Traditional advertising and marketing tactics only go so far. A business places and runs an ad on TV or the radio. It might sound catchy, entertain the masses and make people aware that your company and its products exist. But what is the ad doing beyond that? And can you track which clients buy your products and remain loyal to them because of what they heard or saw?
Unless customers remember and tell you, it’s difficult to determine whether a single piece of advertising drove them to your door. It’s even more unlikely that one spot someone heard on the radio is going to keep them coming back. Growth marketing moves beyond capturing consumers’ attention, driving awareness and increasing initial sales. Its strategies and tactics seek growth at every stage of the buyer’s journey and marketing funnel.
Growth marketing is in it for the long haul. The ultimate goal is to build as many sustained customer relationships as possible and leverage the power of referrals. At the same time, growth marketers are experimental. They’re not committed to a single approach or message until they find what works. But to use growth marketing effectively, business leaders need to grasp its potential. Here are three ways to better understand growth marketing and implement its methods.
1. Realize How Growth Marketing Affects Your Business
Growth marketers’ efforts aim to produce more than one-time results. It’s not about putting coupons in the hands of consumers and watching sales surge over the weekend. There’s no doubt that an uptick in revenue has a positive impact on your bottom line. Yet sales will drop off once the coupons expire.
But what if people gave your business their contact information and a list of product-related interests to get those coupons? Now you would have a way to personalize future marketing communications and campaigns. You’d start building on consumers’ awareness and curiosity, providing information and offers based on their interests. Some people who tried your product once because of a coupon will become repeat customers and refer others to you.
Your company’s sustained income goes up, and customer acquisition costs go down. Plus, you get more out of the marketing dollars you spend. Before Dropbox implemented growth marketing tactics through its referral program, the company spent between $233 to $388 on search engine ads to land one new customer. While that may not sound expensive, a new acquisition only brought in $99 a year in revenue.
Once Dropbox dug into its data and realized one-third of its users came from referrals, its leaders came up with a new plan. The company began offering extra file storage to current and new customers who participated in a referral program. As a result, Dropbox grew from 100,000 users to 4 million in just 15 months. Dropbox’s example demonstrates how nurturing existing customer relationships can drive sustained growth for less.
2. Understand the Ways You Could Implement a Growth Marketing Strategy
Since growth marketing focuses on the entire funnel, companies implement multiple strategies simultaneously. Some campaigns may focus on acquisition and creating awareness through blog posts and other online content. The goal is often to increase traffic to your website and get leads to engage with more resources. That can involve your sales team following up with contact form requests or prospects who’ve exchanged information for gated content.
But you could also focus on retaining existing customers and getting them to buy from you again. Retention and nurture campaigns can include personalized offers and communications and be integrated into a loyalty program.
From the customer data you have, you may know that certain segments seem to prefer specific products. They tend to make occasional, small purchases. You could entice them with an offer that recognizes their current product preference but encourages them to try something new.
Another approach is to incentivize more frequent buys of what they love the most. Fast-food chains, such as Panera Bread, do this with coffee subscription plans that get existing customers to pay a monthly fee. In exchange, they get unlimited coffee and—ideally—purchase complementary items at the same time.
Referral programs like Dropbox’s rely on word-of-mouth and customer advocacy. Loyal customers help bring in new ones by championing your brand. However, there’s usually an incentive involved for both sides. It can be extra or free products, one-time discounts, gift cards or recurring savings.
3. Consider How Your Business Will Maintain Success and Navigate Challenges
Keeping your growth marketing strategy’s momentum going means learning how to mine and interpret the data consumers give you. This is also where the experimentation side of growth marketing comes in. If your online content has high bounce rates, maybe your information isn’t valuable or relevant to the audience you’re attracting. You might need to change the meat of your blog posts, try various page designs or write something different altogether.
Maybe you’re targeting the wrong types of leads. Or perhaps people are reading fewer blog posts and would rather watch videos and attend webinars instead. Paying attention to the individual campaign and larger market signals can help you adjust your strategies and tactics. Incoming information that reveals trends and shifts in preferences will also assist you in overcoming challenges.
Approaches that worked before might fall flat today. Although growth marketing does contain some conventions, becoming dead set on certain practices may cause your strategy to filter. Be open to what your data reveals and think of creative ways to align your efforts with those insights.
Whether you’re considering growth marketing or already dabbling in it, understanding your options can help you become more successful. Although there’s not a tried-and-true approach every company can apply, leaders can rely on certain growth marketing principles. Experimenting, evaluating your results, adjusting your approach and focusing on more than acquisition will get your efforts off the ground.