General Marketing

What is Growth Marketing? Everything You Need To Know

Toni Koraza
May 8, 2023
What is Growth Marketing? Everything You Need To Know

Are you looking to break through the noise? Or do you have a great product and team but little to no business?

If yes, you must have come across the term “growth marketing.”

The marketing world is rife with fads that come and go daily. But this strategy has stuck. According to Google Trends, the search interest for this term has risen by over 100% over the last five years.

With growth marketing, brands have found ways to attract and retain more clients for far longer periods. Moreover, this strategy helps you create a ground for breeding virality, organic growth, and referrals.

But what exactly is growth marketing? As a link-building and SaaS SEO agency, we put this term to use quite often for our clients, and we figured it’d be a great idea to create an actionable guide for you. 

Here you go!

What We'll Cover:

What is growth marketing?

Growth marketing is the practice of following an iterative and data-driven approach to understand your buyers better and amplify each step of the journey for them.

It helps businesses enhance customer loyalty and find out the answers to questions like:

  • What are our user’s pain points? How much are they willing to pay to solve them?
  • What are our user’s key demographics?
  • How can we improve our strategies to improve Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV)?

In short, growth marketers use data combined with customer's voice to deliver experiences that resonate throughout the marketing funnel.

This type of marketing utilizes different methods like A/B testing, search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, and data analysis to create more effective strategies targeted toward growth.

It’s important to note here that the term growth is not limited to just revenue. It could be the number of users, brand recalls, gaining name recognition, etc.

How is growth marketing different from traditional marketing?

Have you ever been sold a product by a company that made lofty promises initially, and once you became a customer, those promises just went poof? 

That’s what you are faced with when it comes to traditional marketing. It focuses on top-of-the-funnel marketing strategies that increase brand awareness and customer acquisition but with a short-term focus.

These strategies did shine once when the competition was low, and customers didn’t turn to the internet to share their negative experiences. But today, jumping to a competitor is as easy as clicking the “Unsubscribe” button.

In such a scenario, you need intelligent strategies that put your customer at the forefront. That’s where growth marketing is different from traditional marketing.

Growth marketing considers the marketing funnel as a whole, which means equal importance is given to customer acquisition and customer retention.

Two columns showing the difference between growth marketing and traditional marketingn

Growth marketers constantly tap into customer data, gain better insights, and develop new strategies. They find innovative ways to drive user acquisition, engage customers, and turn them into raving fans of your brand.

In a way, growth marketing moves from the “gut instincts” approach to a data-driven and customer-focused approach.

Why is growth marketing important?

One search on job-seeking platforms like LinkedIn will make you realize that growth marketing has become an increasingly important skill, and businesses are hiring more growth marketers than ever.

The reason is simple.

Small businesses and large corporations all want to grow. In a world filled with rapid change and unpredictability, businesses want this growth to happen faster. Instead of spending time on half-baked strategies, businesses want to put those things into action that have a higher probability of bringing results.

That’s what growth marketers can do. They can do the groundwork and set the roadmap for a strategy that can start bringing results a few weeks down the line.

One great example of how effective growth marketing can be comes from Dropbox.

With their referral program, which offered customers up to 16 GB of storage space for each person they referred, Dropbox managed to grow from 100,000 customers to 4,000,000 customers in just 15 months. That’s a whopping 3900% growth.

Snippet of how you  can get up to 16GB of Dropbox space by sharing with your friends

Image source

Key components of growth marketing

Growth marketing is based on a few core components that make it effective. Here are five of them you need to focus on.

#1 Data-driven marketing

Many businesses want to get started with multiple marketing strategies because they think that’s how they’ll gain more in less time. But when your team can’t pay quality attention to these strategies, they won’t be that effective.

For example, your growth marketers might have discovered an actionable data point that most of your customers are active on social media. This states the obvious path that you should foray into - social media marketing.

But instead of jumping on all social platforms, dig into the data of which platforms are the best for your business and the best practices for that platform.

