If you're looking to take your marketing to the next level, you may be familiar with the term growth marketing. This marketing strategy prioritizes more than just making sales: it's about growing your company sustainably.
Keep reading to learn what growth marketing is, how it works, and how you can implement it in your business.
What Is Growth Marketing?
Traditional marketing strategies focus on two main goals: finding leads and making sales. These are essential tasks for any business, but many marketers have found that it's not enough to focus on these goals alone. That's why growth marketing was developed.
Growth marketing is a strategy for building your business with the future in mind. Instead of just searching for potential customers and encouraging them to buy, growth marketers also aim to retain their current customer base. More than that, they use a data-driven approach to constantly improve their results and success rates. This form of marketing focuses as much on current customers' experiences as it does on bringing in new customers, using data to guide decision-making.
Growth Marketing vs. Growth Hacking
The terms growth marketing and growth hacking are often used interchangeably. However, there are some critical differences between the two. The main goal of growth marketing is focused on growing a brand sustainably. It's all about the long-term. Growth marketing is designed to build a customer base that lasts. This is accomplished through a solid understanding of the company's audience.
Growth hacking, on the other hand, is focused on the immediate future. While it's still focused on using data to win and retain customers, the goal of growth hacking is to grow as fast as possible. That can lead to inevitable customer losses down the road when you've brought in an audience that's too wide. If you want your brand to stick around for the long run, it's better to use growth marketing strategies.
What Sets Growth Marketing Apart?
Focusing on the customer experience has a significant impact on the success of a business. People respond to good service. You'll get great results by building your customer relationships and giving people the personalization they need.
Using this strategy for your brand can make further impacts on your marketing. 94% of American customers will recommend a company whose customer service they rate as very good. Social proof and word-of-mouth are crucial for many businesses. Current audience members can actively help with customer acquisition by discussing the great customer service experiences they encounter with your company.
The data-driven element of growth marketing is essential, too. Better data helps you make better choices. According to a Google study, marketers were 72% more likely to invest in their data collection after significantly exceeding their business goals. These marketers have the information they need to win and retain their audience, which shows in their success rates.
The Components of Growth Marketing Strategies
Growth marketing consists of three major elements: data collection and analysis, cross-channel campaigns, and a clear understanding of the customer lifecycle. These three focus points give traditional and digital marketing teams the information they need to keep current customers and win new ones. But what do they entail?
Data Collection and Analysis
Growth marketing is considered a data-driven approach. At every step of the marketing process, the marketer should be collecting information and studying it. This data guides future decisions, from possible campaigns to website and product design.
However, growth marketing requires more than just data collection. A growth marketer needs to collect statistically significant information and analyze it to make sure it's genuinely accurate. You can collect data about your campaigns, user behavior, and anything else you care about, then study it to find trends.
Cross Channel Marketing
Growth marketing doesn't limit itself to one or two channels. Instead, a growth marketing team looks to all available channels and uses them synergistically. That's where cross-channel marketing comes in.
With cross-channel marketing, you develop a plan to reach your customers through many different channels at once. Instead of creating different strategies for your content marketing and email campaigns, you communicate the same message using both channels. This consistency prevents audience confusion across different platforms.
Cross-channel marketing also helps you collect more data about your customers' behavior. You may realize that you get more sales through emails than you do through push notifications. That information can help you refine how you use different channels to communicate with your audience.
Customer Journey and Lifecycle
Every customer goes on a "customer journey" that leads them to purchase from your business. This journey has three major stages:
- Activation. The customer is introduced to your brand, "activating" their interest in your offerings.
- Nurture. Once the customer knows your brand, you build your relationship with them by offering them value through sales, updates, content, etc.
- Reactivation. Once a customer has made a purchase, keep their interest or win them back after a period of dormancy through post-purchase and loyalty campaigns.
Traditional marketing strategies focus heavily on activation but give less thought to nurture and reactivation. Growth marketing puts equal emphasis on each phase of the customer lifecycle. This allows growth marketers to retain more customers while bringing in new ones, helping their company grow more effectively.
Top 5 Growth Marketing Tactics
These methods will help you grow your audience while retaining your current customers.
1. A/B Testing
A/B testing is the process of comparing two versions of something to see which is more efficient. True A/B tests will compare an unchanged "control" version with a slightly changed alternative. That gives the tester a clear idea of whether the changed version is more or less effective than the original.
