You want to grow your business. Growth marketing sounds like a pretty good way to do just that. But what does growth marketing even mean — and how can you use it to reach your business goals?

In this article, we'll explore how a growth marketing strategy can optimize your business's entire marketing funnel for sustained, scalable success.

But before we dive in, I want to quickly note what growth marketing is not.

Perhaps because growth marketing agencies tend to use the terms growth marketing and growth hacking interchangeably, there's this pesky misconception that growth marketing is a quick fix to all your marketing woes. That a magical cheat sheet exists, and it will 10x your revenue if only you check all the boxes. Well, as much as I wish it were so, there's no such thing as overnight business success. You already know this. Run from anyone who tells you otherwise.

Here's the truth about growth marketing:

Growth marketing is a long-term strategy that's laser-focused on building meaningful customer relationships through ongoing data-driven experimentation.

With growth marketing, you quickly ditch what doesn't work — and scale what does — so you optimize your business's growth and improve your bottom line more rapidly.

Let's take a closer look at growth marketing and the best tactics experts use to get real results.

Growth marketing vs. traditional marketing

What's the difference between growth marketing and traditional marketing?

Traditional marketing typically focuses on the top of the funnel: customer awareness and acquisition. Think of the Don Drapers of the marketing world. They might write clever ad copy or create a stunning commercial, but they aren't integrated with the other aspects of the business. In fact, traditional marketers are likely completely removed from product development — and they're almost certainly not involved in customer retention or satisfaction.

Growth marketing goes a step beyond traditional marketing by concentrating efforts on your entire marketing funnel: Awareness, Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Revenue, and Referral (AAARRR.) We'll explore this in further detail in a moment.

Successful growth marketers conduct data-driven experiments that affect every aspect of a user's experience; they tap into the metrics that matter to create a highly engaged audience throughout every step of the Buyer's Journey.

While many strategies common to traditional marketing are difficult to measure (like a glossy magazine ad), expert growth marketers don't waste marketing budgets on large-scale tactics until they've already proven successful in small-scale trials.

Growth marketers are master experimenters. They quickly zero in on what works — and, just as important, what doesn't — and then increase incrementally from there.

Thanks to advances in marketing technology, growth marketers now have a range of sophisticated data-testing tools at their fingertips. Smart growth marketing agencies set specific objectives and then use these data-driven tools to measure performance and inform strategies.

As a result, your business sees robust, scalable growth without wasting resources on bloated marketing campaigns that do little to improve your bottom line. 

How to implement a growth marketing strategy in your business

You want high-value leads that transform into life-long champions of your brand. Growth marketing strategies do just that by building meaningful customer relationships that organically create greater customer lifetime values.

A growth marketing agency will help you to:

  1. Dial in on the exact areas you want to test and improve.
  2. Design, develop, and implement the right experiments.
  3. Provide technical analysis of the data to inform your marketing strategy.
  4. Help your marketing team to implement what works quickly and change what doesn't.

As we already touched upon, growth marketing is most powerful when applied to every aspect of a user's experience with your brand. Let's take a closer look at the AAARRR Framework to explore how we can use growth marketing strategies at each stage of your marketing funnel:


How are you reaching leads and educating them on your brand and the solution you provide?

If you're running paid ads to quickly get in front of your ideal customer, your growth marketing team might use A/B testing to optimise your content headlines, your ad copy and creatives, and your target audience.


How do you introduce leads to your product, and how many convert to new customers?

At this step in the funnel, your growth marketing team might assess your landing page conversion rates. How does performance increase if we tinker with design, layout, and copy? This could be as small-scale as running A/B tests on headline lengths or as extensive as experiments on website design performance.


How quickly do customers use your product or service?

This is your ideal opportunity to drive customer engagement with your brand and enhance your customer's overall experience. Depending on your product, your growth marketing team would look at ways to encourage your customers to quickly take that crucial first step. Do video tutorials equate to more app downloads? Does a welcome email sequence lead to increased user activity?


How do you reduce churn and keep customers raving?

You want quality customers and compounding returns. Personalisation pays big rewards. A growth agency can leverage data points from segmented campaigns to test how specific personalisation tactics drive allegiance.


What specific steps can your business take to increase your bottom line?

If you have a premium version of your product, which features when advertised, lead to an upgrade in conversions? Does changing your pricing structure impact purchasing decisions? Sometimes, a growth marketing agency can identify a minor tweak that equates to thousands in additional revenue.


How many customers refer friends and family to your product?

92% of consumers trust personal recommendations over any other source of advertising. A growth marketer would look at your current incentives to test and tweak referral programs to maximise referral conversions per dollar spent.

Growth marketing best practices

You now know the value of scaling multiple metrics across many different dimensions. But for sustainable growth, you'll want to embrace these growth marketing best practices:

1. Get specific

The power of a growth marketing strategy is in the data. It's not enough to say you want to "increase lead generation." Have specific, measurable goals and targets in place. Start small so you can accurately analyse the results.

2. Embrace failure

Expert growth marketers are not intimidated by failure. In fact, they recognize that through failure, they can identify what works — and then scale only those things. The key is to stay unattached to the results of your experiments so that you fail quickly and succeed even quicker.

3. Unleash your creativity

Sure, growth marketing best practices revolve heavily around data and analytics. But the most successful growth marketers know that no idea is off-limits. Often the craziest ideas are the ones that prove the most impactful. Let your creativity soar — just track which bets work.

Growth marketing is a potent way to elevate your messaging, connect with your target customer at each stage of the buyer's journey, and — most importantly — rapidly add to your bottom line. Use these tips to design and conduct experiments across your entire marketing funnel, and you will see sustainable, scalable business growth.