Growth Marketing in 2021: Need It or Leave It?

Ogno Growth Marketing in 2021

A growth marketing strategy helps you get better ROI, outpace your competitors, and quickly scale marketing initiatives to drive business growth.

In 2020, over 4.4 million new businesses were launched in the U.S., and companies spent over $236 billion on marketing.

Offering a great product or service is only part of what makes a business successful. To stand out from the competition and get a consistent stream of new customers, you need a creative marketing strategy.

What Is Growth Marketing?

Growth marketing is a dynamic and data-driven reinvention of traditional marketing. It takes the conventional marketing model and adds rapid experimentation, testing, and optimization. Doing so enhances the customer experience throughout every stage of the buyer’s journey.

The goal of growth marketing is to take a data-driven approach to identify the right metrics, quickly gain insights, and implement tactics to attract and retain customers and fuel the growth of the business.

Traditional marketing can deliver some quick wins by focusing on the top of the funnel. However, growth marketing focuses on the entire buyer’s journey. It adds value to the entire funnel by improving customer acquisition, increasing customer retention, and fostering brand advocacy.

Agility and speed are critical to growth marketing. Always experiment, fail fast, learn quickly, and rapidly scale what works.

Why Does My Business Need Growth Marketing

The global pandemic has accelerated existing trends and forced companies to speed up their digital strategies. With increasing competition, you need more than a website and a few Facebook Ads. You need to really stand out and be visible.

When done correctly, growth marketing enables you to add value throughout the buyer’s journey. This in turn allows you to outperform competitors with bigger budgets. It establishes a continual audience feedback loop that provides the insights needed to get better results. With the right tools, growth marketers can experiment and optimize in real-time. And in turn, they can improve outcomes over and over.

With a data-driven approach, it’s also easier to prove your marketing activities’ ROI. Rather than spending big on a costly advertising campaign, tactics like A/B testing are a low-cost way to gain insights, narrow in on what works. You can then quickly scale successful campaigns and initiatives.

One of the key benefits is that it helps you leverage tools and technologies to make your processes more efficient. It helps you to maximize the potential of your team.

For example, marketing automation can free teams from repetitive and time-consuming tasks to focus on creative and strategic activities that will advance the business. You can communicate at scale with tailored messages that are highly relevant, rather than broadcasting a one-size-fits-all mass marketing message. According to HubSpot’s latest State of Marketing report, 68% of marketers are currently using at least one automation tool.

A Growth Marketers’ Focus

Growth marketers are focused on creating engaging content to highlight the brand proposition, advanced segmentation, experimentation, and relentless optimization.

Growth marketing
Source: Business 2 Community

While traditional marketing is focused on the top of the funnel, growth marketing is focused on the entire funnel. Growth marketers are continually using data and feedback. This is done to identify innovative ways to add value, get more customers, and retain existing customers.

Innovation, agility, and creativity are vital for growth. You need to think outside the box regarding problem-solving and use data and testing to inform decision-making.

When a new strategy works, it needs to be quickly scaled to drive sustainable growth.

Growth Marketing in Action: Airbnb

Airbnb is an excellent example of how growth marketing can provide scalable solutions and sustainable growth.

In the summer of 2009, Airbnb was less than a year old. The start-up experienced some initial success using growth hacking tactics to drive organic traffic from Craigslist. However, it was faced with a low conversion rate and subpar revenue from its New York listings.

Airbnb founders Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky booked 24 host spaces and flew to New York to investigate the issue.

The cause of the problem?

Hosts were taking poor-quality images and doing a bad job of presenting their spaces.

“The photos were really bad. People were using camera phones and taking Craigslist-quality pictures. Surprise! No one was booking because you couldn’t see what you were paying for.”

Joe Gebbia, Airbnb co-founder

Rather than sending out a newsletter or writing blog content advising hosts on how to take more appealing photos, Gebbia and Chesky approached the problem with a growth marketing mindset.

They rented an expensive camera and visited as many hosts as possible in New York, taking high-quality images of the spaces for the Airbnb listings.

Within a month of the new images being used, Airbnb’s revenue in New York doubled. When conversion data showed that the solution worked, Airbnb scaled the solution to offer free photography to hosts in London, Paris, and other cities around the world.

The growth marketing approach led to the launch of the Airbnb photography program in 2010. It has been central to Airbnb’s success story over the last decade.

Growth Hacking vs. Growth Marketing

Lots of marketers use the terms growth hacking and growth marketing interchangeably. But while they share similarities, they are two different approaches.

While growth hacking can also be applied for more established businesses, it is generally more suited to start-ups. Start-ups usually try to quickly scale the business, and are mostly on a small budget. A start-up will hire a growth hacker to solve a specific problem. Speed is vital, and growth hacking is all about short-term wins. A start-up needs lots of new customers quickly.

Growth marketing takes some of the principles of growth hacking but is more suited to established businesses. A growth marketer focuses on longer-term goals. Their sights are on improving metrics throughout the funnel to achieve sustainable growth. It involves experimentation and testing to create strategies to attract and retain customers.

One of the most significant differences between growth hacking and growth marketing is the focus on brand building.

Growth hacking doesn’t care about building the brand. It’s all about achieving specific goals, whether that be email sign-ups or website visits.

Growth marketing focuses on the entire buyer’s journey, including brand awareness and the customer experience. Rather than using growth hacking to improve the performance of one aspect of your business, growth marketing puts processes in place that can be replicated across the board.


Growth marketing covers everything from the CTA (Call-to-action) copy on a landing page to a complete redesign of your website.

Everything a growth marketer does is based on experimentation, testing, and data analysis. By failing fast and getting insights quickly, you can get more out of your marketing spend. This can fast track the growth of the business.

If your business has reached a stage where you’re ready to scale, a growth marketing strategy can help you achieve sustainable growth. Schedule a free consultation with our team of marketing pros at Ogno. We will show you how growth marketing can turn your business into a revenue engine.

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