More Than A Numbers Game: 4 Marketing Experts Share How They Define Growth and Their Tactics for Success
Consumer Growth is an ever-evolving science. We spoke with marketing experts across Primary’s networks to learn what growth means for them, and which emerging tactics are helping them achieve it.
Getting to know dozens of marketing leaders in Primary’s Growth Mastermind Network, I know how challenging it can be for early stage businesses to decide where to focus growth efforts. Audiences are always in motion, new channels are always popping up, and new tools are always becoming available. The same growth tactics that worked for your business last year might already be stale in today’s rapidly-changing marketing landscape.
To shed some light on today’s growth best practices, I brought together some of the brightest consumer marketing minds to speak to the members of our Growth Mastermind Network (a professional development community of marketers you can apply to join here.)
Our panel featured Bombas' Chief Customer Officer Kate Huyett, Etsy's Global Head of SEO Ratish Naroor, Kickstarter's VP of Brand Marketing Elyse Mallouk, and Superbolt's Founding Partner Jake Ryder.
Below are some of the highlights from our conversations on defining growth, building a content strategy, right-sizing your SEO investment, and more.
Growth is about more than just acquiring new customers
“The way I think about growth has shifted. Early on, I assumed that growth meant adding new members to the audience, however that might be measured. But more recently, I've started to look at what actually fuels growth.
I try to think not only about, ‘How do we bring people to the platform?’ and focus more on, ‘How do we deliver true value to the people who are actually showing up, so that they return again and again, and bring others?’”
Marketing channels aren’t one-size-fits-all. Your creative shouldn’t be either
“Now all the eyeballs are on TikTok. We’re asking, ‘How the heck do we do anything at scale consistently on that platform, either paid or organic?’ I think that's a really exciting place, because if you crack it, there's a lot of room to run.
I have a lot of respect for brands trying a ton of different creative approaches. At Bombas, we’re asking, ‘How do we increase the variety of our creative?’ You might see five ads from a company, and it's clear that it’s the same brand with the same value prop. But they're aggressively testing different visuals and messaging, because they're much more likely to get a step-change impact from a creative test where the five ads are truly different, versus small tweaks.”
“Not all channels make sense for all businesses or audiences. The approach to channels is really dependent on the goals you have, even if your top line goal is to grow.
What is that audience motivated by? Where is that audience present? How does the business model operate? In Kickstarter's case, our approaches have been largely organic. Creators every day are bringing their own fan bases to Kickstarter, and adding to the existing network that is already there.”
When it comes to content, it’s quality over quantity
“It's very important to look at what intent you are solving when you’re producing content. When you start thinking about the intent, then you won't end up creating a crazy number of articles. You will end up creating only the ones that are needed for solving a user's intent. That intent is critical.”
"Google has figured out a way to identify who's doing content farming and it will reward the ones that are not.”
Invest in SEO early for long-term, sustainable growth
“If you are a brand new startup, aim for 25-30% of your revenue coming from SEO. Any industry that you look at, you have head terms, you have mid-tail keywords and you have long tail keywords. So our job as SEO experts is always asking, ‘Do we have a strategy for all three of these buckets?’ And if you have a good scalable strategy for all three, then you're winning in SEO.
Starting early is crucial. SEO takes time, so once you start, you're sowing the seeds for growth. It might take six months or one year to really see it. If you have the patience to actually wait for six months to one year, great. Have that patience, because once you get there, then you have a good chunk of your revenue coming from SEO, and all the effort that you put in six months ago will come back.”
“Intent and patience are key for a long term play. Having the budget for paid marketing is great, but there needs to be some parallel work on organic traffic as well, whether that’s through SEO, PR, or some other method. Because it's not going to be a sustainable business model for quite a while if you’re relying solely on a brand new paid channel to drive the business.”
If you’re looking to grow in your startup growth/marketing role by learning from more of these industry experts, I encourage you to join Primary’s Growth Mastermind Network.