Growth marketing uses A/B testing, cross-channel marketing, and customer relationships and feedback to drive more exponential audience reach, growth, and conversions. We created this guide to help you get the most out of this stellar strategy.

Here, you’ll find:

Your digital marketing might garner exposure, niche authority, and a steady flow of new customers each month. But if you crave more conversions and revenue?

Growth marketing can help you level up.

Sam Yadegar, CEO of HawkSEM, is an expert at driving business growth. He leads a full-service growth marketing agency that delivers an average of 4.5X ROI for a diverse clientele of B2B, ecommerce, and SaaS brands.

In this guide, we’ll share everything you need to know about creating growth marketing campaigns to significantly scale your brand.

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(Image: Adobe)

What is growth marketing?

Growth marketing helps increase a brand’s audience and revenue significantly through tactics like A/B testing, customer behavior analysis, and cross-channel marketing. Nail it, and you’ll scale your brand to new heights.

Yadegar says customer acquisition is the most important result of a sustainable growth marketing strategy, but it also includes:

Brand awareness

Who are you? Brand awareness ensures your audience never wonders. It means you increase your brand’s recognition and exposure with a blend of pay-per-click (PPC), social media marketing (SMM), and search engine optimization (SEO).

Customer acquisition

A new buyer? Score! Customer acquisition is a clear indicator of successful growth marketing, where you persuade interested audiences to purchase your products. You can also expand your customer base through referral programs and word-of-mouth marketing.

This incentivizes existing customers to introduce friends and family members to your business, either through enticing incentives and loyalty programs or by offering exceptional products and services.

Customer retention

Growth isn’t just about finding new customers; it’s also about retaining your existing ones and enhancing customer lifetime value (CLV). Customer retention means nurturing customer relationships to encourage repeat purchases and brand loyalty.

We know what you’re thinking: isn’t this what traditional marketing models aim for, too?

Growth marketing vs. traditional marketing

Entrepreneur and author of Hacking Growth, Sean Ellis, put it best:

“Growth hacking is not anti-marketing, it is the evolution of marketing, it is pro-growth,” he says.

Traditional marketing encompasses many digital marketing tactics to reach your audience and grow your audience, which might sound similar to growth marketing. However, Yadegar says traditional marketing is a checkpoint on the route to significant growth:

“Traditional marketing may be more of a straight line where you maintain or only grow a certain fixed percentage year over year,” he explains. “Growth marketing aims to create a compounding effect over time.”

For example, a traditional marketing model might include scheduled social media posts and PPC campaigns that have yielded consistent results for the last quarter.

On the other hand, growth marketing tactics might focus on refining those existing tactics, resulting in uncovering strategies that bring even more revenue and reach.

In other words, growth marketing is an enhanced, optimized version of traditional marketing. It ups the ante with more substantial audience engagement and revenue growth.

So, what constitutes an effective growth marketing plan?

Vital components of growth marketing

We know growth marketing expands on traditional marketing tactics and requires a little more TLC to get you those exponential revenue gains. As for what that looks like, here are some key components:

  1. Marketing funnel stages
  2. Cross-channel marketing
  3. A/B testing
  4. Customer feedback and analysis

1. Marketing funnel stages

Think about the first time you hear about a brand. Maybe you noticed them in an Instagram ad while scrolling. Now think of the second or third time you see it online and know a bit more about the company.

These are two different stages of the marketing funnel (also known as the sales funnel or customer journey):

  • Awareness: You just became aware of a brand, either through a SERP article, ad, or other channel.
  • Consideration: You visit the brand’s website and learn more about their services or industry expertise via content.
  • Decision: You’re close to a purchase, but might need to scope out competing brands to feel confident about your decision to purchase.
  • Action: You’re ready to buy.

We know what you’re thinking: awareness-stage, or top-of-the-funnel customers, aren’t ready to buy.

Yet 95% of marketers still create top-funnel content to engage them.

That’s because growth marketing isn’t a short-term affair. The right content in front of the right audience can build your brand authority and move previously interested audiences to brand advocates in no time. The only caveat? Those marketing tactics won’t look the same for audiences in different funnel stages.

