Digitization has revolutionized the global marketplace: the distinction between a product and a service is fast disappearing in the cauldron of applications and plugins, whereas more and more of us are starting new ventures.
Growth marketing has emerged as a silver bullet for most startups in this digital marketplace. It is no longer surprising that a neighbourhood business can grow at ludicrous rates within really short periods.
And the best part is, this growth is not subject to specific products or services: rather, it is a function of the approach chosen by the people in charge. So if you’ve recently started or intend to expand an already existing business, even you can harness the radical potential inherent within the concept of growth marketing!
At its heart, growth marketing utilizes big data analysis to observe the trends affecting a particular business to retain existing users and acquire more. The precise nature of the data which growth marketing applies allows a business to set extremely specific goals with low iteration times.
As a result, companies can experiment with several different strategies to generate awareness, acquire and retain new users, and ensure future revenue. On the one hand, the rise of consumer behaviour analysis and the decrease of cost of interaction with the customer has created radically new strategies for businesses looking to pursue growth as their priority.
What is Growth Marketing?
Growth marketing emerged from the term ‘growth hacking, which was first coined by Sean Ellis in 2010. Rather than focusing on selling a particular product, growth marketing focuses solely on converting clicks into sales for a given customer profile. Growth marketing differs from conventional marketing methods in its approach. Traditional marketing methods such as TV ads and Google Ads are ‘set-it-and-forget-it’ methods with only two end-points: prospects and customers.
Growth marketing is quite different from pressing the ‘go’ button and then waiting for the campaign to finish to analyze the results. Growth marketing is constant experimentation to engage, acquire and retain customers. It is done by constantly understanding and catering to customers’ unique, evolving motivations and preferences. Often, growth marketing involves developing and delivering highly customized, personalized content across various channels.
One of the biggest reasons why growth marketing is on the ascendancy is because it involves the development of the product, marketing, and sales, all at the same time. Growth marketing is one of the only ways newer forms of products, such as service-based mobile applications, can be marketed, sold, or tested.
In comparison to other means of marketing or strategies in general, growth marketing can provide some very provocative and disproportionately beneficial outcomes.
- Level-Playing Field: While, of course, a small business may never be able to compete with a giant even in the digital space. The playing field is neutralized in growth marketing, at least to a certain degree.
- Create your Consumer Base: Through growth marketing’s cutting-edge behavioral analysis, small businesses can anticipate the needs of their consumers and even change their products accordingly. Growth marketing provides an insight into the structure of the consumers’ needs.
- Low-Risk Strategies: Given the number of platforms and individuals inhabiting them, the cost of interaction with the consumer becomes extremely low with growth marketing. Growth leads them to avail of company marketing can even be scaled upwards as the strategy becomes more refined and targetted.
- Globalized Reach: One of the most important requirements in today’s market is the ability to register your brand into the minds of more and more people. Here, growth marketing delivers right on the money by promising exactly that. Thus, growth marketing is the perfect strategy for businesses of any type in the 21st Century.
What are some common tools for Growth Marketing?
Growth Marketing is like the Swiss Knife of marketing. It uses all tools that are needed to market a particular business. However, these tools on their own are still massively inadequate when compared to the impact of web analytics: the ability to examine precise movements in consumer behaviour, sometimes in real-time, allows growth marketing to either anticipate or create consumer needs from scratch. Such tools take the form of:
- Enhanced or consumer-coordinated product development
- Creating loops of instances of product-centric movement
- Incorporation of cutting-edge technological developments
How Should Startups Approach Growth Marketing as a Strategy?
Step 1: Survey your Digital Marketplace:
The first step to achieving growth is analyzing consumer behaviour. To gain a lasting advantage, a business must be aware of who its prospective and current consumers are, what value they get out of the company or service, and where, when, and how they interact with the enterprise in the first place. Information plays the role of ammunition for growth marketing. In its absence, a business is as good as unarmed in the midst of war!
- Identify the End Consumers: The first step is to gather as much data as possible from across the various platforms available to the business. This process will tell you:
- Who your customers are, what products or services they prefer
- When they purchase your product or service
- How likely they are to be retained by the business
- Sharpen Your Focus: Once you have understood how and where your target audience gathers, you can also position your product or service accordingly. Such a process might tell you where people are more likely to respond to incentives: via email triggers or social media referrals or when people are most receptive to ads on a given platform.
- Build the Consumer Profile: Before building a strategy just yet, the growth marketing process also allows you to strategize about questions such as whether to send personalized messages or create classes of consumers that are spread across different platforms. It is also regarded as a ‘buyer persona.’
Growth marketing is thus about generating precise leads which can realistically be converted into loyal clients in a timely fashion.
