You may have heard of growth marketing and become curious about how it works. Maybe you’ve gotten the gist of it and committed to putting a strategy into practice this year. Figuring out what to include in your plan is one of the hardest parts of moving forward with growth marketing. Although companies are using the practice on a larger scale, its tactics are still seen as experimental.
Despite its experimental nature, there are proven growth marketing methods you can adopt. Most of them involve looking at the traditional sales and marketing funnel and how prospects and customers navigate it. All stages, from acquisition to development, including conversion, loyalty and recommendation, represent opportunities for growth. With these steps in mind, here are four things your growth strategy should include.
1. Identifying dropout customer personas
Growth marketing is about using metrics-based data to determine, for example, how many leads turn into customers. Each stage of the sales and marketing funnel offers a chance to increase acquisition, conversion, or retention rates. You may have 1,000 visitors landing on your website every week, but only 50 of them request more information. What happens to the remaining 950, and why do they leave without taking action?
In addition to determining where your leads or conversions fall, it pays to determine exactly who leaves the left phase. There may be specific buyers and customers who are not converting. Similarly, there may be a set of buyers who make a single purchase but do not return.
These patterns signal opportunities to change acquisition, development, and retention tactics. For example, you may need to use more personalization to increase acquisition rates among your buyer personas. Acquisition costs have been shown to drop by up to 50% when marketers use personalization. With personalized messages, you can appeal or trigger weak points that your overall advertising misses.
2. A/B testing
Third-party data can tell you a lot about your market and your ideal customer base. But what secondary research can’t tell you is how your prospects and customers will actually behave. You might have information that suggests your target demographic is interested in more reliable internet service. However, advertising the company on your reliable connection does not bring in as many new customers as expected.
The problem may be the messaging itself, the people targeted, or the product. With A/B testing, you form a hypothesis about your target market’s behaviors and experiment with different tactics and messages. This way, A/B testing helps you focus on the root cause of poor conversion or acquisition rates and increase them. For example, startups that implemented A/B testing increased the number of weekly visits to their website by 10%.
Maybe you’re trying to compare conversion rates with one post highlighting internet speeds and another emphasizing affordability. You can also experiment with targeting different personas using the original message that touts reliability. Another A/B test might send a separate ad about other products to an existing target segment. The results will generally reveal what works and what doesn’t with your specific audience(s).
3. An omnichannel approach
Traditional marketing efforts do not rely on a single channel or a single form of advertising. Most strategies involve a mix of outdoor, print, radio and television ads. Growth marketing strategies can use a similar approach when expanding or experimenting with new channels.
The difference with growth marketing is that you may not have data to show that a certain channel is reaching your audience. If you venture into the world of mobile ads, for example, you won’t know if they’re effective until you try. However, expanding the channels and media outlets you use could help increase acquisition, conversion, and retention rates.
Perhaps you have identified a character that would be ideal for references. This is a loyal customer base that regularly makes repeat purchases and is open to add-ons and upgrades. However, you discover that only 5% of that person is actually making referrals.
Knowing that referral programs can produce 71% higher conversion rates, you target this group with email campaigns, PPC ads, and social media posts touting your program. You double down on emails when you find they perform best in increasing that person’s referral program usage.
4. Well-defined priorities and KPIs
Most successful strategies prioritize specific goals and align measurable KPIs with them. Since growth marketing encompasses a wide variety of practices, you’ll lead your team to shreds if you try to do it all. Pick a few areas you want to focus on, such as increasing conversion rates among new website visitors. Other examples include increasing conversion rates from blog posts and infographics.
Once you have identified the areas you want to improve, explain how you will measure your progress. Base your KPIs on the principles of SMART objectives and take advantage of any integrated analysis or monitoring tools at your disposal. For example, your CRM application probably has customizable reports to help you track traffic from paid blogs versus organic blogs. Social media tools can also measure conversion rates for posts and ads served to specific audiences.
By comparing the results to the KPIs, you can identify additional opportunities for your growth marketing strategy. Perhaps you have increased conversion rates among new website visitors. However, most of these conversions came from organic traffic. You know your SEO tactics are working, but perhaps your PPC and social media ads could use a different approach. Keeping an open mind about what the results show will inspire more ideas to drive growth.
One of the most important things to remember about growth marketing is that it’s about trying different methods of raising awareness. Testing and measuring the results of your efforts should take place at every stage of the sales and marketing funnel. Each of these steps offers opportunities to improve revenue and customer experience. Focusing on specific areas at a time will help you develop strategies to make those improvements a reality.