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The 5 Phases of Market-Led Growth


A Proven Process for CEOs to Unlock Growth


The Different Growth Models

Before exploring the five phases of market-led growth, it’s critical to understand that the concept differs from community-led and product-led growth. All three can be leveraged for a growth machine, but in different ways.


In many cases, those two need to be identified and structured first for market-led growth to be successful.


Community-led growth (CLG) leverages the voice of the people as a source of building product ideas, beta testing, and market validation. It’s gathering those with common interests who might identify with your problem. You then build a product and community around it to help fuel growth.


Then there is product-led growth (PLG). While there are many definitions, it’s ultimately leveraging the capability and functionality of the product as well as its users to enable growth. You can learn about PLG from this Grow Up with GROW show episode.


Finally, there’s market-led growth (MLG), which is what we’re going to cover today. Here’s what you need to know.


The 5 Components of building Market-Led Growth

There are five phases of market-led growth that start strategically and then move to the tactics.


1. Messaging and Positioning

As a CEO, you might say, “our teams don’t know how to describe what we do and how we do it”.


Perhaps you don’t communicate what you do well or how your organization is better. Don’t worry – you’re not alone. This is something that you don’t realize you need until it feels like it’s almost too late. This is when it’s time to build your story.


You are not winning as many deals as you’d like. Something’s not coming across right in the sales calls.


It feels like a house of cards and may fall without a solid messaging platform that builds a new category, demonstrates differentiation, or shows a superior approach.


You must create a messaging playbook. It will become the definitive internal guide to constructing tools, assets, emails, blogs, social media, and more so that your story is consistent, solid, and in a framework that can be adapted when new information becomes available.


2. Brand Development and Identity

You might think your company looks like everyone else. Your brand might feel outdated or distracting, and you need to look bigger than you might actually be.


This can make a difference in how your business is perceived and how trust levels are gained.


It’s all about the first impressions. As you know, first impressions last.


No matter how good your product is, the first impression of your brand will last forever. It might not seem fair, but it’s your only chance to gain interest.


People are looking for reasons to say no to you. It’s up to you not to give them one.


When you work with GROW, our team works with the leadership team and the available resources to create an identity that looks professional and stands out from the competition.


Most importantly, we help you look bigger than you might be to obtain confidence from potential customers and partners.


3. Asset Creation and Implementation

Do your sales reps have nothing to say or share with your clients? Your company needs a website, case studies, presentations, and sales tools.


So now it’s time to build.


You’ve got a story to tell, and your company has an identity. You must bring these two together and create an arsenal of tools for marketing tactics, sales engagements, and investor awareness building to put your story into action.


Having the right tools at the right time in the buyer journey will accelerate a successful program.


4. Demand Creation and Rapid Test

Now you need leads.


You must feed the sales teams and the marketing machine.


It’s time to put everything you’ve done to date into action and go forward with a demand creation program that’s guaranteed to drive new pipeline growth.


This is where all your hard work takes flight.


5. Scale, Optimize, and Transition

Once you see the results, you will want to double the efforts, take it on yourself, or blow it up.


So you want to improve, enhance, internalize and repeat.


Once the machine is working at full force, you must build sprints and processes to improve results, test new experiments, and receive feedback internally and externally.


You might also want to bring on new people to take on the evolution of the story, assets, and tools to make it your own.


Time to Grow

That’s the five phases of market-led growth.


But take note. This proven process requires a seasoned market-driven leader to collaborate with the CEO to execute the program successfully. They can progress through each stage and help take a company from viable to valuable.


Want to hear more from GROW Powerful? Visit our website and check out our Grow Up With GROW podcast. You can find it wherever you listen to your podcasts. You can also subscribe to our LinkedIn newsletter.

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