Trends #0016 — Growth Tools

Animation of various tools overlaid on a growing structure.

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🔍 Problem

Free marketing channels are crowded and paid channels are expensive.

It’s an arms race.

Companies must work harder and pay more to succeed in free and paid channels, respectively. The Red Queen Effect applies to marketing.

💡 Solution

Growth tools allow companies to escape the marketing rat race with assets such as quizzes, calculators, games, directories, aggregators, checklists, apps and more.

This is not freemium. These are independent tools that may or may not require users to sign up.

🏁 Players

Growth Tools

Companies Using Growth Tools

🔮 Prediction

  • No-code tools will make it easy to build growth tools. Outgrow helps you build quizzes, chatbots and calculators without writing code.

☁️ Opportunities

  • Create multi-use content like resource roundups and directories. You’ll get repeated exposure to potential customers.
  • Use no-code tools to build growth tools. Rita Roloff shows you how to build a quiz that sends personalized text messages without writing code.
  • Buy growth tools instead of building them. Acquire assets with existing traffic to reduce market risk. Skillshare bought Coolors.
  • Clone successful growth tools and make improvements. This reduces market risk. But you’ll need a plan for discovery and growth.
  • Build a micro private equity fund to acquire growth tools. Sell advertising, setup affiliate programs, collect leads or anonymized data.

😠 Haters

This is engineering as marketing.
It’s engineering as marketing, engineered marketing, side-project marketing and more. I’m a fan of simplicity. Growth tools has less syllables.

“This is not new.”
It’s not new. It’s underutilized.

“Why not freemium?”
They’re not mutually exclusive. Most SaaS companies using growth tools also have a freemium model. See Sumo, Shopify and Zapier. But freemium doesn’t work for every business. What about agencies and consultants? High marginal costs prevent them from using freemium. But growth tools work.

“You said growth tools allow companies to escape the marketing rate race. Then suggested cloning them.”
You got me. This is what the haters section is for. To make strong statements. And clean them up here. Cloning assets is a great strategy to reduce market risk. Perhaps there’s no way to escape the Red Queen. Or maybe there is… See Trends Pro Notes.

🔗 Links

  1. Side Project IdeasRishabh Dev offers 101 growth tool ideas.
  2. Tool Marketing for B2B SaaS Founders — A short chapter from the B2B SaaS Marketing Playbook that shows how B2B SaaS companies are using growth tools.
  3. Engineered Marketing — A short video with examples and guidelines to create a successful growth tool.
  4. SEO Project MarketingHarry Dry writes about the SEO benefits of growth tools.
  5. 10 Brilliant Examples of Side-Project MarketingJules Maregiano gives 10 unique examples of growth tools.

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What you’ll get:

  • An Airtable Database with 150+ Growth Tools 
  • 30 Companies Using Growth Tools (200% more)
  • 10 Potential Acquisitions (exclusive insights)
  • 2 Predictions (100% More)
  • 10 Opportunities (100% More)
  • 📈 Trends Pro Notes (exclusive insights)
  • 10 Summarized Links (100% More)

With Trends Pro you’ll learn:

  • (📈 Pro) When to buybuild or lease growth tools?
  • (📈 Pro) How to find proprietary channels to reach your customers?
  • (📈 Pro) Do growth tools have staying power?
  • (📈 Pro) How to reverse engineer demand for growth tools?
  • (📈 Pro) How to use growth tools for SEO benefits?
  • (📈 Pro) How to make viral growth tools?
  • (📈 Pro) How to indirectly profit from the growth tools trend?
  • (📈 Pro) How to leverage AI to build growth tools?