What is Growth Marketing? + 18 Actionable Strategies

hand holding a small plant (growth marketing)

In the hyper-dynamic and evolving market landscape we inhabit today, the role of marketing is not just to spread awareness—it’s to drive growth. Growth marketing is not a buzzword; it’s a necessary approach to stay relevant, competitive, and more importantly, ahead in your industry. It champions strategies that are tailored, iterative, and obsessively focused on metrics and KPIs.

Growth marketing combines traditional marketing tactics with digital strategies to identify and target potential customers, build relationships with them, and drive conversions. In this blog, we’ll discuss how growth marketing can help you achieve your goals and provide comprehensive explanations of the key concepts. Plus we’ll include 18 practical ways to apply growth marketing tactics to your current strategy.

What is Growth Marketing?

Growth marketing, as opposed to traditional marketing, is a data-driven marketing strategy that focuses on both gaining and retaining customers. Traditional marketers can sometimes focus too heavily on the top of the funnel – generating leads and awareness around a brand.

The growth marketer’s purpose is to generate awareness, nurture leads, turn them into customers, and ensure customer loyalty. In other words, growth marketing is about the entire customer journey, not just one piece of it.

For Example…

A growth marketer for a tech company might use the following tactics to acquire and retain customers:

  • Use email campaigns to build relationships with leads.
  • Execute A/B tests on landing pages to optimize conversions.
  • Leverage search engine results through SEO and PPC campaigns.
  • Create customer loyalty programs that encourage repeat orders.

On the other hand, a traditional marketer might focus only on the first step of generating leads, leaving out the critical steps of converting them into customers, and maintaining a loyal customer base. As you can see, growth marketing requires a much more comprehensive strategy, but the comparative results are undeniable – growth marketing generates more revenue over time.

Don’t believe us? Let’s use the multi-billion dollar music giant Spotify as a real-life case study. In 2015, Spotify revolutionized the music streaming industry by introducing personalized playlists such as Discover Weekly. By creating a custom experience tailored to each user’s tastes, they were able to increase engagement with the application for over 40 million users, enjoying an 80 percent increase in profits the next year.

When you shift the focus of your digital marketing strategy from getting leads to retaining customers, you can unlock a whole new realm of possibilities.

Learn more about building an effective and comprehensive digital marketing strategy here.

Birds-eye view of a set of hands on a table with papers, a cell phone, and pens/pencils/highlighters (growth marketing strategy)
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What are the Main Components of a Growth Marketing Strategy?

Growth marketing focuses on experimentation and testing. It’s a process that requires different strategies, tactics, and tools to be implemented in order to get the best results. Here are some of the main tactics of growth marketing:

A/B Testing

A/B testing is the process of comparing two versions of a webpage, email, or other marketing asset to see which version performs better. This involves segmenting users into two groups – A and B – and sending them each a different version of the asset.

Of course, you can have more than two versions of an asset, but this type of comparative testing tends to be the most straightforward and simple to glean insights from with just two versions.

Among the many and varied metrics that could be tracked in an A/B test, some of the most common include open rates, click-through rates, time on page/site visits, or interactions with a CTA. The goal is to gauge which version of the asset produces better results, or at least to gain insights into how users interact with the different versions.

Cross-Channel Marketing

Cross-channel marketing is the process of distributing messages to your customer base across multiple channels, both online and offline, for maximum impact. This includes email campaigns, social media posts, targeted ads on search engine platforms, and influencer marketing campaigns – essentially any method of outreach that can be used to amplify your message and engage potential customers.

Cross-channel marketing involves creating content that resonates with your audience on multiple platforms, and is tailored to the specific audience of each platform. For example, you might have one version of a content piece for email campaigns and another version that’s optimized for social media posts.

In reaching your customer base across multiple checkpoints, you can effectively nurture leads and engage customers with targeted content that’s specifically tailored to their interests and stages in the customer journey.

Customer Lifecycle

The customer lifecycle is a term used to describe the relationship between a customer and a business over time. It encompasses each stage of the journey from initial contact, to acquisition, conversion, retention, and, finally, loyalty.

