Ready to Scale: Growth Marketing Explained

A new-age powerful marketing approach, growth marketing not just attracts and engages users, it converts them into loyal customers.


Do you know that India is at number three in creating new companies? A survey reports that there has been a staggering 80 percent increase in new companies from 70,000 in 2014 to 1,24,000 in 2018. But have you ever wondered how a company thrives in such a crowded marketplace? Amidst such noise, it is absolutely crucial for companies to strategize a compelling marketing strategy that helps them cut through all the competitions and stand apart. A marketing strategy of 2021 is not just meant for customer acquisition but a breeding ground for organic growth, virality and word-of-mouth. This new-age powerful way of marketing has got a name too – growth marketing. 

What is growth marketing?

Growth marketing has its foundation in traditional marketing with layers of A/B testing, data-driven approaches, and analyzing every aspect of user experience. All the insights gathered from such measures are then analyzed and implemented back for sustainable growth. 

Growth-making has a newer approach that adds value at every stage of the marketing funnel. Unlike traditional marketing that works through expensive marketing budgets and hopes for the best result, growth marketing ensures attracting users, engaging with them, retaining them, and finally turning them into loyal customers. 

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Before you jump in with your growth marketing strategy, observe and study the trends.

Important metrics of growth marketing

The most critical aspect of growth marketing is tracking and analysing metrics. 

Awareness

The first step of entering the marketing funnel is awareness. How much are your potential customers aware of the brand? Therefore, growth marketers need to use different analytics tools, surveys and measure web traffic to determine brand awareness. 

Acquisition

While awareness drives customers to the sales funnel, the actual purchase journey begins with customer acquisition. Growth marketers need to work here and go down deeper to increase the volume, which can lead to more sales later. The numbers can be improved by experimenting with A/B testing, website copy, landing pages, chatbots, trial offers, etc. 

Activation

At this stage, growth marketers need to ensure that the customers are using the product and having a positive experience with it. Customer retention and success begin here, so growth marketers need to keep an eye here. 

Revenue

Experimenting with different pricing models is another important role that growth marketers need to play. Since every bit of testing comes with a cost, it is important to pay attention to the revenue part. 

Retention

Growth marketers need to pay attention to customer retention too. If you’re in eCommerce, this can be done by measuring returning customers. In other sectors, it can be a percentage of renewals or product usage. Since repeat customers don’t need the customer acquisition cost, they are the most valuable customers, and growth marketers couldn’t afford to ignore them. 

Why your business needs growth marketing in 2021

While the traditional mode of marketing still exists, when you ask today’s CEOs and CMOs, you will see that most of them heavily rely on growth marketing for their data-driven approach. It is more reliable, predictable, and scalable for revenue growth. Moreover, businesses today face tremendous competition. With new technology inventions and startups disrupting the business models, marketers have huge responsibilities to help their companies stand out. While there is no doubt that innovative products and great customer services are the basis of successful businesses, marketers need to find new ways to entice their customers. While traditional marketing techniques still play an important role, marketers need innovative marketing strategies to cut through the noise. Growth marketing is definitely the way forward today. 

Growth marketing is a dynamic approach that is driven by creativity and innovation. It is iterative, experimental, and depends heavily on metrics and results. Note that growth marketing is not a replacement for traditional marketing. It still uses the purchase funnel. However, instead of focusing only on the top funnel, growth marketing focuses on every stage of the funnel. 

What growth marketers actually do

Growth marketers look into data and results, and their decisions are all data-driven. Today almost all startups look for growth marketers because they need to rise above the competition in this crowded marketplace. So, what exactly a growth marketer does?

The overarching goals of a growth marketer are to retain existing clients, increase revenue for the company, and acquire new customers. A growth marketer experiments with various ideas, implements them, measures the success, tweaks them, and reiterates. Growth marketers are process-based, and some of the processes include:

Evaluating results
Creating a structured procedure
Prioritizing experiments
Executing MVTs
Identifying challenges
Prioritization

In short, growth marketers lookout for opportunities to grow their companies. From email marketing to SEO to videos, growth marketers leverage every opportunity that comes their way. 

Should you hire a growth marketer? 

Not just startups but some of the billion-dollar companies like Airbnb, Facebook, Goole, Uber all have a solid growth marketing team to help them grow. So, if you have a product-market fit, then you should hire a great growth marketer if you have not already. Hiring a growth marketer will ensure that your customers stick around and create a bridge between the gaps. 

How to hire a growth marketer?

If you’re about to hire your first growth marketer, here are some quick tips to help you hire the best. 

