Hugo Lesser is a visionary marketing expert and founder of Oxford Digital Communications. Previously CMO at Bright!Tax Expat Tax Services.
Growth marketing has been growing in popularity for several years now, but how does it differ from traditional marketing, could it benefit your business, and if so, how can you employ it?
Growth marketing seeks to engage new customers (and retain existing ones) to drive revenue and grow the business by improving the metrics involved in the customer acquisition and retention processes.
These metrics typically include website visitors, lead-to-customer conversion rate, activation rate, customer return/retention rate, referral rate, customer acquisition cost, customer lifetime value, and email, ad and social media engagement metrics.
As Zach Boyette explained, growth marketing involves consistently optimizing these metrics through testing changes and analyzing the metrics data to inform improvements.
Startups typically employ innovations to drive growth marketing, while “scale ups” and larger companies rely on identifying marginal improvements in their established processes and sales funnels.
Growth marketing can benefit all businesses, but it is particularly helpful if you primarily sell or accumulate leads online, as you can more easily access a variety of marketing metrics data.
Here are five strategies to help you turbocharge your growth marketing.
1. Know Your Clients (And Your Competitors)
Understanding your customer or client characteristics is a vital first step to take before optimizing your branding and messaging. The data will often unearth surprises. For example, you may find that leads in a particular age range, gender or geographic location are more likely to convert into customers.
Analyzing client data allows you to optimize your company’s communications (both content and style) and visual branding.
There are also online competitor analysis tools that allow you to see what your competitors are doing well (and badly), which can inform improvements or new marketing strategies to test, too.
In addition to analyzing their personal data, it helps to understand what media (and social media) your clients typically consume, what phrases they use when they search for your products or services, and, importantly, their decision-making process and purchasing triggers. Again, this information will help you to optimize your branding, messaging and overall marketing strategy.
Some businesses find it helpful to use data to create a typical or ideal client persona. For example: “Emma is 29, lives with friends in San Francisco, earns $75,000, likes hiking, cooking and traveling, gets her news from Forbes and Twitter, and communicates with friends on Instagram.”
You can access much of the information you’ll need using tools such as Google Analytics and Google Keyword Planner and supplement it with other online tools and client and industry surveys.
2. Optimize Your Website
Whether you sell directly online or use a website to generate leads, your website should communicate why prospective customers should choose you and persuade them to take the action you want them to.
As such, it’s important to optimize your website for both SEO (search engine optimization), to help customers find it in online searches, and CRO (conversion rate optimization), to maximize how many people commit once they’ve found you.
SEO is a specialized technical area, so seek advice on your strategy if necessary. Meanwhile, CRO involves constant trial, analysis and improvement of website performance based on a detailed understanding of your clients and their buying motivations.
Overall, your website should funnel your clients from the page where they land to the action you want them to take via the information and reassurances they need to make their decision.
Furthermore, the website’s aesthetics and language style should feel familiar and comfortable for your target customers or clients.
Conducting A/B testing, as well as qualitative research from focus groups, individual user testing and client surveys, are all worthwhile activities to help identify CRO improvement opportunities.
3. Optimize Your Customer Service
One important factor that can influence your retention rate is how your customers or clients felt during and immediately after their previous purchase with you.
Even completely online businesses almost always have some element of human interaction with customers (for presale inquiries or to facilitate returns, for example).
Other businesses involve much more human interaction during the sales and delivery process. In every scenario, though, it’s important to ensure that all your human interactions leave your customers feeling great and meet the expectations that you set before they made the decision to purchase from you.
This means ensuring that your customer service team is motivated, on message and happy. If your team isn’t motivated and happy, then it’s unlikely that they’ll leave your customers feeling great either. This may mean overhauling your entire internal company culture to ensure that your whole team projects the goodwill they feel internally to your customers or clients.
Client feedback surveys are the easiest way to find out whether you’re succeeding or not. When collecting customer feedback, always ask for suggestions for improvement, too.
4. Optimize Your Advertising
Most businesses employ advertising as part of their marketing strategy, whether it’s display advertising, sponsored content, pay-per-click, remarketing, social media ads or offline advertising formats such as print, radio and TV ads.
In all scenarios other than offline advertising (and sometimes with offline, too), you can access real-time data that allows you to closely monitor your ads’ performance. By digging into this data and following the growth marketing mantra of “plan, test, tweak and repeat,” you should be able to identify insights that allow you to improve performance over time.
5. Optimize Your Content Marketing
The internet is a popular source of information, so content marketing can be one of the most effective marketing strategies for generating new leads. By sharing your expertise in articles, videos and podcasts based on the topics and phrases that your potential customers are searching for (which you can find using tools such as the Google Ads’ Keyword Planner) and optimizing your content for search, you can help ensure customers will come to you.
If you’re selling a service, content marketing is also a great way to demonstrate your expertise in your field. “How-to” articles and videos are often popular.
As always with growth marketing, plan, test and analyze what is working, implement the resulting improvements, then rinse and repeat ad infinitum.