The transition from growth to scale begins with understanding the fundamental difference between the two.
When done correctly, both will result in additional sales – however, while growth also requires increases in resources, staff and/or infrastructure, when a company scales-up they are able to increase their business and revenue opportunities whilst only adding resources to service this growth incrementally.
When it comes to marketing, transitioning from growth to scale-up requires careful consideration and clear planning, working back through all stages of the marketing funnel, from target sales to Sales Qualified Leads (SQL), Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) and enquiries. These metrics will enable the production of a SMART marketing strategy.
Not every form of marketing is scalable, of course. According to Forbes "direct marketing is...not scalable" and "word-of-mouth does not scale." The SMART strategy will drive marketing implementation decisions for your business and is likely to require a focus on content-led or inbound techniques, one of the most robust scalable marketing approaches around.
So, why is inbound the right approach to successful marketing through scale-up? As Brian Halligan, co-founder and CEO of global platform HubSpot says: “You can't out-spend the giants, but you can out-think, out-teach, and out-help them.”
Really understanding your customers and positioning your brand to offer valuable content that helps them to overcome their business challenges is a powerful strategy and one that has been proven to deliver significantly better and more sustainable Return on Investment (ROI) compared with more traditional, interruption-based marketing techniques.
Entrepreneur, investor, influencer and columnist, Neil Patel recommends those preparing for scale-up should “automate everything", from recruitment and training to cloud storage, and of course marketing.
When it comes to marketing, like everything else, automation won’t solve all of our problems – to be effective it needs to be planned at a granular level – ensuring a high-quality, personalised experienced for all who engage, regardless of the channel.
Likewise taking enquirers through the whole user journey through to sale and then delight is far simpler and achievable with slick, automated processes serving SMART content. SMART content (also referred to as dynamic content) is content that changes based on the interests or past behaviour of the viewer online, providing the user with a highly personalised experience.
One of the multiple benefits of digital marketing for marketing decision makers is traceability. All activity can be tracked, enabling clear analysis on the results and Return on Investment (ROI) of the different channels and tactics employed – a marketer's dream.
This evidence means marketing activity can be truly agile, with tweaks and adjustments made regularly to improve results, from split testing email subject lines to measuring engagement from different content types. This drives continuous marketing improvement, aligned to the achievement of the business’ scale-up goals.
Scale-up presents many challenges, but for the astute marketer, it also offers exciting opportunities to roll-out robust, readily scalable marketing solutions, and to gain clear impact evidence to focus future activity.
To find more about implementing a successful strategy for scaling up, download our eBook full of tips, advice and guidance.