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Growth Marketing and Growth Hacking, the two sides of the same coin!

“Marketing has come a long way from being just a hit and trial method to something that is more testable, traceable, and scalable!”

This is the 21st century where growth in technology, competition, and innovation is at an all-time high, leading to the displacement of old ideas being switched with the new ones. Likewise, marketing, which is the backbone of every business has to be upgraded to the next level too.

There was a time when marketing was mostly about creating backlinks, generating leads, and acquiring clients/customers… and the end. But now the whole idea of marketing has been transformed with the emergence of two strong pillars- Growth Marketing and Growth Hacking. Let’s dissect these two terms and see how they both stand as individual powers yet being strongly integrated as one.

What is Growth Marketing?

Growth Marketing also famously known as Marketing 2.0 is a sustainable growth strategy wherein the approach is different from that of conventional marketing which largely focuses only on the top of the funnel. Growth Marketing is about working on the entire marketing funnel which consists of- awareness, acquisition, activation, retention, revenue, and referral. A growth marketer focuses on the holistic approach making use of data-driven knowledge and tools that helps in taking valid decisions.

The goal of growth marketing is not to trick the customers into purchasing a service or product rather it involves highlighting the genuine benefits of the product that is truly helpful to the target audience. Some of the common strategies that go into growth marketing are-

  • A/B Testing

  • Valuable blog posts

  • SEO Optimization

  • Data-driven marketing campaigns

  • Email marketing

  • Effective ad copies

  • Technical analysis of the user’s experience

The insights acquired from the above mentioned strategies are applied to marketing, ultimately driving robust, long-term results.

What is Growth Hacking?

Growth Hacking, a term invented by Sean Ellis in 2010, is a marketing strategy exclusively created for startups aiming for massive growth within a short period that too with a small budget. It is called hacking because it identifies the right channels for customer acquisition, and further helps in developing strategies that can bring in more customers from every possible channel.

General Example-

A growth hacker has to put up a new product in the market but is unsure of where to get the most genuine customers. He is likely to send emails, messages, or post ad campaigns on specific forums where the target audience can be found. In the end, this large shout out of the product on various channels will let the growth marketer know which one was most effective (which channel got the most customers) and will scale the promotion on that particular channel. Now all of this is done by analyzing acquired data and using various analytical tools.

Well, this example is just a tiny bit of what growth marketing is… its many other verticals are-

  • Collecting the customer's information

  • Understanding their demands and journey

  • Customizing your product to suit the user's demand

  • Retaining existing customers through offers and coupons

  • Last but not the least, creating an on-point promotional strategy

Proven Examples-


Facebook used the tactic of encouraging users to add their information. Also, they started sending emails to the contacts that were tagged on Facebook.


Hubspot collected its email list by giving out the free website grader tool which needed signup. The free website grader tool is the significant reason why Hubspot is at $1.6 billion market value.


Now owned by Facebook, Instagram has currently 800 million users which have been acquired over time through smart growth hacking strategies. Firstly, Instagram was created with the ideology of keeping the platform extremely simple to use. Secondly, the main goal was to provide the exact features that the users wanted. Thirdly, the platform was free to use!

Now, are you wondering about the difference between Growth Marketing and Growth Hacking?

  • Growth hackers mainly focus on rapid growth whereas Growth marketers dwell more on sustainable growth.

  • The focus of growth hacking is not the brand but acquisition, whereas Growth marketing largely focuses on creating the brand name.

  • Growth Hacking is all about smart work, on the other side Growth Marketing is a time taking hard work.

But why do I still call it “two sides of the same coin”?

At the end of all, these two opponents share the same goal which is to initiate revenue and growth for the business! Both of them design their approach based on qualitative and quantitative data which is acquired through the use of tools. And lastly, for both of the techniques to be successful, the product should be great. After all, it is the product that is being sold and without its quality, all the marketing approaches can take a backseat no matter how fool-proof they are.

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