Traditional SEO is Over! It’s Time To Think Like A Growth Marketer

Yes, marketing is not an exclusively new term, but most brands are still unaware of the lofty perch that growth marketing has obtained.

In this post, I bring you insights, expert viewpoints, traits, and everything else you need to know about this hot potato- ‘Growth Marketing’.

The Basics – Growth Marketing and Growth Marketer

Sorry to break this to you, but A/B testing is becoming passe when it comes to optimization. It’s sadly curtains-call for the ever-trusted traditional Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and it is replaced by Growth Marketing.

Think AirBnB – the perfect example of a brand hacking its growth to unimaginable market share.


Here’s a quick video to help you understand the key components of AirBnb’s growth hacking story. Growth marketing focuses more on retaining customers, and not on just funneling and obtaining customers. Well, there is no growth without customer retention, is there?

This is the reason, online grocery delivery store, Mercato introduced same day grocery delivery with Mercato Green. Under this model, subscribers can order unlimited groceries with same day delivery from their favorite local grocery stores. Subscription models are extremely effective in retaining customers and are an integral part of growth marketing.

What Does It Mean To Be A ‘Growth Marketer’?

We don’t regress the amazing work that conversion optimization and A/B testing have been able to do. Apart from using these for SEO, content marketing, or front-end development an obsession of growth is quenched.

When asked about a growth marketer, Sean Ellis, the founder of growthhackers.com added that a growth marketer impacts whether a company succeeds or fails. Their work directly impacts the company’s growth and defines its course.

In all essence, a growth marketer uses all or a combination of analytics, SEO, marketing, and social tools. So, what sets them apart?

  • They are fearlessly creative.
  • They are willing to measure almost everything.
  • They are able to admit to the failures.
  • They get things done but never gloat.

Think Like a Growth Marketer- Here’s How!

It’s all about attracting more customers and retaining them, we know that it’s a heartache to see the customers leave and to look for new ones.

The growth marketing model is based on one of the most important Dave McClure’s AARRR (pirate metrics) model that gives the 5 metrics to give the behavior of a customer. The model is critically important for growth marketing as well. Have no clue? Here’s the model for you!


When traditionally marketing was all about focusing on the top of the marketing funnel, growth marketing requires a distributed focus on the entire funnel.

Traits That Make You A Great Growth Marketer

1- Growth Hacking Via Data Science

The word hacking does make it quite subversive, but data science is a lot about having the potential hacking skills too. In fact, 90% of the data has been produced in the last two years, which has made it inevitable to combine data science with social science.

Growth hacking focuses more on knowing about the rapid trends, and growth in online media and using data science to hack growth.

2- Data Analysis

How do you make data actionable? Simple- data analysis. Straining and pulling out the essential data and getting rid of the waste is how it works. This lets a growth marketer analyze the market, critically think about it and then plunge with actionable insights and effective marketing campaigns.

3- Engineering Awareness

Engineering awareness doesn’t require you to have an actual degree, but a certain degree of understanding about the way engineers think, and work. This includes the developmental processes, and the programming languages they use.

When scoping for a new project with your engineering team, this improves our communication and understanding.

4- Experimental Processes

Vanilla is not the way to be for growth marketing! A growth marketer should be willing to experiment as it makes one flexible towards content creation, features to release, and visuals to use.

A combination of the following methods should be used for an ideal process:

  • Developing a strong hypothesis.
  • Designing an experiment.
  • Analyzing the results to check the significance of the data.
  • Teasing out learning.
  • Determining the proceeding steps.
  • Maintain a detailed document for further reference.

5- Product Management

Brian Balfour mentions, “Everyone should be a product manager.” We can’t agree more as being a growth marketer means to utilize the product management skills from time to time.

You need to use the skill for communicating with stakeholders, managing expectations, scoping out projects, and radically prioritizing what to work on.

6- Quantitative Modeling

Almost relatable to data analysis, a growth marketer usually looks at the historical data and then builds a futuristic model. The model forecasts the growth and predicts the performance if things continued in the same direction.

Quantitative modeling (QM) lets you know whether an opportunity is worth pursuing or not. Educated guesses are the central dogma of QM.

Trust  a full-fledged tool to enhance your analytics and make data your digital marketing’s biggest differentiator. Finteza is a good option. Among the key benefits on offer are:

  • Helps differentiate between good and bad traffic, identify spammers and scammers, and delivers deep analytics on traffic type and source
  • Lets you analyze audiences across variable such as IP, company, geography, and device type, without exposing you to consumer privacy breach lawsuits

  • Compare page performance, implement guided improvements that enhance conversions, and get real time reports on conversions across sources
  • Implement sophisticated sales funnels for advance consumer behavior analysis and generate visualizations of data in the form of funnels

The advanced analytics information helps you optimize all marketing efforts with data driven and automated reports, delivering unprecedented improvements in conversions.

7- Customer Experience

Customer experience should deal with customer service, products experience, and sales process. But, do remember to include website and emails the customer receives. Briefly, an efficient customer experience team focuses on:

  • How the support team treats the customer?
  • What is the ease-of-use of the product?
  • How does the sales team communicate with the prospects?
  • The challenges that the prospects are facing.
  • The visuals and copies used on the websites.

8- Front-end Development

Growth marketing doesn’t require you to be a full-fledged web developer but often marketing campaigns require changes to the UX (user experience) on the products or website. It just makes it easier to implement changes without needing a developer.

