How is Growth Marketing Different than Digital or Traditional Marketing

Recent years have seen the rise of a newer, more innovative method to building brand awareness: growth marketing. Founded and popularised by start-ups, the practice would soon be increasingly adopted by businesses looking to expand their consumer base and enhance the customer journey – all the while lifting revenues, optimising budget, and cutting acquisition costs.

Gone are the days of simple print ads and television commercials – since the rise of the internet, companies have been granted a wider breadth of digital tools, platforms, and channels to further amplify their marketing strategies.

Social media and online content have thus become staples in any marketer’s toolbelt, with the digital realm helping reach an ever-expanding pool of potential consumers. However, just as traditional print, radio and TV marketing fell behind on its antiquated, tried-and-true techniques – so too have the safe, repetitive tactics of the digital marketing industry.

Below, we explore the nature and benefits of growth marketing vs. digital or traditional methods, and how you can build the skills to pursue employment in this growing industry.

What is Growth Marketing?

How is Growth Marketing Different than Digital or Traditional Marketing

Growth marketing defies reliance on typical, safe, repetitive marketing methods – opting for greater experimentation and consistent strategic change. The practice involves testing out different channels and tactics on a frequent basis, applying incremental changes to determine how to best optimise one’s marketing spend. The goal is to ultimately increase a business’ user base with the lowest costs and in the shortest time frame possible.

These days, growth marketing is largely focused on developing experiments around online content, optimising the experience for each identified user base. This therefore results in highly tailored, personalised marketing campaigns across various online channels, helping marketers reach and communicate with potential audiences in ways that best influence them. In turn, their business will not only see an eventual growth in customers, but will also experience a more engaged and satisfied user base – generating greater revenue and rates of customer retention.

Growth Marketing vs. Digital or Traditional Marketing

How is Growth Marketing Different than Digital or Traditional Marketing

As mentioned, growth marketing values newer, unconventional ways of connecting with potential customers, in contrast to traditional marketing methods of sticking to tried and tested practices. Additionally, growth marketing attempts to nurture and engage customers throughout their lifecycle – engaging and strengthening their relationship with the brand (i.e. newsletters, sales, promotions) and frequently re-engaging them to drive retention and loyalty (i.e. referral and loyalty programs).

In comparison, traditional marketing tends to aim for maximum brand awareness, though often fail to further analyse and leverage the results. This is due to the limited nature of traditional platforms; they typically offer little to no tools of analysing metrics or ROI.

Digital marketing channels, on the other hand, have the means to better monitor and analyse campaign performance – though growth marketing tactics further optimise these platforms for expanded results, as we’ll explain below.

Other reasons to pursue growth marketing (over traditional marketing methods) include:  

It’s experimental

As discussed, growth marketing offers varying, experimental means of finding the best possible way of optimising your marketing spend.

Also known as “hacks”, growth marketers are constantly performing small but effective marketing experiments with various online channels, tools, and content types. These typically run from a minimum of one week to a maximum of one month, after which marketers analyse the results to determine which tests resulted in the most conversions. From here, they can then decide to further build upon the experiment, pivot their methods, or dispose of it altogether.

Through this process, a business can thus try anything and everything to spread the word on their brand or products; narrowing their solutions to the best possible marketing strategies.

It’s data-driven

Everything a growth marketer does – from their experiments to the resulting solutions – is data-driven. Every test, strategy, and tactic is measurable, helping marketers track the performance of methods over time and pinpoint areas needing improvement or change.

With traditional marketing, it’s common to estimate potential results by assessing the performance of previous campaigns. While these methods may involve a bit of guesswork, growth marketing aims for accuracy. It analyses every aspect of the sales funnel to ensure their strategies are optimal and driving further growth.

It leads to greater ROI

How is Growth Marketing Different than Digital or Traditional MarketingThrough its constant experiments and holistic approach to the customer’s journey – it’s no surprise that growth marketing typically leads to greater ROI (return on investment).

While traditional marketing methods aim for brand awareness and end at the customer acquisition stage; growth marketing further attempts to enhance and personalise the customer experience, retain their loyalty, upsell products or services, and encourage them to share their business with others.

Growth marketers thus optimise their existing budget and resources by simply drilling down the sales funnel and fostering an engaging, satisfying consumer experience that accommodates their specific needs. Their frequent testing can also help pinpoint areas for improvement, helping further enhance their service. As a result, the business enjoys greater customer retention and revenue while maintaining low acquisition costs.

Growth marketing leverages the tools of digital marketing

Finally, while growth marketing enhances the traditional methods of digital marketing – the two aren’t mutually exclusive.

In fact, growth marketing relies on the tools of digital marketing – as the various platforms and technologies available help them better track their marketing metrics and customer behaviour, as well as provide efficient means for their repetitive strategy testing.

Growth marketing is simply a way to further optimise these digital tools to maximise budget and results. The former offers the roadmap to company growth, and digital marketing is the vehicle needed to get there.

Think you’d be a successful growth marketer?

With Australia’s demand for marketers on the rise (up by 33%, according to the latest Hays Salary Guide), there’s no better time to pursue a career in the industry. Expertise in growth marketing can help you stand out in the job market as a highly innovative, critical, and risk-taking professional – all traits highly valued in any successful marketer.

The Australian Institute of ICT (AIICT) currently offers an online Growth Marketing Professional course, helping you build the skills to launch a marketing career or to simply enhance your current business strategies. Whatever your skills may be, the program offers thorough training in the technical skills, analysis, qualitative research, and management skills required to craft proficient growth marketing strategies.

Additionally, the course is delivered online, allowing flexible study tailored to your specific needs and schedule.

Those interested can also take our free test on digital marketing, helping you assess your current knowledge of growth marketing and where your current skillset stands.

Tap into your innovative, creative business skills today – and enquire with us on the course.