What is good growth marketing?

I have spoken a lot about growth marketing already.

What it is, how to do it, tactics, strategies, etc.

But there’s one thing I have overlooked – what exactly is good growth marketing?

I think a lot of people (me included) just like to dive right into the “doing” aspect of marketing, and as a consequence, we often miss the obvious.

What does it look like when it’s done properly?

A Simple Answer

The simplest answer I can think of to this question is good growth marketing strategy uses, analyses, and acts on actual data. 

A lot of marketing (even in this modern day and age) comes down to educated guesswork. Growth marketing should not be based on that. 

You need to consider what your customers truly want, not just what you hope to sell. 

Growth marketing uses cold hard data to provide proof that you are going in the right direction.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t experiment or use educated guesses but do so with the data guiding you.

As more data comes in, you should change your strategy. It should be constantly changing, evolving, and going in new directions. 

Growth marketing is not a “set it and forget it” exercise. You need to adapt to your customer’s needs, behaviours, the industry, your chosen channels, and general trends.

When it comes to “good” growth marketing I would say the strategy that follows the data, and is constantly changing and adapting to capitalise on it, is perfect.

Groundwork is vital

Not a single piece of growth marketing will work without you laying down the foundations of what you need.

The first thing you need is to understand (or if this is your first time educated guess) what your customer truly wants.

From there you should also set your business and marketing goals based on that understanding.

The best way I can put this is ‘I can want to sell 1000 chocolate cakes’ but if my customers only want ice cream then I will get nowhere fast.

Suddenly, I am very hungry and need a snack. Tbh I always need a snack…

Sorry, easily distracted, back to what I was saying.

Decide which channels you want to use to achieve your goals. Realistically you should distil your goals down into one or two primary focus points.

Now that you have this written down then you need to pick two sets of software/platforms.

  1. What marketing platforms and software are you going to use?
  2. What analytics platforms and software are you going to use?

A lot of platforms, for example social media sites, will have in-built analytics. These are okay and will give you a good idea but I highly recommend you use dedicated analytics platforms to monitor your progress.

Using dedicated analytics platforms will give you a much more objective and clearer idea of what is working and what isn’t.

This isn’t foolproof and is of course open to interpretation, however, analysing your data through these platforms (some of them even have tools to help interpretation) should tell the story.

Did your experiment/guesswork? Did it lead you towards where you want to go?

If so then you are doing really great growth marketing. If not, you’re still doing great growth marketing but be ruthless and change tactics to create growth.

If you don’t have the foundations of analytics and their interpretation laid down properly then, sadly, your growth marketing is likely to flounder. 

Added Goodness

I think it is important to add that “good” growth marketing is more than just the nuts and bolts of the usual“experiment, collect data, analyse, implement changes, repeat”.

Really good growth marketing is also about staying open to possibilities. 

A lot of marketing advice revolves around the notion of pick a platform or method and double down on it for a long time.

And whilst that is good advice for the most part,  it can also lead to a very fixed mindset as well as the “sunk cost fallacy” becoming true.

What I have also found is that while people do that they are not effectively measuring what is important to their growth and as a result are often dissuaded and disappointed when their hard work goes unrewarded.

Growth marketing is all about pursuing growth in ALL of the areas that would assist your growth. It is a mindset around experimenting, taking small risks, learning from failures, and constantly improving to very real and concrete results.

This leads onto the last marker of good growth marketing. It is unique to you.

You and your customers are unique. 

Sure you may have a lot in common with others in your industry or share a customer base, but the way you grow and what works for you is unique.

Good growth marketing capitalises on that uniqueness.

You can always copy other brands’ tactics and see if they work in the first instance but through your multiple iterations, you are going to forge something individual and, most importantly, effective.

What’s even better than this? Your customers and their direct feedback make you better! It becomes a virtuous cycle that shows how good your strategy is becoming.

Summing Up

Good growth marketing, to me, is all about using data to create a unique, effective growth system for you.

It never stands still, it’s always fresh and new and exciting.

When you use data to inform your creative choices you will see the world open up to possibilities. 

You can see the successes of your work and that should build the excitement and fun of marketing yourself.

It’s based on a culture of experimentation and having fun in learning what works for your customer and thus for you.