Sustainable growth is about two things: a clear, lucid strategy for long-term growth, and data-driven experimentation. That strategy is built on insights about your customer; the experiments are necessary to validate those insights (how you think about your customer) (what does that customer apparently find really important?).
How do you combine a long-term strategic plan with Growth Hacking?
Here, in twelve steps, you can read how to do it, and how to put your company in the right position for fast and sustainable growth.
First of all, make sure your brand identity is in order - and that it revolves around people and Purpose. Is your Brand Identity still as sharp and clear as you want it to be? Is the visual style still right, or the tone of voice? How strongly is that identity embedded in all processes and layers of the organisation?
Why is a sharp brand identity so important? Because it helps give direction to everything you do as an organisation. And because organisations that invest in brand identity grow up to 2.5 times faster and more sustainably than average.
And why should your Brand Identity be so strongly focused on a higher purpose or "Purpose", and on people? Because Purpose-driven brands grow three times as fast in market share as their competitors, and also strongly increase customer and employee satisfaction.
People don't just buy from you because your ad passes by in their feed at the right time, or because you offer a competitive price. People buy from people, and they buy from people who believe in something they believe in themselves. Stand for something, fall for nothing.
Make sure you know what is going on in the market. You can make a start by reading quantitative research and reports on trends.
But it is at least as important, if not actually more important, to engage in conversation with your actual customers and prospects. What do they need? What problems, challenges and needs do they see as priorities right now? At BAMMBOO, we find this so important that customer interviews are a standard part of our approach.
Desk research is important. But without qualitative research, you miss the fine-grainedness and the oh-so-important feeling of human needs and experiences. And: in this way, you can also check whether what is widely applicable in the market is also actually applicable to the people you can directly serve.
You cannot focus and prioritise everything at once. Which existing and/or new propositions are you really going to give extra attention to in the coming year? Of course, you determine this in close consultation with sales, the management and the people on the shop floor and in the field.
Make sure that your focus propositions are also aligned with your brand identity, and that they logically match the needs and trends you have identified in your market and among your customers.
No strategy without KPIs.
What is your organisation's North Star? The North Star Metric (NSM) is a single metric, a single number, that illustrates how well your business is doing. For example, for AirBnB this is the number of nights booked. For Facebook, it is the number of daily users.
Then you determine what the strategic goals of your organisation are for this year. In which areas do you want to grow (most of all)? How can marketing and sales contribute to these goals? How does the whole contribute to the growth of your NSM, and thus of your company?
Those goals (or ambitions) for this year are translated into Key Results. Concrete, measurable results that you can use to assess whether you are on the way to achieving your ambitions.
So how many leads, sales, upsells and cross-sells do you need? How many customers are you going to help and how happy do you want these people to be with your service?
What does the customer journey look like for the propositions you focus on? What does your customer experience, see and think in his search for a solution? How do you "align" the touchpoints and messaging in the funnel, across the phases of Awareness, Acquisition and Activation, Retention and Referral with your customer's experience?
You can map your customer journey with the help of the Growth Model Canvas by BAMMBOO. In this article, you can read more about how you can use the GMC for marketing and growth issues. The GMC also immediately shows you which Growth Experiments are the most promising ones to implement in the short term.
When working out the specific channels over which the customer journey may take place, naturally include the most important marketing trends. What are they? You can read that here. [Link to article marketing trends].
Do a thorough data analysis. How well do your current funnels convert? How is your retention doing? Where in the funnel do you see clear opportunities for improvement?
This analysis can help you link the right marketing KPIs and the right experiments to your strategy. This way, you ensure that you keep the focus on the right metrics and priorities.
Which topics and themes should you talk about, from which angle? Which formats can you best use, and what is the right variant of your messaging for which channel? What are the most promising experiments that you can carry out?
To answer these questions, you fall back on the Growth Model Canvas and the analysis of your current funnels in step 6.
BAMMBOO Growth Hacking Agency can help you identify, set up and execute the most promising experiments. Want to know more? Get in touch with Thierry.
How can you improve the quality and effectiveness of your content, while seriously increasing the engagement, motivation and expert status of your people?
Employee Advocacy is a great way to answer the above questions. An additional advantage is that your organic content performs much better on social media, for example, and has up to 561% more reach when shared by your own people.
People trust and buy from people. Much faster than from "brands" or "organisations".
How do we do it? Keep an eye on our socials, then you'll see for yourself:)
Organic content is one of the most sustainable ways to grow your business. Especially if your content is as evergreen as possible and well SEO optimised, one blog or video can still bring leads and customers to you years later. In the long run, this is also much "cheaper" than paid campaigns.
But often you also want to be able to boost your growth. A good way to do that is to invest in Ads, for example on social media, Google, or other places. Just make sure that the messaging of your online ads is fully in line with your broader (content) strategy, your brand, and your messaging. Consistency is the cornerstone of brand building.
Translate the main goals you have into marketing KPIs. Based on the analysis of your current performance and funnels. How much traffic do you need to generate 100 leads? How many social media views do you need to get more web traffic?
Keep the focus on the right metrics so you can adjust your strategy, tactics and execution in a correct and timely manner. Make sure that your data and the analysis thereof are in order. BAMMBOO can help you with this too.
At what points does who need to do what to create the content and campaigns that will lead to the achievement of the goals you have? Make a planning for the creation, but also the editing, publishing and distribution of the necessary content.
Also make clear agreements about the time intervals at which you want to look at the data and make adjustments based on the effectiveness of your marketing activities. A good rule of thumb is to:
Make sure that everyone who should be involved in your marketing strategy and activities is actually involved. Make sure they are inspired, engaged and take ownership. A very good way to get people to take ownership is to give them a say in how things are set up and implemented.
Last but not least, make sure that management sees, understands and supports the plans - for example by agreeing on KPIs and resources such as ads budgets and hours of staff involved.
Finally, plan the meetings in which everyone you need to build and execute your marketing strategy (and the Growth Hacking experiments that go with it) will be continuously involved in the roll-out. This way, you make sure everyone keeps moving in the right direction, and the right people keep doing the right things.
How can you use the experimental approach and thinking of Growth Hacking in daily practice?
Every month, every week and even every online contact with your customer can be seen as an experiment. Because all these moments generate data and insights. Besides setting up formal experiments (as we mentioned above in step 7), it is therefore important that you keep tracking your data and that you make adjustments based on the predetermined goals and that data. Per month, per quarter and per year.
But at the same time, at the level of social media content, for example; even from day to day.
However, data should not be the only thing you look at. Don't forget to include the higher purpose, the mission of your brand - together with the North Star of your company - in every decision you make. Including every decision regarding changes in your marketing strategy and tactics.
Do you want to know more about how you can use Marketing Strategy in combination with Growth Hacking as a driver for sustainable growth? Or how we can help you incorporate the most important marketing trends into the marketing strategy for your company in a sustainable way?