Growth Marketing vs. Inbound Marketing
Posted by Lacey Wilcox | September 8, 2021
At times, trying to keep up with the most up to date, trustworthy marketing methods can feel a bit like trying to keep up with the newest diet plan. Whole30, keto, paleo, counting macros...it’s impossible to stay in the loop. Every time you turn around, it feels like you need to change what you’re doing (again).
The same thing happens with marketing. Just when you think you have one method figured out and executing well, another comes in and takes the marketing world by storm. One of the newest methods to do just that is growth marketing. What exactly is this method? How is it different from other methods that exist, such as inbound marketing? And most importantly, should your business make the switch?
Growth vs. Inbound: a Comparison
Although it can feel daunting trying to keep up with the latest marketing methods, it’s important that you have some knowledge of them so that you can make the best choice for your business. Below we’ll give a brief overview of both growth and inbound marketing to help you see how these two methods compare.
In an episode of the office, Ryan the Temp asks Michael, “Is it cheaper to sign a new customer? Or to keep an existing customer?” Unlike Michael, you probably have no hesitation in answering that it is much less expensive (and easier) to retain your current customers. Every time you have to replace a customer, you basically double your workload – not only do you have to keep trying to earn new clients (the goal of any business), you also need to replace the revenue from the lost client. This sentiment is the crux of growth marketing, which focuses on acquiring the right customers who will stay with your company long term. Rather than just addressing the top of the funnel (where customers are first attracted to your business), this method looks at the entire journey of a prospect becoming a customer to ensure there are ways to make sure the customers you attract are the right ones. In this method, the entire team is focused on customer retention and growth.
This method is one you’ve definitely heard or read about if you’ve spent any time here. In this method, marketing addresses each of the stages of a visitor becoming a customer (attract, engage and convert, close, delight). Unlike its counterpart (outbound marketing), inbound marketing seeks to attract prospects with generosity: offering value before someone even becomes a customer. One thing that is highly recommended in this method is using buyer personas to identify a company’s ideal customer and create content that appeals to them. More recently, there has been a significant emphasis within inbound marketing on creating stronger alignment between marketing and sales teams to qualify leads. Companies that see the greatest success with inbound marketing tend to be those that unite their entire teams under a shared goal of revenue.
Should My Company Make the Switch to Growth Marketing?
Here’s the thing about the differences between these two methods: they’re incredibly nuanced. Rather than being polar opposites, they share a lot of similarities while placing a greater emphasis or focus on different aspects. You could even argue that much of what makes these methods valuable is that they just make good sense. It ties in to the comparison we made above between diet plans and marketing methods. While each of the plans has unique nuances and focuses, they all share a common foundation: make healthy, intentional choices; eat certain foods in moderation; make caloric choices that help you meet your goals (burn more than you consume to lose weight, and vice versa to put on mass).
It’s the same with growth and inbound marketing. Yes, they have some differences. Inbound marketing tends to focus on using buyer personas to make sure a company is providing the right content for a prospect at the different stages of their decision making process, while growth marketing asks whether the sales funnel is working and bringing in the kind of customer who is going to stay around long term. While each method has a different emphasis, the goals are incredibly similar: attract customers to your website and company, use a set of specific tools to “vet” these visitors, earn the trust of those who are the right fit for your company, and delight them enough that they want to send their friends to your business.
It Takes a Village (or a Team)
If that sounds like a lot, it’s because it is. We would argue that the only way you can grow your business in this kind of intentional, productive way is with a team. It’s impossible to build out and execute a successful strategy that results in growth without having several people to take care of marketing, sales, content creation, and customer care.
Learn more about what we mean by downloading our ebook, The Business Growth Guide.