What does every start up and small business want? GROWTH. And QUICKLY. The problem is that traditional marketing methods take time and can cost a lot of money. They also only focus on attracting new customers whereas true business growth relies on retaining customers too. This is why Growth marketing is such a perfect proposition.
Growth marketing explained
Growth marketing does two things:
- It attracts new customers by promoting the aspects of the product/service that they know customers like the most, on the channels it knows its target audience use
- It retains customers by encouraging them to keep using the product/service, perhaps by focussing on the features data has shown they like the most, or by introducing new ways to use it or by linking users up to other services or ‘superfans’.
To work effectively, it requires marketers and product development to work closely together. It also requires you to put in place programmes to capture behavioural information about your customers, as well as those who have chosen not to buy from you. That way you’ll know what’s working, what’s not and where improvements can be made.
Growth hacking explained
So what is growth hacking then? (I hear you ask.) Well growth hacking is designed to achieve growth in one particular area very quickly. That’s right, one. So, it could be new customers. It could be retention of customers. It could be expanding social presence. You pick one goal, you look at the data you have about what has been preventing you from meeting that goal in the past, and then you find a way to get around the obstacle.
Now the reality is, the first attempt probably won’t work. Neither will the second or the third. Because a huge part of growth hacking is testing, learning and changing and testing again. But it’s often very much worth it as once you find and implement the right hack, the results can be incredible.
So can I do growth hacking as part of growth marketing?
If you mean, can you adopt one growth hacking approach to attract customers, and then another growth hacking method to retain them, then the answer is yes you can. However, it’s best to do one at a time so that you get to the optimal approach as quickly as possible.
Does that mean I shouldn’t bother with traditional marketing methods then?
There are arguments to say that traditional methods of marketing are no longer relevant but I disagree entirely. I believe that a strong social and web presence, as well as some third party endorsement through PR are invaluable in building a company’s brand equity. And brand equity is important for a wealth of reasons. Securing investment or an acquisition, attracting bigger customers, convincing reluctant customers to buy from you, and of course attracting talent.
At Upmarketry, we help our clients get their brand equity sorted quickly before starting any growth tactics. One reason for this is that some of the most effective growth hacking methods rely on working with partners or influencers. And they won’t touch you with a barge pole if that brand equity isn’t strong.
What’s the best approach for me?
Choosing the best method of marketing will depend on your business (its market position, industry, reputation, age etc) and on what you’re trying to achieve.
What kind of growth are you after this year?
Hannah is the Managing Director of Upmarketry.