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Mastering the Art of Growth Marketing: A Basic Guide

Jacob Brain


At its core, growth marketing is all about achieving sustainable, measurable growth over time by aligning marketing and business goals, with eyes on full-funnel testing strategies.

It’s guided by the principles of experimentation and optimization, utilizing tactics such as A/B testing, customer segmentation, personalization, and audience targeting to drive long-term engagement and maximize customer lifetime value.

These terms and ideas sound impressive, but what is at the heart of this approach, and why are so many B2B companies now considering it?? What do you need to know to master the art of growth marketing? Those questions will be answered in this post, and if you have more, check out our other posts on growth marketing.

Without further ado, let’s start with addressing why many organizations take advantage of growth marketing tactics.

Why Do B2B Businesses Choose Growth Marketing?

New North was built on growth marketing principles, so we talk about this all day, but there are four primary reasons B2B marketing agencies focus here

Growth Marketing Achieves Growth

We know that seems a dense thing to write. Businesses want to grow. The kind of growth we’re talking about isn’t based on how many leads were captured in a month (we’re not saying that’s wrong, but it shouldn’t be your only goal).

It’s not about having a viral social media post or implementing a massive PPC campaign.

Rather, growth marketing focuses on finding sustainable and scalable ways to increase revenue for the business as a whole. It involves data-driven decision strategy and continuous experimentation to optimize the conversion funnel and identify new growth opportunities. The goal is to find the most efficient ways to acquire and retain customers, ultimately leading to business growth.

Growth Marketing Tracks the Numbers (really) That Matter

Numbers never lie. Well, kind of. Other marketing approaches leverage a lot of vanity metrics which certainly mislead, but growth marketing is one of the few approaches that focus on the numbers that actually matter.

Your business can’t grow efficiently if you aren’t tracking what matters.

Tracking metrics allows growth marketers to measure their efforts’ success and demonstrate their work’s impact to stakeholders. By leveraging data and metrics, growth marketers can make informed, data-driven decisions that lead to better results and sustainable growth for the business.

In short, numbers and metrics provide a roadmap for growth and help businesses make the most of their marketing efforts.

Growth Marketing Is Holistic, Full-Funnel Marketing

Being holistic can be very difficult for larger businesses, especially in B2B, considering the collective nature of the decision-makers and the business structure.

Growth marketing eases the way by aligning all efforts toward achieving common business goals rather than just marketing or sales goals. By taking a holistic approach, the siloes of focus, communication, and messaging are all aligned. When everyone is on the same page, your company can experience an effective and efficient use of its resources.

All your business leaders will (or should) know the purpose of each campaign and how it contributes to the bottom line. This focus on business goals allows growth marketers to develop and implement strategies that are considered a priority.

Growth Marketing Is Agile and Test-Driven

One of the best ways to go after that growth is by balancing big-picture thinking and attention to detail. This is challenging for everyone. Humans are fallible and often find it easier to concentrate on one aspect at a time.

Fortunately, there’s a solution: staying agile with growth marketing. The term “agile” has become popular in tech and manufacturing since its introduction in 2001, but let’s simplify it: Agile prioritizes individuals and interactions, emphasizes results over extensive documentation, values customer collaboration, and adapts to change over strict adherence to a plan.

When you include agile thinking in your growth marketing strategy, you operate on a short feedback loop, ensuring that goals are met through constant assessment, ideation, and execution.

When goals are met, growth is achieved.

How Can You Master Growth Marketing?

Now that we’ve covered why growth marketing matters, let’s turn to how you can make it work for you.

Note: this isn’t an exhaustive list, but locking these components into your growth marketing engagements is the first step to driving toward the results you want. 

Create an ideal customer profile.

This first step is crucial. You want to know exactly who you plan on targeting with engagements. Growth marketing isn’t about reaching an audience of “everyone.” You need an ideal customer profile (ICP).

A business’s ICP is a detailed description of the ideal customer who is most likely to purchase the company’s products or services. It includes demographics, behaviors, needs, wants, and values. This information targets specific channels, tactics, and messaging and informs product development.

The ultimate goal is to attract and retain the most valuable customers to the business.

Identify your customer’s pain points.

Good marketing always begins with gathering data. The question is: What data?

It’s the data that comes from your audience, prospects, or past customers. Your sales and accounts team often captures this information. This includes customer feedback, surveys, and website analytics. Once gathered, you’ll need to start analyzing it to understand the challenges and frustrations faced by customers.

