What is growth marketing?

While “growth marketing” might sound like a bit of a buzzword, a good growth specialist is often exactly what many companies need - even if they don’t realise it yet.

So, what does a growth marketer role involve?

Simply speaking, a growth specialist needs to do what the name suggests - help your company grow by concentrating on winning new customers (and retaining the old ones) through improving key growth metrics in your marketing funnel.

These vital growth metrics will be different for different businesses - and it’s the job of a growth marketer to identify them and focus their efforts on improving exactly the areas that will result in the fastest growth.

What businesses can benefit from growth marketing?

When implemented right, growth marketing will benefit any type of business.

Here is a brief overview of what your growth marketer would typically focus on depending on the type, size and life stage of your company.

Start-ups and emerging businesses:

More often than not, these companies have limited marketing budgets - yet they need to get their marketing right in order to continue to grow.

If a start-up has a product that is fit for market and a strong brand strategy in place, then it makes sense to first test multiple marketing channels by running a series of incremental tests - and then evaluate the results before investing heavily into any single channel.

So, the growth marketing for a start-up or emerging business would focus on:

  • The “think big - test small” approach. This allows growth marketers to really think outside the square and test the newest and most unexpected marketing channels. For example, this is how influencer marketing became a thing just a few years ago. The companies that pioneered that type of marketing discovered that, to achieve impressive growth, you don’t necessarily need to engage influencers with a massive following. Instead, identifying multiple micro-influencers with the exact type of content that attracts your target audience can provide better results for a fraction of the cost.
  • Small, measurable, iterated tests. Growth marketers use A/B testing extensively, so it is vital that a growth specialist working for a start-up has a thorough understanding of the marketing channels they use for experimenting, as well as broad general marketing experience.
  • Affordability and flexibility. Growth marketing for emerging businesses needs to use methods that are well suited to limited budgets, and be able to adjust strategies on the go.

In today’s business environment where new communication and marketing channels emerge and develop so quickly, growth marketing using measurable micro-testing can mean the difference between a successful start-up and a failed one.

Established businesses and organisations:

You always have room for growth - even if you are running a multi-national business that turns over billions of dollars per year. In fact, the bigger your company, the more noticeable the effect of small incremental changes and tweaks is going to be.

Bigger companies are also more likely to hire a growth marketing manager who can lead a team of highly qualified growth specialists.

One major difference from the start-up scenario is that big companies usually already have a number of established marketing channels - and a considerable amount of historical data to analyse. So, other specialists - such as business process analysts and marketing analysts - usually need to perform the analysis so that growth marketers can then use the findings.

Growth marketing can help your established company to:

  •   Reduce the cost of customer acquisition.
  •   Improve customer retention.
  •   Open up new channels and opportunities.
  •   Prioritise revenue growth.

It is important to remember that the growth marketer role is heavily focused on strategy and not limited to only evaluating certain marketing channels or funnel stages. Growth marketers typically rely on other marketing specialists to refine their strategy, and on creative professionals - such as designers and copywriters - to implement it.

 The key metrics that your growth specialist may focus on are likely to include:

  •       Conversion rates
  •       Customer acquisition and retention rates
  •       Subscribe / unsubscribe rates for various channels
  •       Open rates for emails and other content engagement metrics

It may be tempting to think that these metrics should be easy enough to track and A/B test without the need for a dedicated specialist. But, in reality, it takes considerable skills and experience to know exactly what data is worth paying attention to and how to set up, run and properly interpret relevant A/B tests.

Your growth marketer is going to look at the entire marketing funnel for actionable tweak points – which, in the case of a big business, is not unlike looking for a needle in a haystack. This means that they have to come in with a pretty good idea of where they are going to look – so there’s really no substitute for experience when it comes to growth marketing.

What does marketing do to qualify as “growth marketing”? 

Growth marketing specialists measure the key growth metrics that can be different for different businesses - and apply the right tweaks to the overall marketing process (or to any channel or marketing funnel stage) to achieve optimal growth. That is why this type of marketing benefits businesses of any kind and size that are looking to expand to the next stage.

Let’s put it this way - specialists who started to use TikTok as a marketing channel definitely had a growth marketer mindset, whether it was reflected in their official job title or not.

Growth marketers’ data-backed insights can be applied across your business operations, channels and funnel stages, resulting in measurable growth.

At Throttl, we are confident that we can help you hire a growth marketer that will supercharge your growth and take your company to the next level.


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