If you're looking to implement either a new growth marketing or inbound marketing strategy, you're likely looking to achieve similar results from both: more leads in your funnel, stronger customer loyalty, and a boosted bottom line.
But while your ideal results may be the same regardless of marketing type, the fact is that growth marketing is distinctly different from inbound marketing and can deliver unique success and ROI for your brand.
To find out how, we'll take a closer look at both growth and inbound marketing, examine their differences, and explore how they can work together.
What Is Growth Marketing?
Simply put, growth marketing is a highly adaptive form of marketing that primarily consists of three elements:
- Data-based tactics that take into account customer demographics and previously successful marketing efforts
- Repeated testing designed to quickly discover what's working and what isn't
- Continuous evaluation and improvement to ensure that the brand's strategy is always tailored to deliver the very best results
It's also important to note that growth marketing is incredibly comprehensive: it takes the entire funnel into consideration, and its scope isn't limited to short-term results (this is part of what differentiates growth marketing from growth hacking, a similar but separate concept).
What Is Inbound Marketing?
Have you ever hired writers, designers, or artists to create content so high quality that it brings people to you? Then you've already engaged in inbound marketing, a marketing strategy that uses top-tier content to build a rock-solid reputation, generate qualified leads, and drive conversions.
As HubSpot puts it, content created for such a strategy should do three main things — attract, engage, and delight:
You can accomplish all three with a wide variety of content types, including blog posts, ebooks, social media posts, videos, emails, and more.
How Growth Marketing and Inbound Marketing Differ
Growth marketing and inbound marketing certainly have their similarities. Like all marketing strategies, they both aim to increase customers and revenue.
But from a more nuanced perspective, the two have marked differences. Some of the most significant include:
- Frequency of iterations: Growth marketing involves frequent adjustments to maximize results, while inbound marketing typically involves sticking to a more static set of tactics.
- Funnel focus: Inbound marketing is often primarily concerned with the top of the marketing funnel (TOFU), while growth marketing takes the entire funnel into account.
- Experimentation: Growth marketing demands experimentation and A/B testing, while inbound marketing doesn't necessarily require those elements.
- Flexibility: Inbound marketing adheres to a relatively rigid philosophy — create great content to attract more people. Growth marketing, however, follows a much more flexible philosophy — find out which tactics work and use them more, from creating content to improving SEO to pursuing lead generation on specific platforms.
How to Make Growth Marketing and Inbound Marketing Work Together for Your Brand
Although growth marketing and inbound marketing are different from one another, that doesn't mean they're mutually exclusive. In fact, the opposite is true: If you want to achieve the absolute best results possible, then your best bet is to use both together.
After all, growth marketing has such a large scope a successful strategy usually includes inbound marketing.
For instance, let's say that you own a clothing brand. You currently use a wide variety of inbound marketing tactics, dedicating both time and money to creating lengthy blog posts, maintaining an active social media presence, and implementing email marketing.
Then, your marketing team begins to focus on growth marketing. After examining a wealth of up-to-date data, they conclude that while all of your inbound marketing tactics are delivering results to some degree, your brand's social media posts are resonating the most.
More specifically, many of your customers love interacting on Instagram. There, they not only save photos of clothes for inspiration but also make purchases directly through the app.
So, you can then integrate inbound marketing into your growth marketing strategy by using what you've learned to devote even more resources to growing your brand's Instagram presence via frequent posts and greater responsiveness.
And in keeping with growth marketing's iterative approach, you can then examine the results of your new Instagram efforts to refine them further and meet your revenue goals.
Growth Marketing or Inbound Marketing? There's No Need to Choose
As the example above illustrates, growth marketing and inbound marketing aren't opposing forces. Rather, you can use growth marketing to make your inbound marketing strategy more effective than ever before.
That means less time spent on content that doesn't deliver results, more time spent creating content that does, and a healthier bottom line overall. So if you want to beat the competition and fill out your marketing funnel from top to bottom, it's time to embrace both growth marketing and inbound marketing alike.