I've attended many times Growth Marketing Conference. I've also spoke at the event on community marketing. There's no doubt that today it's recognized as the largest growth marketing event in the world and the highlight of the year in terms of marketing star power.
A major platform for new and known marketers, thought leaders, major business developers, and some true marketing wizards, GMC has always been a refreshing experience for me as a marketer.
Let’s jump right in and see what the event is all about - and whether or not it’s worth attending.
Global Growth Marketing Conference At A Glance
GMC was founded in 2014, and has been held at the end of each year since in San Francisco. It’s an event to look forward to if you’re a new marketer looking to get established, or an already established one looking to elevate your business through the roof.
The conference brings together various global B2B and B2C marketing experts, speakers, and thought leaders on one platform. The plan is always to share ideas, conduct workshops, and discuss actionable growth strategies.
Over the years, the event has brought on major global brands such as Adobe, LinkedIn, Google, Apple, and more. Fast-growing brands such as Spotify and Uber have also been a part of past conferences.
Growth Marketing Conference has some consistent objectives, such as the following:
- Discuss no-nonsense, cost-effective strategies to improve user experience and create user growth.
- Teach ideas to increase revenue and create sustainable growth over a shorter period of time.
- Bring together like-minded individuals from various industries to share ideas on what made their companies successful.
Be it conversion optimization, or content and/or product marketing, the Growth Marketing Conference has it all under one roof.
Speakers (Past and 2019)
Growth Marketing Conference has always had an interesting mix of experts on the speaker panel. In the past, some truly big names in marketing have spoken and shared their valuable insights.
Some of the more noteworthy names include:
- Rand Fishkin (Co-Founder/CEO of SparkToro)
- Oli Gardner (Co-Founder of Unbounce)
- Andrew Chen (Head of Growth at Uber)
- Eli Schwartz (Growth Advisor/former Director of Growth & SEO at SurveyMonkey)
- Neil Patel (Co-Founder of Crazy Egg and Neil Patel Digital)
- Sujan Patel (Co-Founder of Web Profits)
GMC always assembles a great lineup of marketing talent and real growth hackers to speak at the event.
The event has been referred to as a conference ‘for growth marketers, by growth marketers.'
GMC sponsors, throughout its inception, have been a mix of content/digital marketing agencies, brand development firms, and business growth consultancies.
Top sponsors for the event have included NorthStar (By Growth Hackers), Acquia, Brandcast, Zensoft, and many more. A number of the sponsors regularly appear in top 5 and 10 lists for best marketing agencies in the world.
There are sponsorship tiers, namely Gold, Silver, and Diamond, with an increasing set of perks, such as, social media promotion, logo displayed in the GMC app, and more.
While the conference is open to anyone with an interest in adopting marketing as a career, there are always some mainstays in the form of industry reps, in the audience.
The industries represented at Growth Marketing Conference are:
- Enterprise Technology: Software, internet, and IT companies such as Google, Adobe, and IBM.
- Marketing: Advertising, PR, marketing, and market research companies such as Unruly, Hearst, and Media Planet.
- Financial: Real estate, private equity, VC and financial management firms such as Prudential and American Express.
- Media: Online media, production, and publishing companies such as Netflix and HBO.
- E-Commerce: Retail, consumer goods, and e-commerce management companies such as Amazon and Target.
- Health: Healthcare, wellness, and medical practice firms such as Providence, American Specialty Health, and PlushCare
All this creates a fantastic opportunity for up and coming marketers to rub shoulders and network with reps from industry-leading companies.
Growth Marketing Conference Topics
GMC covers the following topics in detail.
Customer Acquisition and Retention
This topic focuses on the overall growth process, the mindset and metrics behind growth teams, product marketing and management, onboarding and engagement, referral growth and networking, and lessons from fast-growing companies.
This topic talks about (B2B) growth channels and strategies, C-suite perspectives on growth, building enterprise growth teams, account-based marketing and sales enablement, as well as, brand marketing and influencer strategies.
Organic and Performance Marketing
Outbound and inbound optimization, the future of PPC, SEO and content marketing, machine learning and AI, video marketing and social advertising, A/B testing and data-driven marketing, as well as, the top trends of the year (Blockchain, GDPR, etc.).
The Agenda for Growth Marketing Conference
The name of the conference itself is self-explanatory in terms of agenda! Still, there have been some unique topics of discussion in the past.
The latest (2019) conference saw topics such as mobile applications and e-commerce growth find greater focus.
As always, the conference includes growth marketing thought leadership sessions and actual case studies of successful companies. There are a number of hands-on workshops, as well.
The following are some of the highlights.
From demand-generation, lifecycle and funnel optimization, and user acquisition to user psychology, storytelling, and growth experiments - GMC workshops are full of insightful discussion. The learning opportunities came straight from some great modern examples of business growth.
The workshops are also a great way to deliver hands-on learning on growth marketing.
Attendees learn how to create and optimize an end-to-end conversion funnel, something that has proven problematic for a number of new and established companies. There are lessons for B2B marketers on how to acquire customers though a unique (non-B2C) approach. There are also lessons on building ABM programs, forming the perfect team, getting the right resources, and setting attainable expectations.
The workshops conclude with practical growth experiments carried out by the speakers. We learn all about top-of-the-funnel user acquisition, breaking even in a problematic business atmosphere, and the perfect growth and SEO tool stacks for the year.
The Global Growth Marketing Conference starts with either hands-on workshops, or an event intro of what to expect in the 2 coming days. This generally leads to a session on how to stay focused and drive productivity – a good starter.
Some consistent discussions are on how innovation is more important than numbers and metrics, which perfectly highlights a flaw in the modern marketer. The role of technology (AI and machine learning) in marketing has also been a mainstay discussion throughout the years.
Since day one, the keynotes have included a session dedicated to discussing the marketing trends of the years past and projections for the future.
Growth Marketing Conference Reviews
Growth Marketing Conference has been lauded by major marketers and media publications alike.
The conference has also been featured in major media and marketing publications such as Forbes, Inc., CMO.com, CMSWiRE, and Huffpost.
In addition, the event has earned testimonials from prominent marketing experts, such as:
Matt Hodges (Head of Marketing at Loom): “At the Growth Marketing Conference, there’s a lot of energy and people moving around. Ultimately, I think everyone is here to learn. The audience has been engaged, active, and ask great questions”.
Zack Onisko (CEO of Dribble): “The B2B landscape has changed dramatically. 5 years ago, there were only 200 or so SaaS products in the MarTech space; today, your prospects have over 5,000 to choose from. It's more important than ever to stand out from the crowd, and B2B Growth Day is the type of event that can teach you how to do that."
Here are some of the prime takeaways from the global Growth Marketing Conference:
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning are the future of marketing, and so leveraging these technologies will help with growth automation.
- User intent is king – create content and campaigns around helping and providing solutions to the user.
- Data and ideas go hand in hand when it comes to the driving forces behind marketing.
- User experience is more important than numbers and metric-based goals.
All in all, the Growth Marketing Conference, over the past few years, has highlighted the technological and user-centric shift in marketing as a whole. This definitely earns GMC my recommendation for a growth marketing event to attend in 2020.