Growth marketing is all about optimizing the customer lifecycle, from identifying and targeting potential customers at the top of the funnel to nurturing leads and driving conversions throughout the middle of the funnel. You can then leverage loyalty programs that encourage customers to make repeat purchases, as well as referrals that bring in new customers.

By focusing on each stage of the customer journey, you can continually refine your growth strategy to maximize customer engagement and ROI.

Getting the Whole Team Involved

Growth marketing needs to be a company-wide effort in order to be successful. It’s not enough for marketers and sales teams to work together – product, engineering, analytics, customer support, and even executives must also play a role.

Product teams should focus on creating features that streamline the customer journey and improve user experience. Engineering teams should design and implement software that can easily track, measure, and analyze customer data.

Two marketers at a marker board drawing out a comprehensive growth marketing strategy
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Analytics teams should provide insights into customer behavior based on their data analysis. Customer support teams need to be available in order to quickly address any issues that customers may have, while executives must ensure that all teams are working together towards the same goals.

These same goals, of course, revolve around tracking and optimizing customer engagement, retention, and loyalty. By getting the whole team involved, businesses can ensure that their growth marketing strategy is both comprehensive and successful.

Acquiring & Using Customer Feedback

In order to realize customers’ needs and redirect your business’s course to better suit them, you need to collect accurate data – straight from the source. Customer feedback can come in many forms – surveys, reviews, interviews, and more.

Therefore, it’s important for businesses to have a system in place for collecting customer feedback. This could be an automated email survey sent out after each purchase, or a customer service hotline available 24/7. The more feedback you receive from customers, the easier it will be to track their needs and tailor your marketing initiatives accordingly. Check out our top 11 marketing initiatives to try in 2024.

It’s equally important to act on the feedback you receive, as customers need to know that their opinions are respected and valued. With customer feedback, businesses can get a better understanding of what works for them and which strategies should be improved upon.

Tracking Customer Behavior Like a Pirate (AARRR Framework)

The AARRR framework (also known as the Pirate Metrics) was developed by Dave McClure of 500 Startups. It is a set of metrics that can be used to track and measure the performance of your growth marketing strategies, and to determine which areas need improvement or further optimization.

AARRR stands for Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Referral, and Revenue. It’s a five-step customer lifecycle framework that helps to track the progress of customers from acquisition through to loyalty.

It’s important that growth marketers observe and analyze metrics for each of these touchpoints, as different segments of customer data can reveal extremely unique insights. By understanding how customers interact with your product and brand at each stage of the AARRR framework, you can adjust and optimize your growth strategies for maximum efficiency.

18 Growth Marketing Best Practices You Can Implement Right Now

Now that we’ve explored the foundations of growth marketing, let’s dive deeper. These 18 actionable tactics bypass the commonplace advice, offering a roadmap for marketers ready to supercharge their campaigns.

1. Micro-Segmentation

Instead of broadly targeting audiences, micro-segmentation means diving deep into your customer base. You’re looking for those tiny niches within your audience where you can truly connect. Find out what makes them tick, what keeps them up at night, and what solutions they’re seeking. Armed with this insight, your marketing campaigns can become highly personalized and incredibly effective.

For example, an athletic shoe store might target specific groups like runners, basketball fans, hikers, casual walkers, and cross-training enthusiasts using personalized content and promotions, creating higher engagement and conversions.

2. Referral Programs with Incentives

Think of your happy customers as brand ambassadors for your business. Encourage them to spread the word by setting up referral programs with irresistible incentives.

Offer discounts, exclusive access, or even freebies to those who successfully bring new customers through your doors. It’s a win-win: your loyal customers get rewarded, and you gain new ones.

3. Behavioral Triggers

Behavioral triggers are automated responses to customer behaviors. These enable marketers to send personalized messages or campaigns in response to a specific action taken by the user. It’s an effective way of re-engaging with customers and fostering loyalty.

For instance, if someone abandons their shopping cart, you can send them a friendly reminder. Or, if they keep exploring a particular product category, you can showcase related items.

4. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the process of improving a website’s effectiveness in encouraging users to take a specific action. This could be anything from signing up for an email list, downloading an app, or making a purchase.

You should test your website (think A/B testing, heatmaps, and surveys) in order to determine which areas could use improvement or optimization. Doing so allows you to identify patterns and tweak parts of your web pages to increase overall conversions.

You can try text, images, call-to-actions (CTAs), colors, or even entire page layouts to see which produces the best results. This is an incredibly important part of growth marketing, as optimizing your website for higher conversion rates will dramatically increase sales and leads.

5. Chatbots for Engagement

Chatbots have become increasingly popular in the past few years, as they provide an easy way for businesses to interact with customers. They can be used for customer support, sales inquiries, or just general conversation.

Using natural language processing (NLP) and artificial intelligence (AI), chatbots are able to understand human conversations and respond accordingly. Not only can they provide a more personalized service to customers, but they are also available 24/7 – something that is impossible with human customer service reps.

How does this fit into growth marketing? Chatbots can be integrated into your website, allowing you to engage with customers and provide them with the information they need. This leads to higher engagement rates, increased customer satisfaction, and ultimately more conversions.

Cute robot smiling
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6. Content Repurposing

Don’t reinvent the wheel. Repurpose your high-performing content into different formats (e.g., videos, infographics, podcasts) to reach a wider audience and extend the lifespan of your content. This is a great way to get the most out of your content and maximize its reach. You can also use repurposed content for other marketing activities, such as email campaigns or social media posts.

7. Dynamic Pricing

Dynamic pricing is the smart way to price your products or services. It means your prices can change based on factors like demand, user behavior, or even what your competitors are doing. By staying flexible, you can maximize your revenue and attract more customers during low-demand periods.

8. User-Generated Content (UGC)

Your customers are your biggest advocates. Encourage customers to post their own stories about your brand on social media sites and share their experiences with others. Then, proudly showcase this user-generated content on your website and social media. It’s like a trust-building machine, as potential customers see real people endorsing your products or services.

It’s probably not a good idea to hound every customer to post content about your brand, but providing incentives or contests can help motivate people to contribute. You could also set up a program where you feature standout UGC on your website for even more exposure.

White buttons that say "facebook" or the "like" symbol
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9. Predictive Analytics

By analyzing customer data, predictive analytics can help you figure out the best marketing strategies for your business. It can tell you which customers are likely to take a certain action such as purchasing a product or signing up for a service, and it can identify those who are more likely to churn.

A few predictive analytics techniques include:

  • Regression analysis: predicts customer actions like product purchases or conversions on a lead magnet by studying what similar customers have done in the past.
  • Clustering algorithms: group customers with similar behaviors together so you can tailor your messaging to each of these groups
  • Churn prediction: Identify customers who are at risk of leaving your service or unsubscribing. By predicting churn, you can implement retention strategies to keep valuable customers.
  • Recommendation engines: Predict what products or content a customer is most likely to be interested in based on their past behavior and preferences. This drives personalized recommendations and increases sales.

Using this data, you can personalize your campaigns and reach a wider audience. You might even be able to identify new customer segments that have been overlooked in the past.

10. Local SEO

Localized SEO is a great way to promote your business and get more customers in your area. Optimize your website for local keywords, such as the name of your city or region. This will help you rank higher in local search engine results and drive more traffic to your website.

You should also list your business on local directories like Yelp or Google MyBusiness. This will make it easier for customers to find your business online and get more information about what you offer.

This advice might not be suited for businesses that operate solely online, but if you have physical locations or serve customers in a certain area, localized SEO can be incredibly beneficial.

Woman holding a small globe (local SEO)
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11. Competitor Analysis

To make sure your growth marketing strategies are effective, take some time to analyze what your competitors are doing. Check out their websites and social media accounts, as well as any ads they’re running. It can be difficult to discern what ads specific competitors are running without paid tools, but you can search specific keywords related to your products, services, or seed keywords and see what type of sponsored posts pop up on the SERP (search engine results page). Take note of the types of headlines they’re using, what they’re selling, and the kinds of offers they’re making.

