All I know about growth marketing

Growth marketing is an exploration to discover what drives the most revenue from a company’s smarketing funnel.

Table of Content

Why smarketing?

So let’s define what is a smarketing funnel first of all. A funnel is a path that people follow when they become customers. The term smarketing is particularly important when it comes to the final part of the funnel. It means that marketing and sales have shared goals, talk to each other and communicate the same message to potential customers. Companies that don’t have a sales team don’t have the problem of integrating marketing and sales and their funnel is generally called sales funnel.

The modern circular journey

One precisation that needs to be made is that nowadays the journey that consumers undertake is no longer shaped as a funnel. It is more like a circular journey.

It is true that consumers start with a number of potential brands they have in mind, they narrow them down to a smaller list and eventually choose one brand and purchase. But, what the traditional funnel metaphor is missing is:

  • an element of costant exposure that people have to brands, even when they are not actively shopping
  • an element of post-purchase experience that, when positive, can trigger new purchase decisions and generate loyalty

The modern funnel is a circular journey with four phases.

  1. The emergence of a problem is the event that makes consumers enter the first phase of the modern customer journey. Consumers are constantly exposed to brands but they are not considering the large majority of them unless they are actively shopping. When do people start shopping? When they have a problem and they look for a product or service that solves that problem. What happens that is different from the past in this phase is that consumers increase the number of brands they are considering. They start with a number of brands they have in mind, those who managed to cut through the noise, and do their research to see what other brands are out of there and are capable of solving their problem.
  2. Moving on to the second phase, consumers add or subtract brands as they evaluate them by using information available on the Internet, word of mouth and opinions from family members, friends and colleagues.
  3. Ultimately, during the third phase, a consumer selects a brand and purchases.
  4. The fourth phase is the post-sales experience and is crucial as it shapes the opinion for every subsequent decision the customer takes. In this sense the journey is circular because if a customer has a good experience they will continue their journey and buy more (or renew, if it’s a subscription based product).

3 aspects of growth marketing

What any company wants in order to grow their revenue is to increase the number of people entering the top of the funnel and increase conversion rates along the different phases to ultimately increase the number of long term customers.

Following this approach, any company has three problems when it comes to revenue growth:

  1. How to increase the number of people entering the top of the funnel?
  2. How to increase conversion rates?
  3. How to make customers stick?

Inbound vs Outbound

To increase the number of people who enter the top of the funnel a company can rely on inbound or outbound methods.

Outbound marketing is about reaching out to people and pushing a message to them.

Inbound marketing is about creating content as a way for people to find out about the company themselves.

These two different approaches share something in common. In both of them it is important to define at the beginning a customer persona to target. A customer persona represents the type of person or organisation that marketing is after and that is most likely to buy the product because it solves a problem they have.

And, in both approaches, at the end of each campaign it is important to analyse the results to know if the tactics implemented are working or not and what’s working best.

Customer Personas

Using customer personas is important because more leads don’t automatically mean more sales. Passing unqualified leads to the sales team creates actually a cost because sales people waste their time.

So, you want to pass to your sales team the right leads, those that are most likely to convert to long term customers. One of the best ways to find out more about this kind of “ideal leads” and create effective customer personas is to look at your current customers.

Using your CRM and your product analytics you can identify who are the customers that are staying the longest with you and spending the most. You can then combine that data with qualitative data to create customer personas.

For example, you can send a survey to that segment of best customers that you have identified and even interview some of them. And, you can talk with your customer success team, which surely knows a lot about your customers. Just, bear in mind that you want to hear from customer success about a specific segment of customers, not just any customer. Other teams may have useful input too, such as sales, product and user research.

Once personas are created, they need to be shared across the entire organization. This solves the problem of sales complaining about the quality of leads because then both marketing and sales are going after the same type of person/business.

Another positive effect is that once clear personas are defined customers testimonials become more and more relevant. Because leads see them as people with their same problems who were able to solve them by adopting the solution that the company is offering.

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