Tips & Guides — 07 Jun 2022
Guide to Growth Marketing
It’s no secret that digital marketing is the key to success because at the end of the day, what potential customers know about your business defines how successful you are within your industry.
One of the most popular but still underexplored marketing strategies is that of growth marketing. While it’s not new, it’s not understood by everyone in comparison to other marketing techniques. This strategy tends to disregard techniques and trends in favor of a combination of tactics dedicated to targeting consumer desires and values.
In basic terms, growth marketing targets consumer wants and needs by analyzing their intent, personal values, and social circles to best tailor advertisements in a way that increases conversions, and in turn, revenue.
By doing this, it automatically establishes mutual trust between your company and the customer as every ad experience will be catered specifically to their expectations. This methodology is particularly beneficial for small businesses or startups with low budgets looking to scale while cultivating a loyal customer base in the process.
Sometimes referred to as “growth hacking” or “hustle marketing,” growth marketing is a newer alternative to outbound sales.
In the past, brand awareness was raised through cold calls, or maybe even ad listings. With cheaper marketing alternatives at our disposal, this method is now outdated, time-consuming, and highly impersonal – especially considering this strategy is often ignored by consumers.
This is where growth marketing comes in. Throughout this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of this marketing strategy and how to optimize your customer journey while also maximizing customer retention.
At the core of every successful business is a loyal customer base who trust you’re creating the best experience and product for them – customers open to the idea of converting leads into sales and generating a word-of-mouth buzz around your brand.
Despite criticism suggesting growth marketing is overly complicated, platform migration and data transferring tools like CPAPI have made the process significantly easier. By using existing data and placing a heavy focus on customer intent and preferences, companies can work to cater digital marketing campaigns to each individual and therefore rapidly increase their brand’s public presence and customer engagement.
Instead of relying on large budgets and relentless ad campaigns, growth marketing allows you to leverage the resources you already have to further fine-tune and optimize your business for conversions and sales. Through consistent experimentation with marketing and content styles, companies can truly understand their target audience, how best to engage their customers, and how to increase customer retention.
To do this, you must know who your customers are, where they are, where they’re going, and what exactly it is they want. This will help you pinpoint the consumers with the highest conversion rates and the biggest buying power but also inform you on how to target them in future marketing campaigns.
When a customer discovers your brand, every decision they make and how they engage with your brand is vital. That’s why it’s so important to understand what the customer lifecycle looks like.
Coined to describe the process by which consumers learn about a product, interact with it, purchase it, and potentially re-engage with a brand, a customer lifecycle is a metric designed to see where exactly your target demographic audience is at.
Working in tandem with the marketing funnel, the customer lifecycle recognizes that brand awareness and customer interest are crucial for success – hence their placement at the top of the funnel. Therefore, this process is made up of three integral stages: the activation stage, the nurture stage, and the reactivation stage.
The first of the three stages is the activation stage, and this is where companies work to engage the attention of their target audience – sparking brand interest and hopefully generating a marketing buzz. Potential customers may have seen your company advertised or discovered your landing page by chance but every new user is an opportunity to establish you as a compelling brand.
Elevate your marketing efforts by welcoming new users with a series of iterating and absorbing onboarding communications as well as other introductory campaigns, such as free trials, to further engage consumers. This can be anything from an intimate yet welcoming WebRTC induction call or as simple as an automated text message incentivizing them to update their profiles.
Once the foundations of a strong relationship have been built, the customers are at a place where their interests can be cultivated. Welcome to the nurture stage. In order to strengthen these established consumer-brand relationships and ensure a product-market fit, companies tend to use cross-channel marketing including everything from weekly updates and newsletters to sale information, and other promotional media content.
Last but not least, we have the reactivation stage which focuses on reactivating the business’s appeal to existing customers in hopes of encouraging customer loyalty and repeat custom. By formulating specialized incentives such as loyalty programs, post-purchase deals, and rewards programs, successful growth marketers should be able to acquire potential customers and keep them engaged with a reasonable promise of lifetime value.
This can be achieved in a variety of ways, whether that’s taking them on as affiliates to build out your growth team or by optimizing the user experience to ensure customer retention and satisfaction.
Growth marketing utilizes a combination of search engine optimization (SEO), copywriting website analytics, lead generation, content marketing, and A/B testing to maximize the growth of a company. While there’s a range of crucial factors to consider when creating any growth marketing team, there are three core components essential for success: how well you understand your customers, the use of A/B testing, and cross-channel marketing.
The first step to learning more about your customers’ needs and wants is to consider the problems they’re having and whether or not you can provide a solution. To do this, you have to understand the audience demographics and adjust your approach accordingly.
Ensuring your customers’ priorities and values align with yours is vital and so you should be sure to create an open dialogue with them to learn more about what they’re expecting. This can be done either in conversation during day-to-day interactions or by hosting specifically designed focus groups where customers can share their thoughts and feelings.
Once you have this feedback, you can then decide on a conversion aim and an action to structure your following correspondents around. With this data, you can now formulate a structured digital marketing strategy addressing any concerns your customers might have and highlighting their favorite features for prospective customers.
For instance, if DialPad was hoping to understand how their clients feel about their Voice Intelligence feature, the conversion aim could be to have customers submit a customer satisfaction survey with the overall goal being to provide refinements to ensure the customer continues using it happily.
For some, understanding their target audience is where customer research ends but for your growth marketing campaign to be successful, it’s important every aspect of your strategy is exhaustively optimized. Split testing, often referred to as A/B testing, allows businesses to refine their traditional marketing campaigns by evaluating customer engagement in the form of two groups: a control group and a test group.
