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What is Growth Marketing? (Why Huge Brands Need It Too)


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Fast results

It doesn’t take months to see an impact from growth marketing tactics, even though it’s focused on long-term results. Through rapid testing and iteration, you can quickly determine which tactics and growth marketing channels work best for a given audience.

Rather than launching a campaign and waiting for months to see the results, growth marketers consistently monitor the data and optimize as needed.

Even though growth marketing has significant differences from growth hacking, the components of a growth marketing strategy have overlap. Every strategy must include these four components:

4 Components of a growth marketing strategy

rpm gauge on a car to show growth marketing

Even though growth marketing has significant differences from growth hacking, the components of a growth marketing strategy have overlap. Every strategy must include these four components:

Data-driven campaigns

As we’ve noted, growth marketing campaigns are always data-driven. Data is used to identify where customers are coming from, what channels are bringing them in, and how engaged they are when they arrive. There is no guesswork or relying on instinct. Decisions are made based on data from customer behavior tracking.

Tracking the customer journey allows growth marketers to clearly identify the tactics and channels that are most effective and then allocate resources toward those high ROI activities.

Outside the box thinking

To get the highest ROI from their marketing spend, growth marketers must be creative and think outside the box. If they rely on the same saturated channels and overused methods as their competitors, they’ll see limited results.

Instead, they experiment with new channels, tactics, and strategies to find creative ways to engage with their audience. Some of these efforts will fail, but that’s okay. In fact, the growth marketing framework encourages some amount of failure. If you never fail it means you’re not being creative enough.

Product focused

The goal of every growth marketing strategy is to get people to see the value of your product and buy into it. You’re not using clever marketing to convince people to buy something they don’t want or need. This might help you gain customers in the short term, but it won’t produce long-term, valuable relationships.

Instead, you’re highlighting the many benefits of your product and how it can solve the pain points of your customers.

Experimentation-oriented

Growth marketers believe there’s always room for improvement.

Experimentation and testing are the lifeblood of growth marketing. Growth doesn’t happen by sticking to the status quo. It is the result of constantly experimenting with new channels, creative assets, audiences, tactics, etc. The results from these tests allow you to identify untapped areas of growth and while also optimizing your current marketing efforts.

Qualities of a successful growth marketing strategist

image of woman with multiple exposures to show the different skills needed to be a growth marketing strategist

The best growth marketers possess a number of unique qualities that some traditional marketers don’t. For example, they often excel at data analysis, attribution modeling, and marketing automation rather than copywriting and design.

Obsessed with data 

The best growth marketers live and breathe data. They don’t rely on intuition or years of experience to make decisions. They evaluate how customers are behaving by digging deep into the data. Then they can assess what strategies are effective and where changes need to be made.

They have strong data analysis skills, as well as the technical acumen to use marketing technology to achieve continual optimization.

Hacker mindset 

Growth marketers are constantly testing, tweaking, and optimizing in order to squeeze the highest possible ROI from their marketing dollars. They’re not content with their current results, even if things are going relatively well. Every tactic presents an opportunity to learn something new and improve performance through testing and iteration.

Not afraid to fail 

Because growth marketers rely on testing and iteration, they know that some of their efforts won’t be successful. They might try a new email marketing strategy only to have it fail miserably. Or they might venture into a new channel and have it lose money. But growth marketers aren’t afraid of failure for two reasons:

  • Failed experiments will have minimal impact since initial tests are done on a smaller scale.
  • You’ll never discover what produces the greatest results without also discovering the things that don’t work.

Valuable information can be an outcome of failed experiments. It keeps you from wasting large amounts of money on ineffective methods.

Varied skill set

The tasks a growth marketer performs require a unique variety of skills. They need to be good at data analysis, marketing strategy, creativity, A/B testing, optimization, etc. They typically have a solid understanding of email marketing, SEO, and the top social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Additionally, growth marketers also need to thoroughly understand the product they’re marketing, as well as their audience so that they can create effective messaging that resonates with the audience.

Growth marketing strategies and best practices

Growth marketing is just one of many business growth strategies you can use that focuses on the entire marketing funnel. Here are several types of campaigns you can deploy:

Using demand generation for growth marketing

Growth marketers use demand generation campaigns to increase awareness and visibility around their product. Marketing managers often use top-of-the-funnel strategies such as social media ads, SEO, and influencer marketing at this stage. The goal is to find creative, cost-effective ways to stand out from the crowd and capture people’s attention.

Lead generation growth marketing tactics

Next, growth teams turn interest into relationships with the goal of generating more leads. One strategy is to retarget individuals from previous content marketing campaigns and convince them to give you their contact information.

For example, you might send users to a landing page to download a white paper or a case study if they agree to become an email subscriber.

Once the prospect is in your marketing funnel, you can run email marketing campaigns to deliver valuable content on a regular basis. This allows you to develop a deeper relationship with your target audience before you ask them to buy from you.



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