Approaches to sustain long-term growth
As solely relying on paid marketing tactics is not a good idea, growth teams need to take a holistic view and build bridges across product, marketing, ops and everyone else involved. Most moats are built on finding unique growth channels that are supported by highly context-specific product features, such as the folder sharing feature at Dropbox.
The most sustainable way to grow is through word-of-mouth (WOM). As stated earlier, this requires a valid customer segmentation strategy, which outlines need-based customer groups that actively share industry-specific news. If there’s no in-segment communication, there won’t be any WOM. After you know which initial segment you’re going after, you need to get customer insights to base your product roadmap and USPs on.
- Which users have a problem that you can solve faster, better or cheaper than anyone else on the market?
- Which segment is the most viable one?
- Can you build a proposition that not only excites tech enthusiasts but also early adopters?
Embrace the basics of marketing
After knowing which segments are the most promising to your venture, it’s important to orchestrate all marketing relevant growth drivers. That means going beyond performance marketing, which should come last.
The most important starting point will always be your product and engineering. Invest in making your product better, i.e. solving your customers’ pain points, and you’ll grow. In contrast, you can’t spend your way to growth by advertising a bad product, at least not in the long run. Revolut is an example of a high-growth Fintech startup that shipped new value-adding features almost on a monthly basis, which eliminated the need to spend unjustifiably in paid marketing.
Price is the marketing component that only a few really get right. Many times, companies spend too little time testing out different pricing (how much you charge) and monetisation models (how you charge). Again, knowing your customer’s buying journey well allows you to innovate your pricing model, such as subscriptions, dynamic pricing, auctions or pay-as-you-go. For instance, a few years ago, Michelin understood that one of their customer segments, truckers, were forced to operate on extremely small margins due to various market developments. Michelin thereafter moved from selling products to services that provided real value to truckers, called Effifuel, and monetised based on product usage and resulting benefits instead of the tire sales.