Growth hacking and marketing are complementary skillsets. Combining these two can be a powerful way to increase your business growth, but it isn't always the right choice. The first step is determining if you should focus on one or both of these areas. If you're looking for more information on how to choose between growth hacking and marketing, we've got some insights that may help you out!
1. What is growth hacking?
At its core, growth hacking is a set of strategies that are designed to increase your user base without the use of traditional marketing channels. The name was coined by Sean Ellis, currently the CEO of GrowthHackers, who helped Dropbox grow from 100,000 users to 4 million in under two years.
Growth hackers tend to be technical and analytical marketers who use data and coding skills to create innovative solutions. Growth hacking is usually more focused on creating ways to leverage social media, viral loops, and low-cost hacks than traditional marketing tactics like SEM or SEO.
2. What is marketing?
Marketing as a discipline has been around since the early 20th century, but it really burst onto the scene in the 1960s with Jack Trout's book "Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance." The goal of this book was to define a conceptual framework that business owners could use to establish a competitive advantage over their rivals. Since then, a lot has changed within both marketing and business as a whole, but one thing remains constant: having a way to set your business apart from the competition is still a key to success.
At its core, marketing is about staying top of mind with your target audience and converting those individuals into customers. The common wisdom for this strategy is to "follow the money" – if you're looking for where your customers are spending their time and money, then that's where you should be too.
3. What do growth hackers need to know?
Having a technical background can give you some insight into building products and using analytics, but it doesn't mean that will automatically turn you into a marketer. A lot of marketers have spent years learning what works and what doesn't when it comes to driving sales and conversions without actually messing up their product experience in the process! Marketing is a highly competitive and fast-moving field and growth hackers who want to be successful need to learn how to try new things without completely destroying their products.
4. What do marketers need to know?
Marketing is about the entire customer experience, not just one part of it. Growth hackers are often laser-focused on what makes people sign up for a service or download an app in the first place, but great marketing creates demand for your company before you have any customers. To do this, you must understand why people buy something in the first place – which means understanding human psychology.
At its core, marketing is all about creating value between you and your audience so that they want to support your business over someone else's. Growth hacking can create awareness for your company – but has a much bigger impact on the overall business if you have a plan to follow up with those users and convert them into paying customers.
5. What happens when you combine growth hacking and marketing?
Marketing alone is not always enough to drive sustainable revenue, which is where growth hacking can help. Growth hackers focus primarily on bringing in new users, fine-tuning the user experience so that they continue using your product, and creating an emotional connection between your company and its audience through value creation. By combining these strategies with traditional marketing tactics like SEO or SEM, you can create a comprehensive strategy for attracting new customers over time.
6. Growth hacking vs marketing:
What's the difference?
When growth hacking is done right, it can be a useful way to boost your business. But when you focus purely on growth hacking and not on marketing, you risk alienating your existing customers in favor of new users who aren't ready to support your business yet.
Marketing always has the customer in mind, while growth hacking might be more concerned with getting numbers up quickly or moving fast without breaking things. If you want to scale impactful marketing strategies across multiple channels, then it's time to start leaning more heavily on proven marketing tactics like SEO, SEM, Social Media Advertising (SEM), email marketing, and public relations (PR).
7. Growth hacking vs Marketing: which one should I choose?
In the end, it comes down to your business goals. If you're just starting out, focus on building a product that people want and creating a marketing strategy as soon as possible. It's easy to get carried away with growth hacking as an early-stage startup – but it's important to remember that most of those strategies are not long-term revenue generators. Combining traditional marketing strategies with growth hacking tactics can be an effective way to acquire new customers over time while continuing to build value for your existing audience at the same time!
Marketing is all about making sure your customers won’t forget about you while they are looking for what you sell. Growth hackers need to understand why people buy something in the first place - which means understanding human psychology.
Both are correct statements. Marketing is about creating value between you and your audience so that they want to support your business over someone else's. Growth hacking can create awareness for your company - but has a much bigger impact on the overall business if you have a plan to follow up with those users and convert them into paying customers.
Combining growth hacking and marketing can help your scale impactful marketing strategies across multiple channels. Marketing alone is not always enough to drive sustainable revenue. By combining these strategies with traditional marketing tactics like SEO or SEM, you can create a comprehensive strategy for attracting new customers over time.
The Advantages of using Growth Hacking are:
- It doesn't require a specific skill set or a large budget to get started.
- It allows you to take a scientific approach to the market that is data-driven and customer-centric.
- Growth hacking can work in small companies without huge infrastructures, making it ideal for startups.
- The continuous feedback from the product makes growth hacking very agile, allowing for quick iterations of the product (and marketing) strategy.
The Disadvantages of using Growth Hacking are:
- Growth hacking can be a hit-and-miss approach since its experimental in nature and the results may vary from each user.
- You don't have a predetermined goal or specific results to expect from a growth hacking initiative.
- Growth hacking can be time-consuming and resource-intensive since it's organized around the scientific method.
- There is a risk of misallocating resources to initiatives that don't support your business goals or objectives.
- It only works well if you have the right mindset and adopt a growth hacking mindset.
Advantages of using Marketing are:
- It's proven, effective, and can be used on a flexible basis depending on the available budget for each campaign.
- It's possible to have measurable objectives that are set up prior to starting any marketing initiative.
- Marketing is adaptable to different audiences over time - it doesn't force you into one specific strategy or tactic.
- It's scalable and sustainable because it leverages existing resources to create new demand for your product or service.
- You can build brand recognition, customer loyalty, authority in the marketplace, expert status and more.
Disadvantages of using Marketing are:
- It can take time to build awareness and trust with your audience, which often creates a lag between initial investment and the results that you achieve.
- Marketing is inflexible as it takes into account multiple audiences - some of which may not be ideal for your business objectives.
- It's not possible to optimize marketing over time, which can lead to an ineffective and underperforming campaign.
- Marketing can be expensive and have a poor ROI compared to growth hacking initiatives.
Marketing is the process of promoting, selling or informing people about a product, service, or idea. There are many different types of marketing including SEO (search engine optimization), PPC (pay-per-click), and social media advertising. Growth hacking is an alternative way to market your business that does not follow traditional techniques for growing market share.
It’s important to know which type of strategy you need before investing in it so be sure to do your research well beforehand if growth hacking sounds like the right fit for you! I hope this blog post was helpful and if you’re looking for more invaluable growth hacking hacks (and marketing ones too!), check out some of our other posts on the blog.