What is growth marketing? (with examples)

What is growth marketing? (with examples)

Growth being at the center of the challenges of many brands, it is quite naturally that the growth marketing. This strategy makes it possible to gain a large number of users in a short time, but it also targets their loyalty and their participation in the acquisition of new customers.

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How growth marketing works

Growth marketing has the particularity of focusing on the overall experience of prospects. The method used, commonly known as AARRR, is based on the 5 decisive stages of the sales cycle. The idea is to optimize each of them in order to achieve a high level of efficiency and of course to increase turnover quickly.

For this, it is necessary to have a good knowledge of the needs of potential customers, segment them, qualify them and distribute tailor-made campaigns. The marketing operations put in place are spread over time in order to create a feeling of trust and belonging among users.

AARRR: what is it?

The acronym AARRR uses the first letters of the terms acquisition, activation, retention, recommendation and income. These 5 stages of the sales cycle are constantly being improved.

The acquisition

This first step corresponds to the moment when Internet users land on a site’s page, then consider a purchase. Logically, it’s tempting to think that the more traffic, the more sales. But quantity is not enough to convert: you also need quality, that is, visitors who are likely to buy.

Growth marketing will take an interest in both by asking which channels generate the most traffic and which ones give the best results in terms of conversion. The cost of acquisition is also important and it must be as low as possible, for equal quality.

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Once all this data has been collected, changes can be made to improve the metrics. For example, if SEO is the channel that produces the most profits, we must find a way to increase this type of traffic through good positioning in the search engine results pages. This requires numerous technical, editorial and netlinking optimizations.


This is the phase of purchasing and using the product. For many companies, the sales cycle ends there, but those that operate according to the principles of growth marketing seek to go further, always with the objective of growth. To grow, we must not be content to constantly find new customers, we must also retain those who already are.

Giving them the impression that their purchase was a good idea is therefore essential. This requires a quality reception, through personalized messages, a tutorial or commissioning.

For example, Apple offers a phone meeting for everyone who has purchased a computer. During this interview, the advisor explains to the user how to use the main services and applications of the brand so that he feels comfortable with his new equipment. The latter can also ask any questions he wishes. This approach guarantees a first positive experience with the product.


The retention phase is selling new products to a customer. The latter can purchase additional accessories or items from the higher range. If it is a service, he can decide to extend his subscription or switch to an offer offering more features.

To encourage customers to make more purchases, you have to create envy by highlighting needs. Content plays a big role in this operation and can easily be disseminated through personalized emailing campaigns.

Promotional offers are also effective, as is the retargeting carried out on social networks.

The recommendation

This step actively participates in the growth of the company: it includes all the operations that encourage customers to convince those around them to buy the same product as them. The snowball effect can make the brand grow exponentially.

Various techniques exist to achieve this goal. There are referral programs, incentives to share content on social networks, and free samples to distribute. It is also quite possible to use influencer marketing to significantly expand your audience.

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The last phase is to ask how to generate more profit once the funnel is up and running. There are 2 main answers to this question: increase the lifecycle value of customers and decrease the cost of their acquisition. Building loyalty and reducing costs related to sales, such as marketing or prospecting, are therefore objectives to be constantly worked on. There is one last lever: the price. Once the purchasing path is well established, increasing the price of a product, if only by 5%, can work miracles on turnover.

Growth marketing methods

The marketing actions used vary according to the strategy implemented, the market, the target, but also data analyzes. For example, it is possible to focus on inbound marketing with all the tools that this implies, such as content distribution, emailing campaigns or automation.

A / B testing is especially helpful in choosing the best landing pages. For its part, click tracking makes it possible to understand the behavior of a visitor on a page and thus improve the user experience.

Growth marketing and growth hacking: what relationship?

Although they are sometimes opposed, growth marketing is in fact the logical continuation of growth hacking, a strategy which consists in generating growth through creative and ingenious concepts. These two approaches are therefore complementary.

Growth hacking uses innovative techniques to quickly grow a business that has just opened its doors. Start-ups operate on this lightning-fast mode of growth. Once the number of customers or users is well developed, however, it is necessary to switch to a sustainable strategy, because the methods used at the start may run out of steam.


Growth hacking and growth marketing have the same goal: growth. To create it, these two strategies rely on quality data that provides them with valuable information on user needs and behavior. In addition, constant improvement is at the heart of these approaches: agility is therefore essential to obtain the best possible results.

The differences

Growth hacking works in the short term thanks to clever, creative, even disruptive techniques, and sometimes bordering on legality. For its part, growth marketing uses long-term, long-tried and tested methods, the legality of which is beyond doubt. Last point to emphasize: growth hacking often uses paid strategies such as ads, while growth marketing relies more on organic strategies, such as SEO for example.

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Examples of companies using growth marketing techniques

Dropbox: the king of sponsorship

Dropbox has based its entire growth strategy on sponsorship. The start-up offered free storage space to users who made direct recommendations or shared on Facebook and Twitter.

Subsequently, Dropbox, which claims to work with 8 million companies, repositioned itself to focus on a B2B target. Its strategy is based on the distribution of content intended for this market.

growth marketing Dropbox

Airbnb: find your target with a competitor

Airbnb has seen its growth explode thanks to a typical growth hacking trick. The start-up simply spammed the mailbox of users of Craiglist, an American classifieds website. The message invited them to try a brand new platform dedicated to short-term rentals.

Once the number of subscribers was high enough, Airbnb was able to start working on its image as well as the user experience, for more stable and sustainable growth. The site offers near-perfect ergonomics, simple and reassuring operation, but also a personal space designed for loyalty. The brand also broadcasts advertising spots by intelligently segmenting its audience: advertisers, solo travelers, couples or families.

growth marketing AirBnB

Netflix: quantity and quality

Netflix had an explosive start thanks to the acquisition of popular shows and its large presence on social networks, places that bring together most of its target. The company has also invested heavily in the development of high quality series intended for all audiences.

To retain its audience, Netflix remains in constant contact with it. Subscribers regularly receive messages with personalized recommendations, a trailer, news and upcoming programs.

growth marketing Netflix

Growth marketing is a long-term strategy using various methods to acquire qualified leads and retain them over the long term. It is set up to perpetuate the rapid growth obtained at the very start of the activity by growth hacking techniques.

To go further, download this free guide and find out what growth hacking is.E-book: The guide to growth hacking

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