Growth marketing is the name of the game for successful B2B organizations today, and for good reason. This data-driven and customer-centric approach to marketing focuses on sustainable, actualized business growth, instead of flashy metrics or outdated techniques. Instead of a pipeline filled with poorly-qualified leads, B2B growth marketing turns “old school” marketing on its head, and takes a nimble, experimental approach to marketing efforts, which is focused on high-quality, measurable results.

If this type of marketing sounds like a dream for your business, then you’re definitely not alone. But you might be wondering: if it’s so successful, why doesn’t every brand take this approach?

The truth is that growth marketing requires considerable resources and specific skills to successfully deploy. And while many organizations might try tackling it in-house, they often quickly find that they can’t keep up with the pace and volume of work necessary to drive results.

That’s where a growth marketing agency comes into play. Think of a growth marketing agency as your pipeline partner-in-crime, who has the capacity and skills necessary to launch high-performing digital marketing campaigns, understand your audience segments, monitor and analyze data, and skillfully tweak efforts in iteration.

Growth marketing agencies exist for the sole purpose of channeling your marketing efforts and resources to help you see sustainable business growth. But deciding to partner with one of these agencies can be a big decision, and there’s a lot to consider.

If you’re debating partnering with a growth marketing agency, here’s everything you need to know, including why growth marketing is distinct from other types of marketing, what an agency does, and how to pick one that’s a perfect one-to-one match for your org.

What is B2B Growth Marketing, Exactly?

To understand what a growth marketing agency does, we have to take a few steps back and dive into what growth marketing is, exactly. Growth marketing is a newer approach to marketing (when compared to long-standing, traditional methods), and it’s focused on using data, analytics, experimentation, and a customer-centric approach to marketing. Growth marketing is also notably results-driven: growth marketers look to drive measurable results related to business growth, such as increased website traffic, leads, sales and/or revenue.

Think of growth marketing as a world of constant change (in a good way). Each time a marketing effort is initiated, your partner growth marketing agency monitors it closely, and uses data to continuously improve results.

Growth marketing operates in the booming space of digital marketing, and even in the past year, there was a 10% growth rate in digital marketing budget spending across businesses. But where that money is going within your marketing efforts matters. And if you’re going to choose to spend your org’s hard-earned budget on digital marketing, growth marketing might just be the option with the best ROI.

How Growth Marketing Differs from Traditional Digital Marketing

Growth marketing is world’s away from certain types of “classic” marketing. But even if we’re narrowing our focus to digital marketing practices, we can still see that growth marketing is in a league of its own.

How exactly? While growth marketing and traditional digital marketing techniques strive to achieve similar results (such as brand awareness, lead generation, or sales), their approaches differ significantly.

Some of the key distinctions include:

  • Focus: Traditional marketing often focuses on promoting products, services, or features, while growth marketing takes a customer-centric viewpoint.
  • Data-driven: Traditional marketing tends to rely on experience and intuition when making decisions. Growth marketing, on the other hand, is data-driven at its core. Marketers leverage data and analytics to measure campaign performance, identify areas for improvement, and constantly optimize their strategies.
  • Experimentation: Growth marketing embraces experimentation and is open to exploring new techniques, ideas, and marketing channels, based on collected insights. When a marketing idea is launched, growth marketers will monitor results, and in the next effort, look to improve. While marketers take different approaches to experimentation, most know that testing matters, with 70% believing that A/B testing is essential for boosting conversion rates.
  • Short-term: While traditional marketing strategies are long-term visions, growth marketing also happens in rapid sprints. Growth marketers set short-term goals, check in on results often, and look to make rapid, incremental improvements.

Many forms of modern marketing embody some of these principals. For example, standard digital marketing is often data-driven, at least in some capacity. You might see the metrics of a social media ad campaign, for example. But the specific hallmarks of growth marketing (such as experimentation, iteration, and customer-centricity) make it unique from other forms of marketing.

Why Your Org Should (Probably) Outsource B2B Growth Marketing

Whether your organization is big or small, and whether you have an entire marketing department or a few freelancers who handle your efforts, you’ll probably want to consider outsourcing your growth marketing to an agency, if you want to see game-changing results. That’s because growth marketing requires hyper-specific expertise, and the ability to correlate iterative marketing efforts to your business goals. This requires constant, ongoing optimization, which in turn requires a continuous effort.

In short: even if you or your team are fluent in digital marketing, it’s not enough to throw a few SEO-optimized blog posts on your company’s website and call it a day.

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Here are just some of the reasons why you’ll likely want to outsource to a leading growth marketing agency:

1. Access to expertise & experience

As we’ve discussed, growth marketing is hyper-specific, and it’s not enough to have someone on board who is just a general “marketer.” WIth a growth marketing agency, you’ll have access to a team of specialists who are skilled in the necessary marketing disciplines, including SEO, content marketing, and data & analytics. They know how to reach your target audience, connect marketing efforts to business goals, and are up-to-date on all the most recent marketing best practices.

