What is Growth Marketing? (And How to Leverage it)

Gabriel Ryan

also recommends the Evergreen Email Engine™ Playbook: go.growthleap.com/playbook

August 11, 2023
November 23, 2022

What is Growth Marketing? (And How to Leverage it)

In this day and age, where new forms of marketing strategies emerge daily, breaking into a competitive market can be difficult for any business. It's more essential than ever to have an innovative, iterative, and enthralling marketing approach to break through the clutter.

A marketing strategy not only aids in acquiring new customers but also creates an environment where your existing customer base does your marketing for you through word of mouth and organic growth.

This brand-new and robust approach to building a devoted user base is called "growth marketing." 

However, to better understand growth marketing, let's explore what it is, everything it entails, and how to grow your business with these strategies & tactics.

What is Growth Marketing?

Growth marketing drives growth by utilizing customer data from marketing campaigns and experimentation. It can assist you in anticipating change and planning your strategy for continuous improvement.

Growth marketing is a marketing optimization plan that goes beyond simply marketing a product and alternatively helps firms grow by fostering client loyalty. This marketing makes the most of your marketing efforts by leveraging techniques such as A/B testing, email, search engine optimization (SEO), and data analysis to adopt smarter, more effective growth tactics.

Growth marketing shortens innovation cycles rather than relying on long-term initiatives. Just-in-time campaigns and micro-campaigns address the needs of the present. While growth marketing is more of an all-encompassing marketing approach, some methods and techniques are more strongly associated with growth hackers. These are some examples:

  • Digital PR and SEO optimization
  • Content marketing
  • Influencer marketing
  • Referral marketing
  • Email marketing

What Does A Growth Marketer Do?

A growth marketer is a professional who initiates concepts to improve the customer experience and tests them to see what works best. Growth marketers plan and carry out trials to optimize and improve the outcomes of a specific initiative.

Growth marketing is how to do it if you want to increase a specific metric. A growth marketer is obsessed with rigorous processes. These processes are built on the steps listed below:

  • Identifying problems across all divisions, not just the growth marketing team
  • Creating possible solutions to these challenges, including prioritizing experiments, carrying out MVTs (multivariate tests)
  • Result evaluation
  • Making a methodical procedure

Like the scientific method, savvy growth marketers look for areas to improve and devise creative growth hacking techniques ranging from SEO to email marketing to help the firm grow with new consumers or new users while decreasing churn. It's all about revenue-related metrics and how to get them.

Growth Marketing vs. Growth Hacking

Growth marketing and growth hacking are not synonymous. Growth hacking is concerned with short-term results, whereas growth marketing is concerned with the larger picture. Below are some vital differences between the two:

  • Growth hacking aims for rapid growth, usually through acquisition, whereas growth marketing aims for long-term growth through a set of full marketing funnel methods.
  • Growth hacking uses data to experiment and fine-tune an output, whereas growth marketing uses data to uncover patterns and fine-tune a strategy.
  • Growth hacking entails manual approaches such as testing and adjusting, whereas growth marketing entails automated and algorithmic operations that require frequent modifications.
  • Growth hacking focuses on corporate pain points and goals, whereas growth marketing focuses on customer pain points.

Growth Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing

Traditional marketing methodologies are still widely used, but marketers seek more efficient methods to capture attention with many new advertising strategies evolving.

The traditional marketing model is a more linear marketing strategy based on tried-and-true methods such as print ads, tv commercials, and radio advertising. On the other hand, growth marketing is a more modern approach that uses data-driven campaigns and analytics to find and attract new customers.

Traditional marketing involves raising brand awareness and getting clicks to your sales channels - a more top-of-funnel marketing approach.

On the other hand, growth marketing is concerned with acquiring and keeping customers - a more full-funnel strategy.

While both strategies have advantages, growth marketing is frequently regarded as the most effective approach in today's competitive landscape. This is because growth marketing focuses on producing concrete results, such as conversion rate and lifetime value.

