What is growth marketing? Header image of a tree growing

What Is Growth Marketing?

25 February 2022

Are you struggling to grow your business? 

You're competing with millions of websites, dozens of social platforms, and hundreds of emails. 

Even worse, B2B advertising costs are projected to hit $14.6 billion by 2023. With a B. This means everyone else is dumping thousands into marketing. 

It's hard to keep up. You aren't just competing with others in your industry — you're competing for time. 

Would your audience rather learn about how to improve their sales process or watch cute animal videos? (My vote is for the cute animals, fwiw.) 

You may have heard of the term "growth marketing" — and it sounds good, right? But what does it actually mean? Is it just another fancy buzzword? 

Today, I'll share exactly what growth marketing is, why it's so crucial for B2B — and provide a few strategies we've used to leverage it here at Leadfeeder. 

Note: Leadfeeder helps businesses uncover hidden site visitors and build an effective growth marketing strategy. Learn how we can help your business grow

What is growth marketing?

Growth marketing is a strategy focused on building long-term growth by creating fast, scalable campaigns, testing those campaigns, and then keeping strategies that deliver results. Then, rinse and repeat. 

In practice, it looks like this: try it, test it, try something else if it doesn't work. 

While the specific strategies vary by company (and goal), most growth marketers focus on generating demand to increase audience size and building real relationships to foster loyalty.  

At Leadfeeder, we use growth marketing strategies to inform our content marketing, paid ads, and really every other campaign we build.

This includes taking a data-driven keyword approach to our top-of-funnel content marketing efforts, right down to A/B testing our onboarding flows to make it as easy as possible for people to start using our app.

Other examples of growth marketing include: 

What's the difference between growth marketing and traditional marketing? 

Traditional marketing uses tried-and-true strategies that focus on reaching company goals. You might send out an email blast, create a Google Ads campaign targeting the same keywords as everyone else, even send out a coupon. 

While growth marketing might use some of those same strategies, the goal and implementation differ. 

Rather than targeting the same market as your competitors, growth marketing focuses on testing new keywords or strategies, using demand generation to grow the market, and experimenting. 

Growth marketing vs traditional marketing differences

Why do B2B companies need growth marketing?

The B2B buyer journey has changed, the funnel is longer than ever, and traditional lead generation is no longer as effective. Good times. 

This means, B2B organizations need to be fast and shift gears quickly to succeed. 

Growth marketing requires close alignment between sales and marketing, testing, and fast deployment — all strategies that help B2B businesses succeed in today's fast-paced world. 

Here are a few more reasons growth marketing is crucial in B2B: 

  • Growth marketing moves fast — allowing your organization to adjust to industry shifts quicker than your competition. 

  • Growth marketing is data-focused, which means business decisions are based on proof, not gut feelings. 

  • Growth marketing focuses on a singular goal. If your business has multiple departments and leverages dozens of platforms, it's easy to get lost in the noise. Growth marketing keeps your team and strategies focused on one thing — growth. 

Where in the marketing funnel does growth marketing happen?

Growth marketing is used at every stage of the marketing funnel. However, growth marketing strategies vary based on where you are in the funnel.  

Leadfeeder marketing funnel from awareness to decision

At TOFU, growth marketing may include A/B testing blog headlines or email marketing strategies. MOFU growth marketing includes targeted landing pages, cross-channel campaigns, or testing lead magnet targeting. BOFU growth marketing strategies include testing onboarding strategies or increasing average order value 

3 growth marketing strategies to scale your B2B business 

At its core, growth marketing is about experimentation. It's about finding what works — and what doesn't — for your company, your industry, and at this moment in time. There's a lot more room for trial and error, which means what has worked for our team might not work for yours. 

However, we have learned a few lessons that might save you some time (and frustration!) 

Focus on the short term 

Using the same old strategies doesn't drive growth. For example, building a 12-month content strategy means you're waiting a full year to figure out what works. 

Do you really have the time or budget to waste on a year-long strategy that may or may not work? 

Instead, focus on one to three growth marketing strategies each quarter. Test them, give them a few months to gain traction (or fail), and then move on if they don't work. 

Remember, growth marketing is about growth, so don't waste time on long-term strategies that don't deliver. 

For example, Q1 might be video and chatbots, Q2 focus on educational content, Q3 a free trial, etc. Don't be afraid to experiment and try new things. 

Choose two metrics to track per strategy 

Growth marketing is a data-centered strategy, which means finding the right metric to track is super crucial. Right now, you might be monitoring dozens of metrics, like revenue, LTV, or ROI. I'm not saying those metrics don't matter — they do. 

But it's hard to work fast when you're buried in pivot tables and macros. 

Rather than getting lost in the data, focus on just two metrics. 

One is your "north star" metric based on your long-term growth goals. This might be the number of sign-ups, demo requests, downloads, or even purchases. 

Then for each strategy, select one other metric that matters. For example, if you're running Facebook ads, it might be ROAS or conversions. 

The goal is to choose just one metric that defines the success or failure of that particular strategy. 

Remember, you'll focus on each strategy for just a few months before deciding whether to scale or discontinue. Make sure to focus on the metrics that matter — though the actual metric will vary by strategy. 

Don't forget about retention 

Growth marketing focuses on building and testing different approaches with the ultimate goal of business growth through customer acquisition — or retention. 

When you're focused on growth, it's easy to get tunnel vision, but don't forget about the customers you already have. After all, it's easier to keep customers than find new ones. 

To improve retention, focus on creating a smooth onboarding process so users know how to make the most of your offering and pay close attention to customer feedback. Most customers will let you know there's an issue before they churn. 

Drive your growth marketing with Leadfeeder

B2B growth marketing is a powerful way to build demand and get in front of your buyers on the platforms where they spend time. With Leadfeeder, you can track if customers come to your website from your new campaigns — even if they don't fill out a form.

Note: Sign up for a free trial of Leadfeeder and identify the companies visiting your website.

Daire Summerville
By Daire Summerville

Head of Growth at Leadfeeder. Daire is a digital growth expert with expertise in Google Analytics, Google Ads, GTM & SEO.

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