What is ‘growth marketing’.
Growth marketing is loosely based on metrics such as Awareness, Acquisition, Activation, Revenue, Retention, and Referral. Most people cannot talk about it in a definite way.
It has different meanings. Generally, the term growth marketing focuses mainly on a full-funnel rather than on the early or the acquisition stage(s) of a startup
Here a product or service is better aligned to meet the needs of the customer. With a growth marketing team in place, you can understand the areas where the company is strong or weak.
It is a technical analysis of user experience – where you need to pursue whatever works for sustained growth on top of traditional marketing.
Following techniques usually apply as part of growth marketing:
- Studying audience/trends
- Capitalizing on the frequently used channels by your audience
- Turning 404 pages into landing pages and including testimonials
- Utilizing digital tactics (SEO optimization, creative ad copy)
- Sending an awesome data-driven welcome email
A practical example,
Is that of Dropbox which attracts students everywhere. Students share files all the time (homework, etc.) but do not have money.
Dropbox’s freemium model allows them to share. If they run out of space, they can invite others to join. That leads to extra space which is why it is so popular among students.
Not long ago, the company ran a promotion called ‘The Space Race’. Students who referred others received doubled space.
Dropbox notified people with an @edu email address. After which the company blogged about it. That garnered them quite the traction and it became synonymous with students sharing files.
The Space Race meant the more people you involved, the better for your school. Dropbox engineered the campaign in such a manner that it spread.
How to become a growth marketer
There is no magic pill to becoming a growth marketer. The ideal way is to learn and grow something. You talk to your customers, figure out the bottlenecks, and deliver fixes.
Prepare a list of startups you want to help. Email them, and tell them if they wish to scale you are willing to do that at a cheaper price or for free. The point is to help them grow.
That is how you step foot in the game.
Once you see that you have achieved an adequate amount of success, you may want to start your own business.
Rework your pay for a higher one with your existing clients. To score with a big company, you need to have a proven track record. Companies look for it in growth marketers.
So, how do you go about it?
Do not overwhelm yourself with information. There are tons of resources on the subject. Getting your head wrapped around a few basics of growth marketing will get the job done for you.
Read some, test, learn from it, ask questions, and repeat. It is bound to get you wins.
What is the best way to learn growth marketing?
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Can you leverage the latest tech/distribution channels?
- Can you do things effectively and more cheaply?
- Can automate and reduce waste?
- Can you remove bias when it comes to decision making?
- Can you fail fast?
- Can you execute, no seriously, CAN YOU EXECUTE?!
If you have answered ‘yes’ to all the questions above, you are halfway there. Meanwhile, if you can find someone who is working as a growth marketer, it is an obvious choice for learning.
However, the best way is to embrace experimentation. Be on the front lines of it. Stop focusing on what others have done. You can’t copy Instagram, Facebook, Airbnb, Google, Uber, Netflix.
Their models do not work for new startups. Innovation is the key. Consuming blogs and books will only get you so far.
The action plan is to,
Test hundreds of free trials of software. Combine them uniquely to automate and yield results. The right growth marketing strategy will turn your (initial) or existing user base into referrers.
See the Dropbox example above. Dropbox banked purely on relationship building to scale.
Another classic case is that of TikTok which is an offshoot of growth marketing. I say this because brands are already leveraging the TikTok social platform for greater reach & visibility. Brands like The Washington Post, San Diego Zoo, VaynerMedia, etc.
My guess is – a growth hacker must have proposed the idea of taking the business on TikTok, no?
How to get a job in growth marketing?
The entry-level role in a domain that has no established route to the title of a growth marketer is a tricky one. There is no official certificate or anything. That is why many are self-taught.
Some land a role because they modded games while others discovered the potential through mIRC. Regardless, they forged their path because they loved an idea & breathed life into it.
Apply for an internship at a growth marketing agency and work your way up from there. If you are lucky, you can find yourself a mentor or learn from someone in the position.
It is more learning by doing, so.
Either way, you will have to work harder to find a job. Although, agencies are a good bet when starting. They offer a much-needed push to help you become a growth marketer.
Along the line, you can hone the skills that you feel are your strongest suit. For instance, become a ‘T-shaped’ marketer. Meaning, master the basics and focus on 1 or 2 channels.
In marketing, say, PPC & SEO. Dig deep and seek out the growth hacks that leads to money.
With the marketing layer fundamentals and specializations under your belt, you will have both – the big picture of the growth landscape as well as profound knowledge of the channels.
Thanks for reading!
Let me know your thoughts in the comments.
I’ll respond to each one.