What’s the Difference Between Growth Hacking and Growth Marketing?

BillDemand Generation



Imagine you’ve signed up to run a 5k in six months. You’ve got shoes, a map of the course and those cool shirts that wick away sweat and prevent chafing, but there’s one major problem: you’ve never actually run a day in your life. On the other hand, your buddy, who signed up alongside you, is already a runner. He’s still working up to long distances, but he goes on a regular jog five days a week and barely loses his breath. You’re essentially a startup, and your buddy is an established company looking to get even bigger, so even though you both have the same goal, you aren’t necessarily going to take the same approach. You’re growth hacking and your buddy is growth marketing.

Sprinting Towards Prosperity with Growth Hacking

Growth hacking is all about rapid change. When startups need to gain ground quickly, they employ growth hackers to find progressive, often risky paths forward even when personnel and resources are both limited. There’s a certain radical appeal to this type of startup marketing; it’s a constant exercise in challenging the norms, in innovating new ways to fast-forward a company’s sales funnel. While trimming the fat and whittling traditional marketing down to this leaner, meaner approach is attractive for startups who want to go from couch potato to Iron Man in a matter of months, fixating on just adding distance could leave other important factors like the diversity of the overall sales cycle in the dust.

Hitting Your Stride with Growth Marketing

Growth marketing takes the agility and creativity-inspired guts of growth hacking and drapes it in maturity. While there’s still a sense of urgency propelling the mission forward, there’s also an infusion of data-supported strategies and time-tested tactics that keep those classic components of product, price, promotion and place clearly in focus. Growth is always at the heart of things, but there’s also a dedication to the big picture, namely maintaining that growth and developing a brand’s story, value and customer base.

Choosing whether to employ growth hacking or growth marketing largely depends on where your brand is in the growth cycle currently. If you’ve never so much as laced up running shoes, you might need a crash course in growth hacks and marketing for startups to catch your stride, but established athletes are able to ditch the frenzy in favor of multi-faceted training that could take them beyond 5k and into marathon territory.

For more insight into growth hacking and growth marketing, spend 30 minutes on a no-risk exploratory call with the customer-centric experimental marketers at flux + flow.