B2B Growth Marketing: just a fancy term or already here to stay?

Growth Marketing is certainly trendy. Sounds plausible too. At first you expand your horizon to see what works, and then decide on the basis of data. But in B2B?

Do we sometimes use Growth Marketing at BBC? Yes, of course we do – we love testing and exploring all possibilities. So much can be done in terms of messaging, channel, timing, touch points, call to action, landing page, copy, design, you name it.

So, to first gather data with a lot of variation and know what really works before we roll out a B2B campaign or strategy: yes please! And who knows, we might gain new insights along the way, curious as we are.

Five turns for one euro?

But if B2B Growth Marketing is a fancy term today, it is because on the one hand it benefits a bit from that other hipster term: “Growth Hacking”. A common misunderstanding.

Hacking sounds like taking a shortcut, fast, contrary, … And that’s exactly what it is. Whereas Growth Marketing focuses on a cycle process of testing, learning and retesting, Growth Hacking takes it a step further with testing a huge amount of approaches, formats, …

Growth Hacking can sometimes become sort of a free throw at everything, with everything you have and even don’t have – if you don’t watch out. And that clashes with the long, complicated B2B sales cycles, and above all: those typically complex products and services.

In that range of messages you also risk losing the consistency of your carefully developed B2B brand: whether your target groups experience these false notes emotionally or rationally, that dent in your B2B brand is a dent in the trust people have in your organization. And that has bad news written all over it.

So both can be particularly effective and transcend their hype when done well within the appropriate framework.

Best of both worlds: Hybrid Growth Marketing

So how does Growth Marketing work in B2B? 
And why are strategy and data so crucial?

Live version: video below! Up to date in 3 minutes.

This is how Growth Hacking does NOT work in B2B 

Growth Hacking can seem like a valid test to see if, for example, pricing sticks as an argument to your target audience. Want to see if they click on your Google Search ad when you claim to have the best prices?

That is certainly not a good idea if you cannot deliver on that competitive price later on: you break your promise and reject marketing qualified leads just as quickly. This can kill your brand, even in the medium term.

By the way, the same goes for HR: be careful not to attract engineers or nurses with a tempting proposal that you cannot deliver.

The reins of your B2B marketing strategy

And that brings us to the heart of the matter: your B2B marketing strategy. Medium term, long term. Your brand, your USPs. What you already know about your target groups. The story you need to gain long-term trust.

B2B Growth Marketing is only here to stay when we combine the best of both worlds.

  • The wild and sometimes unexpected combinations and possibilities of Growth thinking. Broad testing. Tactical, content wise. Also within channels. See what works thanks to data. And only then roll it out.
  • But within our B2B playing field and the tight reins of strategy, brand, messaging, target groups, design, copy, call to actions and attraction factors.

This is how Hybrid Growth Marketing works in B2B. And remains fun.

Hybrid Growth Marketing with BBC

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