5 Ways to Future Proof Your Growth Marketing Strategy
Growth marketing is tough.
You’re not only creating awareness and acquiring users. You’re also ensuring that they stick around and spread the word.
You’re growing the funnel and optimizing it at the same time. It’s like building a bigger boat while still fixing its leaks.
And many people still think that all you do is obsess over Google Ads.
This myth comes from the fact that organizations spent $135 billion on Google Ads last year. That’s almost the same as Kuwait’s GDP!
It’s common for startups to spend the lion’s share of their marketing budget on Google Ads. This kicks off the neverending cycle of growth marketers dedicating most of their energy on SEM and ignoring other steps of the funnel.
I have been guilty of it.
While Google Ads is undeniably a useful channel for growth, in the past I spent disproportionate effort and resources on it. As a result, I was always playing catch up to other advancements in growth marketing.
In this post, I have compiled five ways to future proof your growth marketing strategy. Technology has made each of these more accessible to marketers than ever before.
1. Own Onboarding
Onboarding is like the climate change problem. Everyone knows how important it is.
Everyone pitches in.
But, no one truly owns it.
Marketing thinks the product team owns it. The product team thinks it belongs to marketing. Engineers are busy with features and bug fixes.
Let’s settle this today. Onboarding is marketing’s responsibility.
As a Growth Marketer, you’re in charge of the entire funnel. Onboarding is the single biggest source of leakage in it. An average app loses 80% of its users after the first day. Yet there are 4X more jobs for performance marketers on LinkedIn than onboarding specialists.
Onboarding traditionally required heavy engineering and UX effort. However, now there are many tools such as AppCues, Intercom, and Chameleon that let you customize and measure your onboarding without any technical expertise.
Build expertise in onboarding so that you stay abreast of the latest trends and incorporate them into your product.
2. Personalize Your Website
Most B2B SaaS products market to a wide range of businesses. They range from startups, government agencies, and schools to mom & pop shops. However, apart from an odd A/B test, their website remains the same for everyone.
Your website is one place that anyone who’s even remotely interested in your product will visit. No wonder personalizing it allows you to boost your inbound leads.
Until recently, a personalized website required extensive work by data, marketing, and engineering teams. Now, there are tools such as Useproof, Optimizely, and Mutiny that have made the process easier.
Personalization will become as critical to growth as SEO and SEM. In the near future, organizations will actively seek marketers that specialize in creating personalized website experiences for different market segments.
3. Embrace Localization
There was a time when the acronym MNC referred exclusively to corporate juggernauts. Offshore clients were a privilege of the high and mighty.
How times have changed. Now any SaaS business can not only tap into talent from anywhere in the world but also sell overseas.
But the first-mover advantage remains as priceless as ever.
As a growth marketer, you’ll be one of the first people to sense the interest in another market. It becomes critical to act upon it. And do it wholeheartedly.
Localization is more than just running ad campaigns in local and translating your landing pages. It doesn’t even stop at translating your application. It’s about providing a complete local experience.
Many growth marketers including myself have been guilty of half baked localization efforts and giving up on them when they obviously didn’t deliver results. For example, when we first tried to enter the Japanese market, we translated the ads, landing pages, even the app into Japanese.
It wasn’t very successful. The response was lukewarm despite surging interest.
So, we hired a local expert who completely turned the tables. He tweaked the translations, changed engagement strategy to fit Japanese sensibilities, and tried traditional sales calls. In the next few months, Japan became one of Taskworld’s biggest markets.
If you notice an interest in a foreign market, either ignore it or embrace it fully. Half-hearted measures won’t get you anywhere.
5. Rethink Referral Marketing
Ask any growth marketer if referral marketing is important and you’ll get a resounding yes.
Follow up with if they have a referral program for their product. Hmm…that would be a different story.
Referral marketing is critical because it connects the bottom part of the funnel with its top. Happy, recurring customers spread the world and bring you more leads. But look at some of the SaaS tools and you’ll see that majority of them still don’t have a referral program.
For growth marketers, referral marketing is a project that’s always on the table but not a top priority (*cough cough* Google Ads). And they rarely find the time to do it. Even if they try out a referral program and it doesn’t work in the first attempt, they often abandon it rather than improving it.
Technology has again made referral marketing easier than before. You can use tools like RefferalCandy and GrowSurf to create, deploy, and optimize your referral campaigns. Similar to how you would manage campaigns in Google Ads.
5. Use a Team Collaboration Tool
Growth marketing is a collaborative discipline. It requires close cooperation among SEO, SEM specialists, writers, designers. UX folks, engineers, and of course external consultants.
Use a team collaboration tool to bring everyone together and organize your projects. This will help you track the progress of your projects and iterate faster to capitalize on growth opportunities.
At Taskworld, the growth team uses our own tool to organize projects that involve multiple departments.
In this project, each team has its own tasklist where they share updates on their to-dos. This gives growth marketers much-needed insights into the progress of their initiatives.
I’ll conclude this post by restating that Google Ads is indeed critical for your growth strategy. But Google is increasingly automating many of its features, leaving you with more time. Use this time to explore technologies to master other parts of the growth funnel – onboarding, website personalization, localization, and referral marketing. That’s how you can futureproof your growth marketing strategy.