What is Growth Marketing?

Jessica Getz
Published in
4 min readOct 14, 2020


In the world of marketing buzzwords abound. Growth marketing is a term that’s been making its way around for the last few years, but there isn’t always clarity on what it means and how it works. In this 3 minute read, I’m going to break it down for you.

Growth Marketing is marketing at its finest. It takes all the best parts of marketing — the strategic thinking, the creativity, the testing, and the data mining — and pulls it into one powerhouse approach to knocking goals out of the park. It treats the whole as a sum of its parts and every granular tactic is evaluated as a potentially critical stepping stone to hitting that sweet marketing mix that propels businesses towards achieving short and long term goals. It doesn’t focus on one area of the funnel, but instead functions as a cyclical waterwheel of innovation, validation and growth.

Step 1: Innovation

In its simplest form, innovation means trying something new and that’s the first step to any growth marketing strategy. In this phase you need to take a step back, look at your business with fresh eyes, and ask yourself some key questions about who you’re targeting, what you want to achieve, and what actions you’re currently taking to get there. Depending on how evolved your current strategy is, this might mean starting from scratch with persona development, messaging enhancements and value prop refinement. Or, if you feel like the foundational elements of your business are solid, this might mean compiling all of your marketing efforts from the last 6–12 months, reviewing the distribution mediums, engagement, and KPIs and identifying what’s been working and what hasn’t.

Wherever you are on your marketing journey, this is the stage where to get those creative juices flowing. Whether it’s thinking about your prospects and customers in a new light, adopting a new medium, rethinking an old tactic, or putting more effort into an approach that seems to be working, this is the phase to really think about your prospects and customers and brainstorm on new and different ways to engage with them.

Left brain, meet right brain

Step 2: Validation

This is the money phase of the Growth Marketing process and where you’ll truly harness the power of data to propel marketing efforts into business growth. Back in the innovation phase, we were movin’ and shakin’ and blowing our own minds with the new and different tactics, approaches, messages, and/or channels to attract, connect, engage, and delight prospects and customers. In this phase you align those tactics to strategic goals and define measurements of success.

No, and I mean no, marketing tactic should leave your virtual doors without a measure of success. Every piece of effort you put out should have an assigned value of worth and the ability to validate it. Think of it this way — you are experimenting with a new recipe for the world’s perfect cake and you need to understand the recipe down to the number of grains of sugar to understand how you baked it and how you can make it even better next time.

Step 3: Growth

Growing up?

Growth at this stage doesn’t just mean watching your leads and sales grow — although that’s certainly part of it. Growth is about acquiring knowledge and becoming increasingly authoritative on who your customers are, what they need and want from your business, and where they want to find and access it. We all know that with success also comes failure. Some of the tactics you dreamed up in the innovation phase and put out there in the validation phase are going to fall flat — that’s okay! For every tactic that falls flat you’ll acquire new and integral data points that help inspire and refine your approach as you move forward and re-enter the phase of innovation. As you evolve and iterate on what didn’t work well and what did, in parallel, the successful tactics you developed are going to continue moving the needle towards your goals and helping to build the marketing mix to meet and exceed your business goals.

In Conclusion

A cyclical and data-driven approach to reaching, acquiring and retaining customers, growth marketing is an approach that scales and grows with your business. It’s a self-reflective, honest, and iterative process that not only gets you to where you want to be, but gives you tons of learning and insight on the way there.