We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, if you’re not growing, you’re dying.
Consider growth the most important metric you can track, and you’ll be on the right path. Worrying about anything that doesn’t lead to growth is a distraction.
You might think that sales is where you need to focus your attention, and of course, you need a killer sales strategy and team; but for sales to get the right leads, you need a killer growth marketing strategy.
Imagine a world where your marketing efforts pay off. You can point to data and prove return on investment (ROI).
Just for a moment, place yourself in the glory of profitable marketing campaigns and continued quarter-on-quarter growth.
Does it feel like you’re in a fantasy novel? A dream?
That dream can be your reality. But you’ll need to overcome some obstacles. You’ll need to develop a growth marketing mindset and spend time creating a killer strategy.
Luckily, this article tells you exactly how to build a growth marketing strategy that you can use today.
Let’s dive in!
Build a World-Class Growth Marketing Strategy
For example, traditional marketing focuses on driving awareness and conversion in the short term. Once a lead is generated and nurtured, they’re handed off to sales.
The growth marketing approach considers the entire funnel. The journey from potential customers to brand evangelists needs the marketing team to create multiple touchpoints.
As growth marketers, we like to iterate and experiment. We’re not afraid to pivot and try new things, while traditional marketing relies on experience and how things have always been done.
For a growth marketing strategy to work, it has to be tailored to your business and your goals.
It should be based on data-driven insights, focus clearly on measurable results, and be agile enough to respond to changes in the marketplace.
An excellent growth marketing strategy should also include tactics that closely align with your business’s core objectives and values.
You need to differentiate your business, services, and products to gain an edge over your competitors. Without a strategy, how will you reach your goals?
We’ve never worked with anyone without first designing a robust strategy based on ideal customer profiles, a deep understanding of the industry and the product, and a trajectory for growth.
It’s a waste of time and resources to try random acts of marketing and expect results.
Without further ado, let’s build a world-class growth marketing strategy in ten steps.
10 Steps to Building a Growth Marketing Strategy
- Understand Your Ideal Customer
- Define Your Unique Value
- Gather Your Initial Data
- Set Up Baseline Tracking
- Decide What Your Growth Priorities Are
- Set SMART Goals
- Build a High-Conversion Website Experience
- Choose Acquisition Channels
- Create Growth Experiments
- Look at Everything Through the Six Levers of Growth
#1. Understand Your Ideal Customer
Who are you marketing to? Do you know? Your marketing efforts will likely miss the mark if you can’t answer with a clear vision of your ideal customer profile (ICP).
And you can’t just guess! Whether you create an ICP or buyer persona, the critical part is that you base it on customer research.
You want to get granular. Not so granular that you know what their favorite flavor of ice cream is, but enough that you can tell if they’re an ideal fit for your product or service.
- Demographic: their age, location, role or title, and industry.
- Firmographic: type of organization, number of customers, revenue, who their competitors are.
- Psychographic: their dreams, desires, believes, how they want to work, where they want to go, and what they believe.
- Technographic: whether they’re open to adopting new technology or they’ve used paid tools in the past.
If you knew all of this, would your marketing strategy change?
Think of the possibilities if you know what your ideal customers’ problems are before they realize them.
For example, if you know what’s happening in their industry and how it’s changing, you can create massive value by telling them what’s to come and how they can navigate new territory.
Do the same for their goals, roadblocks, frustrations with their current solutions, and preferences.
Once you clearly understand your ideal customer, you can create a customer journey map.
Think of it as a visual representation of your customer’s experience with your business, from their first interaction with your brand to their post-purchase behavior.
This will help you identify any areas of improvement and potential opportunities for further engagement.
Finally, you should conduct regular surveys and customer interviews to gain further insights into your ideal customer. Your own customers are a goldmine!
Find out why they chose you and why they stick around.
Surveys and interviews can help you uncover customer pain points, preferences, and motivations.