So, provided you want to expand your business, you should think about focusing your efforts on growth marketing.

Key Components of Growth Marketing

A/B Testing

An essential component of a growth marketing approach is A/B testing. It entails splitting your consumer base into two groups and showing each group a different variable version. This might be anything from two designs for a homepage or app to a page element, email campaign, or freebie offer.

The goal of A/B testing is to determine which version of your content generates the most conversions. Of course, how you measure conversions will be determined by your aim. For example, you might track open rate and click-through metrics if you're testing two versions of a customer retention email campaign.

It's best to continuously conduct as many tests as you need, using the data you've obtained to optimize different aspects of the marketing sales funnel. You can even do A/B testing on your affiliate networks to increase the profitability of your partner marketing.

Cross-Channel Marketing

Cross-channel marketing is becoming vital to any growth strategy in a world where we have a plethora of internet-connected gadgets at our disposal. You must be able to reach your customers through their chosen channels to provide a tailored, customer-centric experience.

Successful growth marketers frequently employ feedback surveys or A/B testing to identify client preferences. For example, an A/B test may reveal that audiences in one age group are more inclined to engage in in-app communications while others prefer SMS.

This intelligence can assist you in tailoring experiences to various consumer segments, whether for acquisition, engagement, or retention.

Customer Lifecycle Management

The customer lifecycle comprises five stages: awareness, acquisition, activation, retention, and referral. Startups and growth-oriented businesses can use the customer lifecycle to maximize and optimize the customer experience. Below are the metrics that are important at each stage:

  • Awareness: How large an audience are you able to reach? What broad questions do you address for your target audience, and how effective is your content establishing you as an authority?
  • Acquisition: How are people learning about your product or brand? Is it through social media platforms, search engine optimization, partnership marketing, or paid advertising? Which channels generate high-value website traffic and the lowest customer acquisition costs?
  • Activation: This entails users' actions after the onboarding process is complete. This could include visiting additional pages, subscribing to your newsletter, or downloading your app. Again, you want to make this process as simple as possible for new users.
  • Retention: How many people return your product after it has been activated? Keep an eye on your repeat website visitors, repeat product users, and email engagement rates. Track your customer churn rate carefully to ensure it remains relatively low than your customer acquisition rate.
  • Referral: Are your customers spreading the word about you? Set up referral programs and track their success to entice them to do so. You can also track and create positive online guidelines by using media monitoring tools.

Benefits of Growth Marketing

Data and Results-Driven

Data drives growth marketing. Every theory, approach, and channel must be extensively tested and tweaked to establish what works and doesn't.

This method eliminates incorrect decisions based on seniority, inclination, or the loudest voice in the room. Instead, you may focus on what yields the best results and then improve on those strategies.


Growth marketing aims to build long-term relationships with clients beyond simply persuading them to make a purchase. It places a premium on optimizing user engagement and retention and giving value in novel ways that foster genuine relationships. The goal is to develop experiences that excite customers and keep them returning.

Fast Results

While growth marketing aims at long-term results, it does not take months to see results. Rapid testing and iteration allow you to understand which techniques and growth marketing channels are most effective for a given audience.

Rather than launching a strategy and waiting months for results, successful growth marketers continuously review data and optimize as needed. Despite substantial distinctions between growth marketing and growth hacking, the components of a growth marketing plan coincide.

Offer The Possibility of Low-Cost Growth

Little things build up in the world of growth marketing. If you are used to spending a lot of money on marketing, you will realize that you can obtain better results with less money. This is one of the primary benefits of growth marketing for businesses, because your results tend to compound over time.

Even in small businesses, developing ideas, data analysis, and subsequent verification often necessitate an accessible budget. Furthermore, compared to the benefits achieved once the plan is adopted, the metrics are reduced, influencing ROI optimization.

