Chapter 2: Growth Marketing vs Digital Marketing

The difference between growth marketing and digital marketing is best explained with the following analogy:

Asking the difference between digital marketing and growth marketing is like asking the difference between a horse and a unicorn!

As a digital marketer, one will usually stay in the barn or the shed. Once outside, the horse runs straight to the destination taking the same path as all the other horses.

This is equivalent to targeting the most common and saturated channels all other marketers are focusing on.

And running the campaigns long enough only to realize the results aren’t as expected rather late.

As a horse, you will also be, to some extent, think within the boundaries of these digital channels.

A unicorn, on the other hand, will experiment, be wild, execute faster, and try out new channels and paths each time. Some may think the unicorn is crazy and stays in a fantasy world.

But that’s where the unicorn will find amazing results faster and better in lesser budgets and lesser time than the horse.

It’s just the mindset shift and approach that changes how the process can get results.

Process Comparison

Here’s an overview of the digital marketing process:

  • Identify the goals of the brand
  • Create user personas
  • Create a campaign strategy
  • Execute on popular channels
  • Analyze campaign metrics

Now, compare this to the Growth Marketing process:

  • Identify one single goal to focus on at a time (called the north star metric)
  • Create user personas
  • Create channel personas (what kinds of platforms the users hang out on? or what other apps the users install? what are the Other People’s Networks we can leverage to find my user personas?)
  • Use data and gut feeling to brainstorm creative growth experiments
  • Execute on selected, often offbeat channels, and analyze the north star metric
  • Integrate the successful experiments into their process

So given the level of experimentation, the scope of trying new channels based on channel personas, and going outside of the popular track makes a unicorn what it is – MAGICAL!

Chapter 1: What is Growth Marketing?

Welcome to the Growth Marketing Book.

In this first chapter, let’s define growth marketing. Growth Marketing is a framework that focuses on finding marketing implementations that focus on improving a given metric through rapid experimentation.

Growth Marketing as a Superset of Marketing Experiments

Growth Marketing experiments can use various channels, methods, and tools. These channels, methods, and tools often fall into other areas of marketing like:

  • Paid methods (Digital Marketing)
  • Organic methods (Digital Marketing)
  • Unconventional methods (Creative Marketing)
  • Unconventional channels (Creative Marketing)
  • Other People’s Networks (Growth Hacking)
    • Influencers, Affiliates, Referrals
    • Other People’s APIs
    • Other People’s Communities (and so on)
  • Viral Mechanics (Technical Marketing)
  • Marketing Automation (Technical Marketing)
  • Behavioral Psychology (Growth Hacking)
  • Lean Analytics (Data-Driven Marketing)

This essentially means that growth marketing is a superset of other marketing approaches and channels like Digital Marketing, Growth Hacking, Technical Marketing, and Creative Marketing. There are endless possibilities with growth marketing.

Fundamental Growth Marketing Process

The key process is what defines growth marketing, which includes the following steps:

  • STEP 1: Understand the key metrics to be improved
  • STEP 2: Design experiments that directly or indirectly impact the selected metrics
  • STEP 3: Execute the experiments in sprints and measure the impact on the selected metrics
  • STEP 4: Pick the experiments that work the best and scale them (usually using tech) or integrate the experiment as a process into the startup or business.

That’s the core growth marketing framework and process. This approach to growth can also be applied to other areas of life and business, not just marketing.