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Growth Marketing: definition and differences from growth hacking

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Growth marketing: definition and differences from growth hacking

If you're familiar with the world of start-ups, you've probably already heard of Growth Marketing. This concept encompasses the marketing techniques needed to bring about rapid growth within a company. Increasingly popular, its spectrum remains misunderstood by many professionals, including marketers.

So what is Growth Marketing? What levers can you use to bring rapid growth to your business? And what about the job of Growth Marketer? Answers in this article.

What is Growth Marketing?

Growth marketing refers to web marketing techniques designed to increase a company’s growth, quickly and with long-term stability. The concept originated with marketer Sean Ellis, the growth professional who no longer recognized himself in the generic term of marketing.

In particular, he led Dropbox’s meteoric growth, transforming them into a leading player in their market.

The Growth Marketing strategy is based on a framework: AARRR. This encompasses the entire customer lifecycle. The idea is to optimize the customer journey in order to increase sales through the acquisition of new customers and the retention of existing ones.

The acronym AARRR therefore stands for :

  • Acquisition: attracting new prospects to the company, acquiring traffic to the website and developing the organization’s reputation.
  • Activation: transforming a prospect into a customer. Here, the sales tunnel experience and calls to action play a crucial role in selling products or services.
  • Retention: getting a customer to come back and buy another product (complementary accessories, recurring purchase, upsell or downsell). Retention is just as important as acquisition for healthy long-term growth.
  • Recommendation: encouraging current customers to convince their friends and family to trust your company and buy your products. This can be achieved through word-of-mouth, samples, contests on social networks or referral programs.
  • Revenue: this last phase corresponds to increasing revenue through sales tunnels: acquisition cost, average basket, Customer Lifetime Value, price and other elements specific to each business sector.

What's the difference between Growth Marketing and Growth Hacking?

Don’t confuse Growth Marketing with Growth Hacking. The two activities are similar, with differences in means and vision:

  • Growth Hacking aims for rapid growth, even if this means using unconventional means (scraping, sending mass messages).
  • Growth Marketing is based on a longer-term strategy, using both growth hacking and inbound marketing strategies. The methods used comply with all applicable regulations.

The mission of a Growth Hacker within an organization is generally quite short. The company gives the professional a limited budget, so he or she has to be creative to get the most out of the toolbox and the budget. He can then implement hacks directly on the website or via prospecting for a B2B company, for example.

In contrast, the Growth Marketer has more time at his disposal: his mission is associated with a long-term vision. The company gives him/her a budget, which is necessary for implementing strategies such as advertising or SEO. Similarly, the implementation of methods such as brand awareness or inbound marketing takes time. And so do the associated results.

The missions of a Growth Marketer

The tasks of a Growth Marketer are varied. First of all, they have to devise an acquisition strategy, using a multitude of channels (advertising, SEO, social networks, email marketing, prospecting).

To activate prospects into customers, work is needed on optimizing the conversion tunnel: the website, retargeting, calls to action. Last but not least, it’s up to the sales manager to ensure the loyalty of existing customers, to encourage them to return and improve their satisfaction.

All this involves analyzing and interpreting data from the website or mobile application to understand user behavior. Depending on the size of the company and the marketing team, the Growth Marketer may progress to the position of Head of Growth, involving project and team management missions to achieve growth objectives.

What skills do you need to become a Growth Marketer?

The key skills of a Growth Marketer include a solid understanding of marketing, data analysis skills, creativity and problem-solving ability.

The Growth Marketer must be able to understand consumer needs and behaviors, find creative ways to drive business growth, and measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. They must also be able to work as part of a team and communicate effectively with other members of the marketing team.

To become a Growth Marketer, you need a combination of technical and behavioral skills:

  • A mastery of SEO and Google Ads to make your company appear at the top of search engine results.
  • A mastery of inbound marketing levers: social networks, newsletters…
  • Good data analysis skills.
  • In-depth understanding of conversion rate optimization principles.
  • Ability to make quick decisions.
  • A critical and creative mind.
  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills.
  • Ability to work in a team and manage complex projects.

It’s important to note that the skills required vary depending on the company and the position. Consequently, it’s essential to keep constantly up to date with the latest trends in this fast-moving field.

Growth marketing in a nutshell

Growth marketing is an effective strategy for stimulating business growth. This discipline encompasses many levers of digital marketing, sales and data analysis to deliver maximum results. The Growth Marketer profession is particularly sought-after today by small and medium-sized businesses, and offers a variety of captivating missions on a daily basis.


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