How to Build an Effective Growth Marketing Strategy
For the last decade, thought leaders have been buzzing about growth marketing, naming it the next frontier of marketing. But what is growth marketing, exactly?
B2B growth marketing focuses on continuous experimentation and utilization of data to drive long-term engagement and customer lifetime value.
How does the B2B growth marketing approach contrast with the status quo? Many B2B marketing agencies have traditionally prioritized “generating traffic” above all else. If not done carefully, this approach quickly devolves into quantity over quality.
In today’s highly oversaturated market, it’s more important than ever to create a blueprint that doesn’t just reach people. You need a strategy that reaches the right people.
The ultimate growth marketing strategy includes these eight elements:
- Define the target audience
- Develop a customer journey map
- Implement tools that allow for personalized marketing
- Leverage content marketing
- Utilize search engine marketing (SEM)
- Use email marketing
- Measure and analyze results
- Implement a sales enablement strategy
In this post we’ll show you how to implement all eight steps in your growth marketing strategy—and how growth marketing agencies like New North can take your business to new heights.
The first step in any viable marketing plan is crafting an ideal customer profile (ICP). Using data gathered through surveys, interviews, and customer feedback, start connecting the dots between your customers. Learn their shared demographics, hobbies, behavioral patterns, values, and motivations.
Flesh out this picture of your ideal customer using questions like these:
- Who is buying your products?
- What are their goals?
- What obstacles stand in their way?
It can even be helpful to create buyer personas, which are fictional characters that represent the demographics, hobbies, behavioral patterns, values, and motivations of your ideal customer or customers.
Delving into a deeper understanding of your ideal customer will also reveal where to reach them and how to customize your approach.
Next, it’s time to look at your customer’s movement through the marketing funnel. Create a customer journey map that documents each potential engagement a customer might have with your company before, during, and after a purchase (or whatever shape conversions take in your business model).
These interactions or touchpoints include all interactions from the initial awareness of the product to post-purchase follow-ups. Each touchpoint is an opportunity to modify or reinforce the customer’s perception of your product and push them further down the funnel.
Effective growth marketing starts with understanding what the steps in the customer journey look like and in what order they happen. Once that’s in place, start learning about your customer’s experience at each touchpoint: this will allow you to personalize your engagement approach, leading to better conversion rates and client loyalty.
Another B2B growth marketing strategy is account-based marketing (ABM). Rather than targeting hundreds or thousands of potential clients with a broad message, ABM homes in on a smaller number of large accounts with focused, customized messaging.
Focusing your efforts on specific accounts means that your touchpoints can become even more customized to the clients’ needs.
In order to scale effectively, account-based marketing will ultimately require a few key technologies. It’s critical to find an effective CRM software, a marketing automation platform, and a data-enrichment tool to reach numerous high-value accounts with customized messaging.
Your website—more specifically, the content that lives on it— should be a major avenue of engagement with your ideal customer. Optimize this resource by creating valuable high-quality content and incorporating strong calls to action (CTAs) and mobile-friendly designs.
When potential customers are searching online, you want to make sure that they find your website—not your competitor’s—for the answer to their question or problem. This is content marketing at its simplest: reach more of your ideal customers by giving them the best answers to their most relevant questions.
Of course, once you open up the hood, the content marketing engine has a lot more moving parts. You’ll also want to use an effective keyword strategy to improve your search engine optimization (SEO), and there are technical changes you may need to make to your website architecture.
Lastly, create a content distribution strategy to get your brand into the right channels and in front of the right audience. Organic search is important, but so is leveraging the right owned, shared, and paid media options in unison to reach your ideal customer.
If all of that sounds a bit overwhelming, we get it: doing content marketing on your own—let alone all of growth marketing—is too much for many businesses to handle. That’s where growth marketing agencies like us come in: we live and breathe this stuff, and we’re ready to help you.
Not ready to reach out to us? That’s OK—but don’t leave without a plan. Check out our ebook, The Tech Company’s SEO Boost Plan, to learn more.
Utilize Paid Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
In addition to SEO tactics, it’s also possible to boost your search engine rankings through paid search engine marketing (SEM). Using paid search ads to target specific keywords is a highly effective way to get your website in front of intent-driven customers who are already in the market for your product.
Paid search ads have to point somewhere, and you don’t want it to be some generic page on your website. Instead, build tailored landing pages for each campaign. Keep them concise, compelling, and optimized for conversions. Make it easy to place an order or sign up for an offer of some sort or take another next step with your brand.
For a myriad of reasons, some potential customers may visit your website without making a purchase. Utilize remarketing campaigns to reach those prospects again: remind them about your brand and offer a purchase incentive.
Once customers make a purchase or sign up for a newsletter, you have a solid means of staying connected to your target audience.
To get a good email click-through rate, personalize your emails with relevant, compelling content. You can use any data captured by your website to guide your email marketing efforts as well.
As with all facets of your growth marketing strategy, test your email campaigns and see what performs better. Remember: growth marketing is all about testing. Don’t be afraid to try something that ultimately doesn’t perform as well as something else. That’s the point!
For starters, try different approaches to the subject lines, link positioning, content length, and schedule. Looking for more? You can find it in our free eBook on B2B email newsletter strategies.
To make sure that your growth marketing strategies are effective, it’s imperative to set clear key performance indicator (KPI) metrics (including a North Star metric) and measure your progress with accurate real-time data.
At New North, we utilize the OKR methodology when it comes to creating measurable goals, and it is the foundation of our marketing services.
After deciding which benchmarks are most important to your growth goals, you’ll need to decide how to track and analyze data. There are a number of visualization tools you can use like Google Analytics or Tableau, or you can reach out to our expert analytics team for guidance.
The numbers don’t lie! Tracking and measuring your marketing efforts will give you valuable, actionable insight into which channels and tactics are driving results and identify which areas need work.
All the valuable data you’re collecting can be circulated back to your sales team to enhance the sales process. Providing that team with qualified leads or a history of previous correspondence can increase the sales team’s acquisition rate.
Likewise, it’s important to keep your marketing team and sales team closely aligned. With your growth marketing strategy pushing constant testing and adapting, developing a sales enablement program will help keep everyone up to date on current campaigns.
Implementing a successful sales enablement strategy requires trial and error to improve your efforts over time. Create metrics and goals for the sales team and continuously refine and improve the sales enablement strategy to meet those targets.
Growth marketing strategies offer a clear path to success: they enable your business to use data to better understand your customers, offer a more personalized solution, and find the right channels for distribution.
Buzzy marketing trends come and go, but implementing a data-driven marketing plan that produces sustainable growth is a wise long-term investment for any B2B company.
If you’re ready to build an effective growth marketing strategy but aren’t sure where to start, New North’s team of expert B2B growth marketers is here for you. Let’s get started with a free 15-minute marketing consultation to chart out the right path forward. There’s nothing to lose, and growth to gain! Reach out today.