“I like to think of successful brand-building as creating a company that customers would be upset to separate from their identity,” growth marketing expert Julian Shapiro told us earlier this week. “For example, they’d cease to be the man with Slack stickers all over his laptop. Or the woman who no longer wears Nike shoes every day. And that bugs them.”
Shapiro comes from a technical background as a repeat startup founder and open-source web developer. But these days, as the co-founder of growth education company Demand Curve and startup growth agency Bell Curve, he advocates telling your story by speaking from the heart. We interviewed him earlier this week to hear more about how he sees marketing in 2021.
Elsewhere on TechCrunch and Extra Crunch this week, we published guest columns about using influencers in early-stage brands, the global retail media spending trend and talked to Growth Folks, a growth marketing organization in India.
But first, here are a couple of the most recent recommendations from founders in our startup growth marketer survey. (If there’s a growth marketer that you’ve enjoyed working with, please tell us here.) Testimonial: “Bili has a proven track record of driving growth, as the former vice president of Growth Marketing at Jumia Nigeria and a senior growth consultant for Founders Factory Africa. She can cut through the jargon/vanity metrics and has found a way to consistently and reliably engineer growth for us. What’s unique about Bili’s approach is that her strategy moves beyond just marketing. She is data-driven and takes an iterative experimental approach to unlock growth across various business pillars, from marketing to product and operations.” Testimonial: “Jack is incredibly talented at both growth hacking as well as building an automated growth engine. He has been tremendously helpful to our team.”
Building a growing community in India with Ayush Srivastava of Growth Folks: India produces a vast, well-funded new generation of startups. Increasing sophistication in growth marketing is one reason. “Companies have started realizing the true importance of having a fully functional growth team, and they have started acknowledging their one metric that matters as well,” Srivastava told us in a recent interview. “The growth marketers have also started setting up a lot of experiments and have taken a data-driven approach to solve a problem. Now, I see many startups going out of the box and finding new ways of acquisition. They haven’t restricted them to acquiring users via the traditional ways, and that’s why you see so many ideas going viral so easily.”
(Extra Crunch) Early-stage brands should also unlock the power of influencers: Jonathan Martinez, an experienced growth marketer, breaks down influencer marketing. Martinez notes, “When reaching out to influencers, it’s a sheer numbers game in capturing their attention and pitching your brand, but there are myriad ways to increase response conversion.”
(Extra Crunch) What’s driving the global surge in retail media spending? Cynthia Luo, head of marketing at Epsilon, discusses what modern marketing is in 2021. Luo also talks about how businesses have had to adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic. Luo says, “As e-commerce turns into a dream marketing channel, reaping the benefits of retail marketing is only possible if the marketplace equips brands with the right tools and data sets.”