Once you have the people in place and you’ve established your brand and developed your offerings, it’s time to market them to the world. The challenge comes from choosing the right way to do so.
Digital marketing has given every business, great and small, the ability to market itself to a global audience. At this point, the problem doesn’t come from finding opportunities but from narrowing them down. What marketing channels should you use? What will your message be? What is your endgame?
If you’re trying to lay the groundwork for a successful long-term marketing initiative for your brand, you want to develop one thing first: a growth strategy framework.
What Is Growth Marketing?
Before we dig into the concept of a growth strategy framework, we need to clarify one important term: growth marketing. It’s tempting to gloss over the phrase and assume it’s just a trendy way to refer to marketing, in general. After all, promotions of any kind aim for some kind of growth, right? Sort of…
It’s true that marketing always strives to build up a business and enhance its bottom line. But that doesn’t always translate to growth.
When you compare growth marketing vs marketing, there is one primary difference. Classic marketing is all about promoting a company and its products and services. Growth marketing shifts the focus solely onto the customer.
When you engage in growth marketing, you don’t start with your brand’s mission statement or your product features. You begin with customer pain points. What is it that your target audience needs? What are their problems and issues? From there, you work backward, discovering how your brand can meet those needs and then communicate that capability to your audience.
This applies across the customer journey, too. You want to cater to consumers at every point of the sales funnel, from initial outreach to a potential customer right past the point of sale. (Remember, it’s cheaper to retain existing customers than to find new ones!)
What Is a Growth Strategy Framework in Marketing?
Alright, now that we’ve clarified what our marketing goal is, we can consider what a growth strategy framework is, and how it applies to achieving growth marketing goals.
A growth marketing framework is a broad term that refers to how you execute your growth marketing strategies over time. By utilizing a framework, you create a brand-specific marketing formula that enables you to stay consistent and targeted across months and even years of marketing activity.
A growth strategy framework is comprehensive in nature. It utilizes data and analytics to provide a powerful sense of precision to all of your marketing activity. It focuses on the customer (as is the case with all growth marketing) and informs a holistic approach to a company’s entire marketing strategy — again, right up to and even past the point of sale.
It’s also important to point out that a good growth strategy framework uniquely applies proven growth marketing strategies to your specific enterprise. This starts with a deep understanding of growth-oriented tactics, like building credibility, establishing authority, and improving visibility.
Rather than applying them in a formulaic manner, though, a good growth marketing framework introduces these concepts and techniques to your specific brand. It takes into account your mission, vision, and goals. It considers things like your industry and current stage of growth.
All of this is put together into an overarching framework that operates as a growth marketing infrastructure for your brand’s promotional efforts.
The Confusion of Marketing Frameworks vs. Strategies vs. Techniques
Before we take a closer look into how to create a growth marketing framework, let’s address the elephant in the room. What’s the difference between a growth marketing framework and, say, a growth marketing strategy or technique?
To make things even more complicated, you’ll often hear a marketer refer to a growth strategy framework as a tool, a system, a structure — you name it. If we’re being honest, any of these definitions can work in the right setting. The term is flexible, in that sense.
The important thing to realize is that a growth strategy framework is an overarching part of your growth marketing. It’s the 10,000-foot view of your brand’s long-term marketing initiatives. Growth-oriented marketing frameworks function as a marketing blueprint that you can return to as you build out different marketing strategies over time and then select various marketing techniques to execute those strategies.
What Kind of Businesses Need a Growth Marketing Framework?
There are certain marketing tactics that apply more to one brand than another. A local coffee shop, for instance, may not need a digital PR mention on Forbes to get more customers. Nor does a Fortune 500 company need to invest in organic growth through local SEO if that’s not how their customers find them.
When it comes to growth marketing frameworks, though, the term is a general one that applies to all and sundry. If you’re a business of any size, scope, or ambition, you should have a framework in place.
In fact, the point of creating a framework is to avoid wasted marketing efforts like the examples above. It helps you capture your company’s vision and consistently funnel your promotional activities toward that end goal, no matter what form they take over time.
Why Is a Growth Marketing Framework Important?
We’ve already touched on a few of the benefits of a growth strategy framework, but let’s dig a little deeper. Why is it important to build out and maintain a growth marketing framework for your enterprise?
The biggest benefit is consistency. A growth marketing framework isn’t a one-off campaign or a time-specific strategy. It serves as a central methodology and core philosophy for your brand’s marketing activity.
A growth marketing framework gives your brand a sense of purpose with every marketing asset and activity that you invest in. It gives you a clear understanding of how each aspect of your brand’s marketing factors into your larger vision.
This combination of consistency and purpose allows you to streamline your marketing. This is a big deal, considering how much time and how many resources digital marketing can consume. A rock-solid framework for your growth marketing helps you remain consistent across your content marketing and customer acquisition efforts, even as the specifics of what that looks like change over time.
