Growth initiatives have been one of the main factors driving adoption of marketing automation (MA), and scalability is one of the most important considerations for buyers and users evaluating MA products.

I recently attended the 2016 Marketing Nation Summit, Marketo's user conference, in Las Vegas, on behalf of my company (TrustRadius). In attendance were 6,000+ marketers who are using Marketo's marketing automation software to send campaigns, track leads, and report on engagement at scale.

As part of our coverage of the conference, I talked with B2B marketing leaders who have experience with rapid company growth. Some of them have successfully helped scale multiple companies; others are now working on major growth initiatives. All of them shared lessons and advice on the following:

  • The role of marketing in driving growth
  • What it means to think like a growth marketer
  • New challenges that arise with scale, and how to approach them

Although the specific growth tactics these practitioners have used or are using are different, during our discussions five key takeaways emerged that can help you get into a growth-marketing mindset.

1. Marketing plays a major role in growth initiatives

Practitioners described Marketing as the core of a company's growth engine, for several different kinds of growth. Marketing is involved across the customer lifecycle—from attracting net new business to creating sales enablement content, to finding and working with customer advocates. In addition to shaping customer perceptions of the brand, Marketing also plays a role in shaping company culture and communicating about the brand to job candidates.

Thus, Marketing is responsible for helping to drive scale on multiple fronts.

"Marketing can potentially be involved in all growth initiatives. There are three things that grow a company: brand awareness, customer acquisition/revenue growth, and people growth. All of those things are brand touch points, places where the company interacts with outside world, and Marketing is the core steward of the brand. Marketing drives awareness through content marketing and advertising, drives customer acquisition through product marketing and lead gen programs, and should also be a really important element in the recruiting picture. For some areas of that growth system Marketing is the direct owner, but I think Marketing can contribute to every stage and help every function in a support role. It's the loudest megaphone of how the brand works on different digital channels, both internally within a company and externally to the public." Chris Bolman, director of integrated marketing (growth) at Percolate

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Emily Sue Tomac is a research analyst at TrustRadius, a review site for business technology, serving buyers as well as vendors.

LinkedIn: Emily Sue Tomac

Twitter: @EmilySueTomac