The long way to Growth Marketing

23 Jan 2016


Growth marketing is the next evolutionary step for marketing. We have come a long way from peddling our wares on markets, to building giant billboards, to online marketing, to what some of us now call growth marketing. While using the tactics from any time in marketing history, the strategy has changed significantly. This new level of marketing isn't satisfied anymore with just acquiring new users all day long as cheap as possible. Growth marketing owns the user flow throughout its lifecycle. The acquisition is now step 1 of the marketing process, followed by concerns about user activation, retention, referrals, and revenue (thx Dave McClure for the AARRR metrics). Rigorous experimentation is its new methodology.


Persistent evolutionary change only happens by necessity dictated by the environment. The environmental change for founders and marketers these days are an insanely fast-changing world, the ability to adapt much quicker and to get deeper insights into the user flow within the own product or service. We have seen the adaptation in the world of software development to these changes in the form of agile development and Eric Ries' "build, measure, learn cycles". But where is the change in the marketing world? Sure, there are some leading marketers using data, analytics and programmatic marketing, but it's nowhere near the adoption rate as in the dev scene.

Bad Word

Marketing has become a bad word in the minds of today's creators, the engineers and developers that spearhead most startup. I get it .. to a degree. Coding a product feels like the ability to read and write a book. Now imagine you would have to work with a bunch of illiterates on writing a book. Add to that the pervasive beliefs of "it all about building an excellent product", "the product is the best marketing" and "Facebook didn't do any marketing". These beliefs are based on the old school model of top-of-the-funnel marketing. Those excellent products are often created with integrated growth strategies in mind, by teams that are aware of the importance of user flow from acquisition to activation, retention, referrals, and revenue.

What's next

The Growth marketing strategy is based on the scientific method of building hypotheses for growth opportunities and testing them rigorously in controlled experiments. More on that in the next article.

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