Are all marketers also growth hackers?

No, they’re not.

No offense meant to either party — especially because we could draw a really friendly Venn diagram of the overlap. Chances are you’re reading this article because you’re already clued in to what I’m talking about and want more information.

Everyone talks about marketing in sometimes vague terms: SEO, Google AdWords, Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing — to name a few. But it’s what you do with this silo-ed knowledge and your strategy that can really set you apart when it comes down to making things happen.

For one — marketing is designed to drive a metric: often traffic or sales. If you Google it, it describes a marketer as someone who “promotes things” while a growth hacker is someone who rapidly experiments across marketing channels and product development.

All marketers can BECOME growth hackers

The difference in descriptions isn’t happenstance: it’s because marketing gave birth to growth hacking, and one now belongs as a subset of the other. In turn: all marketers can become growth hackers, but without applying the principles of growth hacking to your marketing strategy, then you aren’t a growth hacker.

Is he a growth hacker or a marketer?

So… what are the principles of growth hacking?

Well truly: there are many. Let’s list the top 3:

1. Speed of iteration based on measurement: You might say, “Well that’s not unique to growth hacking, any marketer can measure their results quickly.” Yes — but as a growth hacker, this is your bread and butter. You can only attain this speed with the jedi-like foresight of knowing what you’re going for before you even begin. If your goal is to convert your demographic at 20% by 2,000 impressions, you should know the why and how behind it before you even serve that ad. As you get closer and closer to your cutoff, you should be able to deliver on a strategy that either capitalizes on your success, or cut your losses and pivot based on your learnings.

Go forth with the speed of this puppy

2. What makes you a hacker? The fact that you said “fuck it” to the establishment. Status quo dictates a lot of rules, and marketing is no stranger to that reality. To learn constantly about marketing means to constantly challenge the rules and norms, because that’s how you stand out. There are no shortcuts to this, and the only true path lives in experimentation. That requires a truly detail-oriented mind, one that is rooted in strategy and analytics, which means that you’ve cleaved your route in your mind, and are aware of your possible outcomes.

3. That laser-like focus. It’s called growth hacking for a reason, in that you have the intensity of a machine seeking to deliver on the single most important metric that is growth. When you dive deeply into a single number and tweak around that, you’ll be surprised at how it filters all of your strategies and thinking into one cone of action.

If you are a marketer aspiring to become a growth hacker, or someone looking to break into the field — one of the best and easiest reads on this is Neil Patel’s guide:

Alternatively: you can also get 1:1 mentorship, portfolio building and job interview training via our Growth Hacker bootcamp here:

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Cheers and happy hacking!