Once you gain a reasonable idea about how to proceed, you can form a data-backed growth plan. You can update this plan on a regular basis as you receive new data and experiment with different ideas. 

The different kinds of metrics that should be a part of this plan are conversion rates, customer acquisition metrics, engagement metrics, and so on.

#2 A/B testing

There might have been instances where your marketing team developed two landing pages or two email content for the same purpose, and there was confusion as to which would work better.

With A/B testing or split testing, you can let your audience test two versions of an item and track the results.

For example, you send two email campaigns to a similar audience to see which results in the most opens or more CTRs.

Depending on this data, you can finalize the email content and start your campaign. 

This technique is effective for many things, such as landing pages, website copy, social media content, and other marketing efforts.

For example, Workzone, a US-based software company, increased its leads by 34% by split testing its testimonials page. 

#3 Responsiveness and flexibility 

Growth marketing often means creating strategies based on what’s working. This could mean staying abreast of latest developments and organizing campaigns around it. As growth marketers, you need to be responsive and on your toes. You have to get rid of the notion that what has worked in the past will continue working.

You might also need to change strategies every now and then if you’re not getting the anticipated results. One way to do this is by taking into account customer feedback and analytics based on what customer surveys tell you. 

#4 Multi-channel marketing efforts

To make the most of your marketing strategies, you must ensure that they are not operating in silos. This is where multi-channel comes into the picture.

By combining the effectiveness of different channels like social media, direct mail, email marketing, and SMS marketing, you can increase your ROI and provide customers a unified experience.

For example, if a person has shown interest in your product launch through a lead magnet, you can then start your email marketing campaign to educate them about your upcoming product.

You can even use the RICE method to prioritize new channels by scoring them for their reach, impact, confidence, and effort. After you select a channel, you can test your results and see the kind of engagement and conversions you’re getting as compared to your most successful channels.

#5 Focus on the entire customer journey

With businesses realizing that retention plays a crucial role, growth marketing focuses on three critical customer lifestages: activation, nurture, and reactivation.

Each stage plays an important role and often involves different campaigns. For example, in the activation stage, growth marketers use trials, onboarding, welcome emails and other introductory campaigns. In the nurture stage, newsletters, product updates, and other promotions are sent. In the reactivation stage, post-purchase, customer abandonment, and loyalty areas are targeted.

By mapping out this customer journey and making plans based on what customers need at each stage, you can set up your marketing campaigns for success.

#6 Customer feedback

Modern marketing has brought many tools and ways to collect customer feedback and turn them into valuable insights for your marketing efforts.

You can even set up feedback buttons on your website or have pop-up survey forms to collect feedback. If you want to collect more qualitative feedback and if you need answers to some specific questions, you can reach out to them and get their thoughts on certain things.

For example, if you are launching a new feature, you could get in touch with your existing customers and understand how this feature would benefit them. Based on their answers, you can create campaigns where you showcase the current pain points and why you developed this feature.

This customer feedback is important because many times the thought processes your team follows might not align with your target audience’s thought process. To make sure you are on the same page, you need to reach out to them every few months.

Growth marketing best practices

Now that we know what makes up growth marketing, let’s take a look at some best practices that will help you create an effective growth marketing strategy.

#1 Create a strong content strategy

We all know of brands like HubSpot and Ahrefs climbing the ranks with a solid content marketing strategy. 

Not only did they rely on their near-perfect product but they realized that if they want to make it big and prove themselves to be the authority leaders in their niche, they’d need to pull their socks and focus on their content game.

Take a look at some of these statistics.

Some context about content marketing on whether it works

A successful growth marketing campaign needs an effective content strategy. With customers shying away from ads and overly promotional content, well-created content in the form of educational blogs or UGC on social media can help gain the trust of your audience and gently nudge them towards your product.

What’s more? By creating great content, you can even encourage others to share that content and gain virality.

#2 Start with a narrow focus

The internet is filled with many brands trying to gain customers' attention. This pushes brands to do everything at once.

If your business has a huge team or millions to burn, this approach could work well. But if you’re starting out or working with a limited budget and people on board, you must start with a narrow focus.

