“Five growth marketing tips I didn’t know I needed”

Check out this great guest blog from one of our most recent graduates, Danielle Torrie. A proud alumni of 321’s Growth Marketing course, she describes how the course helped her level-up as a marketer!

Marketing is often overwhelming, with requests coming from all directions – your team, your co-workers, your clients, your customers. Somewhere (usually at the bottom of that list) is your own list of to-dos and priorities that seem to rapidly go out the window.

It’s easy for marketers to become their own worst enemy – unsure of which ideas and projects to chase, and which to drop. I’ll be the first to admit I am completely guilty of this, and I knew I needed to try to change my approach. Before I dive into the tips I learned at 321 Growth Academy, I want to share a bit about why these became so important. 

Growth is hard

Growth is hard, whether it’s your business or your career. Before coming to Symend, I primarily worked with non-profits as part of a small but mighty team where I often managed marketing deliverables from end-to-end. While this makes it easier to iterate on the fly, you typically have a mile-long to-do list with constant pressure to punch above your weight with limited resources. 

If you’re used to running fast, it’s probably been a while since you checked in with yourself to make sure that you’re moving in the right direction, not just moving. When you’re passionate about growth, it’s tempting to say yes to every opportunity because you don’t want to miss the chance to learn from your team, and your customers. What I’ve learned over the past ten weeks is that if you’re doing everything, you’re probably not satisfied with how you are tracking towards your most audacious goals, which require focus. 

I always thought of myself as a “scrappy” marketer, doing what it takes to get the job done and make an impact (budget be damned). While I’ve never underestimated the value in being a scrappy marketer, I knew I needed to invest time to lean into strategy, stay focused and ruthlessly prioritize in order to make a real impact at a hyper-growth company like Symend. At the time I thought that just meant learning to say no, but 321 Growth Academy made me realize it was so much more than that (I’m still learning how to say no, by the way). 

Levelling up as a marketer

While I do love a good book, I’m typically a “be brief, be bright, be gone” kind of learner – I don’t have the attention span for fluff. I knew I needed a way to level up as a marketer that was both strategic and practical. 

A month after joining Symend, I dove into the 10 week Growth Marketing course led by Carey Houston, Founder of 321 Growth Academy. As a four time VP marketing and over 25 years in leadership roles in everything from product to sales, Carey knows first-hand what it takes to grow and scale companies. 

Calgary’s tech community needs great marketers

As Calgary companies continue to grow and scale, the need for marketers that understand how to grow business-to-business software solutions and consumer products is already exploding. Companies like Symend, Neo Financial, Stellaralgo and Virtual Gurus are currently hiring for growth, product, content and digital marketers and many companies struggle to find talent with the skills they need to succeed in a high-growth environment. 

321’s programs aim to begin to fill this gap by ensuring that both founders and marketing leaders know what they need to be successful and ultimately grow the marketing, sales and people functions within their company. 

Here are the five growth marketing tips I didn’t know I needed: 

  1. You pay, or you pay

One of the things you’ll hear Carey say over and over is “you pay, or you pay”. You can choose to put in the time up front to properly build out your plan and priorities, or you can pay later as you try to fill in the gaps on the fly or tackle the list of deliverables that was never really achievable. If you don’t have the tools and structure you need to think things through, you may tend to skip this step. Don’t. That being said, overplanning can create an entirely different type of hurdle. The key is to both plan and execute quickly, running lean campaigns to test your approach and gain insight so that you can continuously iterate. 

2. Everything is a campaign

Lean campaigns are the best way for you to iterate, test and track what most effectively grows your business. It’s also how you ensure you talk to prospective buyers in a way that resonates with their unique needs and perspective on the problem you are solving. If your content isn’t resonating with them, campaigns can help you better understand how they perceive the problem – and find out if you are selling to the wrong person. 

3. Show your buyer that you “get” them

Did you know companies with 100 to 500 employees typically have 5-7 people engaged in the buying decision? If you are targeting multiple buyer roles or ICPs (ideal customer profiles), you need to be able to highlight the gains, pain and jobs to be done for each. There’s a lot of noise out there and, if your content doesn’t resonate, your buyer will keep looking. Growing an audience is meaningless if you’re talking to the wrong people, or too many people. 

4. It’s tough to influence the way the buyer wants to buy 

When you are building out your funnel, take a step back and ask yourself whether this is your ideal funnel or whether it aligns with how your customer or client wants to buy. This can affect everything from how you set-up your search engine marketing to what calls-to-action you put on your website. Take on-demand food delivery services for example. Before you knew SkipTheDishes existed, were you searching for on-demand food delivery services or were you searching restaurants near me that deliver? Let your clients and customers find you based on what they are looking for. At that unawareness stage, the buyer only cares about whether you can solve their problem, which means your messaging needs to be extremely clear and simple. 

5. Sell the problem, not the solution

The most common thing you will come up against when you are selling is “not right now”. The best antidote for this is to agitate on the problem by amplifying their perception of the pain they experience, and what they will gain by prioritizing it right now. When you are selling the problem, Carey says one of the most important things is to “worry less about being clever, and more about being clear”. Prioritizing creativity over clarity means that the data you have on whether the buyer is interested may actually be skewed, simply because they don’t actually understand what you do. Before changing your entire approach, consider whether you can provide more clarity on the problem. 

Want to find out what it takes to grow as a marketer, and grow your business? Check out what 321 Growth Academy’s Growth Marketing course is all about.

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