As the market continues to deal with saturation issues, finding a way to "stick out" is going to be a massive part of growing a business in 2019. In fact, 77% of startup brands expect to disrupt their current flow in the next 3 - 5 years. It's not surprising. The startup space grows more competitive year-over-year, so finding a way to lead the pack of wolves is critical for any brand that wants to gain some movement in the next few years.
So, how do you do that? How do you put on your thinking cap and differentiate yourself from your competitors? With growth marketing!
But, what if that funnel (and the pipeline in relation) wasn't what you thought it was? What if it was more complicated than simply top-middle-bottom? Well, that's what growth marketings all about.
Let's talk about it.
What is Growth Marketing?
Growth marketing is funnel optimisation on crack. Let's define traditional marketing first. Traditional marketing is all about trying to create short-term or long-term growth by attacking users with marketing materials at specific funnel stages (almost always top.) Growth marketing is about leveraging data, creativity, and growth hacking strategies to boost your entire marketing strategy.
Basically, traditional marketing focuses on top-of-the-funnel content (Awareness & Acquisition), while growth marketing encompasses the whole funnel (AARRR)
Growth marketing is what happens when you marry traditional marketing and growth hacking. It's thinking outside-the-box to deliver actionable brand-driven campaigns with a focus on data-driven strategies.
Let's admit it, marketing has been inching towards conformity. Growth hacking is about putting the edge back in marketing and trying out weird, crazy strategies, A/B testing unique campaigns, and trying to push every penny out of the marketing budget as possible.
What is growth marketing not? Spending marketing resources padding vanity metrics (likes, visitors, downloads, etc.) or spending resources to stuff the top of the funnel with as many random prospects as possible.
That's a common mistake with new (and old) businesses. More does not = better. Don't fall into that trap.
How Do You Use Growth Marketing?
To start using growth marketing you have to rethink about what being a marketer means.
For years, marketing has been about allocating year-over-year budgets to campaigns that achieve short term growth to "pretty up the metrics." Long-term growth is about creating long-term growth and evolution.
Growth marketing attacks your niche ecosystem with data-driven campaigns that attempt to achieve long-term brand-wide results. But, not by abusing worn-out campaigns. Instead, growth marketing thrives on experimentation and test-and-learn campaign management.
Test-and-Learn Marketing (The Secret Formula)
Want to know a secret?
It's ok to achieve garbage results on a marketing campaign!
Far too many marketers fish with a pole instead of a net. Growth marketing is all about throwing a huge net in the water and scooping up a ton of fish. You're not looking for moby dick. If you spend your whole campaign grabbing a bass when you could have had 5,000 shrimp, you're at a net calorie loss. OK… enough with the fishing analogies!
Why not try that new email automation strategy? If it fails, that's fine! In fact, run three of them. Afterward, A/B test them and figure out how well they work. If they don't work release them back out into that big marketing ocean and throw your net right back in the water.
Growth marketing is hinged to experimentation. You want to try the latest-and-greatest marketing strategies, the tried-and-true strategies, and the crazy strategies that are unique to your brand. Then, leverage data to capture metrics at every point in the journey.
In the end, you'll be able to leverage the winners and continuously adapt and evolve your marketing campaign. You're looking for fluidity — not staleness.
And —this is important — that fluidity should come from captured metrics, not from playing around with Moz's "10 best marketing strategies of 2019" post.
4 Growth Marketing Strategies for Companies in 2019
Of course, you're all here for the strategies, aren't you? Don't lie; you scrolled right down to this part. So, without further ado — here are some growth marketing strategies for 2019.
Abuse Pre-Launch Content
You need to be establishing a blog before you launch. Period. Gain customer trust and develop your brand's tone before launching your product.
Mint absolutely killed their prelaunch. Not only did their blog hit Google hard by playing around with keywords and writing value-driven content, but they also promoted it heavily across social media platforms.
Sure, Mint is an easy example. After all, they are one of the kings of the craft. But, hey, learn from the pros.
Speaking of content...
Be a Conversationalist
Businesses seem to have this mentality that they have to be boring. You have to show as much domain expertise as possible in every blog post and video, right? Wrong! Look, financial services isn't always a confetti cannon, but that doesn't mean that you can't throw some spark into your campaigns.
Look at what GaryVee and Neil Patel have done to the marketing scene over the past few years. The world is shedding its suit. The most important person in the room probably has jeans on in 2019. Speak to that person!
Create blog posts that feel like you're talking to your audience 1-on-1. Not only does it feel more real and authentic, but voice search is also making conversational tone the go-to.
A quick change in blog post tone can growth hack your rankings.
Engagement & Retention
Focus on your retention metrics! Too often we forget that the real ROI of any customer is lifetime value -acquisition cost, not simply lead capture. It's easy to stuff your funnel, it's hard to keep your customers. I see tons of startups spend their marketing budget chasing leads only to have them flip after the free trial. You just lost money!
Did you know that a typical cards business will have an attrition rate of 7 - 10% a year. And Prepaid Travel Cards have a rate that is close to 100%!
Why? Because they spent all of their time getting the “next” sale, then completely ignoring them! Don't do that!
Product Design for Growth
Walker predicts that brand will be more important to the customer than price or product by 2020. So you better start building yours.
One of the fastest ways to do this is to have a killer value proposition (seriously! you need one!) and to think about which jobs you should focus on first.
Here's what you do: tackle customer concerns rapidly, give them a reason to do business with you, and provide them with a unique solution.
It's really that simple.
I see tons of 6k blog posts on "building a brand". You don't have to do tricky "secret" things to build a brand. Really, you just have to have a reason for existing and to figure out take care of your customers. Seriously, that's all. Great marketing can’t fix a shit product!
As competition continues to grow more-and-more fierce, companies need to start differentiating themselves. Growth marketing is all about building a brand and telling a story. Don't tell the same story as everyone else. Use data, A/B testing, and common sense to create wildly successful and unique marketing campaigns backed up by fundamental KPIs.