What is Growth Marketing?


If you’ve ever come across the term ‘growth marketing’ and asked the question what it really means, this is the article for you to understand what is growth marketing all about.

What is Growth Marketing? A Definition

Let me give you the exact definition of growth marketing since there’s a lot of confusion about this:

Growth marketing definition

Finding whatever works best to improve any given metric you choose through rapid experimentation + Growing the metric through scalable execution + Measuring the results through lean analytics.

Once this is complete, the focus should shift to scaling the results using tech or to integrate the execution into a process that keeps running within the team, startup, or organization.

Important points to note in the above definition of growth marketing:

What are growth marketing experiments?

Growth experiments can be designed to improve “any given metric you choose” as suggested above but you must be very careful about this selection as all the efforts will be based on improving this metric.

You don’t need to limit yourself to designing growth marketing experiments just for one metric. Experiment tests can be short and you can focus on multiple metrics and build parallel processes unlike what you might hear from other growth marketing experts.

the growth marketing process
see the complete growth marketing process here

Note the term “scalable execution”. While most growth experts will say you can only scale using tech, you can also scale by integrating the successful experiments into your regular marketing process.

Based on the above definition, you will notice that growth marketing is actually a superset of digital marketing and not a subset of it since growth marketing can utilize any of the channels or methods that “belong to” digital marketing while the opposite is not true.

In fact, the growth marketing funnel covers all the marketing metrics throughout the user’s journey. Hence, growth metrics are also considered a superset of digital marketing metrics.

a3r3 growth funnel
A3R3 Growth Funnel

You can learn about all the growth metrics in the A3R3 funnel article.

The term “lean analytics” refers to quick and focused analytics wherein you deep dive into the most important metrics and cut through the noise to make decisions faster and better.

Now, once you understand this definition and refer to the image, you will observe that all other terms like Digital marketing, Creative marketing, Growth Hacking, Technical Marketing, etc are all subsets of Growth Marketing.

what is growth marketing?
growth marketing explained

Growth Marketing as a superset of Digital Marketing and Growth Hacking

Moreover, a digital marketing campaign can be executed like a growth marketing experiment. Even a growth hacker’s OPN hack can be executed as a growth marketing experiment. Similarly, an in-app feature can be executed as a growth marketing experiment even though it is considered a part of technical marketing.

Hence, growth marketing provides a system to execute all the other fields of marketing within its scope.

Don’t worry if you don’t understand a few or any of those terms. At this point. What you need to know is that each one of those could be a growth marketing experiment.

Note that I’ve just mentioned a few experiments there. The idea is to give you a bigger picture to understand growth marketing better.

You must know that the list is not limited to this and there are endless possibilities of using growth marketing.

growth marketing vs digital marketing
learn the difference here

Learn more about the difference between growth marketing, digital marketing, and growth hacking in this article.

Is Growth Marketing just for startups?

Hell no. I’ve executed growth marketing experiments for Fortune 500 companies, corporates, medium-sized businesses, family businesses, as well as startups.

As you can understand by the definition, growth marketing principles can be applied and used to grow any size of business.

The methodology and principles like lean and agile marketing mindsets are more popular in the startup ecosystem, which is why the term is used more among startups.

Growth Marketing as a mindset can also be applied to all areas of life and hence, in that sense, it’s not just limited to startups or businesses.

Growth Marketing teaches us to experiment, go lean, execute with agile principles, doubt the default ways of execution, and get results faster and better.

You can learn more about the growth marketing mindset here.