Look for growth marketers who have experience working with different marketing tools like Google Analytics and Excel. These are some of the basic foundational tools that every growth marketer works with. They should also be familiar with other tools like A/B testing, social media, BI, email, paid search. Apart from this technical knowledge, a good growth marketer should have worked with a product team. There is a huge benefit to find candidates with experience of working in a product team because he/she is already aware how to sympathize with the audience. The person will work on the full funnel and not just the marketing funnel. You should also be looking into if the candidate understands how to create value, is familiar with different growth marketing tactics, knows how to build business cases, a marketing wizard, and finally understands human behavior. 

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Growth marketing has its foundation in traditional marketing with layers of A/B testing, data-driven approaches, and analyzing every aspect of user experience.

How to build a successful growth marketing strategy?

As HubSpot rightly mentions, “a concrete growth strategy is more than a marketing strategy.” According to the Bureau of LaborStatistics, approximately 20% of new businesses fail during the first two years of being open, while 60% fail during the first 10 years. A concrete growth strategy helps businesses to expand by adding new locations, expanding product lines, investing in new customer acquisition, selling products both online and offline, and more. Here are a few growth marketing strategies to implement in your business. 

Notice and analyze the current trend

Before you jump in with your growth marketing strategy, observe and study the trends. Taking a cue from market intelligence can help you understand if there is a shift in consumer behavior and preferences. While you can study trends intermittently or before launching a new idea, it is always recommended to make trend analysis a regular part of your growth marketing strategy. Spend time on social media where your target audience spends time, talk to key influencers, and you will be armed with a wealth of useful insight that can help shape your growth marketing strategy.

Know your audience

Creating your audience persona is the first step towards building a strong foundation for your growth marketing strategy. Knowing your target audience means you are in a better position to gauge what they are thinking on their purchase journey. For example, if you know about their pain point and what triggered the purchasing decision, you can communicate better and develop better products in the future. 

Should you be omnipresent?

It is natural to think that you need to be present on all the channels and social media platforms to engage with your audience. But, instead of being omnipresent, find where your audience hangs out mostly. Do they seek information from search engines or social media channels? Are there any specific social media channels? Knowing such details can help you focus on selectively, which would be more effective. 

Fix your budget

The more tactics you want to implement, the higher budget you need. While it is good to have everything you want, it is not possible to implement everything. So set your budget and optimize it for maximum return. 

It’s always quality over quantity

Set your measurement metrics to understand if your tactics are really helping to improve your business. Have measurable metrics in place that you can measure using different marketing analytics tools. For example, your measurement metrics can be the number of subscribers per month or views of your videos per week, and so on. Remember, your metrics should be based on quality over quantity. So, instead of focusing on several subscribers, focus on how many subscribers are actually engaging and reading your newsletter.

Mix your marketing tactics

Instead of repeating the same growth marketing initiatives month on month, create a mix of your marketing tactics. For example, you can try live streaming video and chatbots for one quarter and machine learning and mobile video for another quarter. See which combination works best. 

How to succeed with your growth marketing efforts

Growth marketing is no rocket science, and there is no quick success. But if you are up for sustainable growth, growth marketing is for you. Here are some of the tried and tested growth marketing best practices that growth marketers rely upon to succeed in their growth marketing efforts. These are spread across different phases, including preparation, execution, analysis, and revision. 

Define your goals

Define your goals because it is important to know where you want to go or else you will never reach there. Be flexible with your goals and measure them from time to time and tweak them when necessary. 

Open to experiment

One of the biggest assets of growth marketers is their experimenting and risk-taking abilities. Diversify your budget and efforts among various growth marketing techniques to see what works for you best. Remember, there is no one formula, and each tactic may work differently from company to company. 

Customer retention is the key

Focus on retaining your customers. While it is important to attract new customers, you cannot afford to neglect your existing customers. As the famous Silicon Valley investor and founder of Ycombinator, Paul Graham, argues, “It’s better to have 100 people that love you than a million people that sort of like your product.”

So, focus on having at least 100 loyal fans instead of chasing millions of downloads or views and scale up from there. 

Admit failure

Fail, learn, and move on. Growth marketers need to admit failure but don’t sit and sulk on it. Learn from the findings and move on. 

Key Takeaways

Growth marketing is not an alternative to traditional marketing but works in tandem with traditional marketing by adding a few layers. Growth marketing focuses largely on data so you can have predictable and scalable growth. In today’s competitive market, most startups and businesses leverage growth marketing to standout and shine in the competitive marketplace. Growth marketers focus on every marketing funnel stage, unlike traditional marketing that focuses only on the funnel’s top stage. An effective growth marketer should be able to work with different marketing tools, is data driven and has the risk taking experimenting capabilities.

Chayanika Sen
Chayanika Sen
Over a decade of experience in Corporate Communication Chayanika writes on Human Resources, Recruitment, Marketing, Employer Branding and Thought Leadership.

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