When you’re launching a company, you generally find yourself thirsting for two things: customers and revenue. Depending on how quickly you want (or need) to scale, the size of your financial safety net and the breadth of your entrepreneurial prep work, you can go about chasing your success in several different ways. It’s scrappy startup culture versus the steady hand of big business, creative strategizing versus broad and far-reaching blueprints, throwing spaghetti at the wall (albeit in a clever fashion) versus traditional project management. In other words, it’s growth marketing versus traditional digital marketing.
Igniting Expansion with Growth Marketing
Growth marketing is a landscape populated by growth hackers. Hackers are traditionally known as, well, computer geeks looking to somehow beat the system. In those cases, “the system” is usually equated with some sort of supposedly impenetrable computer network like the FBI’s database; in the business world, “growth hackers are” — according to Sean Ellis, who coined the term — people who focus entirely on growth, using outside-the-box approaches and rapid recalculations to test new theories and find ways to scale companies extremely quickly.
With growth marketing, the more evolved version of growth hacking, everything revolves around innovation and constant testing. A campaign is introduced, the results are monitored closely and that temperature-taking exercise is used to recalibrate the campaign almost immediately. That breakneck speed can return monumentally impressive results, but growth hacking alone can mean opting for instant gratification at the expense of stability and longevity.
Digital Marketing: Safety in Predictability
Digital marketing may be the older, more traditional brother to growth marketing’s ornery, offbeat younger sibling, but with moderation and calculation comes a world of rewards. Digital marketing is expansive, capitalizing on all forms of digital media to reach, inspire and convert customers. Rather than innovation, there is a reliance on tried-and-true promotional techniques to advance a company’s core objectives.
Why You Need Them Both
Growth marketing and digital marketing aren’t like tea and coffee; you don’t pick one, you need them both. Like a suit and tie or a car and gasoline, you can technically use one without the other but you’ll get a lot a lot further (and encounter a lot less trouble) if you adopt a mentality that combines creativity and experimentation along with more measured and disciplined avenues.
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