What is Growth Marketing?

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Over the last few years, growth marketing has helped redefine the goal of marketing.

Successful marketing is no longer only about the top of the funnel and acquiring customers – it’s about acquiring customers who are going to stick around.

Growth without retention isn’t growth after all. And growth is more important than ever.


Growth Marketing is the process of designing and conducting experiments to optimize and improve the results of a target area. If you have a certain metric you want to increase, growth marketing is a method you can utilize to achieve that.

Growth marketing teams are responsible for:

  • Determining areas to test and improve upon;
  • Developing and designing experiments to optimize the identified processes;
  • Conducting experiments to test hypothesized improvements;
  • Analyzing results and conducting further experimentation as needed;
  • Growth marketers use the scientific method to design and carry out these experiments.

Within an organization, growth marketing is an analytically minded function that focuses more on the data side of marketing than the creative aspects.

Accordingly, as revenue teams turn attention to hitting 2022 targets, they increasingly need to focus on their data, analytics, and overall revenue operations. The maturation of HubSpot as a comprehensive CRM and the expansion of lead enrichment have facilitated and enabled this. Whether your growth strategy resides with a partner or with an in-house demand generation team, analytics should be at its core.


What’s great about growth hacking is that through experimentation and iteration, growth hackers can often develop something unique in a short time—like the Dropbox Referral Program.

Dropbox Referral Programme
Dropbox Referral Programme

The company was having difficulties acquiring new users, and paid ads were not doing the trick. Their growth hack, a double-sided referral program, resulted in a 60% increase in signups.



Awareness includes brand-building efforts that educate prospects about your brand and solution. This can encompass tactics like paid campaigns, social media outreach, SEO-optimized content, and company news.

Marketers have traditionally leveraged digital advertising (most often on Google), to test the messaging and subsequent impact on website traffic. However as the digital ad landscape matures and competitive differentiation becomes more challenging, growth marketing approaches need to be more focused and outcome-driven. For instance, marketers can consider testing multiple message variations to the same audience to see which generates more engagement. We are also seeing marketers leverage “brand gen” tactics (such as paid campaigns that feature signature content offers) to help drive both brand awareness and conversion.

An example of a Facebook Ad from New Scientist
An example of a Facebook Ad from New Scientist


Acquisition is the process of generating leads and acquiring net new customers, whether that’s through gated content, chatbots, a freemium sign-up, or something else. For example, Slack acquires users through an email collection form on their homepage. A core component of any growth marketing strategy, this use case reflects the need to experiment with conversion optimization to maximize the number of form submissions. Marketers should consider frequent iteration here, everything from the messaging, to button orientation, to colours, to form a strategy. In our own experimentation, constant iteration consistently drives conversion increases.

Slack's Email Confirmation
Slack’s Email Confirmation


User activation can be defined as the process of getting people to use the product or service they purchase as much or as quickly as possible. The customer onboarding process is part of this. As customer experience rises in importance in the B2B world, this area is increasingly the domain of marketers and revenue teams. For example, Facebook found that if users added seven friends within their first ten days on the platform, they were extremely likely to return and keep engaging with the platform.


Revenue involves all the actions that make a company money, like customers purchasing a product, signing a contract for a service, or upgrading their current product or service.

Growth marketers can address revenue-related metrics by experimenting with pricing strategies or how the prices are displayed on the prices page. They could also examine upselling tactics, like sending messages when a user is close to their plan’s limit.

A growth marketer might like at a pricing page like Drift’s and conduct experiments around the way the tiers are displayed.

Drift's Pricing Plan
Drift’s Pricing Plan


Customer retention is business-critical for any subscription company. Keeping customers delighted is one key component of this, but improving retention can also be a growth marketing play. Data enrichment and customer data science – once prohibitively expensive or resource-intensive for many scaling organizations – are now accessible, including on the HubSpot platform. These technologies provide greater insight into your customer opportunities, helping you better design customer outreach and engagement strategies that drive an improvised overall experience with your brand.


Ideally, people are so happy with your product or services they’ll just refer to a new business, but marketers can also create referral programs to incentivize this.

Tesla offers free supercharger miles in exchange for referrals. A growth marketer could experiment with different incentives or promotional methods around the referral program to increase results.


“Growth marketing is removing the boundaries of marketing to enable every aspect of the customer experience to focus on attracting more engaged customers.”

 Mike Volpe | CEO, Lola.com

“For meaningful growth, startups must completely change the rules of traditional channels or innovate outside of those growth channels. They are too desperate and disadvantaged to adapt to the old rules of marketing. They have to dig deep creatively, and relentlessly test new ideas. If they don’t figure it out quickly, they will go out of business.”

Sean Ellis | Founder & Chief Evangelist, GrowthHackers.com

“Finance owns the flow of cash in and out of a company. Growth owns the flow of customers in and out of a product.”

Andy Johns | Partner, Unusual Ventures

“Growth starts with a deep understanding of product value and is about moving new users to the Aha! moment as quickly as possible, measurable in seconds.”

Chamath Palihapitiya | CEO, Social Capital:


“What the Hell is Growth Marketing?” – By Daniel Johnson

If you are interested to learn more about growth marketing, check out our Ultimate Growth Encyclopaedia, full of information, tips and tricks, frameworks, etc. that will help you grow your business. Check it out in Notion!

If you want to consult your ideas and problems with a professional, book a call with us now! At any time, at any platform!

I’m Daniel – a marketing & growth expert. I specialise in helping companies and startups acquire the right kind of high-quality users that are critical to your mission. I do this by deeply understanding who your customers are and by finding ways to bring them on board in a way that is scalable, predictable and repeatable by creating a Growth Machine. I have capacity to assist in advisory or execution roles, so do get in touch and let's see if I can help.

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