Physics is fun.
It explains so much about our world and the universe and everything.
It’s an incredible discipline (even if most of it flies over my head).
One of my favourite things is something called string theory.
The idea is that everything, every little thing, in this universe is connected.
Seems so elegant and so very true of so many facets of our lives.
Naturally, this analogy fits marketing well. So much so I stake my reputation on it every day.
All of marketing is connected, and you should embrace it.
And embracing this all-encompassing approach is called growth marketing, and honestly, it’s not as scary as it sounds.
What is growth marketing?
With traditional marketing methods, you’re going to have a similar issue every time.
You will end up with 6 different campaigns on 6 different channels.
Not only is everything siloed, you have created 6 times as much work for yourself (as there is no interconnectedness) and there will be different “success” goals and KPIs for each one.
If we take the view that everything works together, then you are creating one strategy that works on all channels and all towards the same goal.
Taking this holistic approach actually gives you a much better overview of marketing and what success looks like. It’s also going to provide better ROI give you better ROI and less stress as you know that each piece of the puzzle work together towards one common goal.
In terms of the nitty-gritty, this definition, which happens to be my favourite, comes from Mailchimp:
“Growth marketing is the process of using data gained through marketing campaigns and experimentation to drive growth. It can help you anticipate change and plan your strategies to make constant improvements.”
Who doesn’t want that? Reliable repeatable successes that drive business growth and fresh ideas?
Now for the cynical amongst you, you might say “isn’t that just marketing”. And yes, it is marketing. Or more accurately marketing as it should be.
The problem is that “traditional” marketing focuses on short, intense campaigns that work towards short term goals.
Yes in the end they benefit larger business goals, but the world view in this method is short term not long term.
As a result, this approach is often company-centric that is then made to try and match the customer’s needs.
On the other hand “growth” marketing is for the long term.
The ultimate long term goal of growth, and what that looks like for the business, becomes the ultimate, ever-shifting, objective.
The strategy comes from customer-led data, and with everything being evidence-based you’re more likely to see repeatable effective results than what is effectively “educated guessing”.
The marketing landscape has changed
Over time a lot of marketing consultants decided to specialise in areas where their strengths lay.
Those nifty with websites became designers and SEOs, those nifty with writing and filming became content marketers and those nifty with LinkedIn created their own agency 😉.
That has caused a divide and rift between marketers. Each agency or marketer will naturally argue that their method is the best when clearly LinkedIn is the best platform.
Now, there’s a splintered state of marketing. Then the retro idea came back in fashion – what if we focused on solely growing the business and poured all marketing efforts towards that?!
This old-fashioned made new revolutionary idea gave rise to what we now call – growth marketing.
What’s the point?
Sticking with the physics theme, here’s a quote from a physicist. Albert Einstein once said “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result” (I know I know, he probably didn’t say it but I needed a strong theme for a blog).
Now look at all the marketing you see around you. A lot of it is the same.
The same styles, the same copy, the same videos, the same cliches.
The world is continuously changing and it changes extremely fast on the internet.
Strategies that work one day, won’t work the next. The content and copy that works now won’t work next month.
Every marketer can agree you need to “cut through the noise” and “keep your content fresh and relatable”. But how do you do that exactly? Experiment and change.
Growth marketing does this. It does this because experimentation is one of its core principles.
That way you are constantly changing, innovating, keeping things fresh, and reaching your audience in constantly better ways.
The core of growth marketing
The main core of growth marketing is constant refinement.
Much like our sciencey based theme; you experiment, you measure, you analyse the data, you find what works and what doesn’t, you repeat what works and then you repeat the cycle.
This is the scientific method applied to marketing.
Luckily, we live in a digital age where we can measure nearly everything automatically through the use of a number of different tools and platforms.
So when it comes to data collection, that is one of the most important setups. Once you have that, you can measure what is working and properly, effectively, capitalise on it.
Making Growth Marketing Work For You
Image courtesy of Mailchimp
The core tenets of this style of marketing are as follows:
- Everyone is on board
- Experiment, Test, Refine, Repeat
- Feedback is Gold
- Use all of the effective channels
Everyone is on board
You need to make sure you are invested in marketing. You need to make sure those working in your sales and marketing departments are on board with this.
Growth marketing doesn’t exist in a silo. Everything is connected. Everyone should work towards the goal.
Your departments need to communicate effectively to ensure that a. Everyone is doing what they need to do and b. the data collected is accurate and shared with everyone.
Customer service needs to talk back to product development to improve what you create. The social team needs to let the web team know a post has gone viral and measure traffic.
If everyone communicates with everyone it’s a beautiful thing…
Experiment, Test, Refine, Repeat
Nothing is sacred in growth marketing.
OK, I’m fibbing a little. The customer and your data are sacred. Everything else needs to be experimented with.
With operating such a comprehensive marketing strategy, that encompasses the full funnel and every channel, you need to find out what works and what doesn’t quickly.
Experimentation is one of the major differences between growth and traditional marketing. You are encouraged constantly to experiment and measure the results. If it assists your growth and aligns with your objectives and goals, then it gets kept and improved on.
If it doesn’t work, you get rid of it. Even if it’s your favourite.
Doing this will look different to every business but let’s say you’re trying an experiment as to what social media platform gets you the most customers.
You can see that after 3 months constantly posting tailored content on each and every Social Media platform that Instagram and TikTok are driving the most sales of your product, why bother keeping the rest? It’s just more work right?
Focus on those two platforms and improve on them. Experiment with the content, and keep going.
The beautiful thing – you can always come back to the other platforms and experiment with them later, but the data to grow and improve shows you the way to go.
Feedback & Data are Gold
Growth marketing is all about the customer. It’s all about what they want, what they respond to, and what drives them to purchase.
Naturally, their feedback is gold. Everyone knows this already but you will be surprised at how few businesses actually go out and ask for feedback.
Or have a feedback strategy.
Or even worse some of them don’t ever ask for feedback, assuming that the customer will magically out of nowhere provide this.
Establishing processes for feedback and data collection regarding your product or service is VITALLY important.
What can be measured can be improved – this is a core tenet and must be obeyed.
Use all of the effective channels
“My method’s best, no my method’s best”
This is the daily argument you are going to see with marketing agencies. Why? They want to sell you on the idea that their method is the most effective.
The truth? They’re all effective if done right.
Understanding your audience and what works for them is the focus of this approach.
So using each channel in an effective, interconnected way will give you the greatest opportunity to generate sales and drive growth.
As an example, think about how amazing it would be if your social media leads to your blog posts, which leads to your email list, which leads to your pricing page, which leads to your landing page and then the checkout page.
Everything connects to the other and you can see the progress of your customer’s journey and understand their pain points, needs, and even “drop off” points where they might leave the journey.
Measuring this cross-attribution isn’t easy. But then again that’s why you would hire someone like me *hint*.
Teamwork makes the dream work
Every part of your marketing should work for you and for each other. Yet with so much conflicting advice out there, it is very tempting to double down on only one method and keep hammering it to see how much value you get.
I suggest a much more effective approach. Look at your marketing as a whole ecosystem. Everything works together for a singular goal, constantly shifting and evolving into something beautiful.
You can still focus on single individual tactics and methods and channels, but to do that in isolation is not going to help you in the long run.
Growth will always be the goal of any business. More sales, more revenue, more market share, etc. Whatever it means to you, your marketing should serve that purpose in its entirety.
And we can make that happen.