Marketing strategies have evolved at an extraordinary pace over the past half a century. During most of it, big-budget campaigns with mass media were the norm to build awareness and drive sales. TV campaigns, radio jingles, and billboards consumed most of the marketing spend. This naturally left smaller businesses lagging behind.
However, the past couple of decades has seen startups treading the corporate ranks at spectacular speed. Airbnb, Amazon, Netflix, and the like have grown with phenomenal success. Their strategies have given birth to new ways of thinking when it comes to acquiring customers and spreading the word. And a new term was coined—growth marketing. But what exactly is growth marketing, and why is it essential for your business? Let’s find out.
What Is Growth Marketing?
Growth marketing is a more focused approach that relies on data insights and trial and error to improve marketing strategies with incremental gains. This makes it vastly different from traditional marketing, which adopts mass marketing strategies, such as television advertising, to acquire customers.
The latter takes a wait-and-see perspective once a business rolls out a campaign. But growth marketing continuously analyses results to tweak, adapt, and improve marketing activities.
These marketers are scrappy, creative, and results-driven. They are often experts in analyzing data and extracting useful information. They are also tech-driven and will lean on a suite of tech tools and resources to measure results, test new ideas, and optimize their efforts. In addition, these marketers are highly responsive and will constantly adjust their strategies based on findings. And their creativity guides them to experiment with new solutions and out-of-the-box thinking.
However, it is essential to distinguish this marketing approach from growth hacking—another common term synonymous with growth marketing. Growth hackers typically focus on rapidly deploying creative tactics to solve a specific problem. Growth marketers count on a more strategic and long-term approach with data insights for achieving results.
Benefits of Growth Marketing for Your Business
Growth marketing has several advantages, making it an invaluable strategy for startups and large-scale businesses.
1. It enables greater customer focus.
Traditional marketers favor billboards and TV campaigns to target a mass audience. But growth marketers prefer highly targeted tactics that help focus on a specific customer segment.
This strategy will allow your business to understand the audience better so you can engage and communicate with them effectively. You get to build a more personal relationship, identify their needs, add greater value, and help solve their problems with increased accuracy using your products. All these improve your chances of converting prospects into paid customers, building brand loyalty, and growing sales through repeat purchases.
In addition, these customers will stick around longer and are more likely to recommend your products to others.
2. It can help achieve improved results.
Growth marketers rely on a constant data feed to determine gaps, opportunities, and what and how they could improve. They thrive on failures, which provide them with valuable feedback to test out and improve new approaches. These marketers also count on A/B testing to experiment with new tactics and track and measure results every step of the way.
Continuous improvement is critical for growth marketers, which ultimately delivers better outcomes. They can understand their customers more accurately and find new ways to reach and acquire them with faster and long-term results.
Traditional marketers, however, hardly know their customers. They rely on a broad classification of their target audience. There is no testing and tweaking once a campaign is rolled out. They mostly formulate marketing strategies based on past experiences and gut instinct of what might work. And once implemented, they have little control over the outcomes.
3. It is not limited to top-of-the-funnel activities.
You can integrate growth marketing strategies throughout the sales funnel and extend them across the entire customer experience.
For example, SEO and content marketing tactics can help rank your business in search results and create consistent messaging, which you can optimize based on data analytics. You can generate lead lists using Leadar and feed them into a CRM solution to launch personalized outreach campaigns with data tracking. The data you collect could ultimately help you launch loyalty initiatives and referral programs.
On the other hand, traditional marketing focuses primarily on building awareness and acquisition, and the rest of the funnel is often left in the hands of the sales team. Considering this, growth marketing could be a highly versatile and valuable strategy for your business.
4. It is more cost-effective.
Traditional marketing is typically investment-centric—the bigger the marketing budgets, the better the results companies could expect. This approach provides larger organizations with a natural edge over smaller players.
The highly focused and targeted nature of growth marketing makes it less reliant on massive budgets. It often focuses on one activity at a time—tracking, measuring, and testing it until it is perfected. It is results-centric and can generate a higher return on your marketing investments. Naturally, growth marketing is an excellent strategy for small businesses and startups, allowing them to compete shoulder-to-shoulder with larger counterparts.
Growth marketing has marked a new paradigm shift in how businesses approach, engage with, acquire, and retain customers. It starkly differs from the generalized perspectives traditional marketing has embraced regarding customers and mass marketing campaigns. Growth marketers adopt highly targeted techniques and count on data insights for continuously improving marketing tactics and delivering rapid results.
This approach allows your business to understand your customers better and nurture a closer and more personalized relationship. A/B testing, feedback, measurements, data insights, and constant experimenting are invaluable to optimizing outcomes. Besides, unlike traditional marketing, growth marketing is not limited to the top of the funnel. It focuses on the entire customer life cycle, helping your business deliver greater value to your customers and achieve sustained results in return.
More importantly, it is a cost-effective strategy and can yield a higher return on your investment. This makes growth marketing a popular approach among startups and small businesses that lack the massive marketing budgets large-scale players often enjoy.