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If your marketing strategy is delivering roller-coaster results, quick churn, and a fragmented sales process, a growth marketing approach may be your solution to sustainable growth. Businesses of all sizes are successfully scaling their marketing efforts with this buyer-centric, data-driven method. However, reaping the benefits requires a commitment to making big decisions, an open mind to experimentation, and a willingness to follow the data.
As your business begins the shift from conventional marketing methods toward growth marketing, these foundational strategies will lay the groundwork for success:
- Creating a collaborative marketing environment
- Building a holistic sales funnel for the entire customer journey
- Developing a loyal customer community
- Personalizing customer touch points
- Running strategic experiments
- Making data-backed decisions
Let’s dive in!
New to growth marketing? Visit our beginner’s guide to learn more about this powerful, multi-faceted marketing method
Structure Your Marketing Operations for Collaboration
Conventional marketing strategy siloes efforts into channels, but growth marketing connects and integrates data from every channel to create a big-picture strategy.
The first step toward aligning your business for growth marketing is to assess your current operations and organize your marketing resources for collaboration. To successfully align company messaging and create a holistic marketing strategy, marketing efforts can’t be compartmentalized into specific stages of the customer journey but need broader integration.
For example, paid advertising focused solely on new users may undermine the careful messaging crafted by the content marketing team to improve customer retention rates – business growth requires reaching customer acquisition and retention goals. A growth marketing strategy means that stakeholders have access to relevant data and the tools to collaborate effectively.
Rethink the Full-Cycle Customer Journey
A key distinctive of growth marketing is the importance of the entire customer journey, which contrasts with a conventional marketing structure that focuses on the linear steps between awareness and decision making.
Take time to map out customer journeys that reflect the complexity of your sales cycle based on data and insight from your marketing, sales, and customer support efforts. Also be sure to include the unique perspectives of any client-facing team members. You’ll build a more nuanced marketing strategy as gaps in information emerge, and you’ll even identify key marketing channels for your business that may have gone unnoticed or underfunded before.
For example, an overly simplistic customer journey may attribute too much credit to easily trackable marketing efforts such as PPC campaigns, while sidelining the effect of consistent social media engagement on brand awareness. This mistake is easy to make when a customer journey doesn’t account for the many trust-building steps that happen before someone clicks on an ad and makes a purchase.
Implement Behavior-Based Sales Funnels
Effective behavior-based marketing funnels are based on customer journeys that have been mapped out with reliable data. These funnels incorporate multiple channels (like email marketing, push notifications, and social media) and present users with content that has been timed, personalized, and adapted based on actual user behavior instead of a pre-established notion of how a buyer will engage with content.
Automated marketing tools have made behavior-based sales funnels possible, so you can create conditional sequences that segment users based on what they click on, how they respond to a survey, when they last purchased, and other actions.
Build a Loyal Community Around Your Brand
A conventional marketing model focuses primarily on customer acquisition and can easily undervalue the role of building genuine customer relationships long before and after someone purchases. Community-building through digital marketing tactics — such as social media and content marketing — is a great way to increase brand awareness, boost customer retention, and build a loyal customer base that drives referral and word-of-mouth traffic.
Social media provides you with a unique opportunity to earn customer loyalty – not just to your products or services, but to your brand. Integrating social media into your growth marketing strategy means focusing on authentic storytelling and providing value to your viewers, whether through education, entertainment, or both. Promotional content has its place in social media marketing, but even professional platforms like LinkedIn are filled with users who want to learn from and engage with brands, not just buy from them.
Content marketing achieves a similar goal because companies produce written or video content that adds value to the conversations in their industry. Unlike a growth hacking strategy that might involve “black hat” SEO tactics intended to trick search engines into higher content rankings, content within a growth marketing strategy should give users real answers to their questions and leave them seeing your brand as a trusted authority.
Create More Personal Touch Points
Emphasizing data and automation doesn’t mean losing track of personal touch points with your customers – in fact, it should encourage businesses to understand their customer base on a deeper level. Growth marketers take advantage of more personal opportunities to learn from their clients, whether through customer interviews, collaboration with customer support teams, or well-timed customer surveys. These interactions make the difference between knowing facts about your customers and really knowing your customers’ pain points, personalities, and what motivates them to purchase from you.
The personal nature of this data can be a powerful means to improve existing customers’ experiences (reducing churn), and to hone in on the right messaging that will resonate with new customers (improving conversion rates). Growth marketing is less dependent on tried-and-true formulas for obtaining clients, and more about getting ahead of the curve in your industry by truly knowing who your clients are and how you can serve them in a unique way.
Run Strategic Experiments
A growth marketing strategy challenges businesses to continually optimize and reassess their marketing efforts to make sure you’re adapting to your customers based on current data – not assumptions. In order to do this, begin with an educated guess based on available data, test your theory strategically, and be willing to change based on user response.
A/B tests, for example, are an important tool for content optimization and can be performed in nearly every type of marketing channel. But successful A/B tests aren’t as simple as trying two different ads or emails and seeing which works better. The test needs a clear goal, meaningful differences between the two versions of your test, and enough users interacting with the tested content to get an accurate picture. Testing too many changes at once will muddle the results, as it won’t be clear which changes made the difference. If your user sample size is too small, you won’t know if the results are indicative of your target audience as a whole, or just the individual people who happened to interact with your content during the given time frame.
Growth marketing emphasizes the interconnectedness of a business’s marketing efforts, which can complicate something as simple-sounding as A/B testing a landing page or email. There is no easy way to know exactly why certain content resonates with your audience – it takes integrating your tests and experiments within the broader strategy and checking your test results against other data points to make sure you have witnessed valuable user insights and not just an anomaly.
Make Decisions from Comprehensive Data Points
A successful growth marketing strategy is only possible with quality data. Implementing a growth marketing strategy requires a careful look at how you gather data, who has access to it, and what metrics inform your decision-making. For example, “vanity metrics” such as website visitors, ad clicks, and impressions on social media may appear impressive, but are often high cost, low yield if they aren’t tied into a holistic growth strategy. On the other hand, effective brand awareness campaigns could get discarded as contributing to “vanity metrics” if those impressions aren’t connected with revenue and business growth.
Take time to audit your various marketing channels and the data points they give you. Are you able to see how the channels affect each other? Are they running on assumptions about your audience, or proven facts? Are you getting true KPIs of your business growth or just vanity metrics? Growth marketing requires comprehensive data collection and drawing conclusions based on integrated connections between all areas of your business – sales, marketing, customer support, to name a possible few – because access to crucial data is the foundation of good decisions.
Streamline Campaign Management With an All-In-One Marketing Software Solution
An all-in-one marketing platform is a critical tool for successfully implementing growth marketing strategies because it naturally integrates marketing activities and makes it easy to access and apply data insights. Viewing data collectively and optimizing the entire customer journey is an uphill battle when you have stacks of software programs integrated across separate marketing channels. An all-in-one solution streamlines your operations and provides a more accurate picture of your marketing results.
Imagine running automated sales funnels, conducting A/B test experiments, collecting surveys, managing leads, and more – all from one place as part of the same holistic marketing strategy!
Kartra’s all-in-one marketing software gives you the marketing tools and comprehensive data you need to launch a successful growth marketing strategy