4 Reasons why growth marketing is not growth hacking
In recent years, the term “growth hacking” has become synonymous with startup success stories, often associated with rapid growth and explosive user acquisition. However, the concept of growth hacking is often misunderstood, and many people confuse it with growth marketing. In reality, growth marketing and growth hacking are two very different strategies that require different mindsets, approaches, and tactics. In this blog post, we’ll explore why growth marketing is not growth hacking and why it’s essential to understand the difference between the two.
What is Growth Hacking?
Growth hacking is a set of tactics that focus on rapid experimentation and unconventional methods to achieve rapid growth. It is often associated with startups that don’t have the resources to engage in traditional marketing channels. Tactics can include viral marketing campaigns, referral programs, A/B testing, and social media marketing. The idea behind growth hacking is to find creative ways to generate buzz, get people talking about your product or service, and ultimately, drive growth.
What is Growth Marketing?
Growth marketing, on the other hand, is a holistic approach to marketing that focuses on driving sustainable, long-term growth. Unlike growth hacking, growth marketing is not about finding quick wins or one-off tactics. Instead, it’s about developing a deep understanding of your target audience, creating a brand that resonates with them, and building a marketing funnel that drives engagement, conversion, and retention. Tactics can include things like SEO, content marketing, email marketing, social media advertising, and influencer marketing. The goal of growth marketing is to create a sustainable, scalable marketing engine that drives growth over the long term.
Why Growth Marketing is Not Growth Hacking
Growth marketing is a long-term strategy: Unlike growth hacking, growth marketing is not about finding quick wins or short-term gains. Instead, it’s about developing a comprehensive marketing strategy that can drive growth over the long term.
Growth marketing is customer-centric: Growth marketing starts with the customer and focuses on understanding their needs, pain points, and motivations. It’s about creating a brand and a marketing message that resonates with your target audience and building a marketing funnel that delivers value at every stage of the customer journey.
Growth marketing requires a broad range of skills: While growth hacking is often associated with technical skills like coding and data analysis, growth marketing requires a broad range of skills, including branding, messaging, content creation, and user experience design.
Growth marketing requires collaboration: Unlike growth hacking, which is often the domain of a single individual or team, growth marketing requires collaboration across departments and functions, including marketing, product, sales, and customer support.
While growth hacking and growth marketing are often used interchangeably, they are fundamentally different approaches to driving growth. Growth hacking is about finding quick wins and low-cost tactics to drive rapid growth, while growth marketing is about developing a comprehensive marketing strategy that drives sustainable, long-term growth.
By understanding the difference between growth hacking and growth marketing, you can develop a marketing strategy that aligns with your goals, resources, and target audience. Whether you’re a startup or an established business, a focus on growth marketing can help you create a marketing engine that drives growth over the long term.
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About the author
CoFounder, Marketing Curators
UC Berkeley | 15 years B2B marketing experience | expertise: demand gen, digital & online, content, design.