Guide to Growth Marketing in 2023

Guide to Growth Marketing in 2023

Coming up with a great business idea is only half the battle to a company’s success. In a world where digital is dominant, businesses are zoning in on a new challenge—the need for growth. Fast, consistent growth is increasingly recognized as a pillar of success and should be integrated into any business plan. A well-designed growth strategy allows maximum results in a minimum amount of time and with the least amount of risk.

This is where growth marketing comes into play. Traditional marketing techniques focus largely on customer acquisition and, to some extent, customer retention. Growth marketing takes a broader view, looking for ways to not only win over customers but actively engage with them throughout the consumer life cycle. The logic is that more engaged consumers will spend more and stick around longer. In the best-case scenario, they become a champion for the brand.

Growth can look different for different companies. It might involve expanding the user base, adding staff, or increasing partnerships. In all of these cases, the result is increased revenue. This guide explains the core tenets of growth marketing and reveals how embracing these techniques can help your business reach modern consumers.

What growth marketing is

The phrase “growth hacker” was coined by serial entrepreneur Sean Ellis. A veteran of successful startups like Dropbox and Eventbrite, Ellis earned a reputation for helping companies craft sustainable growth models. The key to his success? Instead of just thinking about getting customers into the sales funnel and then forgetting about them, Ellis prioritized creating an ongoing connection with customers. This is the defining characteristic of growth marketing. It strives to touch customers at every point in the sales funnel—or, better put, the growth funnel.

The sales funnel focuses on acquisition. The growth funnel goes beyond this “onboarding” point and focuses on the full product experience, from advertising to end-user satisfaction. The first step is acquisition, getting the user’s attention. The second step is to convert this attention into actual engagement. If successful, this consumer engagement will generate revenue. But the growth funnel doesn't end there.

Finally, there’s the referral step—the hope that the satisfied consumer will spread the word to other potential consumers, allowing for the cycle of acquisition, conversion, engagement, and revenue maximization to be repeated again and again.

So, that’s what growth marketing is. But how does growth marketing achieve this continual connectivity? Data, data, data. Growth marketing is a systematic strategy, using the scientific method to obtain data that will maximize revenue. It essentially boils down to three actions: test, assess, and pivot.

Growth marketers define a test area, conduct an experiment, and analyze the results. If needed, they may carry out further experimentation. Say a growth marketing team is tasked with maximizing revenue for an online software product. They might conduct an A/B test for an online ad by posting two ads, each with a different visual, and seeing which visual gets more click-throughs.

This versatile approach can be adapted across diverse industries. Take a hotel brand, for example. The hotel chain has a membership platform that can be incentivized. Email campaigns promoting tiered status or exclusive access will reward customer loyalty to the brand. By assessing engagement with the email (whether it was opened, what links were clicked, etc.) a growth marketing team can determine what customers are engaging with—and then tailor future campaigns accordingly.

It’s this flexibility that makes growth marketing so appealing to so many industries. Growth marketers work with the knowledge that they won’t get it right the first time. That’s the point. They learn from their mistakes.

If a campaign doesn’t get a lot of user engagement, they change it. Companies get to know their clientele better as a result, allowing them to deliver more of what their consumers want, resulting in greater engagement, loyalty, and, ultimately, spending.

What growth marketing isn’t: A look at other marketing types and techniques

Pirate metrics are often used when it comes to growth marketing: awareness, acquisition, activation, revenue, retention, and referral (AAARRR). Traditional marketing approaches may complement growth marketing to achieve these metrics. However, the governing model of growth marketing (test, assess, and pivot) dominates the actual implementation.

Ultimately, growth marketing isn’t any one technique or tactic. It relies on multiple strategies to continually engage existing customers while also attracting new ones. The next section covers some of these strategies.

First, to further clarify growth marketing and delineate it from traditional methods, here are some marketing types and techniques distinct from growth marketing:

  • Account-based marketing: Account-based marketing focuses on key accounts. One person will be responsible for X number of accounts. Their goal is to nurture those client relationships while also building new ones, and generating even more accounts. The wins are short-term and narrowly focused on acquisition—not connectivity with the company or brand.
  • Performance marketing: Performance marketing is centered on key performance indicators, or KPIs. Every marketing piece has measurable KPIs, such as click-through rates for online ads or opens for an email campaign. The experimental aspect of growth marketing and the flexibility that this allows for is lacking.
  • Brand marketing: Brand marketing is all about that—the brand. This is a carefully crafted image that the business puts out into the world and hopes that consumers will connect. Again, there is a lack of flexibility in this model, as every marketing element is geared toward supporting, promoting, and furthering the brand image and message, without deviation.

Top 10 growth marketing strategies for 2023

Growth marketing is an innovative field. There are many tactics marketers use to promote a wide variety of brands and products. Some techniques may be better tailored to certain goods or services. Read on to get inspired with some possibilities.