Look for areas of improvement and ways you can stand out from the competition. If your competitor has a large email list or great customer reviews, find out how you can replicate their success.

At the very least, you’ll get a better understanding of what type of marketing works in your industry and how to stay ahead of your competition.

12. Email List Segmentation

Having an expansive list of promising leads can be huge for your business, but you won’t get the best results unless you segment your list – that is, divide it into different groups based on specific characteristics such as age, gender, or location.

Segmenting your list allows you to send more relevant content to each group and increases the chances of getting engagement. For instance, if you’re targeting a younger demographic, you can use slang and emojis in your emails to make them more appealing.

Plus, segmentation also helps you track which campaigns are working better than others so that you can optimize for maximum results.

13. User Onboarding Optimization

The user onboarding process is critical for converting prospects into engaged customers. If you don’t make a good first impression, then they’re likely to leave and never come back.

Think of ways to optimize the onboarding experience by making it easier for users to find what they need and understand your product or service quickly. You can use personalized emails or interactive tutorials to walk customers through the process.

Additionally, don’t forget to focus on post-onboarding activities like customer support and feature updates so that users remain engaged.

14. Social Proof

Social proof is simply the concept of using your existing customers’ feedback to create trust with new prospects. It’s like a virtual endorsement, letting potential customers know that your product or service is worth investing in.

Social proof can come from reviews, customer testimonials, case studies, or even celebrity endorsements. Showing social proof on your website and in your marketing materials helps build credibility and encourages more people to become customers.

15. Gamification

Gamification (as in, turning something into a game) can be an effective way to engage users and encourage them to take certain actions. Use rewards, points, leaderboards, and other elements of gamification to make the experience more enjoyable and rewarding for customers.

16. Voice Search Optimization

A surprising percentage of search engine users utilize voice search technology to submit their queries. According to Oberlo, 50% of US population uses voice search every day. What’s more, 71% of consumers prefer voice search to typing.  

To make sure your website is optimized for voice search, focus on long-tail keywords and natural language. Additionally, consider creating content that answers user questions as this will help you rank higher in voice search results.

hand holding a cell phone against a purple background (voice search)
What is Growth Marketing? + 18 Actionable Strategies 12

17. Influencer Collaborations

Partner with micro-influencers who have highly engaged, niche audiences. This can help you quickly reach potential customers and establish your brand as an industry leader. Make sure you’re providing influencers with useful content that resonates with their audiences so that it has the best chance of going viral.

Finally, remember to track the ROI of each collaboration to ensure that your efforts are paying off. This will allow you to optimize future campaigns.

LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook can all be great platforms to find and engage with micro-influencers. Additionally, you can look into influencer programs like AspireIQ or Tribe, which connect you with influencers and help manage your campaigns.

18. Remarketing Campaigns

Remarketing campaigns enable you to re-engage users who have already interacted with your website or brand in some way.

Consider retargeting ads – these are ads that are delivered to people who have previously visited your website, or taken specific actions like signing up for a newsletter.

Retargeting ads are often more effective than generic ads because they are targeted at users with an existing interest in your product or services. They can also help you increase conversions by reminding potential customers about the products and services they may be interested in.

You can also create automated emails for customers who abandon their shopping cart or don’t make a purchase within a certain amount of time. This is an effective way to remind them about the product they were previously interested in and encourage them to take the final steps in procuring it.

Conclusion

Any new (or existing) marketing campaign is going to require rigorous testing and optimization before it can be deemed a success. This applies to growth marketing as well – you need to be constantly revising and updating your strategies in order to remain competitive.

When it comes to growth marketing, the key is to use data to drive your strategy and leverage all available resources (including social media, influencers, content optimization, and more). By understanding who your target audience is and what they want, you can create campaigns that will have real results.

The possibilities are endless – so don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is growth marketing vs. marketing?

At its core, both growth marketing and traditional marketing aim to increase a company’s customer base and revenue. However, the approaches differ. Traditional marketing typically focuses on promoting products or services and building brand awareness over a set timeframe. It often revolves around campaigns with defined start and end dates.

