Growth Hacking vs. Digital Marketing

Smackdown live: What's the difference?

Melanie Vollert

By Melanie Vollert

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Growth Hacking vs. Digital Marketing

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You are wondering what the difference between Growth Hacking and Digital Marketing is? Or what Growth Hackers do differently from Digital Marketers?

You are not alone!

But don’t worry. In around 2 minutes you will be released of the unknown.

 

Firstly, both types make sense in different scenarios as you will find out – however, Growth Hacking abilities will be more practical and relevant in the next few years, if the world keeps changing that quickly.

Don’t believe me? Read for yourself – Let’s start with the difference between Growth Hackers and Digital Marketers.

 

Growth Hackers are:

  • Data driven
  • Tech-savvy
  • T-shaped: knows all channels, but has dominant skills
  • Eager to learn and Creative
  • Testing all the time

 

They only take action on results based on data.

Digital Marketers are:

  • Specialists in one or two channels
  • Tradition in finding marketing solutions
  • Economic or Sales background
  • Planning long term/whole campaigns

 

The bottom line is: While Digital Marketers follow a long-term path and develop campaigns as a whole, Growth Hackers take baby steps to achieve one and one thing only – growth.

But let’s dive deeper.

 

What is Growth Hacking?

If you might think it all comes down to one awesome idea and bam: Instant growth – You are wrong. Sorry!

Growth Hacking is a never-ending process. A process that has to be measurable, testable and scalable.

During this process Growth Hackers take baby steps to be more flexible and faster.

For example, if you build a start-up from scratch, you don’t have time and money to create long-term campaigns. With Growth Hacking you can test quickly and with little money whether your hypotheses are right and what helps growing your business.

 

What is Digital Marketing?

Let’s start with the biggest advantage and difference to Growth Hacking – Branding. Digital Marketing is still the best way to brand your business and build awareness.

While Growth Hacking is fast and concentrates on single tactics, Digital Marketing keeps brand awareness and the necessary strategies in mind. The job of a digital marketing manager is to acquire more users/customers by maintaining the brand reputation. SEO, Social Media, Pay-per-Click and Content Marketing are the main campaign types Digital Marketers use to achieve that.

 

Digital Marketers are more focused on branding, storytelling, long-term thinking, and conveying emotions.

The 3 Main Differences between Growth Hacking and Marketing:

Growth Hackers and Digital Marketers may use the same channels and have similar personal traits, but their ideologies are very different.

Focus on the Funnel

While Digital Marketers only focus on Acquisition and Activation of users, a Growth Hacker will always think about the whole sales/product funnel. They invent strategies and tactics to accompany a potential customer on the whole user journey.

Aquisition: acquire new and many customers
Activation: make customers use your product or service
Retention: make customers come back or re-visit
Referral: make customers tell their friends
Renvue: Earn real money

 

Technical Background

Digital Marketers are usually non-technical people, which leads to them often relying on developers, designers, and data scientists to implement their ideas. Growth Hackers, on the other hand, are tech-savvy and can execute their ideas on their own.

However, that also means that Growth Hacking is not an inherent gift. Digital Marketers can still become Growth Hackers if they have a strong analytical and technical mind.

Processes

As explained above, the two types of marketers approach the sales funnel differently. Digital Marketers are simply generating leads. In other words, they make people want the product.

Growth Hackers work together closely with developers and define the product based on data.

 

In plain English, they produce a product people want.

 

Conclusion

Every Marketer can become a Growth Hacker or transform their current tactics into Growth Hacking processes. You don’t need to fulfil all requirements at once – baby steps are a good way towards becoming a Growth Hacker.

Our CEO recently gave an interview about TheGrowthbase and what Growth Hacking means. So, if you ever wanted to see a Growth Hacker live and in colour, now is your chance (only in german).

If you have any trouble with transforming your marketing or have any thoughts to share, let us know. We are here to help, just leave a comment or write us at helpme@thegrowthbase.com.

 

And if you just now realized that Growth Hacking is your dream job, you definitely should check out our 12-weeks program for becoming a Growth Hacker. Also available for companies.

Melanie Vollert

By Melanie Vollert

Recent posts

What is Growth Hacking?

Be the first who receives upcoming Growth Hacking news...

Read More

Growth Hacking vs. Digital Marketing

Be the first who receives upcoming Growth Hacking news...

Read More

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