Launching your startup business is a big deal for you and for others who share your vision, and it’s something to be proud of. But it’s also just the beginning. When you remember that more than half a million new businesses start in the U.S. every year and that they all want a piece of the pie, it becomes clear that differentiation and growth are the next important steps – and that’s where growth marketing comes in.
No matter what product or service your business offers, competition is rife. And with more than 500,000 new options being added to the pool every year, it’s becoming fiercer. Your competitors know this, which is why businesses in America collectively spend more than $200 billion on marketing annually.
For the savvy enterprises among them, that marketing is not just about getting the brand name out there. Brand awareness is part of it, but so is customer acquisition and retention. It’s not enough for potential customers merely to know that your startup business exists.
What you want is a loyal, engaged customer base that ultimately leads to organic growth – and that’s exactly what you won’t get if you cling to traditional marketing methods only.
Let’s explore what this means for marketing for startup businesses.
Growth Marketing In A Nutshell
Far from being nothing more than a buzzword for the same old same old, growth marketing takes the traditional approach to new heights. It arose when strategists tried to find solutions to the various flaws and challenges of the traditional way of doing things.
A report by Hubspot shed some light on those marketing challenges. According to the site:
- 63% of companies said one of the biggest marketing challenges was generating traffic and leads
- 40% said another challenge was proving their marketing activities’ ROI
- 26% added website management to their top challenges
- 21% said an additional challenge was targeting an international audience through their content
The same report also indicated that 61% of marketers said their top inbound marketing priority was SEO improvement and the growth of their organic presence.
The solutions to such challenges, collectively known as growth marketing, are driven by data. They include email strategies, creative promotional campaigns, A/B testing, SEO for websites, and more. The basic goals of this new approach to marketing for small businesses are to attract new customers, retain existing customers, and increase profits. Let’s take a closer look.
|Suggested reading: How Performance Marketing for Customer Acquisition Works Within Your Marketing Strategy|
Elements Of Growth Marketing
Generating, retaining, and monetizing customers – Gaining new customers, retaining them as well as existing customers, and monetizing them is the primary goal; growing revenue is secondary to this. The idea is to grow a broad customer base, rather than trying to make huge profits from every sale. If your product’s good, customers will return to spend more money.
The customer is king/queen – Customer service and customer satisfaction are restored to their rightful place. Gone are the days when customers were seen as little more than cash cows. One of the main focuses of growth marketing is providing your customers with optimum benefit, rather than trying to generate value from them.
Continuous monitoring and optimizing of marketing strategies and performance – The traditional approach tracked marketing performance once, or a few times, a year. The new approach to marketing for small businesses uses a cyclical sprint model to ensure relevance and effectiveness.
A strategic – tactical performance marketing mix – In the past, marketing tended to be obsessed with generating immediate sales. This new approach aims to create brand loyalty, customer awareness, and enough demand to secure long-term sales.
Speaking to profitable customers – A healthy chunk of the marketing budget is used to speak to profitable customers in ways that enable them to gain the most value from your brand.
Practical Elements Of Growth Marketing
Now that you know about the basic thrust of growth marketing, you might be wondering how that theory translates into practicalities. Below are some of the most common elements of the job of a growth marketer.
Brand marketing – Marketers use promotional event sponsorship, guest blogging, influencer marketing, and other activities to market products that either are new or have a low demand.
Automated promotional tool design – Marketers design drip campaigns, chatbots, onboarding email sequences, and other automated promotional tools.
Social media marketing – More than third of the world population uses social media, which makes it an essential aspect of marketing for small businesses. Successful marketers learn how to market and sell products and services on various channels, such as Facebook and Instagram.
Paid promotion techniques – Marketers are not averse to using paid promotional techniques to bolster new campaigns or to gain insights into the viability of new websites.
Customer research – Growth marketers are happy to speak to, or otherwise communicate with, customers to better understand their viewpoints, preferences, and needs. This allows marketers to create strategies that are more relevant to their customers.
Qualities Of Successful Marketers
The best growth marketers exhibit various qualities. They include:
The ability to communicate effectively – Clear, effective communication is essential. Without it, marketers cannot let their teams know what’s expected, or how those results are to be achieved. A good communicator’s also able to inspire others.
Courage to take risks – Growth marketing takes entrepreneurs and small enterprises out of traditional marketing comfort zones. You cannot do effective marketing for small businesses without the courage needed to take risks.
Comfortable with analytics – A good marketer knows what questions to ask and how to read between the lines. They also know how to use Google Analytics and other sources of data to assess successes and failures, and to optimize existing and planned strategies.
Persuasiveness – Successful growth marketers are persuasive in that they’re able to inspire buy-in from their team as well as from customers.
Vision – A marketer should have the breadth and depth of vision to not only come up with effective ideas, but also to use data to help them visualize the outcomes of strategies that have been implemented.
Where the traditional approach is brand-centric and aims to make immediate profits, and growth hacking is all about short-term solutions, growth marketing is about the long haul. If you want your small business to thrive, you cannot afford to ignore it.
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What is a startup?
A startup is a business or enterprise started by an entrepreneur with the aim of finding, developing, and validating a scalable economic model.
What is growth marketing?
The method of planning and executing research to refine and enhance the results of a target area is known as growth marketing. If you want to improve a certain metric, growth marketing is a good way to do so.