Step 2: Identify a reasonable growth goal:
A common mistake made by many startups is not setting a clear and concise goal for growth marketing. Contrary to some popular interpretations, growth marketing is not just about acquiring more consumers or leads. For instance, it could simply be about holding on to a particular segment of consumers.
Ideally, growth goals can be in the form of simple constative statements such as “we want to increase sales by 50% in ‘n’ number of days” or “we want to increase the click-to-sale ratio by 20% by the end of Q1.”
Follow the SMART Goal Process to learn how to set up meaningful goals for growth marketing strategies:
- The SMART Goal Process: This process is fairly straightforward. It calls for constitution of goals based on five different parameters
- Specific: The more detailed the goal is, the better it is to understand and pursue. Whether your goal is to increase signups or purchases, it always helps to be as detailed as possible.
- Measurable: The goals must be measurable in objective and quantitative terms. This is the beauty of data: it allows you to measure and chart progress. After all, that is what growth marketing is all about!
- Achievable: While the potential of growth marketing is infinite, the goals of each iteration of a growth strategy must be objectively achievable by the business such that small incremental changes can be built upon in the future. You should also measure expectations in proportion to the resources invested in the goal.
- Relevant: Growth marketing can create several incentives for disruption in pursuing growth. New avenues might seem very attractive when empowered by growth. Therefore, it is all the more important to ask: do the goals align with the values and the overall target of the business, or are they simply pursuing growth in name only?
- Time-Bound: The goals must be defined in the context of a time frame such that iterations of the strategy can be progressively improved and measured.
Step 3: Use the Metric System to Garner More Growth:
One of the ways growth marketing enables businesses to expand is using metrics that follow an “iteration of the sales funnel.” This is quintessential to growth marketing as its entire reason for existence is not just to help you make a growth strategy but to tell you within a short amount of time whether the process is succeeding or not.
Therefore, establishing metrics is extremely important when deploying analytics and growth marketing. Consider the AARRR approach in the growth marketing industry, which involves the following steps:
- Acquisition: Acquisition refers to the percentage of visitors on the business points-of-sale who are likely to transform into leads or consumers, and at what cost. Acquisition of users or traffic can be measured according to parameters such as time, region, age, etc.
- Activation: Activation refers to a successful iteration of changing latent consumer behavior into an actual sale instance. Its measurement metrics are similar to that of acquisition: how much time it took to activate a potential consumer into an actual one, the cost of the process, and so on.
- Revenue: As a business, it is important to understand when and which product generates the most revenue amongst which cohort of users. This process involves measuring different products under different parameters to isolate the best performing or the most appealing ones.
- Retention: Once the revenue-generating products and services have been isolated, businesses can focus on which products generate the most value for consumers to make repeat purchases. Based on consumer satisfaction, usage metrics, and the shelf life of a product, businesses can devise strategies for increased retention.
- Referral: The last step in using metrics to measure and harness growth is a consumer-to-consumer referral, even in spaces where the business retains a corporate social presence. For instance, through Twitter storms or story shares, the business can measure the rate at which it is being organically referred to other leads by retained consumers. Companies can easily use digital marketing techniques to incentivize such referrals.
The AARRR metric system for startups explicitly brings out the advantage promised by growth marketing. It focuses on developing and generating a user base and ensuring that these users further induce a ripple effect within the digital ecosystem.
Objectifying, measuring, and instrumentalizing the inseparable relation between the economic and the social domains is what growth marketing does best! Following modules such as the AARRR metric system enables even the smallest of startups to have an equal footing at capturing the market’s attention.
Step 4: Deploy Growth Strategies:
After surveying the audience, positing reasonable growth goals, and developing precise metrics, you can now proceed with deploying your growth strategy. Some common examples of how these are deployed are:
- Creation of a looping landing page to which all the consumers are directed. For example, the ‘Buy Now’ page.
- Employing marketing channels on social media along with targeted, personalized email messages;
- Including free features which enhance traffic by plugging into complementary services. For instance, by providing a cab booking service in a flight-booking application.
- Posting informative videos and introducing chatbots to increase awareness and reach such that the user is provided enough information leads them to avail of a product or service.
Always keep in mind: iterations of strategies must be short-term and measurable such that they can immediately be followed up if necessary. If a strategy works, you might want to expand its deployment to other segments. And conversely, if it does not, you might want to make small tweaks and redeploy!
Step 5: Identify Potential Weaknesses
Before finally deploying your growth marketing strategy, it might be wise to measure and manage expectations by considering everything that could go wrong. Disruption is the name of the growth game, so why not account for the unexpected when employing growth marketing? This ultra-quick adaptability makes growth marketing the best option for businesses today.
Having learned how to hack future growth today, how will you use growth marketing? Let us know, and we are always here to help! We collaborate with business leaders to help them address their most pressing business needs and seize the most promising business solutions. LSS is the innovator in business strategy and believes in personalized approaches.