You may have heard about growth marketing and become curious about how it works. Maybe you’ve grasped the gist of it and have vowed to put a strategy into practice this year. Figuring out what to include in your plan is one of the more challenging aspects of moving forward with growth marketing. Although companies are using the practice on a wider scale, its tactics are still perceived as experimental.
Despite its experimental nature, though, there are proven growth marketing methods you can adopt. Most of them involve examining the traditional sales and marketing funnel and how leads and customers move through it. All stages—from acquisition to nurturing, conversion, retention and referral—represent growth opportunities. With those stages in mind, here are four things your growth strategy should include.
1. Identification of Customer Personas That Are Dropping Off
Growth marketing is about using metrics-based data to determine such things as how many leads are turning 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 who land on your website each week, but only 50 of them request more information. What’s happening to the remaining 950, and why are they leaving without taking action?
Besides determining where your leads or conversions are dropping off, it’s beneficial to determine exactly who is exiting stage left. There may be specific buyer and customer personas that aren’t converting. Likewise, there could be a set of buyers who make a single purchase but don’t come back.
These patterns signal opportunities to change acquisition, nurturing and retention tactics. For instance, you might need to use more personalization to increase acquisition rates among your buyer personas. Acquisition costs have been shown to decrease by as much as 50% when marketers use personalization. With individualized messaging, you can appeal to or trigger the pain points your blanket advertising misses.
2. A/B Testing
Third-party data can tell you a lot about your market and 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 hints your targeted demographic is interested in more dependable internet service. However, company advertising about your reliable connection isn’t resulting in as many new customers as projected.
The problem could be the messaging itself, the targeted personas or the product. With A/B testing, you form a hypothesis about your target market’s behaviors and experiment with different tactics and messages. In this way, A/B testing helps you zero in on the root cause of lackluster conversion or acquisition rates and increase them. For example, startups that implemented A/B testing boosted weekly website views by 10%.
Maybe you try comparing conversion rates with one message highlighting internet speeds and another emphasizing affordability. You could also experiment with targeting different persons using the original messaging that touted reliability. Yet another A/B test could send separate advertising about other products to an existing target segment. The results will typically reveal what’s working and what isn’t with your specific audience(s).
3. An Omnichannel Approach
Traditional marketing efforts don’t rely on a single channel or form of advertising. Most strategies involve a mix of outdoor, print, radio and television ads. Growth marketing strategies can use a similar approach while expanding or experimenting with new channels.
The difference with growth marketing is that you may not have data to show a certain channel reaches your audience. If you’re venturing into the world of mobile ads, for example, you won’t know whether they’re effective until you try. However, expanding the channels and media vehicles you use could help increase acquisition, conversion and retention rates.
Perhaps you’ve identified a persona that would be ideal for referrals. They’re a loyal customer base that consistently makes repeat purchases and is open to add-ons and upgrades. However, you find out only 5% of this persona currently makes referrals.
Knowing 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 at increasing this persona’s usage of the referral program.
4. Well-Defined Priorities and KPIs
Most successful strategies prioritize specific objectives and align measurable KPIs with them. Since growth marketing encompasses a wide variety of practices, you’ll run your team ragged if you try to do it all. Pick a few areas you want to focus on, such as increasing conversion rates among first-time website visitors. Other examples include boosting conversion rates from blog posts and infographics.
Once you’ve identified areas you want to improve, lay out how you’re going to measure your progress. Base your KPIs on SMART goal principles and take advantage of any built-in analytics or tracking tools at your disposal. For instance, your CRM application probably has customizable reports to help track paid versus organic blog traffic. Social media tools can also measure conversion rates for posts and ads shown to specific audiences.
By comparing results against KPIs, you can identify additional opportunities for your growth marketing strategy. Perhaps you did increase conversion rates among first-time website visitors. However, most of those conversions came from organic traffic. You know your SEO tactics are working, but maybe your PPC and social media ads could use a different approach. Keeping an open mind about what the results show will inspire more ideas for driving growth.
One of the most important things to remember about growth marketing is that it’s about trying different outreach methods. Testing and measuring the results of your efforts should happen at every stage of the sales and marketing funnel. Within each of these stages are opportunities to improve sales revenue and the customer experience. Focusing on specific areas at a time will help you develop strategies to make those enhancements a reality.