What Is Growth Marketing? 

Simply put, growth marketing is about growing revenues by creatively leveraging the full suite of marketing tools, channels, and tactics available in the modern marketer’s repertoire. Backed by data and capable across a broad range of marketing disciplines, growth marketing is your proverbial swiss army knife: the tool that gives you what you need in 20 different scenarios, all combined into one neat little package.

There’s a reason why growth marketing interest is at an all-time high as evidenced by Google Trends data:

At the end of the day, the marketing that matters is what moves the needle, especially at different levels of scale. As businesses grow, strategies to acquire, convert, and retain new customers need to grow with the business as well. That’s why it’s called “growth” marketing. 

Typically, the growth marketing skill set is modeled as a ‘T’ shape across a range of marketing disciplines. Skilled growth marketers will have a more robust mix, and growth agencies fill in the gaps by hiring and developing talent across the full spectrum of marketing disciplines.

Growth Marketing is Rooted in Strategic Testing and Data 

Growth marketing is about testing, testing, testing, to zero in on the most effective marketing possible for your products and services. Skilled growth marketing teams use a wide variety of marketing channels to this effect, testing to determine both what channels are effective and what works within each particular channel. All of this is enabled by the vast amount of marketing data available at a granular level from each of the digital platforms we use. 

But don’t let that dissuade you from thinking that growth marketers are robots that ruthlessly plan by the numbers and the numbers only. The best growth marketers also strategically use creative & brand marketing to drive performance.

Ultimately, a robust growth marketing strategy is powered by data, balances great creative assets and visuals, and makes savvy use of the breadth of digital marketing software available to the modern marketer.

The Optimotive edge – when it comes to the particular flavor of growth marketing that we practice, we layer on a further understanding of multiple industries and business models that generate unique insights we can apply to the marketing work we do. For example, we might look at an eCommerce brand’s growth through the lens of a SaaS business model to maximize revenue over time and return on invested ad spend.

Growth Marketing Unlocks Hidden Potential 

Our team regularly collaborates & coordinates with sales teams, support teams, and product teams to leverage cross-functional growth opportunities to grow revenues. Using this approach, we’ve launched “internal startups” for larger companies that turn into new divisions or new product lines, as well as helped automate sales functions using tools like Hubspot.

The differentiating factor for growth marketing as the “secret sauce” in driving these sorts of projects is that a well-run growth team can handle all strategy, coordination, technology implementation, and tactical execution needed to go end to end, from idea to reality.

Often, growth opportunities are hiding in plain sight, but teams simply don’t have the technical expertise or the breadth of knowledge across different marketing disciplines to connect the dots.

Pro TipThat’s why we recommend regular “growth audits” as a standard exercise; a seasoned growth marketer can often identify new ways to move the needle. At the very least, it’s good to know what your options are for growth.

Growth Marketing for Startups vs. For Established Enterprises 

Growth marketing can help businesses at any point in their lifecycle from small companies to large enterprises. However, the strategies used to capitalize on growth opportunities for startups or smaller businesses will vary from the strategies used for bigger companies.

Startups

Startups often face unique challenges like acquiring their first customers, reaching product-market-fit, achieving deeper market penetration, andl building out a robust, performance-oriented marketing mix.

Growth marketers are an excellent asset to startups in these endeavors, as the growth marketing skill set allows for rapid testing across a variety of customer acquisition channels. In turn, this allows startups to zero in on the right buyers as well as the right positioning, branding, messaging, creative and visual assets, tech stack, and overall marketing mix to reach them most effectively.    

The Optimotive edgeOur team has worked with many startups over the years from idea stage, day one brands to small teams looking to grow into much larger brands. Not only have we generated millions of dollars in revenue for these startup clients, we’re also proud to say

Enterprise

For more established brands, growth marketing typically takes on a different flavor than businesses going from 0 to 1. By necessity, growth at scale involves other aspects of an organization like sales, support, and product in addition to pure play marketing such as creating & managing advertising campaigns to acquire customers.

The beauty of growth marketing is that because it’s so multifaceted, skilled growth teams can unlock enormous value—and revenue—beyond the incremental gains traditional marketing may deliver. The best growth marketers collaborate with their counterparts in other company functions to apply and leverage unique insights.

And there are growth levers found in all kinds of places; this can range from increasing sales efficiency to increasing key customer metrics like overall customer lifetime value, repeat purchases, and referrals. Not to mention, using key marketing insights to help shape product decisions can create a more “marketable” overall brand for target audiences.

Key Growth Marketing Frameworks

Our team uses quite a few different growth frameworks when running growth campaigns. That said, we’ve highlighted a couple of the most important ones here in our opinion. These are two areas where we are able to help both smaller companies without a marketing team ramp up marketing results, and also unlock revenue growth for established marketing teams.

Multichannel Customer Acquisition 

Multichannel customer acquisition is the starting pillar of the growth stack, identifying the right places to find potential customers across all available channels both paid, organic, and left-field.

