An email I sent someone who wanted to know how to grow a b2c product.
Here goes -
Sharing a bunch of thoughts on what I feel we could be doing in terms of the growth perspective. This ofcourse is not very definitive but just a holistic approach to what we can possibly do.
I have included links to some of the terms used here for more in-depth detail.
What is Growth Hacking?
Before delving into its core, growth hacking is about focusing on growing metrics rapidly using testable and scalable methodology.
Growth hacking recognizes that, regardless of how many ways marketing redefines its approach, lead generation and customer retention is its goal.
What you can expect out of Growth Hacking
Lead generation and conversion is the basic goal behind growth hacking. Once acquired, growth hacking techniques should also help to retain those customers and maximize the lifetime value (LTV) of each customer.
Possible ways of Growth Hacking
For successful growth hacking in the B2C context, our focus must widen from customer acquisition techniques alone. Our strategy must include customer retention, LTV maximization and creating referrals or word-of-mouth advertisements.
For our case, the marketing funnel consists of three segments:
- top of the funnel (TOFU),
- middle of the funnel (MOFU) and
- bottom of the funnel (BOFU).
At the TOFU, we will build awareness about the business we are in. At the MOFU, we’re teaching people to use certain functionalities of our product. Finally, at the BOFU, we’re explaining why our solution is the best available.
If we focus on lead generation or customer acquisition alone, we’ll have millions of leads at the TOFU, but we’ll be unable to push them further down the funnel. Customer acquisition alone will lead to the hefty drop off when these channels are diluted.
1. Customer Acquisition
Acquisition channels are much more saturated than they were a decade ago — “if you build it they will come” doesn’t apply anymore.
We can pursue two main acquisition channels: organic/unpaid channels and sponsored/paid channels. To succeed, use paid and unpaid channels in tandem; paid channels to get us big and fast scalability, while unpaid channels to give us steady growth that offsets the former.
Mastering paid channels comes with a series of challenges, including:
- Keeping our profit margins healthy — maintaining a 3–4x ROAS across campaigns
- Targeting our market properly — to ensure click-throughs are actually likely buyers
- Raising product demand — how many people simply can’t go without our product?
To succeed with increasingly saturated paid channels, we could consider the following:
- Track everything. Unless we know every single customer coming down the paid pipeline and exactly what their journey looks like, we can’t optimize correctly.
- Try less popular channels like Reddit and Pinterest — the market sizes are lower, but CPAs are significantly cheaper
- Go video. It’s easier than ever to slap together stock video and create more engaging creatives — video ads are significantly more performant
Unpaid and organic channels are the only reliable acquisition channels for scale — as of yet, there haven’t been any unicorns built on the back of Google Ads.
SEO and Content Marketing remain performant channels, but they require long-term effort. Grey hat or low-calibre SEO and content no longer work.
2. Social Media
We are in a competitive industry/niche, it’ll be virtually impossible to dominate Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Let’s consider looking for the smaller or up-and-coming social networks and make our impact there — especially in unique niches. Reddit, Quora, are some good examples to start off with.
If we can dominate a social media platform, even on the b-tier, above our competitors, we’ve guaranteed access to our audience on that platform, and we can funnel traffic from our website to the platform and vice versa.
2. Content Partners
If there’s any buzz in the media, it needs to have the right backlink to the website/blog/platforms.
Also, consider reaching out to folks who write in the domain we are in. Not the big publishing house, but the ones who have a smaller but more committed viewership/readership. Again, backlinks!
With growth hacking, the first step is to jump with both feet in — it only works in a lean setting that can move freely and quickly and experiment.
It will help to have someone onboard who can help you maneuver the product outreach in all the direction you can gain the maximum traction.
A growth marketer hire for now should be a jack-of-all-trades: someone with the foundational mindset of a marketer but possessing the technical skills to set up marketing automation and testing. They must also have the quantitative skills to enhance performance metrics based on automation insights. They must have above-par knowledge of data analytics.
Let's try not waste our efforts doing the usual, because everyone else is and they have a bigger wallet to spend on marketing alone.