How to Build a Growth Marketing Framework
Understanding the need for a larger framework is one thing. Actually, creating a growth marketing framework is another. If you’re scratching your head about where to even start, here is a step-by-step list to inspire and guide the creation of your own growth marketing framework.
1. Examine Existing Marketing Activity
The first step is to take a long, hard look at your pre-existing marketing activity. This includes reviewing every aspect of your marketing funnel, something we refer to as the AAARRR process or “pirate metrics approach.”
It’s also a good idea to review your OKRs (objectives and key results) and marketing goals. As you move from first contact through to customer retention, consider what growth specifically means for your brand.
Is it acquiring new customers? Making new products? Getting existing customers to repeat a purchase or try a different kind of product? Improving conversion rate?
2. Gather Relevant Data and Assess
Once you’ve identified the current state of your marketing and what your marketing OKRs and goals are, look for the data associated with those items. For instance, if one marketing goal is to produce and promote a new product every six months, gather data about past product R&D as well as sales numbers for your most recent products.
Once you have relevant data gathered, assess it. Compare it to your goals and look for places where you’ve come up short. These are areas you’ll want to focus on as you build your framework.
3. Brainstorm Solutions and Build an Initial Framework
Once you’ve assessed your data and found weak points, start brainstorming solutions. Consider all of the marketing tools and techniques available. At this early stage, there are no bad ideas (within reason, of course).
As you come up with possible options, go over them and prioritize the best ones. Look for synergistic solutions, as well. A good example of this is when Relevance helped the kids’ phone brand Gabb Wireless build the company’s credibility through press mentions. During that process, we expanded their growth strategy framework to include a push for visibility via keyword targeting and authority through targeted educational content.
4. Test Your Framework
Once you’ve built an initial framework, it’s time to test it. This takes time, but trust us. It’s worth it.
Start by using your framework to inform and guide your next marketing campaign. Choose tools, platforms, and messages that align with your larger marketing infrastructure.
As you execute your campaign, conduct A/B testing on everything from website content to social headlines. Gather and analyze feedback as you go along, too. Look for what worked and then tweak, adjust, or overhaul what didn’t.
Over time, this four-step process enables you to fine-tune your growth strategy framework. It turns that initial blueprint into a standardized, systematized process that becomes a long-term growth strategy roadmap for your company.
The Three Key Pillars of an Effective Growth Strategy Framework
As a final note on building your own growth strategy framework, at Relevance, we focus on three primary areas with every framework that we create:
- Credibility: As a brand, you want to build trust with your audience. This usually comes through digital PR tactics, such as engaging with or being mentioned in relevant conversations across your industry.
- Authority: You want to cultivate a sense of respect among consumers that you have the best answers to their problems. This often comes via a competent and targeted content strategy designed to establish your authority in the eyes of potential and existing customers alike.
- Visibility: It’s hard to communicate your marketing messages if no one can see you. A solid SEO strategy generates organic traffic from your target customer base over time.
These are three of the core growth pillars that make a framework effective. They are central to generating long-term, sustainable growth.
Who Should Create and Manage a Growth Marketing Framework?
As far as who should be responsible for your brand’s framework initiative, that depends on your situation. It’s hard to underestimate the importance of growth strategy frameworks, which is why you want to make sure you have a qualified person overseeing the initiative.
The most obvious candidate is a CMO. A chief marketing officer brings that big-picture mindset to the table that is ideal for a growth strategy framework. For companies that can’t afford a full-time CMO, there are other options, too.
The other option is to work with a growth marketing agency like Relevance. This gives you access to a team of full-time, growth-oriented, up-to-date growth marketing experts with the resources, experience, and techniques necessary to build and execute on a growth strategy framework. Our team specializes in growth marketing, and our process always starts with a thorough assessment and the creation of a growth strategy framework.
Whether you work with an on-staff CMO, a part-time executive, or a growth marketing agency, the one thing you don’t want to do is leave something as important as your framework in the hands of someone who doesn’t understand what they’re doing.
The long-term impact of a good framework is too valuable to skimp on the up-front investment — and the cost of setting up a sub-par framework can be devastating to your marketing efforts over time. Make sure you delegate the project to the right person, group, or agency.
Investing in a Growth Strategy Framework for Your Brand
A good growth strategy framework is the key to long-term, sustainable growth for your brand. It takes time to create, and you’ll need to invest in testing and tweaking your initial framework for a while.
Like any good roadmap, though, a solid growth marketing strategy is worth every ounce of effort that you put into it. It lies at the center of a well-coordinated and effective growth marketing strategy and helps with everything from the initial strategic planning of each campaign to strategy execution and tending to customer needs after acquisition. It keeps you focused, helps you scale and maintain your marketing, and ultimately keeps that revenue flowing in over time.