Be it a startup or a billion-dollar giant; you can’t survive without marketing. In the case of the former, however, the need is urgent and important as they need to generate money to stay afloat. So, how do you scale your business in a very short time with a limited marketing budget? Here comes ‘growth marketing.’
‘Growth Marketing’ is new-age marketing that is known to scale businesses, especially startups. But contrary to popular wishful thinking, it’s not a magic wand. It also takes time to produce results. Having said that, it’s a much different and faster approach to growing a business. Let’s first get under the hood of the new-age marketing phenomenon that is ‘growth marketing.’
What Exactly is Growth Marketing?
‘Growth Marketing’ is exactly what it sounds like. It is concerned with growth and nothing else. In growth marketing, it doesn’t matter which marketing channel or technique you use. It’s an agile marketing method that is constantly evolving.
Thus, we can say that growth marketing is a continuous pursuit of understanding and catering to customers’ unique, evolving motivations and preferences. It involves constant experimentations to engage, acquire and retain customers. In simple words, it is an obsession to grow a business within the shortest possible timeframe.
Traditional Marketing vs. Growth Marketing
There was a time when marketing was limited to TV, newspapers, radio, billboards, and posters. Then came the internet era that again relied on advertisements, although on a new platform. If you notice, both these approaches are ‘set it and forget it’ methods. In other words, you create a marketing campaign, you release it, and hope for the customers to buy your product or services. You don’t pay attention to what happens in between as it has only two customer stages – awareness and acquisition.
Growth marketing, on the other hand, is an entirely different proposition. It is not as simple as starting a campaign, running ads, and creating a content calendar. Growth marketing is a full-funnel approach that involves all customer stages, including awareness, acquisition, activation, retention, revenue, and referral. Customers are kept in constant touch and served with customized content throughout the funnel.
Another big differentiator between traditional marketing and growth marketing is the approach. Traditional marketing methods such as advertising, branding, content marketing, etc., are defined by their baseline approach or marketing channel, if you call it. Growth marketing, however, doesn’t rely on a particular marketing channel. It uses all marketing methods – whether traditional or new – to get the desired results. You can call it the ‘Swiss Knife’ of marketing.
Let’s have a comparative understanding of traditional marketing vs. growth marketing.
|It is a full-funnel approach that involves all stages of the customer lifecycle.||It is a top-of-the-funnel approach that involves two customer stages: awareness and acquisition.|
|It is a top-of-the-funnel approach that involves two customer stages: awareness and acquisition.||Traditional marketing methods don’t have the provision of data monitoring, and decisions are taken out of the expertise of experienced marketers.|
|It is defined by its sole objective: business growth.||These methods are usually defined by the marketing channel they use and have other purposes like branding, PR, etc.|
|It involves constant experimentation and pursuit to cater to customers’ ever-changing motivations and preferences.||Usually, they work by the ‘set it and forget it’ approach. You start a campaign and then hope for it to succeed. There’s nothing you do in between.|
|Growth marketing is employed to achieve growth in the shortest possible timeframe.||Conventional marketing methods take more time to produce results compared to growth marketing.|
Why is Growth Marketing so Popular?
Gone is the time when every industry was dominated by a few Goliaths who crushed every opponent that challenged the status quo. Technology has democratized the world of business, and that’s why we see startups creating a buzz in almost all industry verticals.
Going by the numbers, there are currently 31.7 million small businesses in the United States, which make up 99.9% of all U.S. businesses. The stat might seem encouraging, but it’s also a sad truth that 50% of the startups fail to survive five years.
Most of these startups are loss-making at the start and need to scale their business in order to survive. That’s where growth marketing comes in to save the day. Unlike traditional methods, growth marketing solely focuses on achieving growth as quickly as possible, and that’s why the concept was sold like a hot cake. Today, not only startups but big companies like Instagram, IBM, and Airbnb have also embraced it with open arms.
When should I Hire a Growth Marketer?
Hiring a growth marketer can be a crucial decision, and so is the timing of it. You shouldn’t hire a growth marketer just because you want your business to grow, but it should be a meditated decision keeping various factors in mind. Let’s have a look at four key considerations before deciding to hire a growth marketing.
- When Your Product is Reasonably Ready:
Many startups make the mistake of hiring growth marketers when the product is in the development stage. It’s understandable as they want to get the early-mover advantage, but it can backfire as the product is always changing and there’s not enough data to work with. At the start, the founders should take care of growth marketing strategies as they know the product better than anybody.