Here’s a quick look at marketing efforts for each funnel:

  • Awareness: Pillar page content, industry blog articles, social media infographics
  • Consideration: Service pages, website content, organic social media posts
  • Decision: Product ads, comparison articles, feature breakdowns, product demos
  • Action: Limited-time offers, landing pages, referral bonuses, upsells, retargeted ads

So, which marketing channel do you post all this funnel content to? If you have a growth mindset, you won’t stop at just one.

2. Cross-channel marketing

Cross-channel marketing creates a cohesive customer experience on every marketing channel to build multiple touchpoints and conversion opportunities for your audience.

Imagine you’re fishing in a sea with over a million fish. Would you try to catch them with just one rod? Unlikely. You’d cast a wide net to catch as many as possible. That’s what cross-channel marketing is all about.

If you rely on just one marketing channel to deliver your messaging (like Facebook Ads), you might miss out on growth opportunities from other avenues (like Google Search Network or paid ads).

Other channels to consider for growth marketing include:

  • Organic social media
  • Social media marketing ads
  • Google Ads
  • YouTube Ads
  • LinkedIn
  • Google Shopping
  • Email marketing
  • Text
  • Bing Ads
  • TikTok Ads
  • Blogs

A cross-channel marketing strategy lets you capture audiences from all angles and customer journey stages. For example, a potential lead might first scope out your blog for information on a niche topic. Later, you could retarget that same lead with a Google Ad that prompts them to book a consultation.

But what if you invest heavily into LinkedIn Ads only to rake in a handful of potential leads per month? A robust growth marketing strategy nips these discrepancies in the bud before they can drain your budget.

Just be sure to test each channel’s effectiveness before you throw too much money at it. This leads us to the importance of…

3. A/B testing

A/B testing is an experimentation process in which you test two versions of the same variable in front of your target audience to determine which is more effective.

For example, let’s say you’re an ecommerce business that sells luxury hats but isn’t sure which products to feature in your latest PPC ads.

Will a photo of a model in your best-selling red chapeau resonate more?

Or should you experiment with your latest blue beret instead?

And will you call it a “hat,” “beret,” or “chapeau” in your ad headline?

Headlines and visual elements are just two examples of variables you can test alongside ad copy, keywords, layouts, or any other marketing assets.

Yadegar says A/B testing is a critical component for growth marketing:

“How else could you learn?,” asks Yadegar. “A/B testing helps brands expand by testing ideas and theories, and [making] data-backed decisions.”

The catch? You shouldn’t test too many different variables at once, or it can muddle your data on what’s more effective. It might seem tedious, but that’s why our seasoned growth marketing team is here to comb through the details and data for you.

So, how do you execute A/B testing in a growth strategy?

For our client Radar, a location infrastructure SaaS platform, we A/B tested different keywords.

We noticed that top-funnel, broad informational keywords weren’t converting. Consequently, we compared their performance to keywords we found resonated more with bottom-funnel decision-makers.

Once we figured out which ones performed best? Radar saw a 68% boost in lead volume and a 125% increase in pipeline opportunities.

4. Customer feedback and analysis

Growth marketing requires consistent data to inform the best possible path toward more revenue. But how do you source data to beef up your marketing funnel? Turn to your existing customers! Learn more about them so you can better market to similar audiences.

Research might include:

  • Social listening: Review comments, likes, and other engagement on social media platforms like X, Facebook, and Instagram.
  • Purchase behavior: Consider what your customers buy, how often, and how much they spend.
  • Customer chat logs: Peruse through customer chat logs and phone calls for common denominators on points of praise and criticism.

Customer data? Check. Next best source? The overall behavior of your broader audience, which includes your customers, and also expands to catch casual onlookers.

You can use platforms like Facebook Analytics or Google Analytics to look at:

  • Website traffic: Who visits your website and where do they most often click or bounce
  • Email analytics: Who opens your emails, shares them or responds to them
  • Ad performance: Who sees versus who clicks or acts on your ad campaigns

Remember, metrics are your strategy’s best friend.

