Growth and strategy are hot buzzwords in the business world. But what is marketing growth strategy? Put simply, marketing growth strategy is applying strategic marketing tactics to grow the business so that it can achieve its overall business goals. It consists of how a business meets the audience in the market with their product or service.
There are four central business growth strategies: market penetration, market development, product development, and diversification. Which business growth strategy a company chooses to pursue informs the marketing actions it then takes.
Having a solid marketing growth strategy will boost the business growth, but it starts with market research. Without adequate research and insight, a business won’t be able to understand and meet the needs of its target audience.
Whether a company is trying to reach a new audience or an existing audience with a new product (or both), it is crucial to give sufficient support to marketing efforts. Time and money spent on product development won’t matter if marketers don’t know who the target customer is, what they’re looking for, where they are, and how to connect with them.
At Hot Dog Marketing, we use a framework to outline marketing growth strategy and break it up into four different domains: growth strategy, value system, brand identity, and web presence. These four areas act as the four legs of a table, each depending on the other and together providing the necessary support to uphold the base.
Growth strategy starts with identifying the audience as much as possible. That includes performing market research such as customer interviews and competitive research, building buyer personas, creating an ideal customer profile, and outlining the buyer’s journey.
This piece of the framework narrows in on the audience that is likely to buy so that your marketing and advertising dollars aren’t simply flushed down the toilet by being presented to an audience that has no intention of ever buying your product or service.
A great product or service isn’t enough to win attention in today’s highly competitive environment.
Have you heard someone describe a product that “basically sells itself?”
Did that turn out to be true?
Chances are the product didn’t actually “sell itself” as may have been stated by an overzealous pitchman. Instead, it probably needed an exceptional marketing plan and sales strategy to persuade people that it was the solution they needed. Even if it was a wonderful solution to a persistent problem, marketing in the right place, to the right people, at the right time was still vital to its success.
Having a great product or service is the barrier to entry into the market. Knowing who the target audience is, where they are, and how to connect with them is essential to creating a reliable business model. This helps reduce the customer acquisition cost and achieve profitability.
The value system is comprised of the operations and processes that create the value that customers are looking for in a business’s product or service. Many times, a business isn’t simply solving a problem for customers in a functional, utilitarian way, it’s creating emotional opportunities or making them feel a particular way. This feeling is what the customer truly desires.
There are many aspects of a product or service a customer could derive value from. Assessing those aspects and communicating them to the business leaders is integral in optimizing the true value a business offers.
If a company ascertains that they are simply utilitarian, they should take a strategic look at their operations process and product delivery. This can help them discover where they could add more value to customers, thus increasing their revenue opportunities.
Hair salons are a prime example of a value system at work.
Getting a haircut seems like a simple act of necessity, but it isn’t. Hairstylists give customer the feeling of being taken care of, pampered, listened to, and then confident about how they look afterward. Hairstylists are rewarded for this by extreme customer loyalty.
I know people that will drive all the way across town and pay steep rates to get a haircut because they love the way their hairstylist makes them feel.
Brand identity is much more than just a company’s logo and color palette. It’s even more than a style guide and hero message. Brand identity consists of everything that creates the personality of the business in every place that the audience interacts with it.
For a brand identity to be successful, it should be authentic and compelling. For that to happen, this piece of the framework includes a discovery process and strategizing.
In addition to being authentic, brand identity should be aligned internally and externally.
Internal interviews are useful in finding out how employees perceive and talk about the brand. Especially if those employees interact heavily with customers, like in sales and support, it’s beneficial to understand what they think about the brand and how they’re communicating with customers.
After the discovery process is complete, a brand identity can be built intentionally and strategically. Often, this starts with messaging. This identity will then go on to inform the logo design, style guide, colors, website design, etc.
For instance, a law firm will most likely want to avoid humor and fluffy language. If the attorneys are generally serious people and they handle severe cases, they’ll want to strongly convey professionalism throughout their brand identity. Thus, they’ll likely have a straightforward hero message, a simple logo, a basic color scheme (gold and navy blue or brick red are common for law firms), and imagery of the attorneys throughout their marketing materials.
The web presence is an essential piece of a marketing growth strategy for businesses pursuing success in the 21st century. Many people’s first interaction with a business or brand will be online. That audience will make judgments about the company based solely on their website.
While this may be more important in some industries than others (e.g., retail fashion brand versus business accounting firm), all audiences still desire a pleasant web experience.
Web presence doesn’t simply mean having a website but also includes the user experience (page speed, responsiveness, etc,), quality of the content, and the ability to easily navigate to find the desired content.
At Hot Dog Marketing, if clients already have a website, we lead them through a website workshop to discover how to optimize for their target audience and to hit the company’s desired goals. During this time, we listen to clients talk about what they love and what they wish was different about their website. We then take this information and incorporate it when developing a holistic plan for a new website.
In addition to likes and dislikes from the company, it’s important to consider how the audience will use the website and what they’ll expect when they visit. SEO and content planning are also essential. These elements will help a company reach its target audience by providing meaningful keywords and valuable content.
For example, a company providing dog training can create a website that is fast and easy to use but it needs people to visit for it to add to growth goals. The company can then plan to create blog posts that answer questions people are asking online or in person about dog training.
But again, for this to work, people need to see it. The company can invest in SEO services so that the website shows up on search engine results pages when searchers type in a query, but it shouldn’t stop there.
A comprehensive growth plan will also include building community via social media channels, reaching the target audience through paid digital ads, and engaging with them through email marketing. Together, all the pieces of your digital marketing strategy will drive valuable traffic to the website.
How to Get Started with Marketing Growth Strategy
The best way to get started with a marketing growth strategy is to contact us at Hot Dog Marketing. We help companies plan and strategize their marketing efforts to achieve their overall business goals.
Not sure if your business is ready for a marketing growth strategy?
At Hot Dog Marketing, we build marketing growth strategies for companies at every stage including business formation, market validation, scaling a business, business expansion, and exiting a business.
Every business is unique and different stages need different strategies. That’s why it’s vital to get a knowledgeable team to customize a marketing growth strategy for your business. Don’t simply work off of a template, use experts to help you achieve meaningful growth. Now let’s get started!
Tom Snyder is a business-minded writer creating compelling content that helps business owners understand the digital side of their business and engage with their audience. Constantly intrigued by learning new things, he is fascinated with tech, business, and sci-fi. In his spare time, you can find Tom building his own business (coffee roasting) or making music.