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"Organic Growth" Is A Valuable Marketing Strategy, Just Not Enough By Itself

Just what is an “organic” strategy? By some definitions, it is an inbound marketing strategy, centered around word of mouth and through engagement. But MarketingTech founder Douglas Karr does not believe it is enough.

Karr is also the president and CEO of DK New Media, and as he described, at least one client has invested marketing dollars in just the one strategy—organic growth. Karr likened an “organic online presence” to “building a store, restaurant or office. The store should be centrally located,” that is, searchable, “should attract the right visitors” with its design and messaging, and “should convert prospects into clients” with calls to action and landing pages.

But even all of that is not enough. Organic growth is passive, where Karr believes in active promotion. “As a business owner, you can’t sit back and wait for the business to come, you have to go look for it.” Also true, organic strategies like word of mouth are slow going; so must be backed up by buying traffic through pay-per-clicks, sponsorships and banner ads.

Is organic a waste of time? Hardly—but it is a long-term strategy, and must be just one of several marketing strategies.

The Active Engine of Passive Growth
The passive nature of organic growth fosters a passive attitude toward lead capture. A unique visit, “like” or other engagement is otherwise useless.

Eric Wittlake, head of media at Babcock & Jenkins, works with clients to develop integrated programs. He described in an iMedia Connections entry a roadmap for marketing analytics, which takes into account the “organic” events including—

  • Impressions
  • Share of voice
  • Frequency
  • Clicks
  • Interaction rate.

The organic activity must be held to the same analytics as are interactive ads in online venues, measured for conversion rate, cost per action, brand tracking. In short: Organic growth must be friendly and opt-in to those who do opt in; but with marketers ready to pounce and convert at first opportunity.


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