What Is Growth Marketing? Definition, Tactics, and Examples

You might have already explored various marketing approaches, but are you familiar with growth marketing? As a marketing professional, it’s essential to understand this powerful strategy and how it can fuel your business’s growth and help you stand out from the crowd.

But what is growth marketing, and how does it differ from traditional marketing? More importantly, why should you make it a key component of your business strategy, and which tactics should you use?

This blog post will delve into growth marketing, its goals and objectives, and how to create a winning growth marketing strategy. By the end of this post, you’ll have the knowledge and insights needed to transform your marketing efforts and drive success. So, let’s start unlocking the potential of growth marketing together.

Key Takeaways

  • Growth marketing is a data-driven approach that focuses on acquiring, retaining, and expanding customer value throughout the entire journey through the marketing funnel.
  • The fundamental principles of growth marketing include taking a data-focused look at the entire customer journey and continuously experimenting.
  • Important growth marketing tactics and channels include content marketing, email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), paid advertising, social media, and referral programs.
  • A successful growth marketing team consists of growth marketers, data analysts, marketing technologists, and a growth marketing manager to oversee the strategy.
  • Measuring growth marketing success involves tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) and continuously analyzing campaign performance to refine and optimize strategies.
what is growth marketing

Defining Growth Marketing

What is growth marketing? Growth marketing is an innovative, customer-focused approach to marketing that combines data-driven thinking with creative problem-solving. This approach helps brands acquire customers and retain and maximize their lifetime value.

Unlike traditional marketing, which focuses mostly on attracting new customers, growth marketing takes a holistic approach by considering the entire customer journey through the marketing funnel. This means considering everything from acquisition to engagement, retention, and beyond.

At its core, growth marketing is about optimizing the customer experience to drive continuous growth. As a growth marketer, you must constantly experiment, learn, and adapt your strategies based on real data and customer insights. When you adopt a growth marketing approach, you’ll ensure every action you take is designed to benefit your customers and your business.

Types of Growth Marketing

There are numerous growth marketing tactics that you can experiment with, depending on your business’s goals and target audience.

Some examples include:

  • Content marketing: Creating valuable content that educates and engages your target audience
  • Referral marketing: Encouraging satisfied customers to refer their friends and colleagues to your business
  • Social media marketing: Engaging with your target audience on social media channels to build relationships and drive conversions
  • Search engine optimization: Optimizing your website and content to rank higher in search engine results
  • A/B testing: Testing different versions of your website and marketing collateral to identify the most effective version.

Growth Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing

To deepen your understanding of growth marketing, comparing it with traditional marketing is helpful.

Traditional Marketing

Traditional marketing has been around for centuries and includes tactics such as print ads, billboards, radio and television ads, direct mail, and telemarketing. These tactics generally interrupt someone’s day with a message they may or may not be interested in, hoping to create brand awareness and stimulate demand for a product or service. The message is usually a one-way conversation, with all the power in the hands of the marketer — not the consumer.

Growth Marketing

Growth marketing, on the other hand, focuses on creating a multi-step conversion funnel to take strangers and turn them into loyal customers. It aims to create a personalized, two-way conversation with potential customers, usually through digital platforms. It uses data and analytics to understand the customer journey and optimize every step of the marketing funnel to increase conversions.

Growth Marketing vs. Growth Hacking

growth marketing vs. traditional marketing

Another term you may have heard is growth hacking. Growth hacking is similar to growth marketing, but they are not the same thing. While both focus on customer acquisition and retention, growth marketing is more concerned with using data to analyze the customer journey and optimizing it for maximum growth.

Growth hacking is a method of rapid experimentation across various marketing channels. It focuses on product development to find the most efficient and effective way to gain customers.

Growth hacking is often associated with startups and tech products, as it is a method of rapid experimentation, testing different strategies, and finding a way to acquire more customers in the most efficient manner. Growth hacking uses a mix of marketing and analytics and often involves techniques such as SEO, content marketing, and A/B testing.

Goals and Objectives of Growth Marketing

To understand how growth marketing can benefit your business, it’s essential to identify the primary objectives of this approach. Generally, these objectives can be categorized into three key areas: customer acquisition, retention, and expansion.

Customer Acquisition

The first and most obvious objective of any marketing strategy is attracting new customers. Growth marketing leverages various tactics and channels to effectively target the right audience and reach potential customers. Then, by collecting and analyzing data, growth marketers can tailor their messaging to resonate strongly, increasing the likelihood of turning a prospect into a paying customer.

Customer Retention

For any growth marketer, acquiring a new customer is the first step. It’s equally, if not more important, to retain existing customers and maximize their lifetime value. In contrast with traditional marketing, growth marketing focuses on engaging customers throughout their journey by providing valuable content, personalized experiences, and superior customer service. This allows growth marketers to foster customer loyalty and develop long-lasting relationships.

Customer Expansion

Growth marketers understand the importance of maximizing revenue opportunities. They also strive to upsell, cross-sell, and re-engage customers, allowing them to enjoy additional offerings and benefits. While satisfying your current customers is crucial, there’s always room to encourage them to explore other products or services, accounting for customer expansion.

Key Principles of Growth Marketing

growth marketing principles

Understanding the benefits and objectives of growth marketing is essential, but to successfully implement this approach, it’s crucial to grasp its core principles. This includes taking a data-driven approach to your marketing strategies, focusing on the entire customer journey, and continuously experimenting. Let’s take a closer look at each of these principles.

Data-Driven Approach

Growth marketing revolves around using data to optimize and refine strategies. Growth marketers can uncover valuable insights that inform their decisions by collecting and analyzing customer data — from website behavior to purchase history. This data-driven mindset allows them to deliver more personalized, relevant experiences and make smarter, more informed decisions.

