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How To Market With A Growth Mindset The economy might be tight, but you can operate in fear or focus on growth. The founders of Faith & Fear believe the only way to win is to be fearless.

By Nadine von Moltke-Todd

You're reading Entrepreneur South Africa, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Faith & Fear

Vital stats

Players: Perri King and Taryn Sharman

Company: Faith & Fear


According to Harvard Business Review, 17% of businesses don't survive a recession and only 9% flourish post-slowdown.

It was this statistic, coupled with the fact that the South African economy has struggled to really leave the recession behind it, that led Taryn Sharman and Perri King to launch Faith & Fear in 2015.

"During negative growth periods or market losses, as they realistically should be labelled, organisations aim to cut costs – particularly marketing-related expenses," says Taryn.

Related: Video: The Mindset You Need To Scale From R100 000 To R1 Million

"We wanted to work with clients to close this gap – to recognise that everything an organisation does should be about growth engineering, from the business model through to how the business is perceived in the market and interacting with customers."

Combining a creative background with business consultancy experience, Taryn and Perri leverage creative solutions for clients to help them unlock better performing revenue streams.

"You can no longer be one thing in the market," says Perri. "You unlock value when you combine disciplines, which is what all entrepreneurs and partnerships should be doing.

"Marketing is absolutely creative, but it's also a business imperative and a revenue generator – it shouldn't be viewed as a sunk cost. By combining our skills and experience, Taryn and I are able to offer a much more holistic solution."

Related: The Growth Mindset That Has Taken This Local Company Global

Instead of buttoning down to weather current economic conditions, Taryn and Perri have a different message for business owners: It's time to focus on growth instead. Here's how they believe businesses can leverage marketing to add value to the bottom line, instead of just adding another line item to the expense budget.

Q. What is a Growth Hacker?

Whilst this sounds like a new fad in the digital world, it's a term that was coined by Sean Ellis in 2010. However, growth hacking is a relatively new field in marketing, and as its name suggests, is purely focused on growth.

It's particularly prevalent with start-ups, when the goal is finding product/market-fit or achieving rapid growth in the early stages of launching a new product or service to market.

A growth hacker is by no means a replacement for a marketer, but rather a complementary ally. To use the most succinct definition from Ellis's post, "A growth hacker is a person whose true north is growth."

Every decision that a growth hacker makes is informed by growth. Every strategy, every tactic, and every initiative, is attempted in the hopes of growing. And as such, corporate South Africa is sitting up and taking notice of this approach.

The declining financial markets, the increased cost of digital inventory, and the amount of clutter in an ever-changing environment is causing companies to think long and hard about both their acquisition and retention strategies.

Related: Why A Winning Mindset Can Make Or Break Your Business

Growth will no longer come from traditional methods alone. Corporate companies need to add the agile part of start-up thinking to their lexicon.

Q. How are you using a growth mindset to change how businesses view marketing?

We aim to help companies distribute everything faster, further, and in a more sustainable way, but that starts with the belief that this is all possible.

We see too many businesses operating from a place of fear. It's good to be careful where necessary, but when you're too careful, it's almost impossible to grow.

Instead, think big. Imagine how big you can actually go – and that doesn't necessarily require spending hundreds of thousands or even millions – it just requires a growth mindset.

From products to messages and campaigns, followers, revenue, market share, customers, clicks or impressions – we uncover the best way for our clients to grow.

Related: 5 Smart, Cost-Effective Marketing Moves That Will Build Your Business In A Tight Economy

Here's an analogy: Imagine your company sells lemons. The best quality lemons on the market. Your goal is to distribute as many lemons to consumers as possible.

A growth marketing approach involves broader thinking that looks something like this:

  • What channels do I have to distribute these lemons?
  • What if every person who bought a lemon through these channels had the opportunity to offer their friend a lemon too, as part of a promotion?
  • Is there a way to sell even more lemons through these channels?
  • What are the best performing channels to sell lemons?
  • What other products need lemons and their by-products? Let's find the top channels that distribute lemon juice, lemon extract and lemonade and offer our lemons to them too.
  • Maybe if we distribute more through the best channels, and get a better price, we can use the money we save to re-invest into building our own distribution channel –
  • Let's make sure our lemons are in front of the right people, at the right time – so we become their default lemon brand of choice.
  • Let's create FOMO by releasing limited edition lemons to trendsetters that statistically are more likely to influence others.

Related: Powerful Marketing Videos On A Budget

Q. What do you mean by agile in a marketing context?

Distributing content, products and stories in today's environment requires the exact opposite of a fixed, rigid approach. It requires constant innovation.

After all, it's highly likely that every single one of your competitors is distributing through the same channels, with the same approach and probably a very similar message.

This absolute focus on growth has given rise to a number of methods, tools, and best practices, that simply didn't exist within your traditional marketing repertoire, and as time passes the chasm between the two disciplines deepens.

We put this knowledge to work to grow companies exponentially. We build empires. We take risks. We're humble. And we know that growth is everything. Companies that can embrace this mindset will conquer their fears and dominate their markets.

Related: Beginners Guide To Digital Marketing In South Africa

Nadine von Moltke-Todd

Entrepreneur Staff

Editor-in-Chief: South Africa

Nadine von Moltke-Todd is the Editor-in-Chief of Entrepreneur Media South Africa. She has interviewed over 400 entrepreneurs, senior executives, investors and subject matter experts over the course of a decade. She was the managing editor of the award-winning Entrepreneur Magazine South Africa from June 2010 until January 2019, its final print issue. Nadine’s expertise lies in curating insightful and unique business content and distilling it into actionable insights that business readers can implement in their own organisations.
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