There is one thing I know for sure:
Growth does not happen in a silo.
There are many components that come together to form great growth marketing strategies.
And over the past few months, some of the greatest minds in growth have crossed our stage to offer their hard-earned insights into the field.
From B2B to B2C to P2P (or H2H, whichever you prefer), there is one thing that rings true of the great growth marketing puzzle (and marketing in general, actually): it’s all about the end person who your company is intended to help.
Figure out how to best help them with your messaging, content, product, and you’ll create a memorable experience which leads to retention and ultimately, to understanding and success.
Let’s get into it.
One of the many areas that companies first struggle with is messaging.
It can be tough to walk a theoretical day in your customer’s shoes, especially if you overly obsessed with your own company and products or have no idea who your target customer is.
And when you are first starting out, you don’t always have a lot to work with other than what you believe your company mission and core values are.
Obviously, your messaging should be informed by your target personas, but what if your target personas don’t know who you are, what you do, or why they might need you?
Growth Marketing Conference East speaker Derek Halpern makes a good point about how to tweak your messaging based on how well known your company is.
In theory, if no one knows who you are, or people don’t know that they have the problem your company solves, you need to reel them in by appealing to their broad world view.
Just like with content, when you are in the super awareness zone, casting a wider net will help to funnel in a general audience, with which you can segment with more targeted messaging once they get to know you and problem you solve.
But, again, it can be tricky to “go broad” and still remain relevant to the people you are trying to reach.
That is why Growth Marketing Conference East speaker Chad Kerby suggests keeping your message clear and concise.
“Broad” and “clear” are two entirely different things. Knowing how to tailor your message in a way that clearly communicates your brand value in terms that a general audience can understand will build awareness for your company.
Derek offers another great piece of advice to help you bring it all together: message differentiation.
If you are a new company or you are solving a new problem, the best way to gather information on the market is to run an analysis on what your competition is up to. While they may have some great insight into the current market and audience, you can’t copy their messaging without running the risk of appearing to be a smaller, crappier version of them.
You either need to be better than them at what they are doing, or you need to do something completely different.
Attention is the currency of the marketing world, so go out there and be different with your messaging.
Another huge area of interest for today’s business owners and marketers falls into the realm of content.
Anyone who has ever been involved with content marketing knows that content creation, planning, promotion, and ranking takes time.
A LOT of time.
GMC East speaker Sujan Patel suggests training various teams within your company to build content creation into their regular processes.
The truth is, people are searching for answers to their burning questions about your product or service, so some of the most engaging and relevant content for your audience will come from the people who work the closest with your customers like customer service and sales teams.
If you train your team to be involved in content creation from the beginning, you’ll be able to spread the responsibilities across your entire organization and shift the burden of creation to a manageable workload.
At Growth Marketing Conference B2B, GrowthX Academy co-founder Sean Sheppard made a very real observation.
Because of technology and help from the interwebs, ideating, creating and launching a product is easier in today’s world than ever before. Getting people to pay attention to your brand and product, on the other hand, is much more difficult.
We should all know by now that great businesses don’t succeed solely because of their products.
There’s a lot more that goes into growth than product development.
And as GMC alum Dan Olsen notes, must-have product features aren’t always going to create customer satisfaction.
It’s all about expectations.
If you are offering a solution to someone’s problem, you better be able to solve it to the extent required because that is what people are expecting when they purchase from you. If your product falls short of a complete solution, people are going to be unhappy because their expectations haven’t been met.
And even if your product does solve their problem, if the experience they had with your product or company isn’t fantastic, dissatisfaction may still be prevalent.
You need to figure out how to provide above and beyond value when the inclusion of must-have features has been set as the baseline expectation. Your company’s success depends on it.
Your company’s success depends on it.
If you still aren’t sold on the fact that “product” isn’t everything, veteran GMC speaker Zack Onisko raises another great point about product engagement.
Without engagement from the people who are purchasing your product, you have built a weak audience, which typically means your brand isn’t anything to write home about. If your audience is quiet, you need to give them something to shout about.
If your audience is quiet, you need to give them something to shout about!
An engaged audience is an active audience, an active audience is a loud audience, and a loud audience spreads the word about your product, which makes marketing a whole lot easier.
From how a customer hears about your brand, all the way down to the way that they interact with your products, their experience is everything.
GMC B2B speaker Jon Miller explains how a potential customer or potential client’s experience is affected by something as small as the sender of an email:
By taking a little bit of extra time to plan out your customer (or client’s) experience with your brand, you can change the way they see your company, and ultimately influence their decisions to do business with you.
There’s no way to make someone feel less special than by sending them a blanket, unpersonalized sales email.
You want my money? Don’t waste my time. My time is very valuable to me, and so is the time of your customers.
GMC B2B speaker Krista Seiden hammers how the point by bringing up the value of personalization in marketing:
Personalization is a key element to creating a great customer experience. By personalizing your marketing, you are demonstrating that your company values the time of its customers.
And I don’t just mean «FirstName» personalization, I mean do your damn homework.
Find out what my real problems are and only reach out to offer me a solution if you know for a fact that you can help me and that I am in the right place in my business (or life) for your offering.
And if I haven’t expressed any explicit interest in your solution, your company or in building a relationship with you, don’t ask me to dedicate 15 minutes of my time for a quick phone call.
By personalizing your marketing, you are demonstrating that your company values the time of its customers, and everyone wants to feel like they are valued.
A lot of growth marketing efforts are focused on the acquisition phase, but good marketers and business owners know that retaining a customer is cheaper than acquiring a new one.
As the famed author of the book “Hooked” and Growth Marketing Conference East speaker Nir Eyal says, “user growth is meaningless if you don’t have user retention.”
What’s the point of acquiring all of these new users if they don’t stick around?
Acquisition is just the first part of the process. You need to solve for the rest of the growth funnel before you will find success.
Putting It All Together
When it comes down to it, no piece of the growth marketing puzzle is of value if the rest of the pieces are missing.
But, once everything comes together, you are left with something of extreme value: knowledge.
And as Growth Marketing Conference East speaker Steli Efti asserts, whoever understands the customer best will ultimately own them.
To be understood is what we all strive for in the very core of our beings, so why wouldn’t marketers apply this to their customers?
Ultimately, if I’ve learned anything from these amazing speakers, it’s that understanding your customer is what will lead to growth, and eventually to success.
In other words?
Always keep your eye on the customer and you’ll never be led astray.