they continue doing business with you.
By understanding what makes their customers happy and delivering on it, growth marketers are able to keep them coming back for more.
4. Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to reach and engage your target audience, so growth marketers love using this platform to reach their goals.
A growth marketer would use data to segment their email list and send targeted messages that are relevant to each group. They would also use tools like A/B testing to test different subject lines, call-to-action buttons, and email content to see what gets the best results.
And they would make sure to track their email metrics so that they can constantly improve their results over time. They would use or build email automation flows to deliver a great experience to their subscribers.
Building a sizable email list is also a part of a growth marketer's job. They would create a variety of funnels and lead magnets to encourage people to sign up. Some examples of lead magnets are ebooks, checklists, cheat sheets, and courses.
These could be shared through social media, in checkout processes, or in blog posts. And once people are on the email list, growth marketers work hard to keep them engaged with valuable content.
5. Referrals & Relationships
Creating partnerships and strong relationships with other businesses is a key part of growth marketing.
One way to do this is by setting up referral programs. This is where you offer a discount or some other incentive to people for referring new customers to your business.
However, a growth marketer would go beyond just setting up a referral program and may directly reach out to adjacent businesses to collaborate with. They would also use data to track which partners are sending the most high-quality leads.
They would then nurture these relationships and work on ways to further improve the results that they're getting from them.
Additionally, growth marketers are always on the lookout for new partnerships that could be beneficial for their business, particularly newer and trendier partners that can breathe new life into their projects.
Hubspot has popularized this approach to inbound marketing and sales through the flywheel, an alternative to traditional funnel models.
Rather than simply moving through the funnel, the "flywheel method" keeps business partners at the center, with marketing activities driving engagement, which in turn fuels loyalty and advocacy.
There's a constant reworking of the system to make it more effective and efficient, with an aim toward long-term success.
6. Content Marketing
Content is needed in every area of marketing, and growth marketers are experts at creating it.
They understand that not all content is created equal. They focus on creating valuable and interesting content to their target audience.
This could be in the form of blog posts, infographics, videos, or even just helpful tweets. Plus, they think of new ways to repurpose and republish their content to get the most mileage out of it.
For example, a growth marketer might take a blog post and turn it into an ebook, or create an infographic from data that they collected.
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This provides several testable prototypes that can be used in various marketing channels for further refinement. For example, an infographic may go viral when it's shared on Pinterest, but a blog post might perform better on LinkedIn.
Another growth strategy for the content marketer is to split test how their content is written. For example, some customer data may show that an audience prefers to feel as if the company is speaking to them directly.
So the growth marketer would test different content styles, trying to make the reader feel as if they're having a conversation with the company. They may try to add humor, shocking language, or casual conversation into the mix to see what gets the best results.
A growth hacker will also adjust the length of their materials to see how that affects engagement. They understand that different platforms have different ideal lengths, and they adjust accordingly.
And once they find a style that works, they would then create more content in that vein. This could be an ongoing process of experimentation and refinement as new data is collected.
7. Social Media Marketing
Growth marketing teams know that social media is always growing. So in addition to traditional methods that provide sustainable growth, they also focus on finding ways to disrupt the status quo and tap into new social media platforms and trends.
This could be in the form of creating a Snapchat filter for a special event or partnering with an influencer on Instagram. Companies looking for engaged customers need to also hop onto new social media platforms as soon as possible to dominate the market before their competitors do.
Some ways that marketers track a social media growth strategy is by looking at the number of social media followers, as well as social media engagement.
They also look at things like website traffic that came from social media, and any sales or leads that can be attributed to social media marketing efforts.
How to Make Growth Marketing Work for You
The best growth marketers are intentional with their efforts. They don't just rely on luck or hope that their work will pay off.
Instead, they have a strategic plan in place that takes into account the different channels and tactics that they'll use.
So here are a few ways you can accelerate growth and customer acquisition with multiple channels:
Set Up Your Analytics
The first step is to set up analytics. This will help you track your progress and see which channels are working best for you. There are a lot of different tools out there, but Google Analytics is a free option for getting started (and make sure follow the best Google analytics blogs to take full advantage of it).
This will help you look past behavior so you can make informed decisions about the future.
Choose Your Channels
The next step is to choose which channels you want to focus on. There are a lot of options, but some of the most popular ones include email marketing, social media, and paid advertising.
You'll ideally want to become a "T-shaped marketer". This person specializes in one channel but also has a general understanding of all the other channels. This helps the growth marketer to connect their expertise with other areas of marketing to create a well-rounded plan.
You may also want to construct a growth marketing team that has several specialists that can focus on their own channels. If a team is out of your scope, pairing with another person for collaboration is a good first step.
For example, if you're focusing on email marketing, you should still understand how social media works. That way, you can make sure that your efforts are coordinated and working together towards a common goal.
Develop Your Content
Once you've chosen your channels, it's time to start developing your content. This is where a lot of growth marketers struggle because they're not sure what type of content will work best at first.
The best way to approach this is to think about what your customers want and need. What type of information are they looking for? How can you help them?
If you're not sure, go out and ask them! Learn how to listen closely, and even more importantly, how to read between the lines. This will help you understand their unstated needs.
Finally, don't forget to test everything! Try different versions of your content and see which ones perform the best. A/B testing is a great way to do this. Start by making a minimum viable product that you can test with a small group of users.
This will help you to save time and money in the long run by ensuring that your efforts are focused on what works best. Make changes to whatever doesn't work. Once you get results, simply scale up your efforts to reach a wider audience.
What is growth marketing? Well, it's almost more of a philosophy rather than one specific strategy.
Growth marketers embrace creative, outside-the-box thinking in order to find underutilized solutions. Growth marketing is all about experimentation. Don't be afraid to try new things and see what works best for you and your business.
It may pay off in a big way and will teach you a lot about the inner workings of your business in the process.
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