What is Growth Marketing? The Ultimate Guide in 2021

the ultimate guide to growth marketing

Growth Marketing is without a doubt a buzzword in 2021. But what is growth marketing, what does it entail, and why is it making a big difference for many SaaS, eCommerce, and FinTech companies? This article will help to address the wide scope of growth marketing, provide tools that you can utilize for any website, and help you build a bigger picture so you can develop a growth marketing strategy for your brand. 

What is Growth Marketing?

Growth Marketing is a strategy designed to address your entire sales funnel – it’s a data-driven and creative approach to attracting, engaging, and retaining customers. One of the essential pillars of growth marketing is relentless testing and experimentation to optimize the target at hand – ie. growing an emailing list, increasing landing page conversions, or reducing the bounce rate.

Growth marketing strategy focuses on fostering brand loyalty and building long-lasting relationships with their customers. Authenticity and engagement that lead to advocacy and organic growth are key.

A growth marketer or growth marketing agency recognize that there are 3 layers to any experimentation:

  1. How does the subject at hand ( ie. landing page, Facebook ad, or email campaign) affect your conversion rates?
  2. What’s the right offer or message – how can you deliver your message and UVP best?
  3. How can the message be personalized based on the specific customer persona, leading to a higher retention rate?

Growth Marketing vs. Growth Hacking

Although growth marketing and growth hacking are oftentimes used interchangeably, these are in fact two different digital marketing strategies. Growth marketing is a long-term, all-encompassing strategy of growing an audience relatively fast while testing different channels, optimizing messaging, etc.

Growth hacking, on the other hand, is more instantaneous. It basically means finding a unique strategy or tactic for acquiring traffic/customers at a very low cost per acquisition/conversion in a short amount of time. It entails new-found tricks leading to revenue growth that typically yield short-term results. Why only short-term you ask? As soon as a growth hacking strategy works, it’s quickly learned by others in the business, making it mainstream and therefore, less efficient. 

growth marketing tips and tools

Growth Marketing & digital hyper-personalization

As opposed to the traditional marketing approach which focuses on the awareness and acquisition stage of the sales funnel, a growth marketing strategy won’t stop there. It looks at all stages of the funnel, also including activation, retention, revenue, and referral stage while emphasizing hyper-personalized messaging. 

Digital personalization essentially works in 2 main steps: 

  1. Use behavior data to find the true value – start with grouping people based on their behavior and needs
  2. Listen & respond – customers provide signals that indicate their needs such as online browsing, purchases, and social media engagement. The company should respond to these signals by sending personalized trigger messages to the customer. Pro tip: it typically takes companies 4-5 tries to reach the ideal copy for their trigger message.

This hyper-personalized approach to marketing has lead to a big shift in digital marketing. Instead of the company focusing on selling their product while monitoring their audience, in growth marketing, the emphasis is on delivering valuable customer experiences. This entails seeking new ways of adding value to each customer journey. 

Hyper-personalization shows great results such as cutting the acquisition cost by as much as 50%, increasing revenue by up to 15%, and increasing the efficiency of marketing spend by up to 30%.

Read more about how to build a customer persona.

Common growth marketing strategies

Customer lifecycle

The customer journey roughly consists of customer activation, nurture, and reactivation. The activation stage includes welcome messages, onboarding emails, free trials, and other introductory approaches to build brand familiarity and credibility. The nurture stage is a multi/cross-channel approach including promotions, sales, product/service updates, newsletters, retargeting ads, and more. And finally, the reactivation stage is all about customer retention and brand loyalty through campaigns such as abandoned cart email, post-purchase, loyalty, or competition campaigns.

Cross-channel marketing

Similar to multi-channel marketing, this customer-focused strategic approach makes sure to provide a consistent experience of brand interaction across multiple channels. Cross-channel marketing however, focuses on the customer having a seamless journey no matter the channel. It usually starts with creating buyer personas, using mediums that are complementary to each other, having a solid data tracking system in place, creating content based on your buyer’s specific user journey, leveraging social media including paid ads, investing in quality customer support, and interweaving your findings to create a seamless cross-channel experience. 

A/B testing

This is one of the most common ways of experimentation. No matter whether it’s a landing page, an email, or an ad that you’re testing out, the idea is to change only one variable at the time. This enables you to quickly see which one is performing better and then change a new variable on the best performing version until you reach a place of a low conversion rate.

Referral programs

Referral programs serve as a powerful social proof and are a great way of attaining new customers. Based on research by Nielsen, 83% of people trust the recommendations they receive from their friends and family over any other marketing approach. So definitely a strategy that you’ll want to familiarise yourself with!

growth marketing tips and tools

Measuring your growth marketing goals

Obviously, the metrics you’ll want to use to measure your success depend on your goal. 

Get more traffic to your website – you’ll want to take a look at the growth of your organic, paid, and referral traffic, as well as other onsite metrics such as the bounce rate, etc. 

Get more leads and conversions – take a look at your website and landing page conversion rates, your email or blog subscribers, etc.

Retain Customers – reducing churn rate or rate of losing your customers by recognizing risks, offering incentives, targeting the right audience, etc. Another metric of this would be managing to increase the average order value, increasing lifetime value, etc. 


What does it take to be a growth marketer?

Thinking about a career in growth marketing? A growth marketer should have:

  1. Analytics capabilities – enabling them to make data-driven decisions
  2. Channel-specific expertise – knowing which channels should you focus on and with what message
  3. A creative bone – good at coming up with fresh ideas on the spot
  4. Good storytelling skills – a well-thought-out copy can make a big difference in your campaign performance
  5. Strategic thinking & cross-functional managerial experience – facilitating the execution of the marketing strategy/tactic at hand. 
 

If you’re looking for a growth marketing course, we’d recommend watching the CXL course on growth marketing with John McBride, who has growth marketing experience working for companies such as Lyft and Calm.

10 useful growth marketing tools that you should know about:

1. Adroll

Track the people who visit your site and retarget them with multi-channel personalized marketing.

2. Amplitude 

This analytics tool helps you to understand your user data to make better decisions for optimizing your site.

3. Apptimize

Simple A/B testing for your mobile app as well as tracking the user through their journey and across all channels.

4. Buzzsumo 

Analyze the social shares of any URL content, find trending content ideas, and discover influencers in the industry.

5. Expandi 

This LinkedIn automation tool is perfect for B2B marketing.

6. Hotjar

This heat map is a great tool for understanding the actions and needs of your web visitor.

7. Leadpages 

Build customized landing pages, sale/newsletter pop-ups, etc.

8. Semrush

From a site audit, keyword planner, to a ranking tracker, Semrush is a great solution for your SEO needs

9. Proof 

Increase conversions by utilizing the element of social proof to your brand.

10. Zapier 

This is the perfect integration tool for automating workflows.

Looking for a growth marketing agency to step in, analyze your data, and start implementing mind-blowing solutions for your website? Our driven team of highly qualified experts makes Goodish the ideal growth marketing agency. Don’t hesitate to get in touch as well be happy to help!

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