Growth Marketing Myths and Mistakes

Posted by Page Grossman on Jan 10, 2018

Successful growth marketing can sometimes feel like a guessing game of trial and error. Customers might seem fickle and hard to please. That’s why we’ve put together this list of common growth marketing myths and mistakes. 

1. Not having a goal

What is growth marketing without a goal? Bad growth marketing. Successful growth marketing is done through campaigns, communication with customers, and marketing all with the overarching goal of gaining more customers and retaining the customers you currently have. Within those campaigns though, you must have short term and long term goals. Without those goals, you have no way to know if your growth marketing strategies are working or not.

2. Misusing automation

From social media to email marketing, automation has made the lives of marketers much easier. You can now schedule posts in advance and, with chatbots, you can even automate some customer service responses to emails and questions.

As with all great things, there comes a dark side. Whether it’s too much or too little automation, you’ve got to have a Goldilocks sense of how to use it juuuust right.

Too little automation and your marketing team will likely feel like they’re constantly under deadline to get that email sent out, that post put up on Instagram, and that video uploaded to YouTube. There’s also a lot of room for error and missed connections. Without automation, your marketing might feel disjointed and responses might not be as quick as they should be.

Conversely, you’ve got the problem of too much automation. If all of your marketing is automated, customers will notice. No one wants to talk to a machine or feel pushed aside by a canned auto-response. As far as we’ve come with technology and natural language, we aren’t yet at a point where chatbots can take over customer service and every social media post can be scheduled in advance.

Your marketing team has to strive for the perfect balance of using automation to run things smoothly, but also to be there responding to customer questions in real time and crafting campaigns that react to daily events.

3. Not focusing on customer retention

Often the conversation focuses on how to get more customers and more online interactions. But that’s not the only thing to focus on. Growth marketing should not only find more customers but also retain the customers you already have.

It’s become accepted that average customer churn is between 10 and 30 percent a year. But why is this acceptable? Focus on customer retention and get that churn rate down.

Find those customers who tried your product once or bought one thing from your company and find out why they haven’t returned. It might be a legitimate reason, or it might be that they had a problem they didn’t know how to solve.

4. Not testing everything

Just because you think you know something, doesn’t mean that you do. Until you test it with your customers, you are only making an assumption.

Take this story from one of our Outbound customers, eMeals.

eMeals wanted to increase app downloads so they decided to target users who signed-up for a free trial and then had no activity after 24 hours. eMeals spent some time drawing up a message to those customers reminding them how the app could help make their lives easier, allowing them to skip meal planning and the grocery store. 

They threw together an alternative message that provided the customer with information on best practices for using the eMeals service. Which do think performed better? To everyone’s surprise, the thrown-together alternative did.

If eMeals hadn’t set the goal of helping customers to download the app, they wouldn’t have figured out that many of their customers struggle with best practices and how to use the eMeals service. They weren’t facing customers who were resistant to download an app, just customers who didn’t fully understand their product. Creating a goal and strategies to reach that goal helped eMeals to increase app downloads and be more successful.

5. Testing without a purpose

You should test everything, especially your underlying assumptions, but there should always be a purpose. Running an A/B test will tell you which message converts more customers, but you need to know why.

Each version you run in an A/B test should have a purpose, an identifiable quality. If you run an alternative message that performs better, you need to be able to state the qualities it had and why those qualities resonated with your customers. 

There should also be a purpose to your tests. Yes, test everything, but if you don’t know why you’re running a test, step back and evaluate. Have a question in mind and a goal in mind before you design and run a test with your customers.

6. Gathering customer feedback and not responding

The vast majority of companies now ask for customer feedback, whether via NPS or surveys that take a deep dive into customer satisfaction. Ratings, stars, and customer reviews are the bread and butter of online shopping.

It’s great that companies are gathering this information, but in our opinion, it’s just the beginning of the process. Gathering the information is step one. Responding helpfully to reviews is an opportunity too often overlooked.

When you receive negative reviews, sending a personalized response shows that customer, and any others who can see the review, that you’re listening and implementing changes to improve your products and services.

Responding to positive reviews is even easier. Sending a short message that you appreciate their loyalty shows customers that you’re present in the conversation. It also lets them know that you recognize their loyalty and are there for them if they have problems in the future.

Responding to customer feedback is like being an active listener. Active listening take awareness, nothing more. It’s the same with responding to customer feedback.

These are the most common growth marketing myths and mistakes — what mistakes have you made in the past?