Your SEO Snowballs

Consistent growth marketing will improve your SEO (search engine optimization). In addition, constant testing and analytics drive you to structure your content marketing in ways that algorithms love.

This implies that you will have more content ranking on specific topics. In addition, it becomes easy to interlink your material, so content rises in search ranks.

These will help you appear when potential customers search for terms related to your business. You'll appear when they need knowledge; if that's not amazing, we don't know what is. That is why we engage in content marketing initiatives.

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The Four Types of Growth Strategies

Market Penetration

This approach seeks to boost sales of existing products or services in current markets, resulting in a larger market share for you. You can accomplish this by luring more customers away from competitors and ensuring that existing customers purchase your products or services more often.

This can be accomplished through price reductions, increased promotion and distribution support, acquiring a competitor in the same market, or minor product refinements.

Market Penetration is all about finding out where your ideal customer is already spending their time, attention and money, and inserting yourself in front of them as a superior option.

Market Development

Market expansion entails determining how a company's existing offer can be sold in new markets or how to grow the existing market. This can be accomplished through various customer segments, such as industrial buyers for a product that was previously only sold to households, new areas or regions of the country, and foreign markets.

Market Development is all about business model innovation, and rethinking all the different ways your business might acquire & monetize new customer segments.

Product Development

The goal is to introduce new products or services into existing markets. In addition, product development can be used to expand the offer made to current customers to increase their turnover.

These products can be obtained by investing in additional product research and development, acquiring the rights to manufacture someone else's product, purchasing the product, and "branding" it. Joint development with another company whose ownership requires access to the firm's distribution channels or brands.

Product Development is all about increasing the lifetime value of your customers by answering the following question: What else could we sell our customers that would help them achieve the results they are after in a bigger, better, faster way?


This entails introducing new products or services into previously untapped markets. Diversification is the most risky strategy. It entails the company marketing completely new products and services in a completely unknown market.

Diversification can be further classified as follows:

Examples of Growth Marketing

Many of the world's most successful businesses utilize growth marketing methods to fuel steady expansion.


HubSpot systematically updated its website, testing multiple design iterations, evaluating data, and then applying data-driven adjustments.

Even though it was a time-consuming procedure, it yielded considerable benefits across several measures, including a 35% rise in demo requests and a 27% increase in product sign-ups.

Then, back in February 2021, HubSpot acquired The Hustle, a daily newsletter business. Axios was the first to report the deal and valued the media startup at around $27 million. And while that might be a high price to you and me, with HubSpot valued at $13.45 billion, they likely paid less than 0.3% to get in front of more than 1 million readers every day.


Slack is yet another instance of growth marketing fueling rapid expansion. They are the fastest-growing B2B SaaS firm in history, which may lead you to believe they are more interested in growth hacking than growth marketing.

Slack, however, understands that engagement and retention are just as vital as acquisition. Their growth marketing strategy addresses each level of the funnel:

Slack is also a perfect example of Concentric Diversification paying off. Back in 2011, the team was a gaming company, before they pivoted focus, ditched Glitch (their online game project), and went all-in on developing and marketing a communication tool that they used internally to collaborate. The bet paid off and Slack sold to Salesforce for $27.7 billion on July 21, 2021.


Spotify used growth marketing to utterly disrupt the music industry and become the world's largest music streaming platform. At a time when illegal downloading was generating issues for the music industry, their most successful solution was perhaps making free, legal streaming music available to everyone.

They've worked tirelessly to improve the user experience, including creating tailored playlists and recommendations based on listening history. In addition, they teamed up with Facebook to provide a social component to the site, allowing friends to see what each other was listening to and share music.

How to Leverage Growth Marketing

Here are five basic marketing methods used by businesses to increase client reach, stimulate repeat business, and build brand loyalty:

Offer A Free Trial

Offering a free trial of your product or service is one of the most successful ways to attract leads. This allows potential customers to firsthand experience your product or service and gain an understanding of the value it may provide them.

