What Is Growth Marketing? Definition, Components and Campaigns

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated November 28, 2022 | Published May 11, 2021

Updated November 28, 2022

Published May 11, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

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Growth marketing strategies can help businesses create and improve interactions with their customers. By strengthening their relationships with customers through these effective marketing techniques, companies can often reduce customer turnover rates, build brand engagement and lower acquisition costs.

In this article, we discuss the components of growth marketing, the categories of growth marketing campaigns and the qualities of successful growth marketers.

What is growth marketing?

Growth marketing is a strategy to increase a company’s revenues by improving customer retention and loyalty. It is a long-term marketing goal and focuses its efforts on the consumer, specifically by reaching new customers, retaining current customers and finding ways for these customers to help you grow the business. It is, in effect, a method of observing measurable marketing growth.

Growth marketers utilize numerous marketing concepts, such as content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing and user experience. Growth marketers perform tasks such as:

  • Optimizing conversion rates

  • Testing new business strategies in various departments

  • Monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs) and marketing metrics

  • Reducing customer acquisition costs

Components of growth marketing

There are two major components to growth marketing:

Cross-channel marketing

Cross-channel marketing is a strategy that involves interacting with both prospective and current customers through a variety of mediums or marketing channels. Businesses that use cross-channel marketing determine the best methods and approaches for contacting various types of customers. Marketing channels may include:

  • Email subscriptions

  • Digital advertisements campaigns

  • Mobile apps

  • Online forums or discussion groups

  • Social media posts

  • Podcasts

  • Networking events

  • Guest blogs

  • Print media, such as flyers or magazine ads

  • Text messages

  • Websites

  • In-person exchanges, such as in-store interactions or verbal referrals

  • Television or radio features

  • Public reviews

  • Quotes in external publications or websites

Cross-channel marketing involves creating customer experiences with smooth transitions between some of these or other kinds of channels. For example, sending customers who sign up for an email newsletter a promotion code to use in your physical stores is a cross-channel marketing strategy.

Read more: How To Implement Cross-Channel Marketing (Plus Tips)

A/B Testing

Also called multivariate test, A/B testing is a method for examining the similarities and differences between two variations of the same thing. Growth marketers can use A/B testing to determine the best version of a particular marketing strategy, program or type of content. Once a growth marketer figures out which variation has the greatest success in gaining, engaging or keeping customers, they can improve upon that variation during future campaigns. A/B testing typically involves testing the same two variations with multiple subgroups of your business's target audience, as sometimes various types of customers may respond best to different tactics.

For example, say your business wants to improve how often customers engage with ads on social media. A growth marketer could create two ads for your business that differed, such as in their tone or design, and target each ad to various segments of your audience. If one ad performs better with teenagers and the other does better with young professionals, a growth marketer could then continue developing and improving upon different social media advertising campaigns for each audience segment.

Read more: A/B Testing: What Is It and the Benefits of It

Creating growth marketing campaigns

Growth marketers typically categorize their campaigns by the sections of the growth marketing funnel. A growth marketing funnel is like the business concept of the customer lifecycle. Both refer to the typical stages a customer goes through before, during and after purchasing a product or service from your business. Most experts consider the growth marketing funnel to have six key stages:

Awareness

A customer gaining awareness of your business might learn about the existence of your brand. Awareness can also mean that customers gather more information about how your products or services could benefit them. Growth marketers trying to help customers reach the awareness stage might use A/B testing to see what types of blog content increase traffic or what kinds of social media posts get shared online most often.

Acquisition

The acquisition stage focuses on convincing potential customers to become actual customers. Acquisition might mean a customer makes a purchase, signs up for a free trial, gives you their email address or pays for premium content. To improve acquisition rates, growth marketers may try an original call-to-action phrase or various types of discounts.

Related: A Complete Guide to Marketing Funnels: Definition and Creation Tips

Activation

Also part of the onboarding process, the activation stage is about assisting customers in interacting with a business's products or services. The goal is for customers to start using their purchases as soon as possible and to fully understand all of their purchase's features or components. Growth marketers helping with customer activation might experiment with sending customers various video demonstrations, personalized customer services or help manuals.

Revenue

The revenue stage refers to any customer interactions that generate money for a business. Customers in the revenue stage might make their first purchase, transition from a free trial to a paid subscription or order an upgrade. To help increase the number of sales or revenue, growth marketers can test pricing strategies, payment methods or upselling techniques.

Retention

The retention stage emphasizes strategies for keeping current customers engaged with a business. It's generally more cost-efficient for businesses to maintain engagement with their current clients, as opposed to continually gaining new customers. A growth marketer helping with retention rates may gather data and create strategies related to customer loyalty programs, customer educational services or social media groups.

Related: Understanding Customer Retention With Strategies

Referral

The referral stage focuses on encouraging loyal customers to refer your business to potential clients. While some customers may refer your business without prompting, a business can increase its referral rates by offering incentives. For example, a growth marketer trying to improve customer referral rates might experiment with offering current customers referral programs, discounts or free upgrades.

Growth marketing compared to traditional marketing

There are several important differences between traditional marketing and growth marketing. These differences include:

Short-term goals vs long-term goals

Traditional marketing focuses on short-term sales goals. It's campaign driven and efforts often revolve around a specific product or service. In contrast, growth marketing focuses on long-term goals and overall strategies that will benefit the company, such as customer loyalty and retention.

Customer acquisition vs customer retention

Traditional marketing focuses mostly on acquiring new customers, especially surrounding a new product or service or a new ad campaign promoting an existing product. Growth marketing goes beyond this strategy to also include building a customer base of loyal return consumers.

Tips for growth marketing strategies

Whether you wish to develop high-quality growth marketing strategies or become a growth marketer, here are some tips to help you:

Understand data tools and techniques

Growth marketers know how to use company data when creating strategies, using multiple marketing channels and improving optimization rates. A growth marketer also understands which type of data or marketing metric to use in what situation. Data types that often relate to successful growth marketing strategies include:

  • Subscription rates

  • How much return businesses earn back on advertising-related spending

  • Customer retention rates

  • How often customers open emails

  • Content performance measurements, such as engagement

  • How much it costs to gain a customer

  • Customer attrition rates, meaning the loss of customers

  • How much it costs to convert visitors into paying clients

Related: 20 Marketing Metrics and KPIs

Focus all strategies on the customer

Successful growth marketers create strategies with the primary goal of helping businesses identify, connect with and retain customers. This is true for nearly all types of businesses, including businesses targeted at other businesses and e-commerce stores. This means that growth marketers understand how to find and engage with distinct groups, such as people of varying ages, within a business's target audience.

Remain informed on industry developments

Staying current on the most recent growth marketing trends can help you develop successful growth marketing tactics. The industry of growth marketing changes continually with the creation of new tools, techniques and opportunities. Subscribe to blogs or online publications that discuss current news related to growth marketing. You could also join a forum, group or network of other professionals involved in growth marketing.

Build trust between customers and companies

Most customers prefer to shop at and stay loyal to companies they trust. Growth marketing strategies should consider approaches that make customers feel valued as individuals. Ways to improve audience trust include encouraging current customers to leave public reviews, creating tiered incentive programs and sending personalized messages.

Related: What Is Branding? Why Branding Is Important For Your Business

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