On the other hand, you shouldn’t hire a growth marketer when it’s too late as it would put too much pressure on the marketer to understand and market a product in a very short time. The ideal time to hire a growth marketing partner is when the product has been tested by a reasonable amount of customers, and you have appropriate data to work with.
- When You don’t have an In-House Marketing Expert
Being a good marketer and being a great one are two different things. Thanks to the cut-throat competition and ever-evolving market scenarios, it’s become imperative to have an experienced marketer in your team.
The marketer shouldn’t just know marketing methods and strategies but should have a proven track record of growing a business within short timelines. If you don’t have one on your team, it’s time to look out for your growth marketing partner.
- When You Get Traffic but Little Sales
Although generating traffic is no easy feat, it can be done by creating good content on a consistent basis. But there’s a big difference between having good traffic and having good sales. Ideally, they should go hand-in-hand, but they rarely do.
Thus, if you want to convert all attention you’re getting into revenue but have no idea to do so, it’s a clear sign that you need a growth marketer. After all, growth is all they do.
- When Your Marketing has Become Stagnant
You might have had a marketing team for a long time in your company, and they might have done a good job of growing your business. But many times, traditional marketing reaches a level and can’t go beyond.
If you’re tired of seeing the same marketing techniques and looking for a spark, then growth marketing is the best choice you could make. Growth marketers are a crazy tribe that constantly tries new things. They might fail miserably in most, but they only need a few ideas to succeed.
What Does a Growth Marketer Do?
Apart from “growing a business,” there’s no standard job description for a growth marketer. That’s because growth marketing is all about crafting new strategies and doing constant experiments. Having said that, their day is centred around two keywords: data and results.
They’re constantly hunting down the streets to get as much customer data as possible. It means they constantly play with data collection tools to analyze customer behaviour. Not only do they analyze it through a screen, but they also talk or even meet them to understand things better.
Based on the insights from analyzing data and talking to customers, they create strategies and action plans to achieve the goals. It’s not necessary for them to work with the only marketing team; they might even ask to make changes in other departments such as product, support, sales, etc. You can benefit greatly from having all departments on the same page.
5 Tips Before Hiring Growth Partner for Your Business
You’re walking on a thin edge when you’re hiring a growth marketer as a good one can do wonders while a bad one can set you a year back. That’s why hiring them often turns out to be a nightmare for recruiters. Here are our five tips to help you walk on this road less travelled.
- Look for a Strategist with Few Core Skills
Companies often expect growth marketers to perform every function, including designing, writing, video editing, planning, social media, etc. It might be a good idea on paper but having people who’re good at all these skills are quite rare.
The person you’re looking to hire must first be a sharp strategist who is good at mining and analyzing data. The reason is quite obvious, as growth marketing is all about constant data analysis and strategizing. On top of it, they should have one or two core skills such as copywriting, designing, social media, etc. And it’s a bonus if they are adept at technology and coding.
- Hire Growth Marketers with Proven Track Record
Hiring a growth marketer is a lot like hiring an NFL Manager, as they’re going to have an impact on each and every function of your business. Thus, you must hire marketers who have scaled many businesses in their careers. Next time you interview one, ask them for their biggest successes as well as failures. And most importantly, the reasons behind them.
- Go for Mix of Creativity and Logic
Growth marketers are a rare breed as they’re supposed to take extremely logical decisions while creating creative content for businesses to grow. They’re mad but have a method to it. Thus, don’t get seduced by the most creative ones or the smartest ones. The key is to find a balance between both.
- Look for Leadership Skills
From CXOs to independent content creators, a growth marketer deals with a lot of people on a day-to-day basis. They need to deal assertively while working with superiors while bringing the best out of their teams. Thus, what you’re looking for is not just a marketer but a leader.
- Consider Hiring a Growth Marketing Agency
Don Draper might have had glorious days in the past, but even he would struggle in today’s new-age marketing. Marketing is not just about writing brilliant copy or designing captivating posters; it goes way above and beyond. It is the result of many heads, including video editors, writers, designers, ad specialists, SEO, etc.
For many companies hiring all these people is not possible and working with freelancers is always difficult. That’s why you should consider hiring a growth marketing agency as they have all weapons in their arsenal. They might cost you more, but you get what you pay for.
LeanSummits: Your Growth Marketing Partner
We at LeanSummits, work with private sector customers in a variety of locations to discover their most valuable opportunities, solve their most pressing problems, and change their businesses. We bring extensive industry and functional expertise, as well as a breadth of perspectives, to the table.
We could be a perfect growth marketing partner if you’re looking for a team that challenges the status quo and ignites changes inside your company. Let’s get on a free consultation call to know how we can do that.