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What Is Growth Marketing? How To Get The Best Of It In 2022

by on December 7, 2021 in Business, Digital Marketing

What Is Growth Marketing

Growth marketing is a recent trend in marketing. It originates back to 2010, when Sean Ellis, a famous marketing specialist, first coined the term. 

The concept of growth marketing (a.k.a. growth hacking) became increasingly popular in 2020. That year, it proved to be a helpful framework for highly unpredictable market conditions.

In this article, you will learn more about growth marketing. You will also find some key recommendations that will help you take advantage of growth hacking principles in the upcoming year.

What Is Growth Marketing?

According to Nicholas Scalice, there are three key aspects of growth marketing:

  • it is a fast-paced approach to marketing. Growth marketers try to anticipate the future of business and make decisions accordingly. They do that by carefully taking into consideration the latest marketing and social trends.
  • it is a data-driven approach to marketing. It takes full advantage of consumer behaviour data and data science methods of interpreting the data. The decisions are based on precise data analytics.
  • it achieves measurable business objectives. The marketing strategy is guided by KPIs as defined by the client.

In other words, growth marketing is a break-up with traditional marketing patterns. It seeks to answer specific business needs and acts upon data, rather than outdated schoolbook recommendations. Instead of applying the same model everywhere, it wants to build different models that will work for the particular enterprise.

Growth marketing is quite similar to the concept of growth hacking. They both refer to accelerated business development. 

In general, growth marketing leans toward outbound marketing. Although, there are opinions that stress the importance of inbound marketing as well.

Still, it would be a mistake to think that growth marketing rejects old concepts because they are old. On the contrary, it is focused on whatever works. One of the traditional concepts from marketing studies that are of central importance for growth marketing is the purchase funnel. 

Most growth marketers find purchasing funnel concept very useful. However, they will interpret the model in a new way. They will focus on improving performances at every level of the purchase funnel, not only the final one.

What Does a Growth Marketer Do?

The first step of every growth marketing strategy is gathering data and analyzing the metrics. A growth marketing strategy is based on these results. This is a quick process: soon after the analysis, they will launch a campaign and measure its success. 

Each following campaign will be based on the careful examination of the previous campaign’s achievements. In other words, every campaign is thought of as an experiment and an occasion to learn. 

Overall, growth marketers promote a hands-on mentality and prefer to learn from the experience rather than literature or established routines.

What Does Growth Strategy Measure?

Growth marketers use their own framework which they like to call the Pirate funnel. This framework insists on 6 key metrics: 

  • Awareness
  • Acquisition
  • Activation
  • Retention
  • Revenue
  • Referral

The name Pirate funnel comes from these metrics’ initials (AAARRR), which reminds of pirates’ growl. 

Unlike traditional marketing, which focuses only on the first two, growth marketing inspects all the six metrics of the Pirate funnel. The goal is to maximize lead generation & conversion and customer retention.

Growth Strategy: Closer Integration of Departments

Growth marketing tends to step out of its own department boundaries. It sees value in collaborating more closely with other actors responsible for overall growth strategy conduct.

A business growth strategy defines goals, personnel, product characteristics and tactics required to lead the business to success. It can focus on many aspects of a business: market development and penetration, product, diversification, etc.

It is clear that growth strategy is what businesses need in the current highly volatile social context. Its ability to act fast, improvise and use data science insights to predict whatever can be predicted, are its greatest advantages.

Get the Best Out of Growth Marketing in 2022 

In the following section, you will find basic principles of growth marketing. If your team plans to try out some growth hacking in the following year, then you might find the following recommendations helpful.

  1. Keep an Eye on Metrics

We live in an information age. Properly collected and interpreted data are crucial for survival in the highly competitive market. 

Keeping track of brand awareness and acquisition is not a novelty in marketing. These two parameters will tell us how customers enter the purchase funnel. However, that’s not enough.

