The Scientific Approach to Growth Marketing
If the digital revolution taught us anything, it’s that we have to be extremely prescriptive with our business growth strategies. No longer can companies invest heavily in traditional marketing practices simply “because that’s how we’ve always done it.”
Instead, revenue leaders must view marketing as a scientific approach that helps them understand their unique buyers and add the maximum value to those buyers at each stage in their journey to advocacy. In order to do this, many marketers are adopting the growth marketing philosophy.
What Is Growth Marketing?
Growth marketing shifts the mindset of marketers from “find a quick win opportunity and deploy a huge budget in hopes of a return” to “let’s scientifically research, test, optimize, and scale our diverse marketing efforts.” Growth marketing is all about turning marketing into a constant experiment, where you let the results of iterative testing drive your marketing investments.
Following the research, test, optimize, scale approach, marketers are able to protect their marketing budget, better align with their C-Suite, and ensure the marketing team is a driving force behind strategic company decisions (with accurate data to back them up), and not just a group of dreamers and creatives waiting in the wings to make a document pretty.
The Phases of Growth Marketing
Any proper growth marketing campaign must go through the four aforementioned critical phases Let’s break each one down:
Every activity we do in life begins with some level of research. Going to dinner? Looking for your next vacation destination? Thinking about a new book? You can be certain that you will begin any of these activities with at least some minimal research.
During your research phase, you’re seeking a) validation that will provide you the data that shows your proposed activity — i.e. investing in a new marketing channel — merits a small test phase, and b) to disprove your hypothesis that this new channel will be a gamechanger for your company’s growth.
That may sound counterintuitive, but if we can disprove our hypothesis at this stage, we’ll save ourselves a great deal of energy, money, and — most importantly — having to explain why our grand idea is yielding a negative ROI.
The next phase of our scientific approach to growth marketing is to test. How many times have you elected for the free trial of new software before deploying the annual upfront investment? We naturally want to test solutions before investing substantial time and/or money into them.
The same should go for all marketing activities at your organization. For example, many companies continue to invest heavily in activities like conferences. They spend months planning and thousands of dollars on elaborate booths and after-party ideas. When asked why, the common response is “we need to do this to maintain our brand presence,” or “our competitors are all going to be there.”
Following the principles of growth marketing, that company would identify a new conference, conduct considerable research, and send one or two strategic team members the first year to test the validity of the activity. This reduces the investment and risk of failure greatly and allows you to gather the appropriate data to guide an educated data-driven decision for next time.
Let’s expand this example using some quantitative hypotheticals:
- Without Growth Marketing — You spend $50,000 on a conference. You have a beautiful booth. You take 3-4 reps and spend 3 days trying to network, grab attention, and gather business cards. You then upload a pile of 100 business cards. 65 are potential partners, 30 are current customers or non-ICP companies, and 5 are quality prospects. You’ve now essentially spent $50,000 for 5 MQLs. That’s an investment of $10,000 per MQL for that activity (not to mention, you’ve now burned out your Marketing Director who was planning and managing this event among a dozen other activities!).
- With Growth Marketing — You commit to spending $50,000 on a series of iterative paid campaigns based on your buyer personas. You find that two of the five test campaigns you’ve launched are yielding low-quality leads so you pause those campaigns. You find that the three remaining campaigns are producing quality lead flow, so you deploy the funds originally allocated to the first two campaigns equally among the remaining campaigns. After your 60-day test period, you’ve generated 50 MQLs. Utilizing the same budget, you’ve generated 50 MQLs at a cost of $1,000 per MQL.
Which option are you choosing next year?
The optimize phase is simple — after testing, you have the data you need to either kill your idea or begin optimizing for maximum ROI. This could look like an in-depth audit of your keyword strategy in Google Ads or A/B testing your top-performing variants of a nurture campaign.
Only after we’ve conducted sufficient testing and feel our channel has been optimized can we begin to scale our efforts and investment. Imagine being able to accurately predict exactly what a return on an investment increase is. Better yet, imagine being able to prove it to your CFO with undeniable data! Bigger marketing budget next year? I think so!
Master Your Next Growth Marketing Campaign
In many ways, growth marketing is still the new kid on the block when it comes to marketing. Traditional marketing leaders are hesitant to adopt the strategy because they like to remain comfortable and use strategies that have worked in the past.
The problem? Those strategies are quickly becoming outdated and causing marketing budgets to washed down the drain. Growth marketing does the opposite. However, getting a team of creatives to adopt scientific, data-driven approaches is not so simple.
That’s where House of Revenue® comes into play. Our marketing philosophy does not have to adapt to the growth marketing mindset — that’s what it was founded on. Our team of revenue-generating marketers understands the ins and outs of researching, testing, optimizing, and scaling a marketing campaign to actually produce results.