If you think about it in terms of budget allocation, the growth marketing perspective is essentially looking at the overall marketing mix and, rather than optimizing one specific channel like Facebook Ads, allocating budget to the best locations to maximize business goals. 

For example, a growth marketer may look at a marketing mix heavily weighted to SEO and realize that there’s an opportunity to use that very same content in a Native advertising campaign paired with a remarketing campaign tied to a specific blog post. The sky’s the limit when it comes to creative ways to reach new customers.

That said, most businesses have a wide variety of possible customer targets and possible marketing channels. We love to do it all when budgets allow, but in most cases it makes sense to prioritize higher ROI efforts. In this case we tend to prioritize the highest opportunities for growth, both from a pure data perspective, and from a strategic perspective. 

If there’s existing demand for the product or service in a particular channel or place, we’ll tap into that immediately. On the more strategic side of things, if marketing efforts are hitting a ceiling in terms of demand, we may prioritize certain industries, customer segments, or functions that have limited existing marketing penetration, but have a greater overall opportunity for future growth.

To reiterate, the key to success with growth marketing lies in testing, starting with the data we have available to us, and then iterating on our campaign data to ultimately hit growth goals.
The Optimotive Edge – We also use our proprietary Growth Matrix to score and prioritize what marketing initiatives make the most sense to run at any given time, taking into consideration impact, budget, results, and ease of deployment.

Lifecycle Marketing 

Lifecycle marketing involves converting raw website traffic to leads, users, and ultimately customers. Most customers don’t make linear purchase decisions. It often requires multiple touch points across multiple channels and platforms with strategically specific messaging to turn brand awareness into customers.

In a growth context, this means building coordinated marketing assets across ads, landing pages, emails, texts, notifications, and more before relentlessly optimizing performance of each component of the whole mix. 

Once a prospect engages with our marketing campaigns, we can then tailor the right messaging to them at the right time, in the right delivery vehicle.

Perhaps you’ve heard of inbound marketing or the buyer’s journey?

Well, to move potential buyers along this flow to ultimately convert them into customers, we use tools like CRMs (Hubspot is the overall gold standard, and Klaviyo is ideal for eCommerce) and CDPs (Customer Data Platforms) like Segment.

For example, in a multi-touch B2B sales process, we may integrate tailored landing pages and forms to all sources of new leads (such as dynamic landing pages for a Google Ads campaign) and then use contextual analytics data to segment and score those leads before assigning them to sales reps and automatically sending follow up emails tied to a nurturing sequence based on their product interest. This allows for better handling of leads by the sales team, resulting in higher close rates, and ultimately a better experience for potential customers.

For a consumer brand, we may use contextual analytics data to segment contacts based on interest in certain products, and then generate personalized follow up offers to those contacts over time, as well as light brand touch points. This ultimately creates a more fun & relevant experience for customers while increasing referrals and repeat purchases on the back-end.

These marketing platforms allow us to leverage the vast amount of marketing data available to us about each prospective customer and re-target them with new curated ads or personalized emails sent via automated workflows. Additionally, they enable sales teams to automate some of their work and pursue deals from additional angles.

Growth Marketing Results

The bottom line is that growth marketing is a powerful driver of business. We’ve seen this firsthand with the results we’ve driven for our clients.

We helped one industrial client launch a new product line that now accounts for 50% of their overall revenues at a mid 7-figure run rate annually. We started that launch by building out all the brand infrastructure needed to generate leads, sell units, and establish initial sales. After that initial buildout phase to validate the concept, we then created automation systems to allow a small sales team to handle a large number of leads, and integrated a national sales rep network into the entire system to scale up even higher, illustrating how growth marketing systems can evolve  with scale.

For another Optimotive B2B client, we generated several million dollars of sales pipeline off of one campaign by hyper focusing on a customer segment that we knew had good product-market fit, crafting a killer multi-channel acquisition campaign, and then using marketing automation and remarketing to capture demand from our target market.  

In the words of our clients:

“The results [of working with Optimotive] have been tremendous. The sales for our new products are extremely successful YoY. Our spend has been returned 20 times over in profit thanks to their marketing efforts. The foundation that Optimotive laid out is key to our success.”

Julia DeGennaro, Senior Sales & Marketing Manager, Coolbot

If you’re interested in reading case studies from other work we’ve done including in eCommerce, you can find that here.

Other Famous Growth Marketing Examples

There are many well-known modern companies that were built using growth marketing tactics. You might recall Dropbox’s  “invite a friend and get 250mb of extra space” referral program. That was created as a “growth hacking” campaign by growth marketers.

Hotmail is another example of classic growth marketing. They included a link back to the main Hotmail website by default in email footers, which led to massive user growth when every email going out generated new users.

Interested in a custom growth strategy for your business?

If you like what you’ve been reading about here, we’d be happy to speak with you about implementing growth marketing in your marketing mix! If you’re currently working with RyTech, feel free to reach out to your main point of contact and they can coordinate a strategy call with a Senior Growth Strategist from the Optimotive team. Or, shoot us a message and we’ll follow up with you directly.

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