Adopt a Growth Marketing Mindset: 5 Best Practices for Success
In today’s world of short attention spans and even shorter product cycles, it’s no wonder traditional marketing efforts don’t bear fruit.
Traditional marketing focuses on selling more products and acquiring leads. Decisions are based on campaigns and tactics, and while leads might roll in, nurturing those leads is left to someone else.
Adopting a growth marketing mindset includes combining the efforts of marketing, sales, customer success, and support to ensure you attract, engage, and delight your ideal customers. The best strategies are a sum of all parts.
This article will recap what Growth Marketing is and dig a little deeper into what might be holding you back from achieving success. It’s not enough to implement a growth marketing strategy; you need to know how to adopt the correct mindset to implement your strategy successfully.
How to Successfully Adopt a Growth Marketing Mindset
Growth marketing is a full-funnel approach to marketing that considers your buyer's journey from prospect to raving fan. The six levers of growth make up the growth marketing strategy. The six levers of growth are:
Awareness: Getting more people to know who you are and what you offer.
Acquisition: Turning prospects into high-quality leads that are likely to convert.
Activation: Nurturing leads so that they enter the sales pipeline ready for conversion.
Revenue: How many leads turn into paying customers.
Retention: Reducing churn, upselling, cross-selling, and reselling.
Referral: Your current customers are your best marketers. Provide an experience they want to talk about.
Can you see how growth is a process? You can’t skip any steps, and you mustn’t focus too much on one lever at the expense of another.
By not investing in a growth mindset and sticking with traditional marketing methods, you might get stuck chasing vanity metrics or risk leaving unplugged holes in your strategy.
Lean Labs focus on growth. We work with startups in B2B SaaS and technology, and have helped brands gain success through generating over $100M in revenue and raising over $90M in funding. If you already know you want to adopt a growth marketing mindset, download our Lean Growth Playbook!
1. Know Your Key Metrics
The north star metric of growth marketing is your growth rate.
Because the focus is on growth, there’s a misconception that the test, learn, and retest approach to marketing is about taking shortcuts and is full of quick wins. In reality, growth marketing is data-driven, and growth marketing metrics are at the core of a data-driven strategy.
It’s too easy to fall into the trap of finding out what others are doing and blindly copying. But what are your key metrics?
If we’re talking about growth, it’s essential to build a growth marketing framework. You want to establish a baseline, track progress over time, improve on what’s working, change what isn’t, and hone your strategy.
Your metrics should be growth-focused.
Traffic: Where does it come from? Is it organic or from other sources?
Conversion rate: How many people complete the desired action on your website or landing page?
Revenue: The goal is to increase revenue and profitability steadily.
Product usage: How many customers get full use out of your product?
Churn rate: Why are people leaving or not using your product (this can be a goldmine of insights that inform how to improve your product or service)?
Those are just a few of the metrics that matter. There are more depending on your business. Always ask yourself: what are the most important things we want to measure? Setting meaningful marketing goals and objectives is critical to your success.
Run experiments across product, marketing, and sales to see what provides growth and success that compounds over time. Use A/B tests to hone your strategy further.
2. Results Should be Scalable
Where is your marketing working, and how do you know? Don’t think high-level here; think granular. It’s not enough to see large amounts of traffic on your website, yet your CTAs aren’t converting
Growth marketing metrics are based on specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based (SMART) goals. The metrics associated with SMART goals allow you to collect data, see what’s working and what isn’t, and take action.
Let’s use website traffic as an example.
‘Improve website traffic’ is a poor example of a goal
‘Double our website traffic over the next six months by publishing four relevant and useful blog posts per week’ is an excellent example of a goal.
Once you identify key metrics that are producing results, it’s time to scale. What could you double down on or change? How can you increase engagement even more? Conversely, what didn’t work? Eliminate initiatives that didn’t work, and invest more money into what’s working–you know it wasn’t luck.
The more you start to think about scaling your marketing efforts, the more growth-minded you become.
3. Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Part of growth is recognizing what isn’t working and why. It can be daunting to admit your weaknesses and take responsibility for poor marketing campaigns. But every failure is a lesson to be learned.
What weaknesses do you have? What holes need to be plugged in your marketing strategy. Instead of feeling defeated when a strategy doesn’t work, eliminate the strategy, or go back to the drawing board.
When you know your key metrics and set smart goals, you’ll notice where your weaknesses are.
Is it a lack of traffic? If so, how can you drive more people to your website? What specific steps do you need to take? Is it a low conversion rate? Perhaps your value proposition is lacking. Maybe your calls to action aren’t compelling enough. It could be that your offer is terrible.
If you know the critical numbers, you can take action.
The same principle applies to your strengths. Maybe you have something that others don’t. Identify your strengths and use your best channels to drive growth.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment
Many small businesses think experimentation is too expensive and a waste of resources. In reality, experimentation makes you more agile. Once you identify strengths and weaknesses, you can double down on what’s working or pivot quickly to better strategies.
Once you know what you need to change, you’ll need to develop a hypothesis. You can think granular, like changing the title of a blog post, or high-level, re-writing the blog post. Decide which action will create change and strategize. Use the if/then structure: If we change this variable, then this result will happen.
Let’s use a landing page as an example. Perhaps you discover your landing page isn’t converting as much as you want. You think it might be your messaging. To figure out how to appeal to your audience, reach out and talk to your customers.
Once you have the information you need, rebuild your page with improved copy and run an A/B test to see if it performs better.
5. Get the Rest of Your Team on Board
Growth marketing success hinges on the combined effort of your marketing, sales, success, and support teams. Because a growth strategy focuses on working with customers throughout their buyer journey, there must be multiple touchpoints, continuing education, communication, onboarding, and support.
If your whole team doesn’t develop a growth mindset, there will be weak links in the chain.
How can you develop a growth mindset in your company? Here’s Kevin Barber, Founder and Head of Growth at Lean Labs:
“Growth marketing is more than trying to increase a few key numbers. In order to achieve peak performance, both you and the company that you work with will need to become something you’ve never been before, to achieve a result you’ve never had before.”
In other words, it’s not enough to hit a few goals and improve your numbers. The whole culture of your company has to be growth-driven and growth-oriented.
Examples of working with different parts of your team include:
Listening in on sales calls to find areas of friction, frequent objections, and FAQs to help nail your messaging
Working with development teams to come up with A/B tests for landing pages.
Working with product teams to develop new product features based on customer feedback.
A Growth Marketing Mindset Improves Your Entire Business
To adopt a growth marketing mindset successfully, you have to be bold, agile, and pivot when necessary. You must continually measure, implement, track, and retest. Embrace failure and learn from it.
Look for new opportunities to engage your ideal customers. At Lean Labs, we’ve helped brands succeed in crowded markets by focusing on the growth of their entire business, generating over $100 million in revenue in the process.
Our lean growth playbook is full of resources to guide you towards a growth mindset, and once you’re there, we may just be the right growth marketing team for you.
Shaun is a Growth Marketer at Lean Labs, working with deserving brands to create, implement, and optimize proven growth strategies.