This information can then be used to refine your buyer persona and customer journey map, ensuring that your marketing strategies are tailored to your ideal customer.
#2. Define Your Unique Value
Your unique value proposition (UVP) is a statement of what makes your company uniquely equipped to solve a specific problem for a specific person.
Your UVP should communicate both what you do and what result that enables your customers to achieve.
To write a killer UVP, ask and answer the following questions.
Where do you fit into the market?
Otherwise known as product-market fit, you want to know that your solution is the perfect fit for your ideal customer.
To achieve product-market fit, you’ll have to talk to lots of users to develop a deep understanding of their specific challenges, preferences, and goals.
Until you have product-market fit, you’ll struggle to gain traction and grow. Talk to users. Test new features. Iterate fast, and gather feedback to ensure you’re meeting the market’s needs.
What makes your solution ideally suited to serve the needs of your ICP?
In other words, how does your product solve the problems your ICP has? Their current solution may be too rigid, and yours is customizable.
Perhaps their solution is too expensive, and yours is cost-effective but still creates value.
What is it about your product the your best customers absolutely love? Include that in your UVP.
What makes your business special that is difficult to replicate?
Now is the time to stand out. In the B2B and tech markets, competition is stiff. So how do you stand out?
If you provide stellar customer service, let your audience know, and then be sure to deliver from onboarding through to solving issues.
Where are the gaps? Position your brand and product accordingly.
Now it’s time to write your UVP!
Looking at our UVP, do you know exactly
- What we do?
- Who we do it for?
- What results our ICP will get?
- How we do it?
- What sets us apart from our competition?
If you answered yes to all those questions, that’s the power of a killer UVP.
You won’t write the perfect UVP on your first attempt. No problem! Keep iterating. Try using it in sales conversations to see if it resonates with prospects.
Test different versions on your landing pages to see which increases conversion rates.
The key is to make sure your UVP is clear and straightforward so your ideal customer knows how you can help them thrive and grow.
#3. Gather Your Initial Data
Before you know where you’re going, you need to know where you are. When you look at your funnel, what do you see? To determine the health of your funnel, break it into stages.
What does the top of your funnel look like? You want to know if your ideal customers are coming to your website. That they’re demonstrating interest in your services.
How long are they staying on your website? Find out if they’re clicking your call to actions (CTAs) or booking calls.
What does the middle of your funnel look like? Are you converting traffic into leads? Without a robust lead generation strategy, you might struggle to move customers along the buyer journey.
What does the bottom of your funnel look like? You need people ready to buy. Or if you use a subscription model, clients ready to renew. Track how many people book meetings and your sales team’s win rate.
When you understand the health of your funnel and your sales pipeline, you can better spot challenges and opportunities.
A powerful CRM like HubSpot allows you to see all the metrics you need in one place, so you can take the right action and drive results.
Look at your content. How is it performing? Review data from this month, this quarter, and this year. Keep moving forward if your content resonates with your audience and it’s helpful and relevant.
If it’s not performing well, go back to step one and review your content strategy.
Finally, you should collect data on your customers’ purchase and post-purchase behavior.
This can include data on the frequency and type of purchases and customer feedback and reviews. Gather data from customer surveys and customer service interactions.
#4. Start Tracking Everything
You’ve gathered your initial data. You know who your ideal customer is and defined your unique value. Now it’s time to get started. What can you learn from the data you gathered?
For example, is there a stage in your funnel where potential customers drop off?
They may no longer see the value in your product or service. It might be too expensive. Or something didn’t resonate. Whatever the reason, you need to find out and plug those gaps.
Now that you’ve got the data in your CRM, you can start tracking every interaction with potential customers and even clients.
Set up tracking on all your website pages, landing pages, and ads, and be sure to track metrics like visits, conversion rate, exit rate, bounce rate, and time on page.
If you use videos, set up tracking so that you know how many users watch each video and for how long.
