Is growth marketing just another piece of marketing jargon or is it the key to scaling your brand? If you’re the CEO or founder of a young startup or an older brand with innovative new products, you’re going to want to know the answer.
To attempt a broad definition, growth marketing is a marketing discipline that focuses on optimizing marketing processes to fast-track growth by hyper-focusing on the most profitable niche markets.
Simplified, the idea is to find the most profitable audience for the product, find a beachhead market within that audience, penetrate it completely, and then scale delivery through the other submarkets in that audience.
By doing this, you will achieve the fastest possible growth in the shortest possible space of time and at the lowest cost. That’s the gist of it.
The idea is intuitive and simple to grasp.
But, as with most things in the world of business, the implementation is slightly trickier. This is particularly true for younger brands that are often starting out with no sales history and therefore very little data, plus no real idea of their product-market fit.
Before we jump into the details, here’s a little more depth on the fundamentals of growth marketing.
Is Growth Marketing Really Any Different from Regular Marketing?
Yes, it is.
Growth marketing and conventional marketing have the same basic objectives and even include some of the same processes. However, growth marketing is oriented towards rapid but sustainable growth, particularly following a new launch of any kind — whether that be of a new brand or product line.
In addition to this, growth marketing entails more phases to the customer life cycle than conventional marketing.
Where conventional marketing looks to move prospects through awareness to acquisition, growth marketing seeks to move prospects through these two stages and on through to activation (onboarding), retention, revenue, and referral.
The Three Essential Components of a Growth Marketing Plan
So what should your growth marketing plan look like?
Growth marketing is fairly straightforward, and there are really only three major parts to it.
If you’re drawing one up for your brand, here are the parts to include.
Everything in marketing must be goal-oriented, and you probably already know this.
In growth marketing, however, your goals are set a little differently. When you commence a growth marketing strategy, you should be aiming to learn about your audience first.
In conventional marketing, you would do most of your market research before you go to market. In growth marketing, going to market is where the bulk of your market research occurs.
In setting goals for your growth marketing plan, therefore, these goals should be phrased as learning outcomes.
The first is figuring out the perfect product-market fit. This only happens once you have interacted with the market and have some data to show how different market segments interact with your brand, your products or services, messaging, and every other core component of the marketing mix.
In learning about your audience, naturally, you will come to understand what their particular pain points are and how your product or service might address this.
The second key learning outcome is knowing the right value proposition to focus on. A value proposition in growth marketing doesn’t merely outline the benefits of the product; instead, it emphasizes the ways in which the product or service meets the market’s pain points.
We’ve mentioned data in passing quite a bit. That’s because data is really what brings a growth marketing plan together.
Mike Tyson once reportedly said, “Everyone’s got a plan till they get punched in the face.”
Thankfully getting punched in the face isn’t required for growth marketing. But the idea that pre-launch planning is somewhat unreliable is valid.
When you go to market with a new brand or an innovative offering of some kind, you can create plans, but these will be best-guess estimates.
The way to develop accurate plans is to look at the data!
Google analytics data will be the main source of inputs for your analysis. If you have social media pages (which you should), these will also be a key source of marketing data.
The data will tell you what demographics are clicking through to your web pages and content (more on this in the next point), how long they spend on your website, what areas of each web page they spend more time on, and so much more.
When looked at comprehensively, you will have an excellent idea of what market segment should form your beachhead market.
The third piece of the growth marketing puzzle is an effective content plan. Content isn’t just about putting out blog posts and social media posts and hoping something goes viral.
It’s about looking at your beachhead market and understanding what online channels they are using, what sort of messaging appeals to them based on their readiness-to-buy, creating the exact content they need, and putting it in the exact places where it will get the right exposure.
It’s almost like walking into an exam with all the answers beforehand — if you have followed the preceding steps correctly.
The first two steps were about learning about your audience. This step is about leveraging your knowledge of the market by creating meaningful engagement through effective content marketing.
Not only is content marketing one of the marketing strategies that offer the most value-for-money, but it is also one of the best ways to engage with your audience at all four stages of the marketing funnel.
While conventional advertising is a great way to connect with people at the top of the funnel, creating hyper-focused content that meets the needs of your audience at every subsequent stage (onboarding, retention, and revenue) is the key to creating content for growth marketing.
Putting It All Together
The heart of growth marketing is data, and the real magic happens once you launch and have enough of it to see what’s working and what isn’t.
One of the best ways to do this is to use a powerful content management system such as WordPress or HubSpot.
HubSpot is a top tool for creating marketing campaigns, with excellent features for outreach and data analytics. You can also take your growth marketing plans to the next level by working with a Hubspot Agency Partner like First Page strategy.