What is Growth Marketing, and Why Do You Need It?

A team of business people takes growth marketing plan

When you work to grow your business, it’s important to distinguish between buzz word and concepts that actually help you succeed. Growth marketing can be a bit of both, depending on whom you talk to. And yet, especially if you’re looking to truly maximize your long-term marketing ROI, it’s vital to embrace its concepts.

So let’s talk about those concepts. In this guide, we’ll provide a basic definition of growth marketing before diving into its advantages and how you can start embracing the concept for your own benefit.

What is Growth Marketing?

Growth marketing is a type of marketing strategy that prioritizes measurable long-term success, directly connecting the success of individual tactics with the revenue and growth of the business. Think of it as marketing 2.0, a world in which John Wanamaker’s famous quote is no longer true because every bit of marketing spend leads towards tangible business growth and success.

To get there, growth marketers turn their focus on ongoing experimentation and audience analyses to optimize their efforts over time. Every channel is aligned with customer preferences, and an endless loop of A/B testing ensures that messaging, visuals, and branding hits those customers exactly as intended.

That also means thinking about the entire customer journey, not just the top of the sales funnel. Instead of simply trying to get attention, growth marketers look to turn that attention into conversions, conversions into customers, and customers into loyalists who stick with the company’s products or services for a long time.

Crucially, growth marketing is not growth hacking. The latter describes an organizational philosophy in which every decision, across every department, focuses on rapid revenue growth. Growth marketing focuses more narrowly on promotional aspects through a more sustainable, long-term approach.

3 Benefits of Growth Marketing

Based on the above definition, growth marketing can be distilled into three core benefits that the concept offers any organization embracing it:

  1. A customer-first emphasis leads to more tangible results. It allows you to build more personalized messaging and targeting. That, according to McKinsey, has the potential to cut your acquisition cost by as much as 50% and increase marketing spend efficiency by up to 30%.
  2. A continuous improvement mindset minimizes marketing waste. Growth marketers focus almost obsessively on testing, and making channel and tactical decisions based on tangible results rather than hunches. For instance, user testing focused on improving UX can increase conversion rates by up to 400%.
  3. A long-term approach fuels positive marketing ROI. When successful, growth marketing that focuses on the entire customer lifecycle can have a significant (and measurable) impact on revenue. Even early-funnel tactics are optimized towards audiences likely to become and remain customers, ensuring that every dollar is focused on the right audience and organizational goals.

In other words, this is a strategy you don’t want to miss out on. If you can implement a true growth marketing strategy, you won’t just be able to improve your promotional efforts – you can make a significant difference for the entire organization’s revenue strategy.

5 Common Growth Marketing Components

At its best, growth marketing is a comprehensive strategy that encompasses everything even remotely connected to the topic. That said, no matter your situation, industry, or budget, a few core components will always be a part of the larger strategy. These are some of the most common ones:

  1. Cross-channel integration. A single campaign on Facebook won’t mean much if the website isn’t right. A web redesign matters little if the traffic doesn’t come. Lead nurturing is nothing without the leads in your funnel. Successful growth marketing considers all potential channels for your marketing goals, then optimizes for the methods your audience is most likely to engage with.
  2. Conversion rate optimization. It’s not enough to attract attention. Instead, growth marketers focus on conversions, driving interested audiences to become leads across every channel you use. From social media lead gen forms to optimized gated content and landing pages on your website, every part of the conversion process is considered and optimized.
  3. Comprehensive marketing analytics. The more you can measure, the better. Embracing growth marketing comes with the need to ensure that every dollar and every minute spent on your marketing can be measured for its potential impact on your revenue and business growth.
  4. A split testing strategy. We’ve mentioned A/B testing already, but growth marketing is about more than just the occasional headline test. Instead, it’s a strategic part of a greater whole, with continuous tests building on each other to keep optimizing and improving every word and every visual your audience might see.
  5. Lead nurturing and email automation. Finally, the lifecycle nature of this strategy means lead nurturing takes center stage. Through email automation and other efforts, new contacts are strategically nudged towards becoming customers over time. At its best, the concept even extends to onboarding and customer retention marketing.

Within this philosophy, none of the components are isolated or separate. Instead, they all work together to feed into a larger, comprehensive marketing strategy designed to drive your business to long-term success. The best part: none of it requires investments beyond what a startup might be able to afford, focusing on budget optimization to maximize ROI over huge initial spending.

The Importance of Working With a Proven Growth Marketing Agency

If growth marketing is such a no-brainer, why doesn’t everybody do it? The first answer is that not all organizations, and especially not all startups, actually know about it.

They might also be receiving bad advice. There are too many self-proclaimed growth experts that claim to be growth marketers who don’t actually embrace the fully strategic approach outlined below.

Those who do are few and far between, especially because of how complex this topic truly is. Mastering it isn’t easy. That’s why finding a partner who has proven their mettle in this arena is so important.

Our approach to growth marketing has helped a wide range of clients grow exponentially over time. Through website optimization, digital marketing, and overall growth support, we’ve proven successful across industries, budgets, and situations. Let’s have a conversation on how we can bring it to your company, as well.

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