You can A/B test every element of your marketing campaigns, including:
- Ad placement
- Calls to action
- Ad timing
- Ad design (font, colors, shapes)
- Landing page design
This strategy works best for companies with a heavy online presence, though it can work well for any business.
2. Conversion Rate Optimization
A/B testing is a fundamental element of conversion rate optimization (CRO). When a potential customer carries out an action you want them to perform, you've made a conversion. The most critical conversions are sales, but they can also be actions like newsletter signups or social media shares. CRO is all about improving the number of conversions you make.
You perform CRO by testing elements of your marketing campaign to see how they affect conversions. Over time, you'll learn what sales bring in the most customers, what emails and social media ads get the most clicks, and more.
3. Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to bring in new customers and keep old ones. You can set up drip campaigns to target people in every stage of the customer journey. A drip campaign is a scheduled series of emails that are automatically sent out when a customer meets a specific pattern of behavior.
For example, if someone visits your site and shares their email, you can activate them with a "Welcome" drip campaign. Use this campaign to deliver essential brand details, discount codes, and sales. You can nurture current customers with a loyalty drip campaign that suggests new purchases and provides valuable information. You can even reactivate lost customers with "We Missed You" campaigns that offer discounts and reminders.
4. Content Marketing
Nurturing current customers can be tricky. There aren't many products that a customer needs to buy on a daily or weekly basis. That's where content marketing can help. You can use content marketing to keep your brand in their thoughts between purchases. Content marketing works best when you provide genuinely helpful information. For example, a fashion brand could give suggestions for the upcoming season or a culinary brand could post recipes. Even if the customer doesn't purchase a product from your company immediately after seeing these posts, you've reminded them of your presence. They'll be more likely to return in the future.
5. Community Building
People like to feel connected. By building a community around your brand, you can offer your customers a sense of belonging that can positively influence brand loyalty. For instance, a local shoe store could sponsor a running club, or a gardening store could offer flower arranging classes. Online communities can center around social media and forums.
How You Can Use Growth Marketing in Your Business
Do you need more evidence that growth marketing strategies should be implemented in your company's development plans? Here's how three major companies used growth marketing strategies to become breakout successes in their niches.
Provide Better Customer Experiences Like Etsy
Etsy, the famous online crafting selling website, is renowned for providing a simple way for crafters and shoppers to connect. The company's growth is largely due to how it improved the experience for its target audience.
Before Etsy, anyone who wanted to sell handmade objects needed to set up their own website or use a platform like eBay. Obviously, that wasn't ideal for a lot of small creators. Etsy offered a unique, streamlined platform where sellers could showcase their goods and shoppers could easily browse and buy. The experience was so smooth that Etsy quickly skyrocketed in popularity.
If you make your customer experience better than the alternative, your company will grow, too. You can simplify a process, offer better value, or just provide customers with quicker, more efficient service. If you're genuinely a better option, word of mouth will spread, and your customer base will expand.
Leverage Community Like Stripe
Stripe is a simple payment solution that allows merchants to easily accept credit cards in person and online. The reason why Stripe succeeded where other companies struggled comes down to one factor: community. Stripe allows and encourages a developer community, which writes programs that connect Stripe to many other platforms.
The developer community centered around Stripe sets it apart from its competitors. By encouraging the community to form and grow, Stripe built loyalty. The community has become a large influence on new customer acquisition and customer retention.
You can leverage community, too. Encourage your customers to interact on social media or create forums dedicated to your niche. When people associate your brand with a community they love, they're more likely to remain loyal customers.
Offer Extra Value Like HubSpot
There are thousands of companies that offer marketing software, but HubSpot is by far the best known. That's because the company built a huge, loyal audience by providing extra value through free resources.
HubSpot's growth is heavily connected to its massive library of free blog articles, free tools, and valuable emails. Even better, HubSpot is constantly generating new, helpful content and updating old posts to make sure it's always providing accurate information. These offerings give both new and long-time customers extra resources, which builds loyalty. As a result, HubSpot's free content acts as both activating and nurturing marketing material.
You can offer similar content. Make content marketing a priority and provide helpful, valuable information for free. You build your customers' trust and give them a reason to keep coming back, even when they don't need to make a purchase.
Start Your Growth Marketing Campaign Today
Growth marketing is the best way to help your company grow in the long term. Put in just as much work to keep your current customers as you do to win new ones. This allows your business to grow quickly and sustainably. Start your growth marketing journey today with a content marketing plan from Compose.ly.