Customer Journey

Traditional marketing methods often prioritize customer acquisition, neglecting the importance of what happens after a sale. Growth marketing, however, prioritizes the entire customer journey, ensuring a seamless and cohesive experience across all touchpoints. By doing so, growth marketers can create more connected, loyal, and engaged customers who will continue interacting with the brand long after their initial purchase.

Continuous Experimentation

Growth marketing thrives on a culture of experimentation and continuous learning. Growth marketers can uncover new ideas and opportunities that fuel growth by testing multiple strategies, channels, and messaging. This test-and-learn mindset encourages constant adaptation and refinement, enabling businesses to stay agile and responsive in an ever-changing market.

Growth Marketing Tactics and Channels

While the principles of growth marketing set the foundation for a successful strategy, the tactics and channels you use determine the efficacy of your efforts. Let’s explore some of the most important ones.

Content Marketing

At the heart of growth marketing lies the creation and distribution of valuable, relevant content that attracts, entertains, and educates your audience. This is content marketing. Through blog posts, webinars, ebooks, and other forms of content, growth marketers can effectively engage customers, build trust, and establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry.

Email Marketing

Even in the era of social media, email marketing continues to be a powerful tool for growth marketers. With personalized, targeted email campaigns, marketers can build relationships with customers, keep them informed about promotions, product updates, or industry news, and encourage them to continue engaging with the brand.


For any online business, ensuring prominent search engine visibility is crucial. Growth marketers use search engine optimization (SEO) to polish website content and structure, ensuring it ranks higher on search engine results pages (SERPs) for relevant keywords. Doing so increases the chances of attracting more visitors and potential customers to their website.

Paid Advertising

While organic growth is essential, growth marketers also recognize the value of paid advertising. By strategically allocating ad spend across platforms such as Google Ads and Facebook Ads, growth marketers can target specific audiences with tailored messages, effectively reaching prospects who might not have otherwise discovered their brand.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing, including interacting with customers on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, enables growth marketers to foster stronger connections and tap into conversations about their brand. Social media also allows marketers to share content, promotions, and updates with their followers, driving increased engagement and awareness.

Referral Programs

One of the best ways to acquire new customers is by tapping into the power of your current customer base. Let’s not forget an important facet of growth marketing: referral programs. Growth marketers often implement referral programs that incentivize existing customers to refer friends and family, further increasing brand exposure and growth.

Tips for Creating a Successful Growth Marketing Strategy

growth marketing strategy

Now that you understand growth marketing and its potential impact on your business, here are some expert tips to help any growth marketer create a winning strategy.

Hire a Growth Marketing Team 

Collaboration is key when it comes to implementing a successful marketing strategy. Different team members must take on various roles and responsibilities, including growth marketers, data analysts, marketing technologists, and other key players.

Central to the success of a growth marketing team is the growth marketing manager, who is responsible for overseeing the entire marketing strategy. From coordinating team members to analyzing campaign performance, the growth marketing manager plays a critical role in ensuring the success of the growth marketing efforts.

Understand Your Audience

As a growth marketer, the first thing you should do is aim to understand your audience. To accomplish this, you’ll have to take a deep dive into your customer demographics and develop personas. You’ll then have to develop ways to tailor your marketing offerings to their needs and preferences.

Test and Optimize Your Ideas

Next, test and optimize your ideas. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new strategies or tactics and continuously refine them based on data and insights. Finally, it’s a good idea to use a multichannel approach. This means leveraging multiple marketing channels and touchpoints to create a seamless customer journey.

Measure Growth Marketing Success

To evaluate the success of growth marketing campaigns, it’s necessary to leverage KPIs. These metrics, which include customer acquisition cost, customer retention rate, and conversion rates, provide valuable data on your campaign’s efficacy, offering crucial insights for future initiatives.

Beyond tracking KPIs, analyzing the performance of growth marketing campaigns is crucial for refining and optimizing your strategies. By identifying successful campaigns and replicating their best practices or reviewing and adjusting underperforming ones, you can refine your methods to achieve even greater growth.

Examples of Successful Growth Marketing Strategies

If you take a look at any large, thriving company, you can undoubtedly identify successful growth marketing strategies they’ve employed.


Airbnb has successfully implemented growth marketing. The company grew from a small startup to a multi-billion dollar business in a few short years. They did this by harnessing the power of social proof. By displaying reviews and ratings from satisfied customers on their platform, they built trust with potential customers, which led to more bookings.

They also offered incentives, such as discounts and rewards, to encourage customers to leave reviews, which helped to further increase the number of reviews on their platform. Airbnb’s focus on social proof and incentives is a core part of its growth marketing strategy.


Uber is another example of a brand that has effectively used growth marketing to grow its business. Uber’s primary growth strategy was to incentivize new and existing users. For example, they offered a first-time rider discount to new users, and a free ride to users who referred their friends. This strategy was effective because it encouraged users to try out Uber and spread the word about the platform to their friends and family. Uber’s focus on providing incentives was a key part of its success.

Dollar Shave Club

Dollar Shave Club is a subscription-based razor company that has effectively used growth marketing. They built a viral marketing campaign video that showed their CEO making fun of the razor industry and its expensive shaving products. The video went viral on social media, and it helped Dollar Shave Club gain millions of subscribers in just a few short years. Dollar Shave Club’s viral marketing campaign is a perfect example of a well-executed growth marketing strategy.

Ending Summary

So, what is growth marketing? Growth marketing is a data-driven approach to customer growth that helps you acquire and retain new customers. This type of marketing is a key strategy for fostering customer loyalty and ensuring your company’s lasting success in today’s competitive landscape. 

By understanding its goals, principles, and tactics and assembling a dedicated growth marketing team, you can create a comprehensive strategy for growing your business. Begin your growth marketing journey today and unlock your business’s true potential.