Neil Patel

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The All-Encompassing Growth Marketing Guide

the all-encompassing growth marketing guide

Growth marketing has captured the interest of entrepreneurs and digital marketers worldwide. Defining what growth marketing is in a few words is hard, no matter how many adjectives I use, as the concept goes beyond traditional marketing strategies and involves a more holistic and experimental approach to driving growth.

That being said, many industry giants, like Netflix and Peloton, practice growth marketing to stay ahead of the curve in today’s highly competitive business landscape. That means it must work, right?


Using growth marketing tactics can take you far.

I use organic growth marketing and growth marketing techniques in many of my projects and with my clients.

Now, I’m writing about it too. Want to join me on this journey? Let’s start with a definition; then, we’ll explore the essence of growth marketing, its underlying strategies and principles, and the benefits it can yield. I’ll finish by providing some real-world examples that showcase its transformative power.

Growth Marketing Definition

Growth marketing is a data-driven, customer-centric approach. It centers on acquisition, engagement, and retention to drive sustainable, profitable growth.

Research shows businesses that use data-driven personalization in marketing see returns of between five and eight times their ROI marketing spend.

Cool, right?

Simply put, the main goal is to find scalable and repeatable ways to acquire new customers and retain existing ones while continually testing and optimizing the customer journey.

That means identifying pain points, understanding motivation and behaviors, and creating a journey tailored to your customer’s needs.

To simplify growth marketing, you can use tools like marketing automation software, A/B testing, and analytics platforms to streamline your marketing efforts.

This way, you can focus on what works and scale your efforts for maximum impact.

Growth Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing

Growth marketing and traditional marketing both focus on growing a business, but they do it differently.

For example, growth marketing is more data-driven and emphasizes tailoring your marketing to specific customers for a more personalized approach.

It also concentrates on measurable growth marketing metrics, like customer acquisition and retention, while traditional marketing focuses on less specific goals like building brand awareness and market positioning.

Finally, growth marketing takes a long-term approach compared with traditional marketing, which is often seasonal.

growth marketing vs traditional marketing

Components of a Growth Marketing Plan

There are several core components to every growth marketing plan. Let’s discuss them below.

A/B Testing

Approximately 77 percent of businesses use A/B testing on their websites, and 59 percent use it for their emails. You know why? Because it works.

The data you get back shows you which type of marketing hits home with your customers or prospects. By testing key areas like layouts, calls-to-action, and colors, you see which elements are driving higher conversions and engagement.

In other words, A/B testing takes away the guesswork and enables you to take the data-driven approach I mentioned earlier. 

Using A/B testing also allows you to measure the variations’ ROI to determine the most financially worthwhile.

Customer Lifecycle

It’s no secret that the customer should be at the center of any business, and that’s definitely true in growth marketing.

By targeting your sales strategy to different stages of the customer lifecycle, you have more chance of resonating with them. And the more your marketing resonates with your customers, the more likely they are to purchase.

How do you use the customer lifecycle to inform your growth marketing plan?

There are five stages: reach, acquisition, conversion, retention, and loyalty. You target your marketing depending on where each customer is in the lifecycle. For example, 

  • In the reach phase, you could focus on content marketing and social media.
  • During the acquisition phase, you might prioritize email marketing or paid search ads.
  • As part of the conversion phase, you’d use personalization or A/B testing to maximize sales.
  • For the retention phase, you’d focus on stellar customer service and feedback surveys.
  • During the loyalty phase, VIP loyalty programs or personalized recommendations might be your go-to growth marketing techniques.

Basically, when you give your customers what they need for each stage of the lifecycle, you’ll enable them to make the purchasing decision, and this grows your business in time.

Cross-channel Marketing

By using multiple platforms, like social media, newsletters, and online ads, you can reach a wider audience and market to customers on their preferred platform. This broader approach helps to build brand awareness and customer engagement and can increase sales and conversions.

Using a mix of platforms also gives you better visibility and additional engagement opportunities, which means more chances to convert.

Another benefit of cross-channel marketing is it promotes consistency, with customers getting the same message across all your platforms.

For example, Starbucks excels at omnichannel marketing. The company has fine-tuned its strategy to keep customers engaged via multiple channels, including a mobile app that lets customers order and pay for their drinks ahead of time, earn rewards, and receive personalized offers and recommendations. 

starbucks mobile app

It also uses social media, email marketing, TV commercials, and in-store promotions to reach a wide audience and create a cohesive experience for its customers across different touchpoints.

Customer Feedback

Getting feedback is vital for your business, even if it’s not always what you want to hear. Learning from customers helps you develop better products or services and shows that you’re customer-centric.

Understanding what your customers want, segmenting them, and then targeting different groups with specific offers is fundamental to growth marketing.

By giving your customers ample opportunity to leave feedback or conducting customer experience surveys, you get valuable data to shape your future products or services and keep your customers satisfied.

Additionally, you can use feedback on your social media pages and testimonials (with permission) as a social proof to further grow your company. Customer feedback can also be a valuable tool for shaping your growth marketing strategy.