Keep tabs on performance marketing with insights on:

  • Clickthrough rate (CTR): How often your audience clicks on your ad versus how often they scroll right past it
  • Website traffic: How many people visit your website
  • Return on ad spend (ROAS): Your revenue compared to your ad spend
  • Conversion rate: How much of your audience converts versus merely browsing your offerings
  • Customer churn: how many customers stop purchasing your products after a set amount of time

And if you want a bird’s eye view of your metrics, along with an actionable interpretation of them? Yadegar points to HawkSEM’s proprietary tech as your secret weapon for real-time data analysis and automation:

ConversionIQ provides revenue-based data and intelligent insights on where to invest our next best dollar,” Yadegar says. “It also helps eliminate wasteful guesswork.”

We’ve covered the theory — now it’s time to see growth marketing in action.

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(Image: Adobe)

Proven examples (and why they work)

Growth looks different for every brand. For a small mom-and-pop restaurant, 30 new customers over a busy weekend might signify business growth. For an established finance SaaS startup, an influx of 1,000 new users might be their definition of expansion.

Here are some highlights from HawkSEM’s case studies:

Thriftbooks (ecommerce business)

Are you an ecommerce retailer stumped with low order values and sporadic transactions? Imagine your audience clicked on your ads 35% more, and existing customers spent 50% more than they do now.

Sound too good to be true? Think again. These are real results from our growth marketing efforts for our client, ThriftBooks, which sells new and used books, DVDs, video games, and other media online.

ThriftBooks had a solid stock of inventory, but its existing campaigns fell short of actually moving that inventory. So we A/B tested different PPC elements and launched a customer acquisition strategy that focused on nurturing the most qualified audience segments.

Ecommerce has the beautiful benefit of endless potential, quick customers, and purchases. You might not have a customer buy something from you every month, but you could have thousands that buy different products instead.

“Ecommerce is about creating an audience and keyword expansion strategy to accelerate growth,” Yadegar explains.

That means finding every potential keyword that could reach new buyers — a classic customer acquisition strategy. However, some industries need more emphasis on retention.

eThink (SaaS brand)

eThink, an e-learning SaaS platform for organizations, struggled to expand its audience with an outdated SEO strategy.

We came on board and upgraded them to a high-powered growth marketing strategy that zeroed in on their target audience. We started with a content marketing audit that scoured an additional 17 pillar pages, and a technical error cleanup to improve user experience.

Then, we published new blog posts that our keyword research predicted would appeal to both their bottom and top-of-the-funnel audiences.

The results? A 205% hike in site traffic and 3x more closed deals from website visitors. But SaaS is a tricky industry for marketers; it helps to have an experienced SaaS agency on your side to navigate its intricacies and competition.

Yadegar touches on its nuances:

“SaaS is geared more toward longer sales cycles and addressing the needs of multiple decision-makers with the right content,” Yadegar says.

Are you a SaaS brand hungry for more marketing revenue? Peep our webinar on PPC success tips for SaaS brands!

Rachel’s Challenge (non-profit business)

Named after Columbine High School shooting victim Rachel Scott, Rachel’s Challenge is a nonprofit that combats bullying, self-harm, and school violence. The company boasts stellar educational materials they wanted to share, but they lacked the staff and assembly bookings to follow through.

They looked to HawkSEM for a data-driven SEO and PPC strategy focused on growth. We quickly found in the onboarding stage that this would only be possible with optimized keywords to expand ad reach.

This was in addition to a robust new blog strategy to hit audience pain points, boost high-quality lead generation, and inspire more assembly signups.

After hitting go on their new strategy, we cut their acquisition costs by 50% and bumped lead generation by a staggering 415%.

The takeaway

Every brand has to start somewhere, but if you want substantial results, a growth marketing strategy is step one.

The key to more revenue and potential customers lies in your customer feedback, marketing funnel, A/B test results, and performance data. All fundamental ingredients of a potent growth marketing strategy.

Only hiccup? It takes serious time and teamwork to sift through the data and fire up the business growth you desire.

That’s why growth marketing agencies like HawkSEM exist.

Our marketing experts have decades of experience creating and optimizing growth marketing strategies for big and small businesses in pretty much every niche.

Partner with us, and you’ll have your very own growth marketing manager to oversee all the moving parts for you.

Let’s create a growth marketing strategy that soars!

Contact HawkSEM for Free Consultation