What Makes Growth Marketing Different?
More often than not, businesses pour all their minds into creating a great marketing strategy that generates leads and brings them into the first stages of their funnel. However, this is where most campaigns lose their steam. This cookie-cutter approach, while unique for every business, remains static at its core.
Growth marketing breaks this norm by dynamically adjusting the strategies according to the funnel stage a lead has reached. It may sometimes fail; however, the recovery is quick as the strategy readjusts.
This probe and study approach keeps the marketers engaged with the leads throughout the funnel, delivering to them a user experience worth remembering.
4 Steps to Get Started with Growth Marketing
Growth marketing isn’t rocket science. It is simple to get started once you are familiar with these 4 key steps.
1. Understand the Growth Frameworks
Strategies require direction. Developing a growth framework (or utilizing an existing one) helps your business define the practical details of your campaign, like goals, priorities, and more.
Take, for example, the Growth-Flywheel framework. This product-led framework correlates the stage of a customer in the funnel with the preferable action that a business wants them to take. Two concentric wheels work in tandem:
- Evaluator – Beginner – Regular – Champion
- Activate – Adopt – Adore – Advocate
For a lead in the evaluator stage, the growth marketing strategy would be oriented towards “activating” these customers to the beginner level.
Another popular framework is High-Tempo Testing. This strategy relies on gaining insights rather quickly by launching a variety of strategies one after the other at high velocities. This generates the following results:
- Helps a business see what worked and what didn’t
- Help create an iterative marketing process with predictable, favorable outcomes using the data from successful runs
You can also adopt a more straightforward approach like in the Start-up Pyramid framework. This growth marketing framework involves three essential macro-steps:
- Assessing the market demand for your product
- Preparing a value proposition and USPs for your product
- Actively marketing your product by gleaning from tests, data, user experience, etc.
On the other hand, the AARRR framework covers the A to Z of the consumer journey in the following steps:
Knowing the strategies that pay at each step in the funnel will help you discard the inefficient strategies and focus on the good ones.
2. Decide on Key Conversion Goals
A good growth marketing strategy is well-rounded even as it focuses on these four key conversion metrics.
- Converting free / trial subscriptions to paid ones: Securing a dedicated audience to your content is a sure-fire way to improve revenue. Consider using strategically placed and timed call to action buttons augmented with paywalls and limited access or product usage for freemium users
- Create an “aha” moment: You get just one chance to wow your consumer into converting once they sign up. Make this chance count, and craft a value proposition that your audience can instantly relate to and convert. There is a high likelihood of these consumers becoming returning customers
- Achieve Viral Growth: Viral trends are like wildfire. They spread quickly and get a tidal wave of audiences on board. Wherever possible, look for opportunities that could help your brand get rapid exposure to a high volume of leads. A good example is leveraging your existing audience pool to propagate offers and deals
- Increase negative churn: Customer retention, customer service, and product pricing must improve hand-in-hand. There can’t be high customer retention while the customer service level is low; if the product is priced high, customer retention would be difficult. Growth marketing involves revising business plans in response to the growth it is experiencing
3. Create a Growth Marketing Strategy
Instead of thinking of a growth marketing plan as a shiny new tool that can do wonders, think of it as a guiding beacon that directs your efforts towards your business goals more efficiently. While it is highly detailed, it is also guided by a compass pointing straight to your goals.