Learn when to pivot when things aren’t going well or use data to prove why you should double down.
#5. Decide What Your Growth Priorities Are
Now that you’ve reviewed the data, where are the opportunities for driving growth? Remember to prioritize here.
Collaborate with your team and find the next right thing to try, but remember to consider your overall goals and keep the one true metric in mind; growth.
Are you looking to increase traffic and leads, or are you looking to increase demo requests? Do you want to focus on a particular demographic?
At Lean Labs, we put a lot of time and effort into producing content that our client’s target market actively searches for and wants to consume.
We know that value in advance of the sale drives awareness, interest, and consideration.
As more of the right traffic pours in, it becomes a competitive advantage.
By taking the time to consider your goals, resources, and tactics, you can create a growth marketing strategy tailored to your business’s needs.
#6. Set SMART Goals and KPIs
You know your priorities, and you’ve got a baseline to start from. You can now set goals and key performance indicators (KPIs).
KPIs include website traffic, leads, conversions, and customer lifetime value.
To boil that down, you want to look for channels that perform the best for conversion, attract the highest volume of your ideal customers, and cost the least to operate.
But a goal needs to be SMART; Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. This will ensure that goals are realistic and achievable.
Without a specific goal and the metrics to measure success, you can’t run successful marketing campaigns and won’t get the best return on investment.
Make sure that your goals are informed by your marketing budget. If you’re expecting million-dollar results on a shoestring budget, you’re setting yourself up for failure and frustration.
Need help setting the right budget to achieve your growth goals? Check out our free training, the Growth Playbook. It walks through exactly how we plan for growth, budget for growth, and accelerate results.
#7. Build a High-Conversion Website Experience
Write Compelling, User-Centric Copy
Before you think about web design (which is super important!), get your messaging right. Leverage your understanding of your ICP and UVP to craft messaging that stops the right leads in their tracks and compels them to move forward in the buying process.
Next, create pages for a cold audience, a warm audience, and a hot audience.
Not every potential customer that visits your website is ready to take the next step or buy. You create valuable next steps when you use different pages to direct them on their journey.
Craft a Connection Value Offer
Your connection value offer CVO is an offer describing the value that prospects can expect to get as a result of meeting with your sales team.
Give prospects a good reason to meet with you, besides the privilege of seeing a product demo. What’s in it for them?
To fill your sales team’s calendar with meetings, you could use personalized demos, a free audit, or custom training.
Promote Irresistible Lead Magnets
Another component of a high-converting website is effective lead magnets. Remember that a lead magnet is an appetizer; it’s not the whole meal.
You should provide enough value that your ideal customer can get a quick win and then want to take the next step towards working with you. But it should also be irresistible.
Your potential client can only win if they click through and convert.
Design Attractive and User-Friendly Pages
Create a user-friendly design. This includes intuitive navigation, a clean and professional layout, and clear calls to action.
Your website should also be optimized for mobile devices, as this will ensure that all users have an optimal experience.
Optimize for SEO
The next step is ensuring you optimize your website for search engine visibility. This includes optimizing content for relevant keywords, creating meta descriptions, and using appropriate tags.
And don’t forget speed. A slow, clunky website can significantly impact user experience and conversions.
Focus on creating compelling content. This includes creating informative and exciting blog posts, eBooks, and videos.
Create engaging content to drive organic traffic, keep users on your pages, and increase conversion rates.
#8 Choose Your Acquisition Channels
Channels are where you put your message out to the world. Common channels include social media, SEO, PPC ads, email, and live events. Some channels will be more effective than others for your business.
It all depends on where your product fits in the market. For example, if you work with B2B and tech brands, channels to invest in might be LinkedIn, email, and your website’s blog.
You have to go where your ICP hangs out. Research where your ICP gets their advice and answers. It’s easy enough to find out.
Ask them! Create a survey to gather the information that tells you how to best reach your target audience.
