What Growth Marketers Get Wrong and How to Avoid the Traps

What is Growth Marketing?

Growth Marketing is a term that gets thrown around and it means a bunch of different things to different people. To clear up any confusion, let’s define Growth Marketing up-front.

Growth Marketing:

·     has the primary focus of rapid revenue growth

·     builds a scalable business

·     uses analytical and data-driven approach

·     executes agile tactics

·     takes advantage of technology

·     constrained by limited resources

7 Traps that Growth Marketers Need to Watch Out For

1. Confusing Growth Marketing with “Growth Hacking”.

“Growth Hacking” is a term that sometimes is equated with Growth Marketing, but they are quite different. Where Growth Marketing is an overall marketing approach, across all channels and tactics, with the goal of a scalable business, “Growth Hacking” tends to focus only on tricks to increase conversion on a particular tactic. Conversion optimization is critical, of course, but not as the final goal. Ensuring the quality of conversions, the lifetime value and retention of the customers, and building scalability is part of the GrowthMarketing mindset. 

2. Not constantly testing, experimenting, and analyzing.

Letting things run, the “set it and forget” approach, is fine to do in an established, mature business. But in Growth Marketing, you need data-driven approach to be improving and growing results. 

3. Not being agile.

Moving fast is critical to the success of a Growth Marketer. You will never have perfect data.Falling into either the trap of waiting to be 100% sure or “analysis paralysis”will hamper your growth efforts. The best Growth Marketers work in a culture where there is no shame in failing, but are allowed to fail quickly, learn, and get results.

4. A lack of balance between short-term and long-term goals.

There needs to be both immediate results and scalability for the long term. Certain tactics that work well early but are not scalable need to be balanced with marketing that has an eye towards the long term.

5. Siloing marketing.

Building Marketing in a vacuum is easy to do, especially when you are moving fast and want quick results. But not aligning with Sales, Customer Success, and Product Development will hamper growth efforts. Growth Marketing, done right, is partner with Sales to move customers through the entire sales pipeline, not just lead generation.Growth Marketing shares churn responsibility with the Customer Success team.Product Development needs alignment with Marketing in order to increase customer happiness with the right features.

6. Not being customer focused.

Many Growth Marketers are early business stakeholders and may even be the founders. A big mistake is to “market to yourself” – assuming you are a proxy for the customer.Customer engagement, talking to customers, validating the product-market fit at each stage of the business, cannot be proxied. It is critical.

7. Revenue growth only through new customers.

New customer acquisition is a key driver to growth but so is customer retention, activation, and up-selling to existing customers. Sacrificing customer lifetime value for short term acquisition is not sustainable. New customer acquisition is more expensive than retaining or up-selling customers. Growth Marketers need to help grow the entire customer funnel.

Most of these traps for Growth Marketers are a result of either inexperience, or traditional marketers applying traditional approaches. You don’t fall into these traps if you love exciting, analytical, results-oriented marketing like I do. I find it so rewarding to help founders, entrepreneurs ,and small business grow and to work with people who are passionate about what they do.