If you’ve got your eye on long-term growth and customer retention, without wasting marketing dollars, growth marketing is for you. Unlike traditional marketing, growth marketing focuses on the whole of the sales funnel, not just acquisition. Growth marketing doesn’t end once a customer has bought from you. The aim is to keep them coming back for more and develop them into enthusiastic brand advocates.
It’s about making marketing decisions based on data and evidence, not on gut feeling. For budget-conscious marketers, growth marketing is key to keeping marketing spend on the things that really work.
One of the biggest differences in growth marketing strategies compared to traditional marketing is that growth marketing is customer-centric rather than company-centric.
The focus of the growth marketer is on providing an excellent customer experience. This is, of course, part of attracting and acquiring customers, but growth marketing goes further. The growth marketer aims to provide an excellent customer experience throughout the whole of the sales funnel. The aim is to increase customer lifetime value while ensuring that the marketing budget is spent in the right places.
The Pirate Funnel
Traditional marketing tends to focus on how to attract customers and how to acquire them – the upper part of the sales funnel. But with growth marketing, there is more to it than that.
Dave McClure, the founder of 500 Startups, came up with the idea of the pirate funnel, so named because of its acronym, AAARRR. The stages of the pirate funnel are Awareness, Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Revenue, and Referral.
Awareness is what you’d expect – making potential customers aware of your business and what you do. The acquisition involves visitors reaching your site. Activation is the moment when they engage, perhaps by trying your demo and seeing the value in what you do. Retention is when the customer comes back for more, with continued engagement with sales, trying new features, opening emails, etc. Referrals are the important moment when happy customers turn into brand ambassadors. Finally, Revenue is how much customers are paying.
For each of these stages, the successful growth marketer will continue to test and try out different strategies and tactics until they find the ones that work. However, unlike traditional marketers where marketing plans might be reviewed only every six months, growth marketers continually review and improve. They learn to quickly ditch anything that doesn’t work and move on.
Strategies to Focus on in Growth Marketing
With growth marketing, the sales funnel is more of a flywheel, with overlapping stages and strategies. The successful growth marketer wants to acquire leads, convert them into customers, and delight them into referring other customers. But they then want to continue marketing to them to increase their loyalty, get them to spend more, and continue referring more new customers.
Let’s walk through the four aspects of growth marketing that affect every part of your sales funnels:
1) Don’t Be Afraid to Fail
When you first learned about marketing, you probably heard that flinging spaghetti against a wall and seeing what sticks isn’t the way to do things. And that’s true. Unless you’re a growth marketer.
Growth marketers like to fail fast and find out what doesn’t work, so they can focus on what does. Failure isn’t really a failure in their world. It’s just another way not to do it.
Before growth marketers do anything, they do a deep dive into their customers and find out who they are. They know their customers inside and out and what they’re aiming for is to give them exactly what they want.
Yes, growth marketers do try a variety of strategies and tactics to see what works. But they’re making an educated guess, not a stab in the dark.
If you want to try growth marketing for your business, you can either take the leap yourself or you can try to pick the best growth marketing agency for your needs. Don’t let fear prevent you from moving the needle for your company. If the opportunity is there seize it.
2) Content Marketing
Customers need to see the right content at every stage of the sales funnel. They need to be attracted and engaged at the top of the funnel and persuaded and convinced further down.
Again, it goes back to knowing your customer. You need to know what language they’re using, including jargon and slang. You need to understand their pain points and the problems they face. What questions are they asking? What solutions do they seek?
This isn’t just about providing content at the Attract and Acquisition stages, but at every other stage of the pirate funnel. Traditional marketing might go as far as content for customer retention, and not always as far as that. Growth marketing really does have to have the right content for every stage. Developing a digital content strategy will help you provide content relevance to customers.
To ensure strategy success, you need your marketing and sales departments to work closely together. Marketing should be involved well beyond the sale, providing content to assist sales with upsells and cross-sells. This should help sales with content that answers objections. A siloed approach simply won’t work.
3) Data Has the Answer
We talked earlier about how growth marketers experiment and test until they find a winning combination. As we said, they aren’t guessing when they do that. They’re making use of all the data they can get their hands on.
Your company no doubt has a huge amount of customer data, from Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Product Development, your website statistics, and more.
Don’t keep all of that data siloed either. Bring it together and make the most of it to gain deep customer insights that drive everything you do, not just your marketing.
4) Marketing Automation
Finally, use marketing automation to make life easier. You’re juggling an awful lot of balls when you’re marketing, from content to social media and customer experience to your website. Look at where you can automate without losing anything from your customer experience.
There are some places where you really need a human being to talk to your customers or write a tailored answer to a question, but yet others can benefit from chatbots, email automation, and more.
And of course, executing all of this is going to require a centralized platform for gathering data, orchestrating your plan, and executing your overall growth marketing strategy. And we’re not talking about the spreadsheets that many of your teams are using. We’re talking about a content operations platform like DivvyHQ. Request a demo today to see how our platform will help you devise and execute everything needed for a robust growth marketing strategy.