Traditional advertising and marketing tactics only go so far. A company places and places an advertisement on TV or on the radio. It may sound catchy, entertain the masses and make people aware that your company and its products exist. But what else does the ad do? And can you keep track of which customers buy your products and stay loyal to them because of what they’ve heard or seen?
Unless customers remember and tell you, it’s hard to tell if a single piece of advertising led them to your door. It’s even more unlikely that one place someone heard on the radio will make them come back. Growth marketing goes beyond grabbing consumer attention, raising awareness and increasing first-time sales. Its strategies and tactics drive growth at every stage of the buyer’s journey and marketing funnel.
Growth marketing is in it for the long term. The ultimate goal is to build as many lasting customer relationships as possible and harness the power of referrals. At the same time, growth marketers are experimental. They are not committed to a single approach or message until they find what works. But to use growth marketing effectively, business leaders need to understand 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 are focused on producing more than one-off results. It’s not about putting coupons in the hands of consumers and seeing sales soar over the weekend. There is no doubt that an increase in sales has a positive effect on your bottom line. But sales will decline once the coupons expire.
But what if people gave your company 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 would build on consumer awareness and curiosity by providing information and offers based on their interests. Some people who have tried your product once because of a coupon become repeat customers and refer others to you.
Your company’s sustainable income increases and the cost of acquiring customers decreases. Plus, you get more out of the marketing dollars you spend. Before Dropbox was implemented growth marketing Through its referral program, the company spent between $233 and $388 on search engine ads to bring in a new customer. While that may not sound expensive, a new acquisition brought in just $99 a year.
Once Dropbox dug into its data and realized that a third of its users came from referrals, the leaders came up with a new plan. The company began offering additional file storage to current and new customers who participated in a referral program. As a result, Dropbox grew from 100,000 users up to 4 million in just 15 months. The Dropbox example shows how maintaining existing customer relationships can drive sustainable growth for less.
2. Understand the ways you can implement a growth marketing strategy
Because growth marketing focuses on the entire funnel, companies implement multiple strategies at once. Some campaigns may focus on acquisition and awareness through blog posts and other online content. The goal is often to get more traffic to your website and get leads to deal with more resources. That could mean that your sales team follows up on contact forms or prospects who have exchanged information for gated content.
But you can also focus on retaining existing customers and getting them to buy from you again. Retention and courier 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 small purchases every now and then. You could tempt them with an offer that acknowledges their current product preference but encourages them to try something new.
Another approach is to encourage more frequent purchases of what they love most. Fast food chains, such as Panera Bread, do this with coffee subscriptions that require existing customers to pay a monthly fee. In return, they get unlimited coffee and – ideally – buy additional items at the same time.
Referral programs like Dropbox’s rely on word of mouth and customer advocacy. Helping loyal customers bring in new customers by promoting your brand. However, there is usually an incentive for both parties. These can be additional or free products, one-time discounts, gift cards or recurring savings.
3. Consider how your business will sustain success and meet challenges
To maintain the momentum of your growth marketing strategy, you need to learn how to mine and interpret the data consumers give you. This is also where the experimental side of growth marketing comes in. If your online content has high bounce rates, your information may not be valuable or relevant to the audience you are attracting. You may need to change the meat of your blog posts, try different page designs, or write something completely different.
You may be targeting the wrong types of leads. Or maybe people read fewer blog posts and prefer to watch videos and attend webinars. By paying attention to the individual campaign and larger market signals, you can adjust your strategies and tactics. Incoming information revealing trends and shifts in preferences will also help you overcome challenges.
Approaches that worked before may fail today. While growth marketing has some conventions, getting stuck in certain practices can cause your strategy to falter. Be open to what your data reveals and come up with creative ways to align your efforts with those insights.
Whether you’re considering growth marketing or already doing it, understanding your options can help you become more successful. While there is no proven approach that every business can adopt, leaders can rely on certain growth marketing principles. Experimenting, evaluating your results, adapting your approach and focusing on more than acquisition will get your efforts off the ground.