Did you know more than 500,000 new businesses come into existence in America every year, and over 200 billion dollars is collectively spent on marketing? 

Yes, that’s right. 

To survive in such a crowded business environment, you have to deliver something unique to stand out from the rest. 

The success of every business boils down to growth. As an owner of a startup, you are looking for ways to grow your business and elevate the customer experience. But how do you reach your target audience and remain active?

Enter Growth Hacking and Growth Marketing.

Growth Hacking is commonly known to bridge the gap between a market and the market. It focuses on experimenting with unique solutions to increase growth Before Product Market Fit (BPMF).

You must have heard of the infamous buzz phrases “Growth Hacking” and “Growth Marketing.” While many argue over both concepts’ similarities, these are actually quite different with a few crucial correspondents. 

Before I dig deeper into Growth Hacking vs Growth Marketing, let’s learn a little about both phrases. 

What Is Growth Hacking Anyway? 

Growth Hacking is a data-driven, experiment-based marketing technique used by startups based on social metrics and analytical thinking to promote products’ sale and increase exposure in a short time. The phrase was coined by Sean Ellis, the founder and CEO of GrowthHackers. 

The primary goal of Growth Hacking is to increase the number of customers without a massive investment in marketing. Growth Hacking has been a part of many successful brands’ marketing strategies, including Spotify, Facebook, and Dropbox.

Why Is Growth Hacking Important? 

Growth Hacking uses the most unconventional strategy for acquiring your target goal at an unbelievable low cost. According to Andrew Chen, the state of growth hacking is now more vital than ever. Traditional marketing strategies may not be ideal for business startups, especially if you are looking to boost sales – no matter what it takes. 

While marketing is focused on increasing the sales of a product and services, Growth Hacking is more of a comprehensive service. Along with increasing sales, a Growth hacker is also focused on business growth. For instance, let’s consider Facebook. This social networking giant’s development was mainly due to the strategies they adopted to reach out to all sections’ users.

The company has been continuously optimising its app for low-budget smartphones and poor internet connections to acquire extended users. With this strategy, Facebook has gained over 2.5 billion users since its launch in 2004. 

What Is A Growth Hacker?

A Growth Hacker is a professional who uses creative strategies to gain new customers and retain them. Their primary motive is to cut cost and boost business. They analyse, prioritise, and test different innovative business strategies to identify the right business success approach. S/he knows to:

  • Set priorities
  • Develop channels to gain customers 
  • Measure the success of the strategies
  • Scale growth 

While I’m talking about the strategies, understand that Growth Hacking strategies are primarily divided into three sections: 

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a great way to promote your products and services at a low cost. Some of the usual content marketing activities include:

  • Making informative blog posts and creating shareable content
  • Guest blogging
  • Creating engaging social media content
  • Podcasting 
  • Running webinars, contests and giveaways
  • Getting bloggers/influencers to review your service/product
  • Joining relevant forums and groups
  • Using email marketing for building stronger user connections
  • Optimising your content with SEO
  • Listing your business in a relevant marketplace

Product Marketing

Product marketing focuses on creating more appealing products to attract more customers to building your customer base. Some of the activities include:

  • Use of invite-only signup system 
  • Affiliate marketing 
  • Gamification of user’s onboarding process to improve user experience and offer suitable rewards 
  • Introducing the referral system to benefit both the referrer and the new customer 


One of the great ways of marketing your product or services through various paid mediums. You can leverage social media, television, and Google AdWords to collect data. Social advertising and pay per click (PPC) advertising are among the favourites for Growth Hackers to promote their business. 

I am sure you have got a fair idea about Growth Hacker by now. Let’s now look into the next part of the title – Growth Marketing.  

What Is Growth Marketing?

Experts call Growth Marketing ‘Marketing 2.0.’ Growth Marketing is a systematic approach of adding layers to traditional marketing models such as SEO optimisation, informative blogs, email marketing, technical analysis of user experience, etc. The metrics from these strategies help businesses to optimise and achieve sustainable growth. 

Why Is Growth Marketing Vital For Your Business?

The primary aim of Growth Marketing is to attract new customers, grab their interest and lead them further down the sales funnel for making a purchase. Another major benefit of Growth Marketing is nurturing existing customer relationship and increasing them life-long value. Here are the top three perks of Growth Marketing:

Growth Marketing promotes constant experimentation:

Traditional marketing focuses on building reputation and brand awareness through outbound marketing, which can be time-consuming and financially draining. Whereas, Growth Marketing focuses on experimenting l with different strategies and new tools to promote growth in a short time.

Growth Marketing focuses on customers:

The main driving factor of any business is its consumers. Your business success ultimately depends on the value you offer to your customers. Dropbox’s Growth Marketing story is an excellent example of the present scenario. You have to identify your customer’s needs and provide a solution with your brand beyond the basic expectations.

Growth Marketing relies on data:

Even though Growth Marketers are experimental and are ready to test rough waters, their every move is data-driven. They gain insights from the reports and study customer behaviour pattern to optimise their efforts. Based on the information, they either fine-tune ideas or abandon them altogether.

Growth Hacking Vs Growth Marketing – Similarities 

There are four fundamental similarities between Growth Hacking and Growth Marketing. 

  • Both approaches aim to boost revenue through customer acquisition, retention, and monetisation.
  • Growth Marketing and Growth Hacking’s success depends on quantitative and qualitative data.
  • Both Growth Marketing and Growth Hacking encourage experimenting and data-driven decision making for constant improvement.
  • The success of both approaches depends on the quality of the product. 

Growth Hacking Vs Growth Marketing – Differences 

Although the points mentioned above are significant similarities of both approaches, there are also a few crucial differences between Growth Marketing and Growth Hacking.

Growth Marketing focuses on sustainable growth:

Growth Hackers are experts who are hired by a company as consultants to solve a specific problem – and to solve it fast. They look to find a creative solution to issues on a small budget. On the other hand, growth marketers opt for a long-term approach to strategise different growth metrics for sustainable growth. 

Growth Marketing is revenue-driven:

While Growth Hackers focus on short-time growth, Growth Marketing focuses on long-term revenue. Growth marketers focus on metrics to optimise revenue generation. 

Growth Marketing looks into the bigger picture:

Growth Hacking may require being disruptive and uncertain, but Growth Marketing promotes growth while developing the brand and its customer base. 

Growth Marketing maintains growth:

Unlike Growth Hacking, Growth marketing focuses not only on a single success but also on small and large successes and failures. It relies on data-driven strategies and calculated agility. 

Growth Marketing is more service-oriented:

Growth Hacking may require product modification to promote growth, but Growth Marketing focuses on customers’ services and customer experience.

Growth Hacking Vs Growth Marketing – Wrapping Up

There is no perfect answer to Growth Hacking Vs Growth Marketing – which is better for your business’s growth. Both approaches are not the same and depend on a couple of factors. Growth hacking is suitable for products that have less competition or have fit a startup with a short lifespan. But if you are looking to engage customers and increase your list of happy customers, it would be useful to incorporate long-term strategies and fewer quick hack – and that’s where growth marketing comes into play.