Growth Marketing Guide

Digital marketing strategy
“Most of the world will make decisions by either guessing or using their gut. They will be either lucky or wrong.”
Suhail Doshi

Everyone in this world has the next best idea, the next phenomenon. So what sets apart the Twitter’s of the world from the Myspace’s, the Netflix’s from the Blockbuster’s?

Brands are not successful simply for their great ideas. Every idea should have a reason and relevance. What does our world need, and how can your idea provide that? Brands have no meaning until they understand the core desires of their audience. Why do people need your idea? Why are you the next big thing?

Growth marketing uses data-driven strategies to answer all of these questions.

Growth marketing takes great ideas and drives their growth through relentless analysis and optimisation. Otherwise, a great idea without data will always remain an idea.

1. What’s growth marketing?

The fast and seamless integration of advanced technology into our everyday lives has been disruptive to the business world, making the attraction, engagement, and retainment of customers more complex than ever. While digital disruption continues to sweep across organisations, it is inevitable that businesses will hear new buzzwords and adopt new strategies as a result.

One buzzword that has gained an increasing amount of interest and hype is growth marketing.

Growth marketing is a data-driven, holistic approach that focuses on the entire funnel to create sustainable growth. It is a method that not only achieves customer acquisition and lead generation but also consistently aims at long-term retention.

Growth-Driven Marketing:

End-to-End: Potential and existing customers expect personalised communication, where they’re provided with a product, service, or solution that fits their every need. This is why focusing not only on the top of your sales funnel (ToFu), but also on ensuring your marketing activities cover engaging, converting, nurturing, and retaining, is vital.

Data-driven: Growth marketing takes the traditional marketing approach to the next level with essential aspects like constant experimentation, growth metrics monitoring, and fast-paced iteration of growth tactics. It relentlessly optimises the whole process according to gained insights and data-driven results.

Developing a growth marketing strategy includes 4 phases:

  1. Conducting a growth marketing check-up
  2. Building a growth marketing strategy
  3. Creating growth marketing plans and generating growth tactics
  4. Optimising the strategy

How is it different from traditional marketing?

While digital marketing focuses on the top of the sales funnel, or at the beginning of a customer’s journey, growth marketing looks at the entire process as a whole.

Additionally, growth-driven marketing prioritises failing, testing, and gaining insights on what works and what doesn’t, while digital marketing does not spend much time on experimentation and analysis.

2. What’s growth hacking?

If you’ve heard of growth marketing, it’s almost certain you’ve heard the buzzword “growth hacking” used right along with it. Growth hacking has become such a popular word that it seems that every startup is hiring a growth hacker these days.

But despite all its hype, most people may not be able to accurately define it.

Growth hacking is used to describe a marketing strategy that is creative and uses data-driven tactics with the goal of exponential growth, without spending too much money.

This method has become increasingly popular with tech startups that need scalability and fast growth. They usually have limited marketing budgets but can use digital channels creatively to quickly optimise and grow their online presence.

Growth hacking is transfixed on growing as much and as fast as possible.

3. What’s the difference between growth marketing and growth hacking?

Growth marketing and growth hacking are commonly used interchangeably. Although there are overlapping concepts, there are also crucial differences between the two strategies.

Growth hacking is all about speed, which can be a great tactic to solve tough problems quickly and creatively. However, the main component that growth hacking is missing is long-term vision.

On the other hand, growth-driven marketing is invested in the long haul, focused on retention, sustainability, and loyalty. Although growth marketing uses tactics from growth hacking, such as its creative problem solving, it comprises much more.

Growth hacking is more like a shortcut solution, or what we call at NBT a “growth tactic,” instead of a long-term growth marketing strategy. The best way to ensure growth is through structured continuity and sustainability.

So instead of trying to "hack" and create short-term success, it is necessary to build a holistic, data-driven and customer-oriented strategy. For this reason, at NBT, we prefer to use the terms growth marketing or growth-driven marketing instead of growth hacking.

4. Growth Loop

Growth Loop

Growth marketing is nothing without a strong, sustainable growth marketing plan. Creating a plan will be essential in performing the data-driven, holistic solutions that make growth work. This plan can be seen as a growth loop, comprising four steps, each focused on creating a continuous growth flow.

1- Growth Marketing Check-Up:

  • Internal Analysis
  • Competitor Research
  • Potential and Current Customer Insights

The first step is conducting three check-ups to provide the data that will drive your plan. The check-ups should cover the 4Ps (product, price, place, and promotion).

First, an internal analysis will cover your own business model, cost structure, sales process, and more. Then, competitor research will be crucial in understanding your market and brand positioning better. Lastly, analysing potential and current customers will give insights into how your marketing activities can tailor to customers’ pain points.

2- Strategy Development

  • Creating Personas and matching each persona with a brand/product/solution
  • Building Growth Funnels
  • Determining positioning statements
  • Creating targeted metrics

In your check-up process, correctly identifying and creating personas is key. The goal is to deeply understand the needs and preferences of the target audience and surround them with relevant, timely solutions that meet their specific needs and pain points in growth funnels. You should then create funnels and positioning statements for each persona.

3- Funnel-Based Planning

  • Creating growth marketing plans for funnel(s) and persona(s)
  • Adding targeted metrics
  • Adding the Growth Funnel area

Our next step is building growth tactics based on each funnel and persona. Each tactic should also include targeted metrics that can be measured.

There are four growth areas on which your growth tactics can be focused: reach/attract, engage/convert, nurture/close, and retain/grow. Lastly, you should decide on which part of the funnel each tactic focuses on (ToFu, MoFu, BoFu).

4- Management & Optimisation

Iteration with targeted metrics:

  1. Brand awareness + traffic generation metrics
  2. Lead generation metrics
  3. Customer generation metrics
  4. Retention metrics

The last phase is to iterate your tactics based on the metrics you have set. This is where you analyse what is working and what can be improved. Constant monitoring allows you to gain valuable insights and optimise your marketing strategy accordingly.