Now that you understand what problems needs solving, you’ll know how to engage. You can also conduct in-depth customer interviews and focus groups to gain a first-hand account of their past or potential customer’s pain points. By regularly monitoring customer feedback and incorporating this data into their strategy, companies can ensure they are addressing their customer’s pain points.

To give you a springboard, B2B customers typically experience pain points related to productivity, time, and finances.

  • Productivity pain points: any challenges that impede the customer’s ability to carry out their work effectively.
  • Time pain points: situations that waste time or cause delays.
  • Financial pain points: any challenges that impact the customer’s bottom line, such as unexpected costs or decreased revenue.

To identify these pain points, you can research your direct competitors to see where they may fill in the gaps in their product or service offerings. This could involve conducting competitor analysis, reading customer reviews of your competitors, or reaching out to industry experts.

By researching the competition and gathering customer data, your company can understand the pain points in their industry and develop solutions to address them, ultimately driving growth and customer satisfaction. Use these points as a stepping but remember this process isn’t copy and paste.

Determine where you can reach your ideal customer.

Choosing the right channels to reach your target audience can mean the difference between ROI and wasted resources. The options available can be overwhelming and determining the most effective channels for your business can take time and effort.

This list outlines a step-by-step approach to researching and deciding on marketing channels that will help B2B companies reach their ideal customers.

It’s from a growth marketing perspective, balancing the utilization of proven channels and experimentation with new possibilities. Before starting, make sure you take into account what you’ve learned about your ideal customer.

  • Conduct market research: Utilize competitor analysis to gather insights into their successful marketing channels and strategies. Supplement your research by reaching out to experts in the industry for their perspectives on the most effective channels for reaching your target audience
  • Evaluate existing channels: Analyze the performance of your current marketing channels, such as email marketing, social media, or content marketing, to determine their effectiveness.
  • Assess potential channels: Consider new or underutilized channels, such as trade shows, webinars, or podcasts, and evaluate their potential based on your target audience’s behavior.
  • Prioritize channels: Based on your research, prioritize the channels with proven ROI and those with the potential to reach your target audience effectively.
  • Test and iterate: Start with a small budget to test and measure the performance of a new channel before fully committing resources. Once that’s tested, evaluate and adjust your strategy based on the results.
  • Continuously monitor and optimize: Regularly monitor the performance of your marketing channels and make data-driven decisions to optimize your strategy.

Determine how you can reach your ideal customer.

This is where tactics come in. If you’re still unsure about strategy, don’t hesitate to reach out.

In growth marketing, businesses must prioritize and focus on tactics that have the highest potential impact, the least effort required, and the ones they are confident with bring success. This can be done using the ICE framework, which stands for Impact, Confidence, and Effort. (We can’t take the credit for creating this framework, learn more about its origins here.)

  • Impact: The potential impact of the tactic on the business’s growth objectives.
  • Confidence: The level of confidence the business has in the tactic’s ability to deliver the expected results.
  • Effort: The resources, time, and effort required to implement the tactic.

Each tactic is assigned a score (out of 10) for each of the three factors.

By assigning scores for each factor, you can prioritize our growth marketing efforts and focus on the tactics that offer the perfect trifecta of high impact, confidence, and manageable effort. With the ICE framework, you can make confident, data-driven decisions that put our business on the fast track to growth.

Set goals and measure for success.

Set goals to steer your marketing strategy toward success. Define what success means for your marketing efforts, whether it be maximizing ROI, building your brand, establishing expertise, maintaining current customers, or acquiring new ones. Align your marketing goals with your company’s vision and leadership for effective results.

One of the biggest parts of meeting your goals lies in identifying KPIs that will measure progress.

Which leads us to….

Identify KPIs.

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are metrics that businesses use to measure progress toward their goals. These metrics provide a way to quantify the impact of growth marketing initiatives and allow businesses to assess the effectiveness of their strategies over time.

It’s important to choose KPIs that are relevant to the business and that provide meaningful insights into performance. For example, tracking website traffic is a good indicator of growth, but it’s only meaningful if that traffic is converting into paying customers.

Track progress and analyze data.

Once the KPIs have been identified, it’s important to decide how progress will be tracked and data analyzed. Different platforms like Google Analytics or Amplitude can help you collect and visualize data.

