Growth Marketing vs. Digital Marketing: Which Is Better?

Growth marketing has been making the headlines lately as the new alternative to digital marketing. As channels multiply and the ways to connect with audiences rise, it is becoming increasingly important for businesses to explore new methods of reaching and engaging with prospects. As the name suggests, growth marketing focuses on achieving growth. But, what exactly is growth marketing and how does it differ from digital marketing?

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing refers to the strategies and techniques used by companies to market themselves through digital channels such as websites, social media, search engines, and email. Digital marketing focuses on establishing brand visibility, capturing new leads, and boosting conversions. In general, it focuses on expanding product and service outreach, audience targeting, and content creation. Therefore, digital marketing can be said to be limited to the first two stages of the marketing funnel: awareness and interest.

What is Growth Marketing?

Instead of concentrating on the first two stages of the marketing funnel, growth marketing is a holistic approach that targets all stages of the marketing funnel from awareness to retention and advocacy. The aim of growth marketing is not only to acquire new customers but to retain existing ones and to build loyalty until they become champions of a product or service. Growth marketing involves innovation, testing, and analysis. The end goal is to have a unique solution for every stage of marketing that helps a brand to expand and grow exponentially.

What are the Differences Between Digital Marketing and Growth Marketing?

1. Focus on the Funnel

The major difference between digital marketing and growth marketing is that growth marketing considers the entire marketing funnel. Marketing professionals know that it is easier to sell to existing customers than to new ones. Yet, most digital marketing efforts continue to focus on generating awareness and interest and often lack the push to drive prospects to convert to paying customers.

On the other hand, growth marketing looks for ways to convert at every stage of the marketing funnel. To go a step further, growth marketing also finds ways to enhance loyalty and turn existing customers into brand advocates. This means that your customers will both buy and promote your product, allowing for a vast increase in growth.

2. Team Effort

In digital marketing, teams often exist in silos. Marketers, salespeople, and customer support representatives perform their tasks separately and there is little overlap or interaction between roles. In the growth marketing mindset, however, everyone in the company from product development to after-sales service contributes data to improve campaign outcomes and move toward a common goal—growth.

A growth marketing team may feature a diverse range of specialist members including product managers, engineers, designers, customer liaisons, data analysts, and digital marketers. These experts will collect and collate data from various departments and use it to formulate creative and effective marketing tactics.

3. Leverage Data

Data is essential to making informed marketing decisions. Digital marketing often comes with standard ways to analyze data such as Google Analytics. Although these data sources are important, they can be limited. Growth marketing activates other powerful sources of data and feedback.

For instance, clients may communicate their feature requests to product development teams or compliment useful features to customer support personnel. Unless there is a cross-functional growth approach in place, this information is rarely used to its full potential. Growth marketers leverage this information to adjust their marketing strategy. They also think about how to create more opportunities to solicit feedback from customers.

4. Testing Creative Ideas

While digital marketing is typically performed to a fixed set of rules and techniques, growth marketing often employs out-of-the-box ideas. Ideation is a crucial part of growth marketing. After analyzing the data to uncover growth opportunities, the growth marketing team comes up with ideas on how to make the most of these opportunities.

These ideas are prioritized and polished and put to the test. A/B testing is a fundamental tool of growth marketing where sample campaigns are tested and evaluated against each other to formulate refined and successful campaigns. This cycle of analysis, ideation, and testing is repeated consistently to allow marketers to remain at the forefront of market needs.

Which is Better?

Digital marketing and growth marketing do not have to be thought of as separate entities. It would be more accurate to say that growth marketing uses digital marketing techniques and tools to achieve its goals. Instead of comparing them to each other, is conducive to think of growth marketing as an upgraded version of digital marketing—a version of digital marketing that unlocks the ability to access a larger audience and scale your business.

If your business is just looking for a website or an email marketing campaign to serve your immediate goals, digital marketing will suffice. However, if your business is looking to scale, expand its marketing range, and produce more profit, then you need growth marketing.

Growth marketing is a complex and creative marketing mindset that involves various skillsets and collaboration with intent. Because every business is different, your growth marketing goals and strategies will be unique. Consider engaging an experienced growth marketing agency to tailor your campaign to achieve the best results.