For example, consider running an A/B test on your website’s homepage or to place a lead capture form to improve conversion rates if you know a tad bit about A/B testing.

9- User Experience

As a growth marketer, you need to create graphics for content campaigns, social media, and blog posts. When UX and design come under consideration, a customer’s interaction with your webpage/product, and their behavior is of primal importance. Page speed is another important metric that directly impacts UX.

A good growth marketer is also needed to have these less mentioned traits like:

  • To have an ego that touches the floor.
  • To have a high EQ that touches the ceiling.
  • To be kind.
  • To be a culture-fit to the team.

How To Think Differently Like A Successful ‘Growth Marketer’?

1- Get To Know The Growth Framework

Generally, 1 to 3 metrics starting with ‘new site visitors, ‘sales appointments closed,’ and ending with ‘content’ follows the funnel. But we recommend a more pragmatic approach in the form of a five-step model mentioned below.

  • Setting a goal: X launches/week
  • Brainstorming ideas with the team
  • Prioritizing the ideas by predicting outcomes
  • Implementing these experiments
  • Measuring the outcomes

2- Key Points For Growth Marketing

Increased upgrades

Teams that are focused on growth provide great customer support.

Achieving Viral Growth

Know these three stories about viral growth:

  • Airbnb hacked Craigslist to email to people who posted temporary apartment rentals.
  • Dropbox used a referral scheme that gave away free storage for every referral.
  • Hotmail put a link at the bottom of every email that the user sent.
  • PUBG-Mobile game connected multiple players through the internet to play as a team.

Focus On User Onboarding

When onboarding for the product, set your brains to aim towards:

  • The ‘Aha!’ moment that wins the customer over from the word go.
  • Increase the stickiness (or virality).
  • A UX that makes the customer commit to your product.
  • Reaching negative churn.

More TTP (Trial-To-Paid), And FTP (Free-To-Paid) Communications

Introduce the product as a freemium offering or on a trial basis to let the users in through the front door. Use tactics limiting product usage or paywalls to advance users to become paid members.

Turning Blog Readers Into Blog Subscribers

If your primary way of getting traffic is blogging, then focus on converting readers to subscribers to funnel towards a sale.

Keep An Eye On What The Influencers Think

Known growth hackers and influencers like the following should be followed for deep insights:

  • Sean Ellis (Fundamentals expert and owner of growthhackers.com)
  • Brian Balfour (VP of HubSpot and a virtuoso of Growth Hacking)
  • Nichole DeMeré (Best content curator in the game and posts frequent growth articles)

Learning To Develop The Growth Marketing Skills

Step 1- More conversations means more knowledge

A great way to gain knowledge is by having frequent conversations with people who do those things for a living. Grab a cup of coffee with your colleagues from different departments.

Know about their daily working style, approaches taken, and challenges that they have to face.

Step 2- Attending Workshops And Taking Courses

Online courses for all the skills mentioned above can be obtained both online and offline. EdX and Udemy are great platforms to learn new skills, especially data science. Attending courses and workshops also give you an exclusive opportunity to engage with experts in the respective fields.

Step 3- Doing Side-Projects

We advise you to take up side-projects that take your mind off of marketing. Provide a service or build a project that lets you think about more than marketing. These projects define how you provide good customer service, sales, and tailor a product.

Step 4- Getting The Work Done

Having your own business is good, but stick to your guns and start delving into growth marketing work apart from obtaining experience.

Try to do these:

  • Understand the organic traffic trends every year.
  • Predict the next year’s organic traffic.
  • Propose how to improve traffic. Follow the topic cluster strategy and try to create content focused on topics.
  • Model out the potential impact faced by organic traffic.

Nerdwallet was able to implement organic growth hack and used a survey on emotional overspending for it.


How To Hire For Growth Marketing Skills?

Scott Tousley once famously said that in order to hire growth makers, it’s important to find the lakes where the fish are swimming. Hence, you need to know the blogs they read, the people they follow, and where do they learn about marketing?

You can screen candidates by using various techniques. The technique that Scott proposed was somewhat like this:

  • Use LinkedIn Recruiter to find people who know about growth marketing.
  • Use BuzzSumo to find growth marketing authors.
  • Inquire about the candidate’s strongest domain and question them on real-life situations.
  • Give them an ambitious project and free reign to make decisions during the interview.
  • If their ideas are capable of generating 10x revenue, they are realistic and plausible growth hackers.

End-Note: Now That You Have The Necessary Skills And A Team, Let’s Work Out A Plan!

Step 1- Focus On The Idea/Product

This may be anything from building a fabulous building, to providing a SaaS to an MNC to seal a multi-million dollar deal. May we advise the traditional chalk-board meetings or video conferencing, to begin with. Our pick of the tools is zoom for meetings.

Step 2- Identifying The Audience For Marketing

Probably a buyer that loves ramen and is best for your new ramen product or a fragment of the population you’re willing to sell shaving razors to. Analyze the data for trends among your target audience to be more accurate with Ahrefs analysis tool.

Step 3- The Delivery

This is probably the trickiest part that requires you to step into the shoes of the customer. Your delivery should appeal to the personality and emotions of the consumer in order for them to respond to your product the way you want them to.

Step 4- Call To Action

The only response that you would desire from your customer would be- ‘hire from me.’

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, growth hacking is a recipe that requires skill, persistence, teamwork, and just a bit of luck. There it is – lots of actions for you to take. Happy growth hacking.

BIZCATALYST 360°https://www.bizcatalyst360.com/about/
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