Also, businesses can create custom dashboards and reports to track key metrics and monitor progress over time. Keep in mind that data is only helpful if you know how to read it and what to do about your findings. For an expert touch on interpreting data, get in touch with our analytics team.

Having access to real-time, accurate data is critical for growth marketing success. Especially if your goal is to stay agile with your process so you can react to that data.

 As businesses expand, siloes of data can emerge, making it difficult to get a clear picture of what’s happening. By utilizing tools that integrate data from multiple sources and provide real-time insights, you can overcome these challenges and make data-driven decisions that drive growth.

Support prioritization.

As we detailed earlier, the ICE framework is a valuable tool for prioritizing growth marketing tactics, but it’s not the only one. Other popular methodologies include the Lean Marketing Canvas and the PIE framework.

While these frameworks provide useful guidance, it’s important for businesses to find what works best for them.

Each business is unique and may require a different approach to prioritization based on their specific goals, audience, and resources. By experimenting with different methodologies and adapting them to fit their needs, businesses can ensure that their growth marketing efforts are utilizing the right growth tactics.

Also, keep in mind what works now may not work in the future. The business world moves quickly. Prioritize experimenting with new tactics, so you’re prepared to make shifts based on where your audience and competitors move.

It’s time to look at one of the biggest areas to get right in growth marketing.

Optimize content

Optimizing your content can come in many forms, but we will be focusing on the optimizations that strike at the core of growth marketing—optimizing for user experience and continued testing.

Optimize content for user experience.

The bulk of your content will be on your website, and it’s the foundation that supports your growth marketing efforts. It’s also a powerful tool that communicates who you are to your ideal customers.

With that in mind, here are some ways to provide a useful and helpful experience for your web visitors.

  1. Make sure your page speed is up. Users expect your page to load quickly so they can get the content they are looking for. If your page loads a little too slowly, they will jump and so will your bounce rates.
  2. Ensure you’re mobile-friendly. Make sure your website is easy to navigate, no matter where your user is accessing it. Google gives a ranking boost to mobile-friendly pages.
  3. Use strong Calls to Actions (CTAs). Your website visitor needs to know how to move around your site and what you would like them to do about all the information they receive. Use bold and time-sensitive verbs.
  4. Keep style and content consistent. You’re aiming to give a cohesive experience. So, match your heading sizes, font choices, coloring, button styles, spacing, design elements, illustration styles, and photo choices. Keep the same tone in your content.
  5. Check your 404 errors. A “page not found” results is annoying to your visitor and could disrupt their experience at a crucial point. Set up a website crawler like Google Webmaster to check for these errors.

Stay on top of these optimizations; you’ll reach the ideal customers with a website experience to remember (in a positive way.)

Optimize content with continued testing.

The scientific method is a potent tool for making data-driven decisions and improving your company’s content. To get started, you’ll need to formulate a hypothesis about what you think will work best, then design an experiment to test it. This is where A/B testing comes in handy – you can create two versions of a piece of content and see which one resonates more with your audience.

Once you’ve run your experiment, it’s time to analyze the results and draw conclusions. Did version A outperform version B? If so, why might that be? Did the hypothesis hold up, or did something unexpected happen? These insights can inform future iterations of your content and help you to refine and optimize your approach continuously.

Pro tip: Be careful not to overdo it with A/B testing. For each one you conduct, make sure you’re focusing on a specific area. For example, A/B test the subject line of the email. Then, do another test for the content. Testing too many elements at once will make it difficult for you to determine why one version did better with your audience than the other.

Full funnel testing of your content is a key aspect. Your content needs to speak to your ideal customer in every stage of the buying journey, from initial awareness to final conversion. So run metrics and A/B test to make sure it is. Are your CTAs in your search ads leaving to conversions or bounces? Rework the content or design of those CTAs. Do your prospects even open your emails? If not, consider rewriting those subject lines. Work through each stage to find the weak link and then strengthen it.

Ready to Start Your Growth Marketing?

We know that by employing the correct mix of growth marketing principles listed above, intelligently implementing tactics, and optimizing your results over time, you’ll increase your consistency and position your business for growth.

And if you’re looking for a partner to help you grow, don’t hesitate to reach out.

At New North, our B2B growth marketing agency has been helping businesses generate leads for over a decade. Let’s talk through your growth marketing strategies and analyze your funnel to find out how we can improve your stream of new business. Schedule a free consult today.

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