Why a Growth Marketing Strategy Is Not Growth Hacking

BillDemand Generation

Ask 10 people what the meaning of life is and you’re bound to get 10 different answers. You might encounter a similar problem while polling marketers in search of a detailed definition of growth hacking, but at least you’ll learn what growth hacking isn’t: growth marketing strategy. The two may occasionally overlap, but in the strictest sense they’re separate processes, and understanding that will save you a lot of headache, time and money.

A Game Plan for Growth

Building a business is never easy, and anyone who says otherwise is trying to sell you something — probably an overpriced webinar or poorly written ebook. Your brand is nothing without consumers and revenue, and scaling both requires growth. That necessity has given birth to the rise of growth hacking, a process that’s not nearly as new as the quirky name would suggest. Growth hacking is outside-the-box innovation with growth and only growth in mind. It’s focused, it’s often frantic and it can get a new business from peanuts to a respectable profit quickly.

DropBox’s Incentivized Referral and Shopify’s Free Trial sign-up are good examples of basic growth hacking. DropBox grew signups by 60% with their 500MB ‘refer-a-friend’ storage promotion, while Shopify hacked its way to 150,000 users by offering a 14-day trial.

The Skinny on Growth Marketing Strategy

If growth hacking is shooting off a flare, growth marketing strategy is more like a slow burn. There’s less risk involved, and progress is a tiered process that levels up depending on resources and what happens at each successive step. A comprehensive growth strategy uses everything from product development to competitor acquisition to penetrate the market, expand the brand portfolio and saturate a variety of channels until you reach the next echelon of success.

Rather than growth hacking’s energetic and often unconventional leaps, a growth strategy capitalizes on luxuries like time and money to formulate a strong, sturdy base that brands can build on for years to come. That said, it’s incredibly easy to confuse being stable with being stagnant except one is comfortable and the other can lead to a business sitting and rotting until it stinks.

Is something about your brand starting to stink? Whether you’ve just dipped your toes in entrepreneurial waters or you’re ready to ratchet up your growth marketing strategy and take your business to the next level, flux + flow can help. Reach out today to book your free discovery session and let’s get growing!