How do you successfully scale your marketing as your business grows? It is all about finding ways to increase your reach and customer acquisition without exponentially increasing the work involved.
Effectively designed Traffic acquisition, Lead generation, Content production and Campaign management will result in more impact at a smaller cost – the holy grail for any marketing leader!
Scaling Traffic Acquisition with loops
An acquisition loops is a closed systems where traffic/dollars/users through some marketing process generates more traffic/dollars/users which can then be reinvested – and the process repeats.
SEO is an example of a content loop is where your company creates a piece of content that answers a business need or query which when indexed by a search engine, generates new website visitors. If effectively monetized the revenue from these visitors can be reinvested in more content creation and in SEO optimization.
User Generated Content Loops
Another powerful example is using User Generated Content to power your acquisition loop. This requires however that your product or business model is in some way built around content as a driver of user acquisition.
Think of Pinterest where a user creates a pin which is pushed to social media which leads to more signups and more users who create pins. Incentivizing customers to tag you on Instagram or syndicating customer reviews between review sites, your website and Google are other low-effort, repeatable tactics.
Paid Acquisition Loops
Customer acquisition can scale through some paid loops such as SEM or performance marketing, since costs are only incurred on interactions with your ad. If profits are consistently reinvested into expanding your campaigns, every dollar invested will generate another dollar or more) while the loop continues to spin at 24/7 regardless of time zone and language.
Word of Mouth Loops
A healthy brand and product reputation is key to any business. But an incentive scheme or referral program is also scalable acquisition loop where one satisfied customer organically recruits another one. It can take a while to figure out a working strategy for your word of month marketing but once you do, it can amplify your revenue growths significantly.
Scaling lead generation
As a fundamental example of moving to a more scalable B2B lead model is to shift from calling potential customers from a list of prospects, to put up an ad/webinar/article aimed at your ideal customer segment asking ”Are you struggling with X, Y, Z in your business?” Interest and traffic is routed to a landing page with guides and best practices on the topic – including a lead capture form to collect contact details from those interested to learn more.
Bye bye job titles
Many B2B marketers segment their personas demographically with an emphasis on job title. But titles change and can be unique to any given organization, which hinders scaling. (Furthermore, just because two people have the same job title doesn’t mean that the same message will resonate with both.)
Instead of relying on role, identify which pain points your target audience might have and create content for those use cases. Among your most profitable customers are likely real business outcomes that they’ve seen after starting to use your product. Use these to attract new customers with similar attributes. The focus should be on the higher-level pain points and problems, not on targeting titles.
Digital resources instead of humans
As much as possible, you want to avoid being dependent on humans to move prospective customers along the funnel. SaaS companies are exceptionally good at creating educational resources and sales enablement material that scale through online publishing. They also put a lot of effort in understanding buying decisions to find topics that dissolve lead funnel blockage. Just take a look at Workday.com or the beautiful Miro Academy.
Scaling content production
The general idea of scaling content production is to do the manual work once, then turn that work into mediums that you can duplicate.
Mitigate any high upfront creative production cost by templating as much as possible. There are multiple softwares allowing you to push 100+ different formats out of a single original depending on medium, channel and purpose.
You can also experiment with dynamic ad creation, in order to get different ad messages from one original, depending on location, behavioural data, demographics etc. Check out Bannerflow or this set of campaign examples to get an idea.
Develop a design system
To give your marketing team a chance to scale, provide them easy access to a system of graphic designs (or real illustrators). You can create a department internally or use freelancers. And to succeed with templating you need well developed design- and graphical guidelines. With those in place, you will be able to ensure a consistent expression and branding while you scale.
Scaling marketing campaigns
A truly scalable creative concept needs to be an easily replicable idea that leaves room for flexibility in your activation. With small variations, can it be replicated to other markets, across seasons, through trends and market sentiments? Can it be used without sound, animation, in social media as well as on a static poster or mobile screen?
If you are in retail, mobile events and traveling pop-up shops scale better than permanent installations.
Partnerships can be a great opportunity for scaling marketing. Other brands can give you access to cross-promotional opportunities and you can leverage each other’s resources, including social reach and influencers. (One collaboration may open up future opportunities, too!)
Branding and PR
What about brand advertising, PR and conferences? Aren’t they important? Yes, they can be – but they don’t scale and need to be optimized based on different KPIs. Think of their role as establishing your brand purpose and to make your brand come to mind in buying situations.
Upper funnel marketing should feed traffic into your more scalable and repeatable tactics (preferably loops!)
Don’t miss my upcoming article ”Using Data To Scale Marketing”. The best way to achieve speed to market is with robust data & insights (and to let a system perform routine tasks and connect data between systems.)