Maintenance Marketing Vs. Growth Marketing and Why You Need Both

Growth and Maintenance Marketing article with a little plant growing from a bigger tree

A phrase I say all the time is “there are 1000 ways to skin a cat.” I picked it up from a mentor when I was just a smelly copywriter and hadn’t dreamt of professional life yet.

We’ve since changed it to, “there’s a 1000 ways to plant a seed,” which is less jarring and doesn’t bother Courtney with weird cat imagery.

But when it comes to marketing, it’s true.

You can structure your automated email sequences a lot of different ways—as long as you have the basic sequences that your company needs.

You can make your marketing calendar based on anything from the moon cycle to the sports channel—as long as you make one.

You can make your sales funnels 3 steps or 7 steps long—as long as you make it easy for your customers.

Yes, there are 1000 ways to plant every seed but you have to have a seed.

And similarly, you need all of the aspects of a good marketing strategy to be successful in your company.

Two Types of Marketing

There are a lot of types of marketing, but for us they fall into two categories.

  1. Growth Marketing
  2. Maintenance Marketing

The truth is, they’re both vital for the long term health and sustainability of a company.

When you start to see the plateaus in revenue of your company, and everyone feels like they’re working really hard—unless you need to add more people to your team—it’s often incohesion between these two aspects of marketing that cause the issue.

Growth Marketing

We’re starting here because it’s sexy.

Literally everyone is on about growth marketing right now—Facebook ads, clickfunnels, Adwords, landing pages—oh, lala, it’s lit.

And it’s really necessary for the growth of a company. No one is going to know who you are or where you come from if you’re not getting your brand in front of them. (And yes, it’s average 7 times before they make a purchase).

Do your absolute best to get as much funding behind your growth as possible, test audiences, test ads, build and optimize all the landing pages. YES!  

How to Know When to Improve Your Growth Marketing Strategy

When your Growth Marketing strategy isn’t working, it’s pretty easy to see… you’re just not growing. You’re stagnant.

Your email list is the same size (or smaller) than last week, you don’t know (or don’t have) a customer acquisition cost, you aren’t generating any leads, or getting sales.

Sometimes your repeat customer rate is really high, this is often seen as a positive thing, but if high repeat customer is coupled with a low revenue, it’s likely you need to boost this part of your strategy.

If you don’t want to use money metrics, especially if you’re a startup or you offer a free service, you’ll look at things like traffic and trials. If you’re not seeing an increase in traffic or anyone even getting to the “try for free” button, check in with your growth strategy and try to figure out what’s going on there.

However, if you see an increase in traffic and acquisition but you’ve still plateaued, it’s probably your Maintenance Marketing that needs improvement.

Maintenance Marketing

This type of marketing is less than a hot topic (though I really don’t know why).

It’s not catchy or new, no one is talking about how they structure their weeks, and it’s basically the underbelly that brands don’t want people to see­—and the secrets they keep.

But it’s so important that without this your brand is leaving money on the table at best, and at worst you’re going to fail.

Maintenance Marketing is all about getting in front, and staying in front, of the people that already love you, buy from you, and support your cause. This is your regular blog and email cycle, your organic social media, and keeping your website relevant and workable.

You can do all the Growth Marketing you want, but your customers purchase from you once and never hear from you again, you’re likely not going to get another purchase.

How to Know When to Improve Your Maintenance Marketing Strategy

This is a little bit more nuanced than just, “you aren’t growing,” because in general, your revenue is stuck BUT you see more traffic and more new customers than ever.

And you’re hitting your head on the wall going, “what’s wrrooooonngg?”

Chances are, you’re not giving (and thus getting) enough attention to the people that really matter: your loyal customers. This looks like, low lifetime value, high acquisition cost, and inconsistent messaging.

Set up your marketing so that all that acquisition you’re doing puts them into your internal maintenance funnel, then create a calendar and follow it.

Don’t over think this step, just do it.

We typically create a set up around email because it’s intimate and it allows you to control who sees which messages, but find what works for your company.

Note here: if you’re doing regular upkeep, seeing more traffic, and customers but you’re still stuck, it could be other things going on. The most common we see is incohesive branding and/or problems with your website (these often go hand in hand by the way)—you’re confusing your customers.

Do you have both aspects of marketing in your business? Put your #1 Growth and #1 Maintenance in the comments below.

If you don’t have both aspects of marketing don’t be embarrassed. Just book a call.

Photo by Taha Mazandarani on Unsplash

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