At first glance, “growth marketing” sounds like one of those buzzwords that everyone uses but few people actually understand, like “thought leader” or “digital natives.” However, growth marketing (once referred to as “growth hacking”) is no buzzword.
Given the fact that businesses now have more customer data available to them than ever before, the methodical use of that data—and applying those data-driven insights—makes for smart marketing. In the areas of sales and e-commerce, for example, growth marketing can leverage customer metrics to expand lead generation into a more robust lead nurturing campaign.
In order to apply these principles into a customer-centric and personalized lifecycle, growth marketing relies heavily on analytic tools such as A/B (or split) testing, KPIs, SEO optimization, data, and creative experimentation. The technical and scalable process behind growth marketing lends itself perfectly to pursuing leads and opportunities throughout the customer experience. It’s focused more on keeping customers as opposed to attracting new ones.
As AdRoll notes, it’s the scientific and consistent testing aspect of growth marketing that sets it apart from all other marketing. At its core, growth marketing enhances and refines traditional marketing overall, especially in its technical use of data and trends to create target customer profiles and guide the potential buyer journey. After all, you can’t fully know your customers without knowing their data.
The Practice of Growth Marketing
A recent article in Forbes outlines these four techniques to apply growth marketing:
- Study the competition and see what they’re doing.
- Research your own brand through online reviews such as those on Reddit.
- Adopt a long-term strategy. Results will not come as quickly in growth marketing; they need to be specific and measurable.
- Partner up for wider brand awareness.
Just like in traditional marketing, content is a key part of growth marketing, serving as a benchmark for what will work with your audience and what won’t. (Statistics from SEMrush, for instance, show that close to 70% of companies use lead gen as their sole metric to determine content success.) Short-form videos, live streaming and influencers can all play a pivotal role in this marketing strategy. If there’s one thing that growth marketing thrives on, it’s integrating calculated risk into a variety of outreach efforts to see what sticks.
Growth marketing also employs a streamlined omnichannel approach to content delivery, from social media and email campaigns to influencers. Data collection is a primary step in successful omnichannel marketing, which is key for audience longevity.
Going for Growth
One of the primary case studies underscoring the use of successful growth marketing would have to be Slack, as noted by bootstrapped venture studio, Venture Harbour. If your business team isn’t using Slack as a group productivity tool yet, you could be soon. The channel-based messaging platform represents the fastest-growing B2B software provider ever, thanks to solid growth marketing strategies and a dedicated user community. The remote workforce necessitated by Covid-19 only contributed to its popularity as a communications platform.
Venture Harbour credits Slack’s success to the following key growth strategies:
- Defining a new market
- Problem-solving: the transformation of instant messaging
- Hustle: Encouraging use through word of mouth
- Continuous user feedback
- Freemium: offering free and paid plans
- Easy and optimized onboarding
- User data & analytics to increase engagement
Let it Grow
In the end, data is at the heart of growth marketing which, while enhancing traditional marketing, does not replace it. Both are customer-centric, although they guide different parts of the buyer journey to achieve brand awareness and audience engagement. If growth marketing isn’t part of your overall marketing strategy, your campaigns will seem incomplete. Be sure not to stunt that growth.