2. Cost-effectiveness & ROI

Tackling growth marketing in-house might seem like the more cost-effective option that will lead to the same ROI as an outsourced strategy, but this often isn’t the case. That’s because in order for growth marketing to achieve its desired results, it requires continuous, repetitive effort. In-house teams often either don’t have the bandwidth, or they lack the experience necessary to start and keep up the efforts required for an effective growth marketing campaign. This can result in a half-baked growth marketing strategy that’s hard to maintain, and which doesn’t really help your organization get to where it wants to go.

On the other hand, when you outsource to growth marketing agencies, you’ll see clearly where your dollars are going, and what your results are like. You’ll waste less time, and use your resources more efficiently, potentially saving (and earning) you more money in the long run.

3. Decisions rooted in data

Growth marketers are data nerds, which can be very beneficial for your marketing campaigns. Instead of hunches, off-the-cuff ideas, and rogue feelings, your growth marketing partner agency will first deep-dive into your audience segments before developing a custom growth marketing strategy. Then, they’ll closely monitor results, analyze insights, and will pivot on a dime to improve and refine your strategy.

4. Flexibility & scalability

Growth marketing is meant to evolve as you do. Because of this, agencies typically offer flexibility in their marketing plans and strategies, to meet you where you are today. Need a more robust content marketing effort? They’ve got you covered. How about building domain authority and topical authority? Yep, they can tackle that as-needed. This approach allows you to not only keep up with the competition, but stay ahead of the curve.

Listen, we get it: growth marketing isn’t necessarily rocket science. And we often work with organizations which want to own their own growth marketing strategy. But the truth of the matter is that in-house teams often just don’t have the resources necessary to knock growth marketing out of the park.

“I think it’s really, really difficult to have the resources internally to keep up with content production,” said RevenueZen’s Senior Strategist Jessica Schwebel. “It can get really tough to balance priorities and get all the resources you need to actually move the needle in any one area.”

What Does a Growth Marketing Agency Do?

It’s true: a B2B growth marketing agency might just be the secret weapon your business needs to master inbound organic-sourced revenue. And as we just touched on, it’s also true that you’ll likely need to outsource to a growth marketing agency. But what exactly goes into a growth marketing strategy, and what does a growth marketing agency do?

Here’s what you can expect a growth marketing agency to own in your organization:

1. They’ll start with in-depth market research & competition analysis

Before penning a post, your growth marketing partner agency will start with in depth market research & competition analysis. This is two separate (but equally important) things. First, when it comes to market research, your partner agency will dive into what your target audience is like, what they’re typing into the search engines, and what their buyer’s journey with your company might look like.

Next, they’ll conduct a thorough analysis of your competition. Here at RevenueZen, the competitive gap analysis is a portion of growth marketing that we really laser in on, because it reveals what your competitors are doing (as far as SEO and content marketing are concerned), what’s working well for them, what’s not working well for them, and what they’re not doing. Personally, I’ve always thought that competitive gap analysis is one of the most exciting things we do for our partners, because we get to show our partner companies what their competition is doing, and work those insights into our strategy.

During this stage, your partner agency will also conduct keyword research, and should clearly define your target audiences and buyer personas.

2. Then, they move onto multifaceted content creation

Now, your partner agency is well-positioned to start creating and deploying content. This will typically include a mixture of SEO-optimized content, such as blog posts, thought-leadership pieces (like LinkedIn marketing), ebooks and white papers, and even case studies and videos. All of this content will be designed to perform well in the search engines, ensuring your content ranks as high as possible over time, and drives organic traffic to your website.

3. They’ll be sure to tackle link building (and other off-page SEO strategies)

On-page SEO is just one part of the growth marketing equation. Your partner growth marketing agency will also incorporate different off-page SEO tactics (such as a top-tier link building strategy) to help your website, posts, and landing pages perform as well as possible. They’ll know ways to earn high-quality backlinks to your website, which can help build domain authority and brand awareness.

4. They’ll monitor analytics and data (and keep you up-to-speed)

Your growth marketing agency pros are also data wizards, and once content goes live, they keep a watchful eye on its performance, and how it impacts the search engines. These marketing analytics paint a comprehensive picture into where your leads are coming from, how your keywords are performing, if your site’s domain authority is changing (and by how much), and how many backlinks you’ve earned. The insights gained allow your marketing partner to also understand user behavior, such as how much time they’re spending on your site, and where your traffic is coming from (so you know where to focus your efforts).