Make it a point to spell out the free trial's rules and what they may expect. Remember that the goal is to convert them into paying customers, so don't give too much away for free. However, use the free trial to familiarize them with your brand and show them the benefits of partnering with you.

Create A Lead Magnet

A lead magnet is a tempting gift that encourages individuals to subscribe to your email list. It could be a free ebook, a special deal, or access to an important resource. The idea is to encourage them to give you their contact information by offering them something they can't refuse.

Creating various lead magnets allows you to understand more about your customer journey. And to establish a close relationship with individuals by providing useful content.

Use Social Media

You can't ignore social media if you want to use growth marketing strategies. It is an effective place for experimenting with material. In addition, social media is a great way to engage with potential leads and clients.

You may use Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and other social media sites to provide useful content, hold contests and giveaways, and market your products or services.

Make sure you're present on the platforms that your target audience uses. Also, test your ads, social media copy, graphics, and post timing. You'll see an increase in engagement and other metrics as you figure out what works best for you.

Use Landing Pages

They are developed to convert visitors into prospects or customers. They are typically used in conjunction with advertisements and are an excellent approach to marketing a specific product or service.

Ensure your landing pages are pertinent to the growth marketing campaigns and offer the user value. To find what performs best, you can experiment with different aspects of a landing page, such as headlines, copy, graphics, and CTAs.

Email Marketing

Trying out several email campaigns to evaluate what works best for your organization is a great approach to applying growth marketing efforts.

To keep customers connected with your company, try a welcome email campaign for new subscribers, a promotional campaign for special deals, or a nurturing campaign. This helps you to enhance conversion rates.

To make more compelling emails, vary your email subject lines, greeting, call to action, and even offer. Remember to run small-group tests on your material before distributing it to your complete list. This will assist you in avoiding major email marketing blunders.

Increase Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

Increasing customer lifetime value (CLV) can result in large revenue advantages. To accomplish this, you must provide increased value to your clients so they will be compelled to purchase more from you throughout your relationship. Finally, LTV improves by providing your consumers with more excellent value than they can receive elsewhere.

Monitoring the Progress of Your Growth Marketing Strategy

Growth marketing is a broad concept with numerous interpretations. To keep your growth marketing strategy on the course, you must first define what it signifies and how you intend to evaluate it. Here are a few of the most important metrics to keep an eye on:

Conversion Rate

The conversion rate is divided by the number of visits or clicks divided by the total number of conversions. Email click-through, landing page form fills, and upgrades from freemium to paid plans are all examples of conversions.

To begin monitoring progress, go through your conversions and pick the ones essential to you.

Customer Acquisition Cost

CAC is computed by dividing your overall customer acquisition, nurturing, and conversion expenses (including sales and marketing) by the number of new customers. Therefore, keep the CAC lower than the customer life-time value to achieve growth.

Web Traffic

Monitor traffic to the most valuable and high-converting pages. Monitor bounce rate, page views, time spent on a page, and new sessions for a comprehensive view of page performance.

Leads Generated

Examine client acquisition, new contacts via landing pages, and leads generated per unique offer to determine what works and doesn't.

Customer Lifetime Value

CLV is the total potential earnings throughout a customer's lifecycle. To calculate, multiply the average purchase value and number of purchases per year by the average length of client connection (in years).

A/B Testing

Every experiment or technique should be subjected to it. Of course, this indicator will fluctuate regularly, but it is crucial to determine which growth marketing variants may be automated for long-term growth and which must be eliminated.

Final Words

Marketing, sales, customer growth success, assistance, and any other segment or activity inside your firm are all part of growth marketing. Although routine testing, it's an integrated technique for growing your business and enhancing your digital growth plan across marketing channels.

Growth marketers seek new opportunities to help your organization's audience grow and interact. Understanding the ability to be inventive and possessing an eye for possibilities will help you stand out from the crowd. We hope that knowing what it means to be a growth marketing specialist drives you to achieve long-term success.

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