Listening to your customers can help you identify common themes, trends, and pain points so you can see which aspects of your marketing efforts are working and those that need improvement. 

If your feedback tells you your ad is not resonating with your audience or your website navigation is confusing, you can use this information to make changes to better align with your customer’s needs and expectations.

How To Put Together Your Growth Marketing Strategy

What’s the best way to combine everything you’ve learned and start creating successful growth marketing campaigns? Follow these tips:

  • Define the niche: Do you know which market you want to be in? Understanding this is the first step and influences several points, such as the necessary budget, strategic directions, tone of voice of your campaigns, and more!
  • Know your customer: I never tire of repeating how important understanding who your ideal client is. Ensure you fully map your consumers so you can target and customize your campaigns, making them more effective.
  • Optimize customer service: It’s not just about solving customer problems. Customer service is also a great tool to understand the consumer, increase their loyalty, and generate more sales. How do you achieve this? By providing a great experience, being available on different channels, and ensuring your team is well-trained.
  • Take advantage of trends and opportunities: I always say that being connected to marketing and market trends is vital for the success of your business. Keep up with hot topics in your industry and leverage them for your campaigns and R&D for new products or services.
  • Map your buying journey: Remember that your customer is responsible for your success! You are responsible for creating a great customer experience, from their first contact with you to when they purchase. Therefore, map the entire purchase journey and identify points where you can optimize it.
  • Use data analysis: As you collect more data, you gain insights that help you better understand customer behavior and identify potential opportunities. This enables you to make informed decisions and better personalize your (growth) marketing.

Best Practices For Growth Marketing

Hopefully, you’re overflowing with growth-hacking ideas by now. However, before you jump right in, consider these best practices.

Keep your decisions data-driven. Growth marketing uses experimentation, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t rely on solid data. By using data analytics, you can understand customer behavior, preferences, and trends and market to consumers accordingly. Examples of data you could collect to inform your strategy include:

  • Customer acquisition cost
  • Customer lifetime value
  • Conversion rate
  • Churn rate
  • Customer engagement metrics
  • Funnel conversion metrics
  • User feedback and surveys
  • A/B test results
  • Market and competitive analysis

Use content repurposing. Remember the cross-channel marketing I mentioned earlier? You can repurpose your content on different platforms to reach these different audiences. For instance, a blog post can become a video. Or you can turn stats into infographics and share them on social media. Here’s an example from Statista:

In which industries could AI do most of the heavy lifting?

Focus on customer retention. Yes, you want new customers, but you want to keep your old ones, too. Build loyalty through outstanding customer service, personalization, and loyalty programs to keep your customer coming back for more.

Get social. If you’re not already on social media, it’s time you signed up. Your customers can reach out to you directly with their feedback. However, you can use social listening tools like Hootsuite or Sprout Social to see what your customers say about your business and take feedback on board.

Examples of Successful Growth Marketing

Growth marketing is one of the most popular online marketing strategies. Below are two examples of high-profile companies that use growth marketing techniques to grow their businesses.


Netflix has existed since 1997, but I’ll excuse you if you didn’t hear about it until much later. 

How did it grow from a video subscription channel offering around 1,000 videos to one of the world’s most famous streaming companies?

Growth hacking, of course.

It uses data for a personalized experience, giving consumers more of the content they want to see. For instance, customers who are into action movies get more action movies recommended.

netflix personalized recommendations

Netflix also uses social proof, like reviews, friends’ recommendations, and a “Trending Now” feature (A/B testing infused with personalized recommendations for each member based on viewing history).

netflix "trending now" recommendations


The Peloton brand benefited from TV advertising and word-of-mouth. However, that’s only part of the story.

One of the main reasons for Peloton’s success is customer retention.

What does Peloton do that some other companies don’t? It’s all about content delivered via a subscription-based fitness streaming platform. The brand keeps its classes fresh by moving with the seasons and providing other fitness content, like outdoor running. 

list of Peloton classes

This mix keeps subscribers coming back for more and reduces churn.

peloton cycling landing page


What do growth marketers do?

Growth marketers focus on maximizing growth. They use a data-driven approach to acquire, convert, and retain customers.

How can a growth marketing manager help drive business growth?

A growth marketing manager uses growth marketing techniques to increase revenue. Their main skills include data analysis, strategizing, digital marketing, and competitive analysis.

They also measure growth marketing metrics to track performance.

What is the difference between growth marketing and growth hacking?

Growth marketing is a long-term data-driven approach that grows sustainable revenue and concentrates on customer lifetime value and retention metrics.

Growth hacking is a short-term tactic that looks for more immediate results like click-throughs and conversions.


Growth marketing is a data-driven approach that helps you acquire and retain customers.

It helps marketers identify which channels and tactics work best for their business and maximize opportunities to scale more efficiently.

It’s not a guarantee of success. However, growth marketing removes the guesswork as you work with solid data.

It’s an effective strategy, and high-profile companies like Peloton and Netflix have used growth marketing techniques to fuel their business growth.

Now you know how to do growth marketing, and the strategies behind it, you can start to introduce some of these techniques into your business.

Do you have a growth marketing strategy, or are you likely to use one?

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