During a startup’s early days, it’s easy for founders to prioritize fundraising and product development over everything else, but finding the right service provider can be critical to a company’s success.

Extra Crunch’s Verified Experts is a new initiative that helps early-stage founders find the best lawyer, brand designer, and growth marketing agency for their startup. We’ve reviewed hundreds of founder nominations and interviewed dozens of industry experts to find some of the best service providers in Silicon Valley and around the world. Whether you’re building a direct-to-consumer subscription service or an enterprise crypto company, we want to make it easier and faster for you to grow your startup.

Demystifying growth marketing

Growth marketing is an interdisciplinary term that applies product management, engineering, analytics and marketing techniques to solve one of the most gnarly challenges for startups: getting more people to discover and continue using your product. As traditional marketing channels, like newspapers, TV and PR, become less effective, how do startups go from zero users to their first million customers? Think about how to develop your customer acquisition strategy. 

Gather insights from customers and competitors 

Unlike growth “hacking,” developing an effective growth marketing strategy involves creating a sustainable, data-driven process for understanding how your customers discover and use your product. One way to do this is by observing how your competitors run their A/B tests and communicate to potential customers. 

Pick a customer acquisition channel 

So your startup has product market fit and allocated a meaningful budget for ad spend, where do you start placing your bets? Choosing your acquisition channel depends on your business model (i.e. B2B vs B2C), customer demographics, customer acquisition costs, and overall budget. From SEO to direct sponsorships, there are plenty of ways to connect with your customers. The key is identifying replicable growth loops for your business, not viral, word-of-mouth marketing hits. 

Hire a growth marketing agency

You’ve conducted some growth experiments and identified a couple of key acquisition channels, but still need an extra boost. Now might be the time to consider hiring an outside growth marketing agency to help you reach escape velocity. We crowdsourced hundreds of founder nominations to identify and feature some of the best growth marketing agencies for startups. Check our their profiles, and if you’re a founder who has worked with an awesome growth marketing agency that’s not on this list, nominate them here.