5 Tips for Harnessing the Power of Growth Marketing

April 20, 2023

The phrase “growth marketing” has been tossed around a lot lately. It’s mysterious. It’s chic. It’s glamorous. But what does it all mean? If you’re a Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) or other marketer looking to get in on this conversation, you’re in luck! Today, we’re diving into what growth marketing really means—and as a bonus, we’ll throw in 5 hot tips for DMOs looking to harness its power. Let’s get into it!

What the Heck is Growth Marketing Anyway?

In a nutshell, growth marketing means combining customer data, market insights, and creativity in order to 1. better understand your audience and 2. thoroughly develop every step of their journey. Growth marketers work to find invaluable information on consumers, and then put the pieces together to drive impactful creative concepts on popular channels. The savviest of growth marketers will also be constantly on the lookout for upselling and other revenue expansion opportunities.

We know what you’re thinking— wait, how is that different from performance marketing? Isn’t all marketing about growth and performance? The difference between performance vs. growth marketing is pretty simple: one is micro, and the other is macro. Performance marketing is short-term, using quick, measurable results to maximize return on ad spend and ROI. Growth marketing, on the other hand, is much more overarching and ongoing. It’s a process that involves SEO optimization and content marketing, executing long-term strategies that cover the entirety of the marketing funnel and customer lifecycle. Capiche?

5 Hot Tips for Using Growth Marketing Strategies


Like a planet orbiting their star, growth marketing revolves around one thing: data. Data should be at the center of all your growth marketing strategies, from insight garnering to timely, impactful communications. First, focus on building up your first-party data and connecting all your data sources, online and offline. You have to understand your visitors as individuals, examining their interests, intent and behavior and communicating with them accordingly! 

Beyond mere vanity metrics and clicks, it can sometimes be challenging for a DMO to work with boards and decisionmakers to evolve antiquated reporting policies and practices. So, how do you evolve? 

  • Educate your stakeholders – explain which metrics are best for measuring impact
  • Review economic impact numbers – understand the DMO’s situation and overall impact from a high level view
  • Don’t report on everything – determine the parts that are driving impact, and focus on those numbers


If you’re a DMO trying to figure out how to approach KPIs, it helps to work backwards and start by asking yourself “why are we doing this?” and “what outcomes do we want?” From there, you can pick a primary and secondary KPI that will help answer these questions.


Travelers, and the travel they’re looking for, have changed drastically in recent years. That means your marketing approach also has to change! Proactivity is essential— move from thinking about “destination marketing,” and think of it instead as “destination management.” Embrace everything this term represents and move beyond traditional travel-related thinking to understand how your activities are impacting the broader community.


Take some time to truly know and understand your consumer— begin by replacing the word “traveler” in your lexicon! Travelers are consumers and travel is something they do/purchase during their experience. Beware of limiting your understanding of your consumer’s movement with this kind of vocabulary!


When it comes to growth marketing, it’s dangerous to go at it alone! Embrace technology and use it to simplify and streamline your activities. It won’t bite, we promise. Invest in platforms and technology that will help you activate and gain control of your data. Meanwhile, machine learning can help you understand and measure success so you can optimize your audience interactions across all platforms.


Growth automation is a technique that marketers can use to automate the tasks that drive customers and conversions, which simultaneously frees up the marketer’s time so they can move on to higher-level tasks. 


You don’t have to be a Los Angeles or a New York-sized destination to get in on growth marketing. Smaller destinations have many options when it comes to growth marketing strategies: partnering up with larger DMOs, getting specific with their goals, leveraging timely, creative ideas, etc.— there’s plenty of room at the table for destinations who are still growing.


Consider using the 60-30-10 paid media methodology to ensure steady, careful growth:

  • 60% of your overall investment in your established markets
  • 30% of your overall investment in your targeting growth markets
  • 10% of your overall investment in your emerging markets


No matter the size of your DMO, one thing is true: testing is necessary in order to improve and hone performance. A/B or multivariate testing can help you determine which content is performing well, and which content needs to be updated or optimized.


Make your testing even better by customizing individual segments of your content to see what’s resonating with your audience groups. 

Our foray into the world of growth marketing may be coming to a close, but thankfully, TAA is always embarking upon audacious journeys into the world of marketing. Click here to learn more about our work in the Travel & Tourism sector!

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