All of this data is incredible for two reasons: first, your growth marketing agency can use it to refine their efforts, and double-down on what’s working. Next, they’ll share these insights transparently with you, so you’ll always know exactly what’s happening with your marketing efforts. No more guesswork, or feeling “in the dark.”

While these are the basic “nuts and bolts” steps, there’s also more that can go into a high-performing growth marketing strategy, depending on your partner agency. For example, here at RevenueZen, we also specialize in verbal brand identity and messaging, which helps brands like yours build the right brand identity to represent your business.

When Does It Make Sense to Use a Growth Marketing Agency?

Choosing to work with a growth marketing agency can be a big decision and investment, and it can be tough to decide if a growth marketing agency is right for your organization. Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. 

Here are some signs that it might be time to partner with a growth marketing agency.

1. You need to bring in different expertise

Your in-house marketers are talented, there’s no question about that, whether you have an entire marketing team in place or a sole SEO guru at the helm. But do your people have the specific skills necessary to successfully pull off growth marketing in the long run? This requires a unique blend of B2B digital marketing experience, an understanding of data and analytics, SEO prowess and an understanding of how to experiment in a dynamic landscape. Even the most skilled marketers might be experienced in more traditional ad avenues, such as paid advertisements, and lack some of the key knowledge necessary for successful growth marketing.

If you need to fill the skills gaps in your marketing strategy, working with a growth marketing agency might be the answer.

2. Your team has the experience, but not the bandwidth

This second scenario is common for many organizations today: you know what it takes to pull off growth marketing, and your people can (in theory) pull it off, but they simply don’t have the bandwidth. They’re busy juggling too many balls in the air at once, and the idea of constantly creating and deploying content, monitoring it, tweaking it, measuring it, and reporting on it is enough to make heads spin.

Sure, you could add more to their plate. But what might happen is that they start to drop some of those balls they’ve been juggling.

Instead of spreading your resources thin and straining your current people, working with a growth marketing agency can bring the necessary extra resources your team needs to excel.

3. You’ve hit a growth plateau

You’ve probably (at least) already dabbled in some marketing efforts, and might have even already heavily invested in them. If you’ve run paid ads, used traditional lead generation magnets, and you feel like the product has been selling itself, but you’re not sure where to go next, then a growth marketing agency might just be the answer.

“I think a lot of companies ignore organic search, and will instead (first) invest in channels or areas where they can essentially push a button and leads come out,” said RZ’s Jessica Schwebel. “I think when that kind of starts to plateau… How can we continue to reach more people? How can we get more users in or more customers in?” The answer is with a growth marketing agency.

4. You’re looking for a consistent, long-term marketing solution

Digital marketing can often be a one-off. You publish a new report, craft a new white paper, and turn on a new ad campaign. But If you’re looking for a long term, consistent pipeline of new leads, then a strategic growth marketing plan is likely your answer. That’s because growth marketing is not a “one and done,” and when you partner with an agency, their strategies are consistent, goal-oriented, and long-term.

Qualities to Look for in Top-Performing Growth Marketing Agency

When you decide to work with a growth marketing agency, you’ll quickly see there are plenty to choose from on the market. So, how can you decide which agency is the best one to partner with your organization?

Here are some criteria to consider.

1. They have a blend of marketing expertise

As we’ve discussed, growth marketing requires different types of marketing experience. While many agencies might have cut their teeth in one genre of marketing or another, growth marketing requires an array and depth of marketing experience. When vetting agencies, keep in mind that your partner agency of choice should be skillful in things like SEO, content marketing, data and analytics, and link building.

2. They can scale as you do

Growth marketing requires flexibility, and your partner agency should be able to accommodate your needs over time. For example, you might start off with a smaller scope of needs (let’s say, a few content briefs a month), and then quickly realize you need a more robust strategy to achieve your business goals (multiple blog posts and thought leadership pieces). Growth marketing is dynamic, and your partner agency should be able to meet you where you are.

3. They don’t just focus on superficial KPIs

Metrics and KPIs definitely matter in growth marketing, but your partner agency needs to focus on the right ones. For example, plenty of agencies in the SEO space focus on things like keyword rankings and how much traffic they’ve brought you. But is that traffic really aligning with your target audience, and is that traffic actually converting into qualified leads?

Ultimately, true metrics which matter help your company grow, get more money, and get more customers.

RevenueZen: Your Strategic Growth Marketing Partner

If you’re looking for a growth marketing agency that will actually help you move the needle in your business goals, then we’ve got you covered. Here at RevenueZen, our team of skillful and dedicated growth marketers work as your strategic partners and consultants, bringing our robust expertise and resources to the table. We’re one of the top SaaS SEO agencies in the game, and we specialize in helping brands like yours take things to the next level with growth marketing.

If you want to see where growth marketing can take your business, let us lead the way.

Interested in partnering with us? Let’s talk.