Growth Hacking Vs Growth Marketing: the Basics

Growth hacking vs growth marketing is one never-ending argument in the mind of many marketing enthusiasts and business executives. Many top marketing professionals before you have also been like this for a long time. 

However, when you finish reading this article, you’ll finally be able to differentiate between the two. In most cases, the two concepts have one aim: to grow the company, albeit in different ways. 

To understand the difference between the two, we must first understand what each of them means.

Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash

What Is Growth Hacking?

Growth hacking is a marketing technique that looks for new ways to grow a company’s product or service. Sometimes referred to as iterative innovation, or A/B testing, it’s a strategy designed to get the most out of limited resources. Growth hacking takes a process-driven, experimental approach to find quick wins. It’s not just confined to marketing; growth hacking is an approach all companies can take to improve key functions.

Why Is Growth Hacking so Popular With People?

Growth hacking is the new kid on the block. It has gained widespread popularity because the results are typically instant. This is why you’ll find an increasing number of marketing strategists tilting towards growth hacking. 

What Is Growth Marketing?

Growth marketing is a marketing method that combines both brand growth and performance growth. Brand growth focuses on awareness-building, customer loyalty, and brand perception.

Growth marketing is also known as traditional marketing. In essence, it is the old-fashioned, time-consuming marketing method, but with a little spice.

Do Growth Hacking and Growth Marketing Share Any Similarities?

Yes, they do. The two ideas are similar in that they are both geared towards brand/company growth. However, they differ in approach, time frame, and methodology. 

Growth Hacking Vs Growth Marketing: the Differences

Now that we understand the meaning of the two concepts in isolation, it’s time to compare them. This section highlights the major and minor differences between the two.

Time Frame

Growth marketers build up the brand over a longer period than growth hackers. What this means is that growth hackers deliver faster results than growth marketers. 

To perfectly understand this, let’s use this sport-related illustration. Growth marketing is like a marathon, while growth hacking is like a sprint.

Do you see marathoners bursting straight out of the blocks at the sound of the gun? NO! Explosiveness and speed will win you a sprint but won’t win you a marathon. Instead, perseverance and long-term focus win marathons. 

Strategy and Execution

Another core difference between growth hacking and growth marketing is how their strategies and execution.

Growth marketing requires background data to be effective. On the other hand, a growth hacker dives directly into the thick of the action to get things moving. Their strategy is short- and mid-term. 

Skill Set

Due to their modus operandi, growth hackers and growth marketers have different skills. However, there could be some overlaps in these skills. Some individuals describe themselves as “growth hacker and marketer.”

A growth marketer is usually patient and consistent because growth marketing takes time. Conversely, growth hackers are expected to be creative and be able to think on their feet. This is because they are meant to bring immediate results.

What Kind of Growth Strategy Is Best for You?

The growth hacking vs growth marketing debate is settled. Nowlet’s identify the best strategy for your business.

Growth hacking is for businesses that haven’t launched yet or just launched. It gives a good head start and lets you hit the ground running. It also helps with a positive first impression. Hacking is good for brands that haven’t surprised their customers in a while. It is a good strategy to shuffle things up and keep your business fresh.

Growth marketing is ideal for businesses that already have a product but lack a strong name in the market. It helps long-term brand building. In addition, growth marketing is suitable for businesses that recognize the need to have more sustainable content or data for their product. 

To Wrap Up

Growth hackers operate in a different but critical way than traditional business strategists. They often help build companies and products in a way that is scalable and build a foundation for further growth.

They typically use unconventional, data-driven marketing techniques, business analytics and creative, entrepreneurial energy that is, perhaps, most evident in a startup company. Growth hacking is all about learning from what’s been done in the past and finding the holes in these companies to make them better.

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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