Adaptive Growth: What is it and how to use it to scale data-driven creative
Data Driven Growth
Creative Testing

Adaptive Growth: What is it and how to use it to scale data-driven creative

Jon BrodyJon Brody

July 15, 2021

Marketing appears simple on the surface. You generate traffic, and you have conversions. But the underlying complexity is found in the many touch points of communication, from brand awareness down to the actual conversion. Users have at least a half dozen ways to navigate from awareness to consideration to converting. 

And because your audience is made up of different types of people, you have dozens of different touch points across different user segments to manage. Each of those touch points represents an opportunity for you to communicate your product and brand so that users take the right action. If you get it wrong, it’s a creative marketing failure. So, how do you ensure marketing creative is data-driven and successful? By using adaptive growth.

Why Creative Marketing Strategy Is Important

Creative in marketing is the most important way for your products to resonate with your users. Whether it's top funnel or mid funnel ads, landing pages, or bottom funnel emails, you use content to present your message. What makes it difficult is the amount of resources that goes into developing the right content to show to the right person at the right time. 

How do you manage all that efficiently and cost-effectively? Ladder provides the answer by developing universal and adaptive creative testing plans for successful marketing growth. If part of your business growth strategy in a given month is to focus on specific priority KPIs, touch points, and new segments, you'll have access to universally applicable creative test content that you can execute to improve how users engage with your brand.

Which Marketing Channels Should You Use?

Companies have a limited amount of resources and capital they can allocate for improvement. So, how do you decide how to allocate your resources? 

Look at your top and bottom-line goals, efficiency, and volume 

Where are you today and where are the gaps? Evaluate based on your needs. If you want more volume, what's holding you back? Look at benchmarks such as what your current cost is to get traffic and what the average conversion rate is to get that traffic to engage the lead form to completion. 

Create a blueprint of what governs your growth

It’s important to figure out which metrics are weak compared to your benchmarks. Then you can aim where you develop and launch creative marketing tests.

A benefit of this creative testing system is that you have amazing leverage. You can validate the winning concepts, themes of messaging, and design of how to get different segments of your audience to positively engage with your brand. You’ll know why performance improves, not just that it improves. 

Once you understand what’s driving user behavior, you’ll improve your accuracy in developing content to test, which translates into improving your landing page conversion rates and your checkout page conversion rates.  

Use Performance Marketing and Brand Marketing To Your Benefit

Brand marketing is something you expect to help you out over time. Performance marketing is something you can measure immediately. What most smart business owners understand is that you need both. You have to improve your brand awareness and build brand equity. You can’t only rely on performance because it’s going to stagnate at some point and produce diminishing returns.

If you’re seeing your direct attribution and performance metrics improve, yet conversions aren't also improving, then you don't have a good relationship between brand marketing and performance marketing. At some point, that's always going to bite you hard and slow your business's growth.

Content Is Key For Creative Testing in Marketing

When you launch creative tests, the type of content used is the fuel. You’ve built this beautiful car, but what's going to make it perform at its best? This is where you utilize images, motion design, animation, video, etc. How do you decide what type of fuel you should use at the right time? 

At Ladder, we always start by trying to validate the concept of a winning strategy. To maximize resources and speed, we focus on fuel like static images, allowing us to move quicker and preserve resources. Once we’ve validated a winning group, we invest in new fuel types like video or high-production video. The relative costs to develop a video becomes insignificant in relation to the impact because of how much capital you're putting behind that campaign.

What Is Adaptive Growth?

Adaptive growth is about being able to change your focus and priorities to develop content that drives success. Adaptive growth came about by recognizing how volatile digital marketing is. It allows you to build an operational model that generates growth every month by focusing creative testing on the most important KPIs. This ensures that from top middle and bottom funnel resources, the growth team is always made up of the right type of specialists solving the right problems at the right time. Problems will change from month to month. The only question is when. 

How prepared are you to adapt resources and your thinking? That’s where adaptive growth comes in, and how you build your growth teams to best fulfill how adaptive, agile and predictive you can be in allocating resources to solving the problems top mid and bottom funnel.

How Adaptive Growth In Marketing Can Help

Adaptive growth is all about becoming more agile in the way you think and act. One way to be more agile is to have a better knowledge base at your fingertips. 

Think of it like poker. When a poker player does something brilliant, sometimes it looks like he was able to read the other players’ minds. What the player is doing is seeing the pattern that’s occurring in that hand and executing the appropriate tactic. 

The Ladder playbook is a repository of all the tactics that we've launched with performance data behind it. That allows us to be more responsive and also more accurate in our responses when we have to adapt to a situation.

When adaptive growth strategies are implemented and executed, you will be able to respond to inevitable market changes quickly and efficiently. You will adapt to unforeseen changes by employing the right response, and growth will continue in a new direction without missing a beat.

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