Marketing is an interesting part of a successful business. It isn’t the business itself, nor is it a product.
Marketing is the act of promoting a brand and its offerings to the right consumers to generate revenue. When it comes to growth marketing, in particular, this promotes a brand by using data and analytics to focus on the entire customer lifecycle.
This is an ongoing activity, which means you don’t want each initiative to take place in a vacuum. You need guidelines to keep you on the straight and narrow as you go along. That’s where a growth strategy comes in handy.
Let’s dig into what a solid growth marketing framework looks like, take a look at the three central pillars of a good growth strategy, and consider how these work together to amplify every marketing investment you make.
Growth marketing is a customer-centric approach to marketing. It replaces gut instincts and brand-focused decisions with data-backed activity to improve customer experience. This is based on your target audience’s journey across the entire sales funnel, from customer acquisition to customer retention. This leads to things like business growth and revenue growth, but neither of those is an end in itself. They’re side effects of the customer-centric approach, which predictably builds sustainable growth.
This comprehensive approach to marketing requires a growth strategy. A strategy is, at its most basic and fundamental level, a long-term plan to achieve a goal. A marketing strategy does this by studying customer needs and understanding competitive advantages.
It’s also important to clarify that a strategy isn’t the same as operational effectiveness. While both are important, it’s tempting to invest in efficiency and call it a day. Many companies are doing just that, these days.
However, a strategy — and specifically a growth-oriented marketing strategy — gives you a plan to achieve a specific marketing goal. This could be to reach a certain growth metric by a specific date. It could be to promote a new product. It might aim to break into a new market.
Whatever your OKR (objective and key result) is, a growth strategy gives you a 10,000-foot view to help you stay on track as you work toward that goal.
A growth strategy is an important layer in a successful marketing effort. It isn’t the same as a growth strategy framework. A framework for growth marketing is a long-term promotional blueprint. It establishes an infrastructure within which you can create multiple strategies to meet specific goals.
A growth strategy is also different from growth marketing techniques. The former focuses on bringing together multiple elements to achieve a specific goal. The latter consists of the particular tools and methods you can use to execute marketing activity.
On the one hand, a growth marketing framework provides general rules, but these are vague and don’t apply to specific goals. On the other hand, growth marketing techniques are practical applications of growth marketing, but they must be targeted if they are going to have the desired effect.
A growth marketing strategy uses both your framework and techniques to reach specific, tangible goals.
You can break a good growth strategy down into three distinct “pillars.” These three pillars of growth marketing are:
All three of these elements are each essential to a successful growth strategy in their own ways. To truly have maximum effect, though, they must be integrated together.
A good content strategy or digital PR campaign can do wonders on its own. However, you’re short-changing yourself if you don’t weave these growth marketing elements together into a larger inbound marketing strategy.
Authority shows that you have information and solutions that consumers are seeking to solve their pain points. Credibility builds trust between you and your target audience. Visibility ensures that consumers who need your solutions can find you in the first place.
Integrating the various parts of your growth marketing strategy — content, digital PR, and SEO — is an important part of a healthy strategic plan. For example, consider if you make a piece of onsite content (authority), optimize it for SEO (visibility), and then link to it in a guest post on an industry publication (credibility).
Individually, these are fine growth marketing activities. However, together, they support one another and ensure that each has a greater potency. It ensures that consumers can find you, trust you, understand you, and ultimately choose you as the solution to their problems.
Building an effective growth marketing strategy is a balancing act. The three pillars give you a clear, easy-to-understand way to stay focused on what matters most.
As you work internally or with outsourced teams like Relevance to build your growth strategies over time, remember to address all three pillars. Is your strategy building authority, establishing credibility, and investing in visibility? If those three factors come together, they can unlock countless growth opportunities for your brand.