After all, one focused article can do wonders over ten poorly made ones.

A great example of this is Backlinko. They do not publish a lot of content, but when they do, that content gets shared by hundreds of people.

But what exactly do we mean by narrow focus here?

It means starting out with a few strategies and then expanding as and when you start seeing success. It could also mean sticking to niche-relevant content.

#3 Stay current 

While evergreen content is great, successful growth marketers must also strike a balance between evergreen topics and new ones.

After all, an important part of growth marketing is to understand the trends in your industry and uncover new tactics to benefit from growth opportunities.

Let’s suppose you’re a social media SaaS brand. Recently, Instagram made some changes to its algorithm. Your customers would want to read about that, wouldn’t they? If you fail to create content around these changes, they might go elsewhere.

That’s a golden opportunity you would have missed.

Buffer creates these “Ask Buffer” blogs that talk about general customer queries. They also involve recent social media updates and developments.

Snippet of the landing page for the Buffer website

Image source

#4 Involve other teams

Growth marketing tactics can never succeed in silos. It needs the involvement of many teams, such as product teams, sales teams, customer success teams, etc.

The reason is that all these teams have something to share that can inspire a new idea to attract and delight users.

For example, your sales team can let you know the queries that prospects usually have before closing the deal. You can then target this and create BOFU content around it to improve your conversion rate.

#5 Make use of lead magnets

It’s important to have access to your prospect’s email address and other relevant details as part of your lead generation process. One way of collecting these email addresses is by adopting lead magnets in your growth marketing campaigns.

HubSpot has capitalized on this approach. Many of their blogs offer free resources to their readers. The reader can easily download them by submitting their email address and sharing their company details.

A featured article on 17 Best LinkedIn Summary and Bio Examples that you can find on Hubspot

Image source

When a reader clicks on the CTA, they are taken to a landing page where they can click on the download button and submit their information.

A snippet from the Hubspot site where you can download professional bio templates for free

Image source

Once you have the email address, you can send them email campaigns they might find relevant and gently nudge them to try your product.

#6 Create social proof

Customers will have trouble trusting you unless you are an established company or a household name.

Alternatively, you’ll have to provide your audience with testimonials, UGC, and reviews that prove your brand is credible and trustworthy.

In fact, adding testimonials on your sales page can increase conversions by 34%.

As a growth marketer, you can even encourage your current customers to create content with your products and promote this on your social profiles as UGC.

Here’s how Marks & Spencer shares UGC content on their social profiles.

An instagram post from Marks and Spencer showing a little girl in their clothing line


Image source

How to implement a growth marketing strategy?

To implement a growth marketing strategy, here are five key steps you can follow:

  • Choose your targeted growth area. For example, the addition of new products or the growth of revenue. The areas you choose will define the strategies you’ll need to implement. Your growth plan can even have more than one area, like growing your user base will eventually support growth in revenue
  • Conduct market research. This research will help you determine the budget, timeline, and goals of your marketing efforts.
  • Define growth goals. These growth goals should define where you want your organization to be after a few weeks or months. At the same time, these goals should be relevant and achievable.
  • Plan the intricacies. This should entail the kind of strategies you’ll need to adopt and other details such as deadlines, assignees, resources required, etc.
  • Determine growth tools and other requirements. Would your team need any tools or other materials? Will they be able to meet growth goals faster with these tools? You need to decide on all this at the last stage.

Final Thoughts

Growth marketing has proven to be a successful and sustainable way for businesses to find that X factor that helps attract and retain customers.

While it would never make up for a bad product, growth marketing can accelerate growth and help your team find new and innovative ways to reach out to your target audience.

In an industry where marketing fads come and go, growth marketing is here to stay in the long run. If you need help with your growth marketing initiatives, reach out to us at MADX.

Here are some results we have achieved for our clients:

How Good Annotations secured 300 new backlinks in 90 days?

How we 28x’d Postalytics organic traffic in under a year?

How Longvadon grew organic site traffic by 277% in a few short months?

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