When marketing materials like email campaigns or advertisements are produced, two variations are then sent out – with different emails being delivered to its corresponding group. By doing this, companies are able to gauge which of the two initiatives were most engaging and compelled users to act by measuring click-through rates, conversions, and incoming site traffic.
Cross-channel marketing is a well-rehearsed strategy used by most companies around the world and refers to cohesive promotional material being shared across a variety of different platforms. These platforms can include email marketing campaigns, SMS or MMS messaging, account messages and notifications, and in some cases direct messages through social media.
However, customers appreciate cohesiveness and while it should go without saying, it’s recommended all promotional marketing is delivered from a custom domain email. Of course, this is all dependent on consumer preferences.
Because different generations and social groups choose to communicate differently, it’s vital you ensure your customer experience is positive and all their needs are met – even if it’s as simple as allowing customers to opt-in or opt-out of promotions originating from specific marketing channels.
When deciding on which growth marketing strategy is right for your business, you must take into account three crucial factors: your goals, your brand identity, and the resources at your disposal. While the following strategies have been hailed as a less resource-intensive approach to marketing, they still take a bit of time and effort to set up.
A way to thank customers for their continued custom – loyalty programs provide exclusive incentives and rewards to consumers who repeatedly engage with, and buy, from a business. Rewarding customer loyalty is a great way for businesses to attract and retain customers as it makes the professional relationship just that little bit more personal.
A strategy that works by incentivizing existing customers to act as interim brand ambassadors, encouraging them to invite friends and family in exchange for rewards or discounts. This can be a great way to increase customer engagement and retention because it shows consumers that the business values their custom, specifically their efforts in helping them grow.
Dependent on cultivating relationships with bloggers, internet personalities, and influencers, affiliate programs are a great way to drive traffic to your business. By partnering with reputable brands or individuals, you agree to pay them a commission in return for them directing their audience to you – typically a flat fee or a percentage of any leads that convert into sales.
This is usually easier to negotiate with SaaS companies and more difficult when it comes to other ecommerce businesses, mainly because B2C customers can cancel or alter their order at any time.
Every new customer you acquire will have to sign up and this is the perfect time to maximize their engagement – when they’re actively seeking you out. After every new visit, you have the opportunity to collect customer data to better streamline your operation.
After they’ve created an account or purchased a product, you can set up and make the most out of a multi-channel onboarding system that provides customers a way to input information to help you optimize their experience. For instance, new DialPad customers are given the ability to select which features they’re hoping to use so they can flag them on the user’s dashboard.
Whenever new marketing techniques are discovered, the question of efficiency and reliability is always posed. Is the new method really better than the old one or has someone just tried to reinvent the wheel? Well like everything else, growth marketing has both benefits and drawbacks that you may want to consider beforehand.
However, to help make the process easier and more accessible, tech companies like Affise have developed a partnership marketing platform called Affise Reach. Specifically designed to connect brands and agencies with trusted affiliates, it provides mutually beneficial growth for businesses and individuals alike.
Growth Marketing is consumer-centric and puts strategy at the forefront of its technique as opposed to relying on a tactically constructed campaign. Focused on customer acquisition, retention, and upselling, growth marketing prides itself on being evidence-based – ensuring better results with every campaign.
As one of the cheaper marketing strategies out there, growth marketing teams are very budget-friendly to set up. They allow companies to pay for digital marketing as they go, so, there’s no immediate pricing concern associated with growth campaigns. This significantly decreases customer acquisition costs and allows companies to enjoy more gross profits on every new customer.
Because this method is evidence-based, it means strategies and outcomes are constantly evaluated for potential growth and are therefore not solely reliant on hypotheses. Every decision will be supported by data and therefore easier to justify and implement, especially in large-scale companies.
Innovative but easy to implement, a touch of experimentation is all that’s really required to get the most out of this strategy. Therefore, the need for consultants or external marketing advice is eliminated from the get-go.
Due to how new the technique is, it remains unproven over the long run and is continuously changing as the strategy evolves. That’s not to say the results delivered to date aren’t brilliant – try it for yourself instead of having to google “how to avoid groupthink” in future.
On the occasion these campaigns fail or ideas simply don’t generate the traction you were hoping for, all of the time you spent trying to churn out content may feel futile. But, as we’ve already covered, every failure can also be a learning curve.
Every marketing manager knows mistakes can’t always be avoided and sometimes that’s not necessarily a bad thing – it just leaves room for product development. Every campaign, whether it failed or succeeded, can inform future marketing decisions in a way that can benefit you. Below are a few mistakes other companies have made, so you don’t have to.
Creating a growth marketing strategy that isn’t properly documented and monitored will make it harder for you to realize its goals. This is why it’s imperative to make sure that you’ve created detailed case studies and operational procedures to ensure you deliver on your growth marketing objectives.
This strategy is all about setting clear goals and outcomes that embody your company’s vision, focusing on what you aim to achieve, exploring how you’d achieve it, and tweaking it based on customer response.
If you’ve ever given up on a failed campaign that wasn’t working and never looked back, you’ve most likely made a slight error. While the digital marketing strategy you used might not have worked for your brand, the insights into what did and didn’t work are priceless information you can use to further refine future campaigns.
While it’s okay to freestyle with your methodology, the conversion rate of your customers is the only thing that really matters; so if your marketing content isn’t converting, it means it’s not working.
All in all, growth marketing is still a new and ever-changing marketing strategy. But, how likely is it you’ll make mistakes? Well, that’s something you’ll have to decide on your own.
The upside, however, is that growth marketing is a cheap and experimental strategy that’s waterproof, with all results proving to be beneficial data for future campaigns.
So would you be missing an opportunity by not giving it a try? We’ll leave that one to you too.
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