We’re staunch believers that a brand’s growth marketing prowess will be inextricably linked to its long-term success. As a refresher, growth marketing is a strategy focused on maximizing retention, loyalty and customer lifetime value through positive brand sentiment. With growth marketing, brand success stems from connecting deeply with customers.
By now, you’ve heard this countless times from us—but how does our definition compare to the rest of the market? To find out, we opened the question up to our community during our Activate 20 call for speakers.
We wanted to see what growth marketing really means to the practitioners, strategists and leaders on the marketing forefront. And after sorting through hundreds of responses, a few recurring themes worth noting bubbled to the surface.
Growth marketing is:
- Data-first. It applies different insights gleaned from multiple stores of data.
- Customer-specific. It seeks out a deep understanding of who your customers are.
- Experience-driven. It creates marketing experiences that speak to individuals.
- Relationship-focused. It grows engagement and trust with every single customer touch.
- Optimization-minded. It pursues continual improvement.
Curious to hear it straight from the community? Here’s what 10 marketers across the industry had to say:
1. “For me, growth marketing means data. Over the last several years, the notion of people-based, consumer-first marketing has gained more momentum as a powerful way to engage with consumers across platforms, channels, mediums, and devices. Data is the engine for growth and it must be at the center of a company’s strategy in order to deliver results.”
Maximizing the potential within your first-party data in this day and age is a must for marketers. We have to understand where things are at before picking the best path forward.
2. “I think growth marketing can very easily be seen as numbers-driven as opposed to people-focused, but the way I see it is that you need both to have a successful business. It’s about being data-driven but designing for people to grow value for your customers and the business.”
Though growth marketing is insights-driven, there’s an undeniable level of humanization baked into the touchpoints embodying the customer journey.
3. “It’s a catchy term. To me it’s about getting really intimate with the essential problem of the customer so we as businesses can leverage tools to reach all the people with those problems—to offer our solution. Iterable’s engine is a dynamic powerful example.”
Brands must leverage what they know and strive to solve customer problems proactively.
4. “In my observations, growth marketing is less about growth of reach or visibility and more about growth of knowledge in the way people engage with the products and services around them. Numbers and takeaways and reach are important, for sure, but a marketer’s perspective means the most when they are able to fully understand the people to whom they market on a near-individual level. The more we delve into growth marketing processes and progressively sophisticate those processes, the more we begin to realize what works for which people, and that psychological evaluation of what matters on a societal level is more valuable than any simple uptick in a metric.”
As we better understand the person behind their email address, the easier it becomes to build a meaningful relationship with them.
5. “To me, growth marketing means building a personal relationship with customers. Growth marketing is a way to make a great first impression on your customers, and help them build trust with your brand.”
We grow customer loyalty by remaining true our brand value as well as those of our customers.
6. “Growth marketing for me is all about building relationships. It’s about developing and maintaining a strong brand message that aligns with your goals as a company. You want people to ‘buy-in’ (both literally and figuratively), and to establish a brand loyalty that surpasses a simple transaction. People relate to the ‘why,’ and the story behind the brand just as much as the problem your business solves. I believe the perfect blend of the two is what can take any brand to the next level. Stand out, and focus on what makes you, you. How does your brand make people ‘feel.’”
Experience means the world to digital consumers—meet them on their desired terms and remove the friction from engagement.
7. “Growth Marketing is all about creating a 1:1 personalized experience with the customer. This includes sending customers relevant content through their preferred messaging channels at a time when they are most likely to engage. This approach helps both reduce turnover and extends the length of the customer relationship. Happy customers that see value with engaging content will become brand evangelists and help spread the word about how awesome your brand is.”
Every message, touchpoint, and interaction contribute to the experience you’re delivering. Find ways to make every one of them count.
8. “To me, growth marketing is thinking about the entire customer experience from end-to-end. And not only thinking about it, but getting out there and talking to your customers to really understand their needs, wants and pain points. And then, even once you think you know your customer, it’s all about constantly testing and iterating your strategy to maximize engagement.”
Growth is a catalyst for change. Growth marketing operates in a state of flux and continual evolution to best serve what customers need at any given moment.
9. “Growth marketing to me means being open to change, continuously questioning what is working and why, and re-iterating. It means identifying who your best users are, how they engage with your marketing, and how you can improve that. Whether it be realizing email isn’t the best channel to connect with your user and that it’s time to move to push notifications, or incorporating a multichannel approach—growth won’t happen if you’re stagnant.”
A deep commitment to perpetual improvement differentiates growth marketing from traditional marketing; it’s a quest to find the next best approach.
10. “Constantly evolving and innovating on different ways to make your customer experience better. Never being satisfied with the status quo. Learning from your data, from your friends, from your competitors—always looking for inspiration on ‘how did they do that?’ ‘how can I do that in my program?'”
As you can see, marketers from different walks of life internalize unique, though similar, beliefs of what growth marketing is. And yet, what makes growth marketing so difficult to define is also what makes it so unique—it’s a holistic strategy that encompasses many different facets of the marketing spectrum to produce customer-centric results.
Consider this a sneak peek into the minds of a few of our Activate 20 speakers! Get your early bird tickets now and join us as we learn how these same folks are putting growth marketing into practice!