Growth Hacking vs. Digital Marketing

What is the difference between Growth Hacking and Digital Marketing? Learn what we do.

You’re wondering what the difference between Growth Hacking and digital marketing is? Or what do Growth Hackers do differently from digital marketers?

You are not alone!

But don’t worry. In around 2 minutes you will be released of the unknowing.

Firstly, both types make sense in different scenarios as you will find out – however, Growth Hacking abilities will be more practical and necessary in the next few years, should the world keep changing as quickly.

Don’t believe me? Read for yourself:

Let’s start with the difference between Growth Hackers and digital marketers.

How Growth Hackers differ from digital marketers:

  • Data driven
  • Tech-savvy
  • T-shaped: knows all channels, but has dominant skills
  • Eager to learn and Creative
  • Testing all the time

They only take action based on data-proven results.

What digital marketers exactly are:

  • Specialists in one or two channels
  • Tradition in finding marketing solutions
  • Economic or Sales background
  • Planning long term/whole campaigns

The bottom line is: while digital marketers follow a long-term path and develop entire campaigns, Growth Hackers take baby steps to achieve one and one thing only – growth.

Now that we already have an idea about the main differences between Growth Hacking and digital marketing, let’s dive deeper.

What is Growth Hacking?

If you might think it all comes down to one awesome idea and bam: Instant growth – You are wrong. Sorry! Growth Hacking is a never-ending process. A process that must be measurable, testable, and scalable.

During this process, the Growth Hackers take baby steps to be flexible and quick. For example: If you build a start-up from scratch, you don’t have the time nor the money to create long-term campaigns. Growth Hacking allows you to test whether your hypotheses are right and what helps you with growing your business quickly and with little money.

What is digital marketing?

Let’s start with the biggest advantage and difference to Growth Hacking – Branding.

Digital marketing is still the best way to brand your business and build awareness.

While Growth Hacking is fast and concentrates on single tactics, digital marketing keeps brand awareness and its necessary strategies in mind.

The job of a digital marketing manager is to acquire more users/customers by maintaining the brand reputation. SEO, Social Media, Pay-per-Click, and Content Marketing are the main campaign types digital marketers use to achieve that.

Digital marketers are more focused on branding, storytelling, long-term thinking, and emotions.

The 3 Main Differences between Growth Hacking and digital marketing:

Growth Hackers and digital marketers may use the same channels and have similar personality traits, but their ideologies are very different.

Focus on the Funnel

While digital marketers only focus on the Acquisition and Activation of users, a Growth Hacker will always think about the whole sales/product funnel. They invent strategies and tactics to convert a potential customer on the whole user journey.

  1. Aquisition: acquire new and many customers
  2. Activation: make customers use your product or service
  3. Retention: make customers come back or re-visit
  4. Referral: make customers tell their friends
  5. Revenue: earn real money
Technical Background

Digital marketers are usually non-technical people, which leads to them often relying on developers, designers, and data scientists to implement their ideas. Growth Hackers, on the other hand, are tech-savvy and can execute their ideas on their own.

However, that also means that Growth Hacking is not an inherent gift. Digital marketers can still become Growth Hackers if they have a strong analytical and technical mind.


As explained above, the two types of marketers pursue the user funnel differently. Digital marketers are simply generating leads. In other words, they make people want the product.

Growth Hackers work together closely with developers and define the product based on data.

 In plain English, they produce a product people want.


Every Marketer can become a Growth Hacker or transform their current tactics into Growth Hacking processes. You don’t need to fulfill all requirements at once – baby steps are the first steps towards becoming a Growth Hacker.


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