Growth Marketing, Programmatic Misunderstood By Marketers

Programmatic is an easy channel to turn on. Brands turn it on at the top of the funnel, but do not consider how it impacts the entire journey, according to Sam Huston, chief strategy officer at 3Q/Dept.

3Q was acquired by Dept, an international network of digital agencies based in Amsterdam, in late May.

“It’s too much programmatic in absence of other channels,” Huston says. “Marketers are over-relying on programmatic, and do not turn on other channels like digital out-of-home or connected TV.”

Growth marketing requires search, social, influencer marketing, and other media channels, Huston says.

As the delta between brand and performance continues to erode, obstacles that keep marketers from understanding how growth marketing operates force marketers to work under legacy models and stifle growth.

The growth marketing agency 3Q/Dept in February fielded a 2022 Market Survey across the U.S., which asked 400 business-to-business marketers in Healthcare, Retail, Technology, and Financial Services how they approach the fact customers no longer take time to research before purchase.



The data shows that consumers now move from research to purchase in an instant. The data reveals what prompts consumers to make rapid decisions, and provides insights into how marketers should address this change.

Some of the most telling results of the survey suggest that 76% of marketers do not embrace a growth-marketing mindset, and brands rely too heavily on programmatic to drive awareness.

The data suggests that marketers looking for a competitive edge should be diversifying into connected television (CTV), out-of-home (OOH), and mobile apps.

“Maturity is based on industry,” Huston said. “It requires a new and different way of budgeting and potential spend. … Having the necessary resources also is important.”

Only 24% of respondents have a growth marketing mindset, Houston said. Companies have strong brand and performance teams, but many have not made the transition to bring the teams together and consider the dollar spent at the front of the journey, and the dollar spent at the end of the journey, he said.

Huston said marketers used to talk about in-house vs. Agency, but having the correct resources in-house is an important tool to power this growth strategy. It requires marketers to consider brand, in-house and agency combined.

Growth marketing requires a full-funnel approach, combining upper-funnel brand and mid-to-bottom funnel marketing strategies.

It also requires data management, where insights are constantly collected and used to measure the health of the business, build engaging creative, and optimize marketing strategy to drive broader company goals, according to the report.

The research found that 75% of survey respondents invest in analytics, while 68% invest in strategy and planning and 50% invest in creative growth drivers.

Respondents then were asked to select three areas in which they will or have invested in 2022. These options included both performance and growth metrics. Performance metrics based on intent and conversion and are related specifically to a singular channel such as webpage visits, cost per acquisition, open rates, and click-through rates.

Growth metrics take a much broader look at how well a brand is doing. These include measurements such as churn rates, lifetime customer value, brand reputation, and market share gains, according to the report.

Some 49% of respondents said they use performance metrics, tracking performance of specific channels and activity-based metrics, such as clicks and conversions.

About 48% said they use growth metric such as loyalty and retention metrics, churn rates and lifetime customer value, while 46% use growth metrics like market share gains and preference from competitors.

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