Growth Hacking vs Growth Marketing: B2B Growth Part 1

In today’s digitalized economy, the B2B buyer’s journey is taking place mostly online. Customer relationships now often begin online, by drawing prospects in with content or other means. As such, in the digital marketing sphere, buzzwords like “growth hacking” and “growth marketing” have appeared. Many people use these terms interchangeably but there are important differences to note.

Growth Hacking

In today’s competitive landscape, it feels like you need to run just to stand still. Every business wants to grow and generate more leads. Traditionally, for B2B, this meant trade shows and sales calls, but the internet has changed everything, and the recent pandemic has only accelerated the migration toward the digital world.

Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as “if you build it, they will come.” You can’t just throw up a website like a baited hook and wait for bites. B2B buyers are taking unpredictable, non-linear buyer journeys across devices and channels, using both desktop and mobile devices to explore websites, social media, and online marketplaces.

It can be hard to know where to start.

Fortunately, the internet also provides plenty of metrics to track potential buyers and the success of your campaigns. That’s where growth hacking comes into play. In their 2017 book Hacking Growth, Sean Ellis and Morgan Brown define growth hacking as “a rigorous approach to fueling rapid market growth through high-speed, cross-functional experimentation.”

They place a high emphasis on qualitative and quantitative data to gain insights into user behaviour and preferences followed by testing and rigorous metrics to evaluate and act on the results. In short, analyze, experiment, and run with what works to drive customer acquisition, activation, retention, and monetization.

Growth Marketing

At face value, growth hacking and growth marketing are very similar insofar as they’re both data-driven and customer-centric. Both rely on experimentation, analysis, and constant improvement. The difference comes down to branding.

Growth marketing places more emphasis on the buyer persona and building the brand long-term for sustainable growth, whereas growth hacking emphasizes rapid, immediate results. In a perfect world, growth would be rapid and sustainable but sadly it’s not that simple.

A B2B buyer’s journey is long and complex, so there needs to be a great level of trust with the vendor. The average B2B buying cycle can take between six months to a year and most of the time up to six people can be involved in the decision. Taking the time to develop thoughtful content and an SEO strategy that favours high-intent keywords will attract more qualified leads and nurture your brand.

B2B buyers often make twelve different online searches before interacting with a B2B website, so one form of content isn’t enough. Businesses need to get in front of potential buyers through a multitude of channels. Moreover, branding needs to be consistent across all channels so buyers aren’t confused.

Hence why B2B growth needs to be focused on long-term, sustainable results, instead of bouncing around and following the hottest trends. Investing the time in developing a thorough buyer persona as well as consistent branding across multiple channels may not sound as sexy as “hacking” growth, but that’s why the tortoise beat the hare.

We Know Your Business

As a growth marketing agency, Pulsion has the expertise and skills to develop a multichannel brand that will attract the right buyer persona to you. We leverage a variety of digital marketing tools including content, social selling, PPC, and more, to help clients like you get more ROI and exceed their growth targets.

To learn more call 1-866-507-8275 or visit our website.