Don’t have the technical knowledge or tools to implement these proposals yourself? No problem. Upwork connects you with independent professionals worldwide, covering fields from marketing to software development, web design, and more.

1. Engage audiences with interactive content

Content marketing uses content like blog posts and videos to attract customers, focusing primarily on lead generation. The goal is to grab new customers’ attention and then propel them down the sales pipeline through a carefully planned content strategy.

Modern technology makes this easier than ever with interactive content. Interactive quizzes and polls demand a greater level of engagement and reveal useful information about consumers. Interactive infographics, videos, polls, e-books, and white papers are all options.

For example, if you run an e-commerce boutique, an external marketing agency can create tailor-made content—like a quiz to determine what styles shoppers are after by crafting a “this or that” series of outfit photos for your Instagram stories.

2. Use A/B testing for user acquisition

A/B testing allows you to compare two ideas using a standard experimental model. It’s a simple way to see what marketing technique is more successful.

For example, if you are launching a new website for your logistics business, you want to ensure the interface is user-friendly. You can run an A/B test with two designs to see which one is more likely to see customers go from visiting the site to putting in an order. This is the kind of measure an independent professional can implement and assess, allowing you to focus on your core business.

3. Address bounce rate with chatbots

In the digital age, business is largely internet-driven. You can’t just bring users to your website, though. They need to stay there long enough to conclude a purchase.

Bounce rate refers to the percentage of people who land on your website and do nothing on the page they entered. A high bounce rate means that a lot of users are visiting your page and leaving quickly. To encourage consumers to stay on your page, you may want to look into a chatbot.

More than 50% of executives say chatbots bring significant return on investment (ROI) with minimal effort, so consider investing in this marketing strategy to lower your bounce rate.

4. Optimize your sales funnel from start to finish

Part of marketing is attracting consumers. This can be done through ads, like shared social media posts. Beyond this, you also need to have a finely tuned website that is search engine optimized so that your website ranks well in search engines.

Well-designed websites with targeted keyword content can climb these rankings, and in today’s digitally driven world, search engine optimization (SEO) is integral to any marketing strategy. What’s more, the website needs to be designed in a way that allows for streamlined onboarding and a positive upselling experience to maximize dollar spend.

For example, if you run a content writing agency, you might package bundles of blogs (three for the price of two) to encourage users to buy more than one. An independent marketing consultant can assess your funnel from an objective third-party standpoint and offer practical feedback on improving.

5. Tap into the power of social sharing

With more than 80% of people with access to the internet using social media, it remains one of the most cost-effective and efficient ways you can grow a company. You don’t have to pay big bucks to influencers.

An independent social media marketer can help solidify your brand’s image through curated content and determine useful partnerships for your brand. Creating share-worthy content is enough to get the word out, as social users will generate organic traffic by reposting or passing on posts.

A dedicated social media professional will also know what platforms are best suited to what types of users—for example, an older target audience will be found on Facebook, while a younger audience can be reached via TikTok.

6. Don’t just target, re-target

Facebook marketing offers unique opportunities to reach a designated audience. You can target according to relationship status, geographic location, interests, age, and more. Through Facebook Pixel, you can look at conversions and focus on retargeting. Pixel tracks every individual who visits your site. You can then build custom audiences for them.

For example, if you post a blog about baking, and it’s a hit, you can then target individuals who visited that blog with a series of baking tutorial videos. Logically, the conversions will be high.

7. Consider an affiliate program

Affiliate marketing is a valuable tool for a business growth toolbox. An affiliate program encourages reach and authenticity, allowing you to align your business with partners who promote growth.

For example, fitness gear companies and athletes are a natural match. Finding an independent marketing consultant with a proven track record of establishing affiliate programs allows you to tap into this niche expertise without having to bring on a full-time team member.

8. Offer a “fremium” option

A “fremium” pricing strategy consists of offering a base product for free but charging for additional features. A music-streaming platform might be free to use but will charge a fee for removing ads, for example. This business model allows you to get users hooked on your product and then increase dollar spend once they’re already on board.

9. Create a free product with value

Everybody loves a freebie. If you have useful knowledge to share, giving some of it away for free is a great way to attract attention and gain influence. A long-term content marketing strategy might include videos or animated gifs that you give away, for example. If you don’t have the skill set to create this kind of content in-house, don’t stress. You can get high-quality videos and animations with the help of an independent professional.

10. Reassess your product development

The consumer market is always evolving, and a growth mindset acknowledges the need to evolve with the market’s demands. Creating new products keeps existing customers engaged and diversifies interests, attracting new customers.

For example, a company that produces laptops may branch out into other mobile technologies, like tablets and phones. Consumers familiar with the laptop’s interface will be drawn to these new devices, especially when they can link them. A growth marketing team can then get the word out about the new offering.

Drive growth with global talent

Successful growth marketing usually requires a multi-channel approach. You can find the diversity of talent you need to implement your growth strategy with Upwork. Select from a global and remote talent pool to build your growth team today.

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Guide to Growth Marketing in 2023
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