Growth marketing, on the other hand, is a more holistic, data-driven approach that emphasizes the entire customer journey. It not only focuses on customer acquisition but also on activation, customer retention, and referral. The strategies are iterative, with continuous testing and optimization based on feedback and data insights.

What is an example of successful growth marketing?

A classic example of successful growth marketing is Dropbox. Instead of spending heavily on advertising, Dropbox employed a referral program. Users were incentivized to refer friends by offering both the referrer and the referee additional free storage space.

This strategy, combined with a seamless product experience, led to rapid growth. At its peak, the referral program was responsible for 35% of daily sign-ups, and the user base grew from 100,000 to 4 million within 15 months.

What is another name for growth marketing?

Growth marketing is often also referred to as “growth hacking.” The term “hacking” here doesn’t imply anything illicit; instead, it signifies innovative, low-cost strategies designed to grow and retain a company’s customer base.

What is the goal of a growth marketer?

The primary goal of a growth marketer is to drive sustainable growth for a company. While traditional marketers might focus on top-of-the-funnel activities like brand awareness and acquisition, growth marketers look at the entire funnel.

They aim to optimize every stage of the customer journey, from awareness to advocacy. This includes acquiring new customers, activating them (encouraging them to take a desired action), retaining them, maximizing their lifetime value, and turning them into advocates who refer new customers.

Is growth marketing the same thing as growth hacking?

The terms “growth marketing” and “growth hacking” are often used interchangeably. While there is some overlap between the two, they are not exactly the same thing.

Growth hacking typically refers to a specific set of tools or strategies designed to quickly acquire new customers and drive growth. It often involves using out-of-the-box tactics that may not be traditionally seen as marketing. For example, growth hackers might use unconventional channels like Reddit or Quora to reach potential customers.

Growth marketing, on the other hand, is a more holistic approach that looks at the entire customer journey. It goes beyond acquisition and focuses on increasing user engagement and retention over time. Growth marketers may employ growth hacking tactics but also traditional marketing strategies like user onboarding optimization, social proof, and influencer collaborations.

By combining creative approaches with data analysis and testing, growth marketers are able to generate sustainable business growth.

Is growth marketing hard?

Growth marketing can be challenging, as it requires a deep understanding of various subjects such as customer psychology, analytics, and strategy. And, it can be frustrating for eager marketers because it takes time to see results from their efforts.

However, with the right mindset and resources, anyone can become a successful growth marketer. Start by understanding the customer journey and identifying opportunities for improvement. Then, run experiments, collect data, and track results to find what works best. With enough persistence and dedication, you can unlock your full growth potential!

What does a growth marketing team do?

A growth marketing team is responsible for driving user acquisition, activation, and retention. They employ creative tactics to attract new customers while maximizing the lifetime value of existing ones.

This team usually consists of specialists in multiple disciplines, including web design, analytics, and copywriting. Together, they innovate – they move past traditional marketing strategies that focus mostly on attracting leads and instead identify strategies that can optimize user acquisition, activation, and retention.

What is B2B growth marketing?

B2B growth marketing is similar to traditional B2B marketing but with an emphasis on customer acquisition and retention. The goal is to acquire new customers while also maximizing the lifetime value of existing ones. This involves developing a comprehensive understanding of the target market, building relationships with prospects, and optimizing the customer journey for maximum engagement.

Tactics used in B2B growth marketing include content syndication, search engine optimization, social media campaigns and advertising, website optimization, email marketing, and more. By integrating data-driven insights with creative strategies, B2B companies can increase customer acquisition while cutting costs and boosting revenue. 

Kouressa Smith

Kouressa Smith

Kouressa is WGM’s resident website content manager. In this position, she directs the content creation for WGM’s marketing channels. She develops SEO strategies, maps out the overall direction of content per project, and helps facilitate the creation of that content. Kouressa has over eight years of experience writing professionally and gained her bachelor’s in creative writing and technical communication at Texas Tech University.

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