Once you know which channels will have the most significant impact, prioritize! Avoid spreading your team too thin and spreading your message too broadly.
It’s better to create a bigger impact on fewer channels.
Finally, consider the cost of your campaign and available resources so you can maximize ROI.
#9. Create Growth Experiments
Once you nail down everything above, it’s time to run tests. Start with low-hanging fruit.
Let’s say you’ve discovered that your content gets tons of traffic, and potential customers view your CTAs but don’t click through. Hypothesize why that might be and try an A/B (split) test. You could
- Change the color and size
- Use a graphical CTA instead of a button
- Change the messaging
- Create an alternative design
‘A’ is your current CTA, and ‘B’ is the variation. Half of your visitors see one variation; the other half see another variation.
Measure both click-through rates and conversion rates on the following page to see which option drives more qualified leads.
Testing is an essential growth marketing tactic because it lets you accomplish two things: Identify channels with more potential than you’d previously seen and optimize existing channels for even higher conversions.
Once you have results, scale your most successful efforts.
#10. View Everything Through the Six Levers of Growth
To run successful growth marketing campaigns, when we work with clients, we view all of our efforts through the six levers of growth
- Lever 1) Awareness - how many of the right people know about you and what you offer?
- Lever 2) Acquisition - turning the people who visit your website into leads using a lead magnet.
- Lever 3) Activation - nurturing those leads into sales-ready leads and moving them into the sales process
- Lever 4) Revenue - quality leads turn into paying customers.
- Lever 5) Retention - paying customers continue using your product or service.
- Lever 6) Referral - your current customers tell their friends and circle about you.
By monitoring these stages, you can identify weaknesses and opportunities for improvement.
Which Metrics Should You Track?
To dive deep into the metrics you should track and how to best do it, put this on your list to read next: The 6 Growth Marketing Metrics Every Business Needs to Track (& How to Track).
For now, here’s a quick rundown.
For the Awareness lever, you want to track how many visitors come to your site each month. However, traffic for the sake of traffic is a vanity metric.
If the people visiting your site aren’t interested in what you offer and aren’t likely to buy from you, what’s the point? Focus on the right kind of traffic.
For Acquisition, the metrics you’ll track include how many marketing-qualified leads you attract, how many of them turn into sales-qualified leads, and your conversion rates.
For the Activation lever, you’re nurturing MQLs to become SQLs. Attach a lead score to determine whether a lead is qualified, and track whether your marketing efforts bear fruit.
The Revenue lever focuses on monthly recurring revenue (MRR), customer acquisition cost (CAC), marketing ROI, and close sales rate.
For the Retention lever, you want to ensure you’re not crushing marketing and sales yet failing to keep your customers around. Look at your churn rate and customer lifetime value (CLV).
Where are the opportunities? How many current customers have purchased additional products or ascended to a more expensive plan?
Lastly, the Reputation lever tracks how your customers perceive your brand and products. You want many positive reviews and case studies.
Finally, your Net Promoter Score (NPS) measures how likely your customers are to recommend your brand and products to their circle.
A World-Class Growth Marketing Strategy: The Starting Point for Your Success
The Six Levers of Growth aren’t theoretical. We track and optimize them for all of our clients. Every quarter we use the Growth Grader to identify the highest-leverage opportunities to accelerate growth.
The growth marketing framework that helps create killer strategies quarter-on-quarter. It requires a growth mindset.
You can’t skip any steps. You can scale growth through careful planning, tracking the correct metrics, and knowing your strengths and weaknesses.
It takes an experimental approach and getting the rest of your team on board, too.
At Lean Labs, we’ve helped brands succeed in crowded markets by focusing on the growth of their entire business, generating over $100 million in revenue in the process.
The Growth Playbook gives you a peek behind the curtain of what we do for our clients. If you want to see how we reliably drive growth, this is our playbook.
Ethically spy on our secret sauce and see how we 10X our clients’ growth in 36 months!