Growth Marketing 101: Understanding the Basics

Jacob Brain


The term “growth marketing” has been around for many years, but Google Trends shows that this term is becoming more popular recently. As in 138% more popular in the last 18 months.

As a B2B growth marketing agency, we wish we could take full credit, but the truth is that growth marketing tactics have been used for decades to help companies grow rapidly. 

The goal of traditional marketing has always been to increase the rate of conversions, whether that be sales, donations, downloads, or votes, etc. Once a campaign is complete, marketers typically review campaign metrics and determine if it was a success or not using the typical stages of ideation, execution, and assessment.

A growth marketing approach leverages vast amounts of data to bring analysis and iteration into every stage, helping teams make data-driven decisions and rapidly test creative assets for meaningful wins.

Why should B2B companies use growth marketing?

Traditional marketing campaigns take a “set it and forget it” approach that does not include any data-driven optimizations.

Corporate marketing easily becomes a budgetary competition – whoever can spend the most marketing money wins the most attention. However, potential prospects may find it off-putting to be repeatedly interrupted by advertisements. Being “top of mind” is vital, but it must be tempered.

This approach is built on answering questions and solving problems that are common with your target audience, enabling your business to be found, trusted, and referred. No cold calls and no ads. Let the customer approach you and develop a conversation.

That being said, outbound tactics are still effective. The organic space is competitive, and the ROI of a well-targeted ABM campaign is well worth the initial price tag.

Goals, Prospects, Tactics – in that Order

Growth marketers recognize that “marketing” is a term defined by its goals, not its tactics. But, choosing a tactic simply because it’s what the company has always done or because it’s the latest trend are the wrong reasons to use that tactic.

A discovery process for the business and the buyer always comes before a strategy is recommended. The tactics, including channels, messaging, and cadence, are then custom crafted to fit the preferences of the buyer and the buying phase they are in.

At New North, we work with our clients to set goals, dig deep into understanding their buyer groups and purchasing process, develop the right pitch, and select the best tactics to deliver that pitch. Then we keep a very close eye on performance, track the leading indicators for hitting our objectives, and quickly make precise.  This is made possible by constant testing and optimization of marketing assets.

How New North Runs B2B Growth Marketing Campaigns

At New North, we’ve learned from hundreds of client engagements that an agile approach to marketing and sales is the best way to produce results. We do not execute blindly against a list of specific deliverables. Instead, our

approach is to work with clients in our agile marketing framework, that builds progressive results by focusing on goals and delivering quality results along the way to achieving those goals.

This is the framework in our book, Ride the Tornado, and is an agile methodology applied to all of our marketing services. This means we are  that while we are continuously delivering products, we are also continuously monitoring results, and making meaningful optimizations as the data guides to make our campaigns reach the set goals. It’s not an out-of-the-box campaign, rather it is a custom engagement focused on each company’s specific needs and goals.

90-Day Macro Analysis Cycles

While we meet with our clients bi-weekly to discuss deliverables and tactics, we evaluate available data against long-term goals every 90 days. What’s producing results? What’s not? What’s going on in your company? What industry shifts do we need to be aware of?

In these quarterly cycles, we have high-level business conversations to make sure our marketing and sales execution is aligned with the client’s business strategy. We’ll also do this after our initial diagnostic phase in our first weeks of working together.

The initial goals will include our expectations around how we plan to impact marketing and sales in that first quarter of our relationship, what metrics we expect to move, and how we’ll work together to get there.

Assess, Ideate, Execute

With quarterly goals locked in, we begin work in a cycle of continuous delivery in which we plan out our work, collaborate with the client on what priorities are aligning activity to their budget, and recommend innovative tactics. Every single tactic is based off deep research, A/B tested, and carefully monitored in custom analytics dashboards. 

Once a statistically significant data sample is available, our data-driven process dictates the best methods for hitting our quarterly goals. In essence, the data has veto power over everyone’s preferences and dictates what to modify, what to eliminate, and what to try next.

Growth marketing” is the latest trend in digital marketing, but is it just another buzzword? Yes and no. Here’s why: growth marketing is not a subset of marketing. Rather its’ techniques can be applied to print, digital, paid, and organic tactics. 

The Last Word

New North has been using growth marketing tactics to successfully increase sales at B2B tech companies in Hardware, Software, and Services across many verticals, including MedTech, SaaS, AI, Cybersecurity, IT, and more. Letting data have the last word and drive our decisions has been the key to increasing our client’s ROI, and that’s what growth marketing is all about. 

Want to learn how growth marketing can help your B2B tech company grow? Our strategists would love to have a conversation with you about your opportunities. Click here to talk to a strategist!

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