Traditional marketing focuses on a business and its offerings. Inbound marketing prioritizes things like buyer personas and customer acquisition. Product marketing is about bringing a product to market.
In comparison, growth marketing takes a different approach. It starts with the consumer and traces a path from their needs and pain points back to product features and benefits. This data-driven, customer-centric approach to marketing doesn’t focus on one area. It seeks to perfect the entire customer journey.
This overarching, holistic approach to growth requires a strategic plan that can help brands turn growth marketing goals into reality over time. If you’re unsure how to create your own growth marketing strategy, here is a quick rundown of the concept, along with an example of what this looks like in action.
What Is a Growth Marketing Strategy?
When growth marketers talk about a strategy, they’re referring to one stage or aspect of a larger hierarchy of growth marketing activities. Many companies use terms like “campaign,” “plan,” and “framework” interchangeably. However, each term — including a growth marketing strategy — has its own definition and purpose within a larger growth marketing initiative:
- A growth marketing plan is a foundational document that serves as a repository for your marketing goals, vision, research, data, budget — basically, all of your growth marketing resources.
- A growth strategy framework is similar to a plan in that it brings together all of the resources and data necessary to inform and structure your growth marketing strategies. This is typically broken down by each service or customer type based on the each tactic needed to reach that audience.
- A growth marketing strategy is a customer-focused, data-backed roadmap that aligns your team and tools with your marketing goals and plots out the basic path to get there.
- A growth marketing campaign is a detailed, time-based iteration of your strategy that attempts to accomplish a specific goal.
- Growth marketing tactics and techniques are the tools you use (growth marketing channels, apps, content, etc.) to execute your campaigns.
Remember, these are general terms with variable definitions. In most cases, though, this is what is meant when you hear them mentioned.
While each item is important, your growth marketing strategy lies at the heart of your promotional efforts. It takes your basic marketing resources, like your target audience research, product features, and marketing channels, and assembles them into a visionary roadmap to reach your growth marketing goals.
How Do You Structure a Growth Strategy?
When you develop a marketing strategy, you want to focus on two key areas:
- Data and analytics are essential. A growth marketer uses data from tools like Google Analytics and Ahrefs to guide every decision. Along with helping to create a growth strategy, this detailed, ongoing analysis allows for tweaks and adjustments to your strategy over time.
- Customers must stay in focus. This starts with customer acquisition. However, it also includes customer retention. An existing customer is just as important in the customer lifecycle as a new acquisition.
Along with these two focal points, when structuring a growth strategy, you should also keep the three pillars of growth marketing strategy in mind. These are a trio of overlapping strategies that help create a comprehensive growth marketing strategy across each marketing channel that you have available:
When you use these three strategic approaches and prioritize your customer and data, you can develop a well-informed, effective growth marketing strategy.
What Are the Best Growth Marketing Channels?
A growth channel refers to the flow of consumers to a brand. The term includes the way businesses engage in customer acquisition and customer retention.
In other words, growth marketing channels don’t just focus on the top of the sales funnel. They consider acquisition and retention across the entire customer journey.
There are several different growth channels a brand can use to build its customer base, including:
- Search engine marketing (SEM)
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Content marketing
- Digital PR
- Email marketing
- Affiliate, referral, and influencer marketing
- Social media marketing
These aren’t mutually exclusive, either. As you develop your growth marketing strategy, you will find ways that they can overlap with one another. SEO and content marketing, for instance, often go hand in hand. Social media marketing and influencer marketing are also two peas in a pod. This opens up the doors for cross channel marketing opportunities, which lend synergy to existing growth marketing activity.
What Is an Example of a Growth Marketing Strategy?
Okay, so we understand what a growth marketing strategy is in theory. But what does it look like in practice?
Let’s consider a mid-size brand that is struggling to grow. They’ve tried growth hacking, and it yielded results quickly. But these evaporated over time, and now the brand is even further behind on its growth goals.
To get some momentum, they turn to growth marketing. To build an effective growth marketing strategy, the brand’s marketing team members:
- Use a growth strategy framework to bring all of their analysis, research, budgets, channels, and any other relevant growth marketing items together.
- Align their framework with their organizational and marketing goals.
- Consider the three pillars of growth strategy to create a multi-faceted, holistic strategy, which includes the following:
- Building a content strategy that prioritizes user-friendly content with high value for their target audience
- Backing up this content marketing effort with an SEO strategy. This optimizes each piece of content using keywords, linking, and technical SEO.
- Seeking brand mentions and linking to branded content. This takes place via guest posts on third-party sites, co-hosting podcasts, and contributing to industry newsletters and publications.
- Finally, they set KPIs (key performance indicators) in place to track growth marketing performance over time and make adjustments when necessary.
A growth strategy like this doesn’t engage in marketing activity that vaguely pushes toward open-ended marketing goals. It brings a data-backed, customer-focused precision to a brand’s marketing and growth efforts.
Developing an Effective Growth Marketing Strategy
Creating the right growth marketing strategy for your brand isn’t easy. It requires a step-by-step process that integrates various marketing channels and sub-strategies.
This can be difficult to understand at first. However, a good example can help demonstrate the potential that a healthy growth strategy can have for a brand.
If you’re looking for real-life examples of this kind of growth strategy in action, you can see what we did for Gabb Wireless or Nurx. We detail the impact that working with a growth marketing agency has had on multiple Relevance clients as we’ve helped them develop, execute, and analyze strategies designed to spark growth and take their business to the next level.