Getting Started with Growth Marketing: Five Minute Fundamentals
Growth carries a lot of weight for a small word, with many preconceived ideas about what it entails.
Bringing this up in conversation often leads to responses along the lines of:
- Do you mean growth hacking? Seems a bit risky".
- Isn't that just another way to say marketing?".
- We already do SEO".
So, by way of an educational introduction, let's take a look at what we mean when we use the term growth.
Growth incorporates marketing, but is distinct from it.
The easiest way to understand the difference between growth and marketing is to cast your mind back to Business Studies 101 and take a look at the funnel. Traditionally, it's broken down into:
AAARRR (lovingly known as the pirate funnel 🏴☠️), incorporates all customer-facing activity that drives desired outcomes. While marketing is specifically about Awareness & Acquisition, Growth is about the full stack.
There's a lot of overlap with product, too. Insights from Retention & Revenue activity feed into roadmaps for development, helping to improve workflows and respond appropriately to customer needs.
It's all about the data.
Fundamentally, the quality of your data informs the quality of your growth strategy. Do you really understand the depth of interactions with your website, app or product? Every second of user interaction is a second of available data. Whether it's basics like time of day and location, the orientation and motion of their device, or something more granular, all of this information is there to be utilised and help drive your desired outcome.
Data depth is one component, but anybody can implement tags and collect information. The most successful organisations are set apart by their ability to analyse, draw conclusions and create tests to drive incremental improvement. It's arguably better to have a crystal clear understanding of a smaller dataset than all of the data in the world with no idea how to analyse it.
One particular area we work closely with our clients on is data centralisation and visualisation. Combining the information from all siloed workflows into an easy to interpret dashboard enables much faster decision-making, representing key metrics and the interplay between them–all of which help you identify which activities will have the most benefit and best ROI on the fly.
Activities that sit within a Growth Strategy
Typically, the activities that sit within a Growth strategy are broad, and will vary based on each organisation's setup. For direct to consumer scale-ups, for example, budgets may not permit extensive awareness activity driven primarily by display or programmatic. Instead, a Growth strategy for this type of business is likely to find the greatest success making use of social media and effective CRM.
The channel mix should be informed by rigorous analysis of available data, and the best option may not be obvious –this is why we spend time making sure data is both in-depth and accessible. Typically, we group activity that sits within the funnel into three stages for simplicity:
- Top of Funnel Activity: Media, Owned & Earned
- Middle of Funnel Activity: Optimisation, CRO and UX
- Bottom of Funnel Activity: CRM, Referral
Obviously, there is some overlap and interplay between different areas of activity which can't be ignored, but having a good understanding of performance in each of these three groups will give the best view of where the low hanging fruit are for your business.
As we work primarily with scale-ups, we spend most of our time developing strategies for owned & earned, and on-site optimisation. These are particularly fruitful for businesses starting to break through, as they have the highest return on investment when marketing budgets are a considerable constraint.
We don't just activate these projects on behalf of our clients, we also help clients with established partners and workflows to optimise their processes. Often, clients come to us with multiple, siloed work streams, and we work with them to break down the barriers between different activities across agencies and partners to form a strategic, data-driven backbone to their campaigns.
Growth is not one size fits all.
While I could talk all day about frameworks and strategies, the goal, for now, is to provide a top-line view of growth, deliberately introductory for the sake of brevity. There's a lot more to the process, and each company's growth strategy will be unique to their specific market, products and setup.
We're not in the business of sending cold audits promising significant benefits for a low monthly investment, because any effective strategy relies on reciprocation between client and agency, and an understanding of processes, challenges and opportunities.