Zach Boyette is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Galactic Fed, a fully remote growth marketing agency with staff in over 17 countries.
The marketing world is no stranger to fleeting fads, but one relatively new form of marketing may arguably redefine the entire industry. The term “growth marketing” surfaced about a decade ago, and since then, it has proven to be much more than a trend. At Galactic Fed, the global growth marketing agency I co-founded, we consider it to be the next frontier of marketing.
With growth marketing, brands have a blueprint to test frequently, learn quickly and adapt effectively. Growth marketing takes the traditional aspects of marketing, like print, TV, radio and billboards, and shifts the conversation from “how can we attract our customer?” to “how can we keep our customers longer?” With this new conversation comes the ability to reach your target audience through data-backed decisions. The result of this? Long-term, sustainable growth.
Growth Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing
Whereas traditional marketing aims to convert a lead into a customer as quickly as possible, the goal of growth marketing is to guide your audience through each stage of the marketing funnel, ultimately creating a brand ambassador. Simply put: where traditional marketing focuses on acquisition, growth marketing emphasizes retention. Where traditional marketing is company-centric, growth marketing is consumer-centric.
Growth marketing does this by incorporating practices that can be hypothesized, tested, analyzed and optimized. Marketing strategies such as search engine optimization (SEO), paid advertising, content marketing, A/B testing, conversion rate optimization (CRO), email marketing and social media become the pillars in which brands can specifically and routinely gather data and make improvements. The value here is data-driven insights that allow brands to be product-focused and help them avoid decision-making based on “gut instincts” or simply opinion-based approaches.
This full-funnel, scalable method of marketing is beneficial for both the company and the consumer. The company can make informed decisions on a larger scale and at a faster rate, and the consumer is presented with a comprehensive product that’s been designed for them.
Growth Marketing And The Scientific Method
One of the reasons for both the popularity and efficacy of growth marketing is its ability to be applied within the parameters of the scientific method. Because of this, growth marketers are often referred to as growth scientists. Growth marketing relies on the tenants of the scientific method: replicating patterns of problem-solving, conducting controlled tests, deducing meaningful insights from said data and creating better experiments and enhanced products. The parallels between the classic scientific method and growth marketing process are obvious.
• Formulate a question.
• Construct a hypothesis.
• Structure a test.
• Analyze and report.
• Refine and implement.
The business application of growth marketing ensures each aspect of the marketing strategy is:
Testable: The bedrock of a scientific finding is the ability to test variations of an experiment. In marketing, you can conduct a plethora of tests to confirm the most effective strategy and successfully guide your audience to the next stage of the customer life cycle. Most often carried out in the form of an A/B test, these experiments provide valuable data about consumer behavior, design efficiency and brand recognition. An oft-heard phrase within growth marketing is “fail fast,” — meaning, through testing, you can quickly find what’s not working, improve or edit and re-test.
Scalable: Growth marketing has its primary objective right in the name: growth. The popularity of growth marketing has come from its ability to produce sustainable results that allow for scalability. The results gleaned from applying a scientific approach to marketing provide an avenue to scale. This granular data can highlight knowledge gaps and identify areas to replicate, which are beneficial for scaling. Companies can then leverage these results to expand in people, capital, technology and processes.
Trackable: Ultimately, analytics is the currency of growth marketing because they allow businesses to make informed decisions and propel their growth up and to the right. After all, this is one of the core differences between growth and traditional marketing. The testing of a landing page, for example, provides actionable information that can be replicated at scale. Brands misuse billions of dollars a year by not performing tests that can be explicitly tracked and done so in real time.
Growth Marketing Skills
With the rise of growth marketing, there’s an increased demand for a new type of marketer: the growth marketer. This role is also called a performance marketer, growth hacker or growth scientist. This relatively new role has changed the requirements and skills needed by CEOs and chief marketing officers (CMOs), and I find that most brands investing in growth marketing look for what’s referred to as a “T-shaped” marketer.
The T-shaped marketer has an intermediate understanding of most marketing facets and an expert-level understanding in one to three of those areas. Some of the most in-demand skills for today’s growth marketer, and what we look for at Galactic Fed, include:
• Data Analysis.
• Creative/Visual Design.
• Product Management.
• Critical Thinking.
• Multi-Disciplinary Marketer.
Growth Marketing Is Here To Stay
Growth marketing is no longer a buzzword in the marketing industry; it has instead proven to be a sustainable and replicable path to success. It’s no longer a niche segment of a larger industry but instead connects the dots between design, engineering, product development and branding.
The rise of this evolved form of marketing creates repeat customers by focusing on retention, allowing companies to supercharge their size and revenue with a scientific approach. The predictable and holistic nature of growth marketing makes it easy to implement, and in an industry where marketing fads die as quickly as they appear, I believe growth marketing is the next frontier.