Growth marketing vs. Growth hacking

Growth marketing vs. Growth hacking: the Differences You Need to Know

Growth hacking and Growth marketing are terms that are used by almost every marketer, sales representative, or agency. While the terms are in vogue, many use it interchangeably, often without understanding what the words mean. 

Both growth marketing and growth hacking are different from traditional approaches, but they serve two distinct functions. So, let’s deep-dive into what these terms mean and how they are leveraged for business growth:

What is Growth Marketing?

By definition, growth marketing is a systematic approach that amalgamates brand marketing processes with tactical performance marketing. The end goal is to acquire targeted leads using specific actions to convert these leads into returning customers. 

Growth Marketing

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Now that we’ve understood what is growth marketing, here’s a breakdown of what it constitutes:

  1. Strategic Brand Marketing – Positioning, USP (Unique Selling Proposition), Domain or Target Industry, Ideal Customer Profile
  2. Performance Marketing – Content Marketing, Acquisition Strategy, Paid Campaigns, Customer Acquisition & Retention Strategy, and more.

Growth marketing is ideal for small businesses and even large enterprises as it relies on the agile sprint model for making data-driven informed decisions to drive growth. 

What is Growth hacking?

Growth hacking defines the process of achieving massive business growth in a short time and a limited budget. It is ideal for small businesses and startups who want to attain sporadic growth. The term was coined by founder and CEO of GrowthHackers, Sean Ellis, in 2010. But the term was further popularized due to the success of many companies like Spotify, Dropbox, and others who used it for rapid expansion.

Image Credits: Freepik

Although growth hacking is mostly leveraged for customer acquisition, growth hacking strategies also cover customer activation, retention, and monetization.

What are the key differences between growth hacking and growth marketing?

As you can see from the definition, growth hacking, as well as growth marketing, have a lot in common. The end goal for both is to drive revenue growth, leverage data for making business decisions, and rely on the agile sprint model. But, there’s a reason the terms cannot be used interchangeably. Some of the differences between growth hacking Vs. growth marketing is as follows:

Growth hacking is short term while growth marketing is long term

Growth hackers need immediate results, and so involves making decisions that are great for sporadic growth and getting high conversions. This short burst sprint model makes use of strategies like paid acquisitions or tweaks that lead to instant growth. Growth marketing, on the other hand, focuses on the long term and sustainable growth. It will focus mainly on building strategies and processes that get a steady increase in customer acquisition and focus on organic acquisitions like SEO strategy or content optimization. Thus, it is a combination of both that marketers should use rather than a strategy involving just one.

Growth hacking is about attention to detail; growth marketing is about hard work

While both strategies involve making data-driven decisions, the reaction in either is very different. Growth hacking is all about finding an approach that helps businesses perform instant actions to get fast results. An example of this is some of the acquisition strategies used by brands over the years. Growth hacking helped Dropbox grow by 3900% in 15 months using the Dropbox referral program. It offered free storage in the cloud for referring and accepting an invitation. And today, these referral programs are used by almost every business.

Growth marketing, on the other hand, uses data for making sustainable, long-term decisions. It focuses on the typical strategy of building brand awareness, acquisition, activation, retention, and referral for achieving growth. Unlike growth hacking, it is not just a one-off gamble but requires the right marketing approach and a solid foundation for success. So while growth hacking is a high-risk model but with unimaginable returns, growth marketing is what builds the foundation for consistent growth.

Growth marketing is an extension of Growth hacking

Contrary to popular belief, growth marketing, and growth hacking work hand-in-glove to create a more mature growth strategy for the brand. While growth hacking focuses on creativity-inspired solutions, growth marketing adds layers on top of it to scale revenue over the complete sales funnel.

The combination can be an excellent strategy for organizations looking to build instant growth while also needing a long term growth model. 

Scale-up using a growth marketing agency

Now that you know what is growth marketing and growth hacking, there is another critical piece in the puzzle; selecting a growth marketing agency. A growth marketing agency that is ideal for your needs is one that:

  • Understands your product and target market well
  • Has delivered stellar growth to its customers using strategies for short-term and long-term growth
  • Creates a plan that is ideal for your business and not just a one-size-fits-all approach
growth marketing agency

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Growth marketing and growth hacking are the right strategies to achieve incredible results. At Amura, we have been doing just that for the past ten years. Being the pioneering growth marketing agency in India, our team of dedicated experts has helped over 500 businesses grow by catering to the entire funnel.

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