The Difference Between Marketing And Growth Hacking

by Jonny Ross April 10th, 2015 


Define marketing. For many of us this would be a relatively easy thing to do. The process by which a company or business promotes their latest products or services to existing and potential customers using techniques such as market research and consumer analysis to find out the best ways to reach their audience.

However, if someone was to ask you to define growth hacker marketing, could you?

This post will take you through the key differences between marketing and growth hacking. Two phrases that most of us have heard of but may lack a detailed understanding of exactly what each mean and the role they can play for your business.

Growth Hacking

While it is a popular buzzword, growth hacking is not a new thing. The principle of growth hacking has been around for years; it was simply called something else.

The process is one that is often linked synonymously with small business start-ups and quite rightly so. These are the businesses that often don’t have the budget to employ large-scale marketing techniques used by bigger corporations and do not have the time to implement yearly campaigns; they need to see results quickly.

This is where growth hacking comes into its’ own. Growth hackers are often thought of as people who are able to combine marketing, with specific engineering and a deep understanding of how to gain growth for a company – fast.

Many growth hackers are constantly looking for different opportunities to market their business, using fast paced social media channels and becoming involved with product development from day one to ensure that the product and marketing of the product are working succinctly to gain the best chance of success.

However, just because growth hacker marketing utilises new media platforms such as social media or viral marketing, does not mean that traditional forms of marketing have fallen by the way side. Growth hacker marketing is all about making decisions to create the most effective way to market a product using whichever marketing techniques are most suitable. In some cases this may be through print, television advertising or radio. It also often means that businesses are employing technical analytic techniques such as website analytics or ensuring their business has in place an effective SEO campaign to gain a deeper understanding of the market.

The Growth Hacking Difference

This is where the key difference lies between marketing and growth hacking. Marketing is dependent on carrying out extensive market research before selecting the correct channel or platform with which to market the product. Growth hacking is about using analytical and website data to create a better understanding of the way in which the market is operating before implementing often guerrilla style tactics and social media platforms to ensure that the product is marketed and growth gained is rapid.

Growth hacking is quickly becoming one of the best-kept, not so secret, secrets. It is no longer a technique used solely by small business start-ups; large corporations are using the tactics and achieving positive results. In cases where companies would have waited for the product launch before implementing their marketing campaign, large corporations are ensuring they are thinking about marketing while the product is being developed. Creating great, original content or blogger outreach campaigns during this stage to link back to their website or create a buzz around the product. Implementing an email campaign to inform potential customers about the product that is about to launch based on their previous market choices and using social media to directly target users whom they think will be interested in their product are all examples of techniques implemented by large scale corporations.

Growth Hacking Anywhere

But this is the beauty of growth hacking. It is no longer something that is only carried out by small-scale businesses. It can be carried out by any company, anywhere, operating in any market sector. The techniques employed are creative, unique and different from those used in traditional marketing. However, it calls upon an understanding of these traditional marketing forms to integrate a new style of marketing that has seen some great success from businesses of all shapes and sizes.

* Leader image made with photo by 401(K) 2013

Jonny Ross

Jonny Ross specialises in Social & Digital Marketing and Organic Search. He has a proven track record in the retail e-commerce field and now specialises in providing and enhancing social and digital services in the B2B and B2C sectors.


The Difference Between Marketing And Growth Hacking
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