Consider the EMBED growth marketing strategy; the five distinct aspects of this strategy clearly carve a path for your business to reach its planned destination:
- Establish your ultimate goal. Which aspects of your business do you wish to focus on growing? Focus on those. Select a growth marketing framework that is well-aligned with these goals
Map out a stable, well-balanced growth strategy with a hero metric – your North Star Metric. Strategizing around this metric will help you mobilize resources that build your business around the value proposition
Brainstorm a plan of action. List the tried and tested marketing tactics, or ideate new ones, that you deem useful and aligned with your immediate objectives (like improving customer engagement or driving more traffic to the website)
- Execute what you have planned. Experiment, learn, analyze and pick the tactics and strategy that worked. Hypothesize and run tests with your minimum viable product and gather the data
- Do it again! It is through constant iterations that you will finally achieve SOPs that work for you
4. Leverage Growth Marketing Tools
Growth marketers come in many forms: data analysts, product managers, content writers, and whatnot. They have many shoes to fill: this requires them to turn to growth marketing tools for a little assistance in orchestrating their growth marketing strategies. Some of these tools are:
- Social listening tools, to observe how the target audience is behaving and saying on the social media, and when they are online
- Testing tools to enable experimentation with digital elements to determine their efficacy in a numerically comparative manner
- Landing page tools that help growth marketers to direct and engage high-potential, warm leads on to the high-converting landing pages
- Engagement tools that help highlight the most impactful features of your interface and engage your leads at the right time
- User testing tools to gain insight on user response while using your products – this could be behavior or emotion-oriented
- Analytics tools that draw a complete picture of consumer and in-app data to help the marketers understand the overall response
- Customer retention tools to keep an eye on the customer churn and continually work towards keeping it as low as possible
- Referral tools, to help customers advocate for a brand by making it easier for them to talk about it and spread the word
5 Brands Doing Growth Marketing Right
Let’s now take a look at five growth marketing examples that have nailed the strategy.
Zapier, as a SaaS that provides app-to-app integrations, was treading in the waters of product invisibility. However, realizing that app-to-app integrations were already an existing search intent on the web, Zapier was able to drive over 7 million visitors to their website each month:
- Create relevant landing pages for three use cases: one for the app, one for every possible app-to-app integration, and one dedicated to detailed workflows
- Partner with other apps to ride their popularity and create a Network Effect
- Outsourcing SEO to create dedicated landing pages and content for each instance with a high-impact CTA
Flo, as a women’s health and wellness app, had a challenge for credibility. Google has a way of classifying such apps as Your Money, and Your Life as a warning towards questionable information. It is here that Flo struck hard. It focused all its efforts into creating extremely high-quality SEO content – and every single piece of it was vetted by an industry professional with credibility. Authority is a big factor in driving traffic today, and Flo, with its flawless SEO strategy, was able to raise its organic traffic by 192% in a matter of two months. It achieved this by getting its content reviewed by experts.
From a some-corner handcraft online store to a company that trades on NASDAQ with a $13 billion m-cap, Etsy worked by gathering up all the sellers that were frustrated with the traditional eCommerce setup. They marketed themselves as a niche eCommerce store for craftspeople at every possible crafts market in the region.
One of their best-hitting strategies was to let the sellers grow as they liked, with no interference from Etsy. This created a highly favorable atmosphere for handcrafters to start a revolution, propelling this brand into the top rungs in a very short period of time.
If you wish to know what smart ad campaigning is, Smartsheet can demonstrate that for you. A collaboration tool for online workers, Smartsheet targeted umbrella keywords and used high-intent filters to pinpoint the right leads for their business. They then focused their efforts on extremely measured paid ad campaigns on Google Ads that brought high-intent traffic to them.
With the goal to drive a free-trial audience, Smartsheet optimized all of its PPC ads for high-conversion phrases and run tests to capitalize on the ones that worked. This aggressive, well-thought PPC SEO campaign helped them reap the best benefits of growth marketing.
5. Dollar Shave Club
For a company that was selling a daily-use, household product (razors), it was important to stand out. Dollar Shave Club achieved that by stressing its growth marketing strategy on three fronts:
- Rather than focusing on the product – which every competitor was doing anyway – DSC focused on the whole experience a user can enjoy while using their razors
- By focusing its branding on the lines of creating a “shaving community” (that’s what the name says – “club”), customers were enticed to be a part of something bigger than just a razor
- DSC made it easy for their customers to “join the club” by maintaining simple subscription models
These three tactics, working in tandem, gave DSC a great boost.
Growth marketing isn’t a switch that you turn on or off; it is a continuing process of thinking, executing, failing, learning, improving, and iterating. Gaining customers for life requires a lot of experimentation, evolution, and thinking out of the box. Growth marketing aims to light a path towards long-term benefits that come through customer loyalty, by focusing on growing the high-impact channels.
About The Author
Dhruv Mehta is a SaaS link building expert with a passion for demystifying digital strategies. Join him on a journey through insightful SaaS SEO and Link Building Insights, where he transforms digital novices into confident navigators of the online world.
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