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What is Growth Marketing?

In the past, marketers would invest most of their energy and resources in mass media campaigns that mainly targeted a top-of-the-funnel audience through a select number of channels. Razzle-dazzle adverts would be unleashed on the masses to create brand awareness and hopefully drive a tonne of new leads through the door. While there's no arguing that this model has worked for many big brands, it ignores one critical element of inbound marketing: customer retention.

Defining growth marketing

With the right tools and a strong focus on nurturing leads through each stage of the sales funnel, marketers can get more juice for their squeeze. Thanks to sophisticated technologies like HubSpot, we can now gain real insights into engagement and pinpoint a lead's position in the customer journey. Using targeted content, we can continue to warm up these leads until they are not only ready to buy but also ready to commit to purchasing again in the future.

Growth marketing relies on psychology, data, automation, and continuous improvement to build scalable businesses with devoted customer bases. It's never a one-size-fits-all approach, but a close study of a company's buyer personas with the aim off effectively converting leads at every stage of the sales funnel.

You can measure the impact of your inbound marketing strategy by identifying the key performance indicators (KPIs); if an area in your funnel is underachieving or there's a bottleneck, you can proactively apply a new set of tactics or tweak elements in your campaign to reignite the lead's interest. Often, it's simple changes, like better landing pages, more effective calls-to-action (CTAs), a personalised approach to content offers, or adjusting your Facebook and Google Ads to hone in on a more specific audience. Ultimately, growth marketing is about having the willingness and know-how to conduct evidence-based experiments and optimise your campaigns continuously.

"Growth marketing is removing the boundaries of marketing to enable every aspect of the customer experience to focus on attracting more engaged customers." – Mike Volpe, former CMO of HubSpot

Growth marketing is about long term gains

Most industries are saturated with competitors; differentiation is essential in this environment, but you may be limited if your company is solely focussed on profits. In order to survive and thrive, you need a much broader view of what's affecting the public's perception of your business and how you can differentiate your offering. In 2020, a company's success can be determined by the level of attention and engagement it gets from its audience, not just its bottom line.

For example, if you're a new business and your main goal is to generate income, you may be tempted to implement quick win tactics that drive a high volume of leads towards your sales team. Perhaps you've tempted buyers with freebies or made exclusive offers that attract a lot of interest. That's great – every company wants to hear the sound of the phone ringing – but just because your sales team is occupied with an influx of calls, it doesn't necessarily mean that these leads are the right fit for your business or product. Such activities can do more to tarnish your reputation and add unnecessary costs. Many of these folks may not be interested in purchasing from you again; some may even be disgruntled by your attempt to reach out to them.

A textbook case was Hoover's marketing disaster in the early 90s. The company offered free international flights with any £100 purchase. In the midst of a recession, Hoover's management decided that this would be a great campaign to make more sales and get rid of excess stock. The company banked on the idea that not everyone would redeem the flights, and if they did, the claim's process was extremely tedious. There was plenty of paperwork for the customer to complete, slow turnaround times and a dozen other obstacles that made it near impossible for the customer to get their free roundtrip to Europe. Eventually, the whole campaign spiralled out of control, and although Hoover generated around £20m in gross sales, the cost of the flights had stacked up to around £100m. Not only was it a public relations disaster for the company, but the sales they had hoped would reinvigorate their bottom line had only resulted in a more significant backwards step for the business.  

Growth marketing, on the other hand,  concentrates on measurable interactions throughout the sales funnel. This model allows for real-time responses to changes in consumer behaviour – something that's becoming increasingly important in a fluctuating market. Instead of making big promises or running blanket campaigns like Hoover, you can study how visitors use your website, what questions they're seeking answers to, and present them with the information and solutions they need. With growth marketing, you can make efficient use of your resources; by A/B testing your ads, landing pages, and CTAs, or repurposing your content, you can get the most out of your efforts and marketing investment.

When you are ready to start implementing a growth strategy for your business, you can use HubSpot's free A/B testing kit or get support from the BEE.team. We are specialised in helping companies achieve sustainable growth. We use inbound methodology to build optimised sales funnels that deliver tangible, measurable results. If you're interested in developing a robust growth strategy that aligns with your budget and business goals, speak to one of our friendly experts today.