How To Improve Your Growth Marketing This Year

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Business professionals discussing growth charts


Savvy marketers know both traditional and growth marketing strategies are necessary to keep companies relevant. Old-school strategies are a chance to go after new customers and let an organization’s campaigns shine. Growth marketing approaches rely on data to acquire leads and nurture existing customer relationships.

This second line of attack says it’s also beneficial to keep clients happy, find additional sales opportunities and turn customers into advocates. The gist of growth marketing sounds simple enough. In reality, it can be confusing to implement. Because it is so customer-centric, a lot of experimentation happens as marketers get to know their target audiences.

From discovering which tactics promote engagement to what drives revenue, growth marketers learn that flexibility and constant tweaking are musts. Marketing novices and vets often end up scratching their heads, wondering how they can improve their efforts. Although there isn’t an exact scientific formula yet, here are some ways to take your growth marketing strategies to the next level.

1. Study the Competition

Sometimes your competition can be one of the best sources of inspiration. Select a few of your company’s main rivals and a couple of indirect competitors whom your customers might turn to in a pinch. Then check out what your competitors are doing differently and what others say about them.

You can do this via social listening, signing up for their email lists and reading through online blogs and other digital content. Online reviews and forums like Reddit are also good places to find out what people are saying. Perform a mini competitive analysis, scrutinizing your rivals’ tactics, strategies and consumer sentiments and pain points.

While you might discover something you’re missing out on, it’s possible competitors are following a trend. Those trends might not resonate with your market, or you may need to tweak them. For instance, voice search has been promoted as a coming thing for the last few years. However, you’ll be wasting your time if your target segment hasn’t embraced smart home devices or the use of voice search yet.

Since growth marketing strategies focus on long-term results, make it a priority to listen to what customers find helpful. Learn from your competition and see what you can emulate. But don’t blindly follow their tactics without considering your unique audience’s preferences.   

2. Research Your Own Brand

You might think you know your brand like the back of your hand. Think again. Just as you need to study the competition, you also have to research what people say about you. Comb through online reviews, conduct Net Promoter Score surveys and browse digital forums.

Sites such as the Better Business Bureau, comments on your company’s social media posts and online articles can provide useful insights. Maybe things are being said that aren’t true. Comments from current and former customers could also reveal unknown problems. You might learn your bill statements are confusing or customer service in certain areas is lacking.

If there’s false or misleading information about your brand out there, see what you can do to correct it. Some sites, such as the Better Business Bureau, may lower your company’s rating if you don’t respond to online complaints. Showing that you’re willing to address those issues can be enough to raise your score.

You’ll also want to take a look at logos, branding and everything you publish, whether in digital or traditional media. Ask whether it truly represents the brand’s character and what your company stands for. Analyze internal and external brand metrics from the past five years and see whether your clout went up, down or remained stagnant. Investigate further to discover why your marketing efforts were successful or fell flat.

3. Adopt a Long-Term Strategy

After you’ve done your research, it’s time to brainstorm a new game plan. Determine whether repositioning your brand is the way to go or whether you just need to drum up some new tactics. Maybe there’s a potential market or existing customer segment you’ve overlooked. Plan to be in the game for the long haul. You’ll want to establish time frames for your goals, but know you may not see instant results.

Some companies implement new approaches to growth marketing with a big push. However, you may need to start out small and test the waters. For instance, say you’ve decided to rebrand a portion of your service and product lines as suitable for small to medium businesses. You’ve nearly tapped out the consumer segment and want to focus on growing your business customers. You might start with a couple of test markets with a higher concentration of leads.  

If you want to revamp your messaging or conversion tactics, try A/B or split testing to see what hits home. Testing new programs, incentives and services can be a good thing, but you’ll need to set customer expectations up front. Let them know the company is experimenting to better meet their needs and resolve their pain points. Don’t overpromise and underdeliver. Give customers a heads up if offerings will change or be discontinued.

4. Partner Up

Partnerships with other companies are one of the most effective ways to get the word out about your brand. Working with organizations that cater to similar audiences can benefit both sides. Event sponsorships are ways you can build brand representation and recognition.

A nonprofit that holds an annual event in the communities your company serves might be a way to increase goodwill. Short-term partnerships with local businesses that aren’t competitors can increase your reach and boost customer acquisition efforts. You might hold educational seminars at area restaurants and offer to comp dinner or lunch for attendees. This promotes the restaurants’ products and yours, giving attendees a taste of what you both can offer.

Remember growth marketing is a marathon and not a sprint. What you think might work may not, and there will be some surprises that pop up along the way. The most critical things are to keep trying, testing and learning.