Activation is another important level of the funnel, often disregarded in the past. It follows people’s interest to try out our offers (free trials, freemium versions, etc.). Growth marketers are focused on making the customer experience as enjoyable as possible at this level. This is because further advancement through the funnel directly depends on the customer’s satisfaction at this stage.

In growth marketing, it is not unusual for marketers to examine revenue and pricing. They do that because they want to experiment with various pricing plans and upselling approaches. Calculate your potential ROI using this calculator.

Retention is another stage where the growth marketing’s innovative point of view is visible. Instead of focusing entirely on new customers, which is risky and costly, they focus on keeping the old customers. According to growth marketing, having a more satisfied old customer is at least as valuable as getting a new one.

As for gaining new customers, most growth marketers will favour referral strategies above others. Although referral is a well-known marketing concept, growth marketing supports further experimentation. Besides, a well-done retention stage will enable even more successful referrals, as satisfied customers will be happy to suggest a product to new people.

  1. Experiment

For growth marketers, experimentation is a way of learning through embracing risks. At this point, a growth marketer might seem a bit too radical and bold for companies. They are traditionally inclined toward avoiding risk. 

However, it should be clearly articulated to the higher management that avoiding risk is no longer possible. There are no more one-size-fits-all solutions, so they have to be figured out on spot. In turn, marketers should make sure to be careful and conduct small-scale experiments to avoid fatal consequences in case of failure.

In order to successfully turn risk to your advantage, creativity is a crucial asset to have. You want to have intuitive and inventive people capable of improvisation in your team.

Try new marketing tactics like using webinar software to offer educational webinars paired with paid ads to drive potential customers, consider launching a podcast or Youtube channel to have more incoming traffic sources, and more.  Good growth marketing teams experiment often to find what resonates with their following

  1. Rely On Both Outbound and Inbound Marketing

Outbound is a default preference among growth marketers. The reason for such general opinion is in the fact that advertising actually functions. Paid advertisement has gained a new dimension with the introduction of Artificial Intelligence. AI has brought many new options and possibilities in this domain.

However, some growth marketers warn that we should not limit ourselves to that. According to Statista, almost a quarter of Internet users in the US had some kind of ad-blocking software installed in 2019. This percentage will most probably continue to grow, which is a clear signal from the users.

Additionally, some growth marketers remind us that leads generated through outbound marketing can often be unsustainable. Being helpful and offering useful information to the users brings more qualified leads to the website. Therefore, it is not a matter of either/or, but rather a question of which of these approaches is suitable for which campaign.

Thus, expect to continue crediting content creators in 2022 as well. Organic content marketing is here to stay.

  1. Accept It: Growth Structure Is Unpredictable

The golden age of the stable market, steady growth and predictable trends is gone. Things change rapidly, currencies fluctuate, people move. On the other hand, technology experiences exponential growth, and new possibilities emerge every day. 

Therefore, everyone has to swim in quick waters. The fact that we can’t exactly know tomorrow doesn’t mean we shouldn’t plan or think about the future. Simply, we have to learn about what we actually have, instead of losing precious time and effort on guessing and implementing outdated guidance.

Additionally, boundaries between departments, roles and hierarchies are becoming increasingly porous. There is no time for formalities, as the job has to be done as efficiently as possible. 

This tendency to step back from the specialisation seems to become a general social trend. It can be noticed everywhere. For example, even online course platforms no longer offer only the possibility to create courses. They also include marketing funnel builders, blogs, and more.

Also, a growth marketer has to be ready to grasp reality in all its complexity and ambiguity. They have to keep an eye on both the big picture and the details. While data analysis results will be straightforward, the social reality in which a business operates might not be as clear. 


In order to sustain growth in highly volatile and unpredictable conditions, many businesses are willing to welcome innovative solutions. Growth marketing is radical in its disregard for old models, which are considered non-relevant in the current state of affairs.

In 2022, the market will continue to experience the consequences of the 2020 recession. Therefore, innovative approaches favouring efficiency and agility will be necessary, in marketing plans as in business conduct in general.

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