Here at Nifty, we naturally adhere to the growth marketing ethos but what is it and why do we enjoy working with this mindset?
Essentially, growth marketing is a strategy to attract, engage and retain customers that’s based on relentless experimentation and intense focus on the unique and changing behaviours of your audience. It’s about delivering bespoke messaging aligned with your customers’ wants and needs.
What does growth marketing actually mean?
While traditional marketing relies on tried-and-tested techniques, growth marketing is about consistently evolving a strategy to make your marketing spends produce greater results, rather than plateauing or diminishing results month-on-month.
By regularly experimenting with different channels and strategies, growth marketing allows us to optimise our campaigns based on the results. The main question is often, ‘how can I grow my userbase as quickly as possible?’ rather the more traditional, ‘what is my cost per acquisition?’.
In short, growth marketing is about testing, experimentation and expansion and applying these principles to campaigns throughout the customer journey.
It’s about A/B testing and multivariant testing across experiments to understand when content is seen and how is it digested across audience segments. We then use these results to optimise the campaign per segment, meaning a 18-22-year-old age group might see a different campaign evolve compared to another age segment.
That’s a vague example but the point is that we can develop personalised campaigns that seamlessly hit users across multiple channels. We follow users’ behaviour across their journey to build customised plans that increase growth.
It’s not about large user bases but instead about building highly-engaged audiences, reducing churn and increasing the lifetime value of users. This approach has been shown to cut acquisition costs and increase the efficiency of marketing spends (sometimes by up to 30%).
Growth marketing is also about delivering valuable customer experiences, developing customer relationships and fostering loyalty. As such, growth marketing is a long-term strategy and not a quick-fix solution.
Primary elements of a growth marketing strategy
The metrics that form the basis of a growth marketing strategy are the same as most other marketing principles, often focusing around acquisition rates, retention rates and lifetime value. Below are the type of tactics people use in growth marketing strategies, most of which you’ll find in nearly all marketing campaigns.
A/B testing or, even better, multivariant testing is a core principle of a robust growth marketing strategy. Testing can be used across a number of formats, including emails, social ads, landing pages and allows us to understand which content is performing best for our target audiences. From there we can optimise future campaigns based on the feedback, continuously testing and evolving content to perform better. Remember here, that testing can produce different results within specific demographics, so be sure to comprehensively analyse the data.
Again, another mainstream marketing tool, but cross-channel marketing means hitting your audience where they’re most likely to see your content and can include emails, SMS messaging, push notifications, in-app messages, direct mail etc. all based on your audience’s preferences. A/B split testing might show that a user responds to in-app messages 70% more than emails, for instance. That means you should be focusing on in-app messages for that individual, rather than email. Another demographic may be different though, which is why it’s so important to digest the data because you may be engaging with one audience member in SMS, while another responds best on social media.
A customer lifecycle covers three critical stages and is essentially the journey your customer goes on as they learn about, interact with, convert and re-engage with a company. The three critical stages are activation, nurture and reactivation, with each stage playing a key role towards customer experience.
During the activation stage, companies seek to capture consumer attention and interest through a welcome, onboarding, trials and other introductory campaigns. The nurture stage involves engaging customers to build strong relationships and typically involves the majority of cross-channel marketing customers receive from brands. Finally, the reactivation stage focuses on re-engagement and is driven by campaigns such as post-purchase, abandonment, loyalty and win-backs. All three stages are equally important and growth marketeers must be able to accommodate customers’ changing needs with need-specific campaigns.
Examples of growth marketing
Again, there’s nothing majorly new from more traditional marketing methods when it comes to examples of growth marketing. The three examples are likely part of traditional marketing campaigns but it is the constant testing and evolution within smaller userbases that’s the focus of growth marketing.
It takes time and money to win customers and retention ensures that customers continue to buy your products or services. It’s important brands earn their customers’ trust, particularly in the dog-eat-dog of marketing. You must demonstrate your customers are more than just a pound sign in your database and loyalty campaigns are a great way of achieving this. It’s keeps customers engaged and coming back. You can also incentivise experiences as a way of thanking a customer, while campaigns that offer exclusive access, tiered status or sneak previews help validate brand loyalty.
We’re always looking for ways to attract new audiences and a very efficient method is utilising existing audiences to be your foghorn. Nielsen states that 83% of people trust recommendations from friends and family more than any other form of promotion, which speaks for itself. To test referral offers, we segment our audiences by offering different incentives to different groups. Again, this testing and evaluation allows us to build a greater picture of what each segment wants.
Once a customer has signed up to your product or website, it’s a great opportunity to drive brand engagement and collect more data. This in turn will allow you to build better experiences for future customers. You may start an onboarding process with a welcome message but follow-up by asking which products they’re interested in. This will help you start building a picture. You may also ask how they prefer to be contacted, SMS, email, phone, for instance, all the while building a better picture of that segment’s preferred activities.
Pushing too hard for an instant sale can be a major turnoff. That’s why you want to consider long-term strategies that slowly bring your customers into the fold through an engaging, compelling funnel of activities and content. It’s worth building out buyer personas to understand who your customers are, their desires and needs, before designing content which appeals to them. CTAs can be opting into a newsletter, or downloading an eBook, rather than a direct purchase. This will pull individuals into your environment where you can nurture them further towards conversion.
If you’re looking to implement a growth marketing strategy, Nifty’s here to help. We have a range of resources to help you understand how to best utilise your content to hit the right audiences, and how to test and evolve to increase performance. For more information, have a scroll through our resources page. Enjoy!