The Difference Between Marketing and Growth Marketing

Academy Xi
3 min readSep 11, 2017

Nick Chernih is a former growth marketing instructor at Academy Xi and has experience in both the digital and growth marketing space. From working at Airtasker, Nvoi and Koala Mattress, Nick shares his insights on the industry and why growth marketing is becoming a highly sort after role in Australia.

Q. What is the difference between marketing and growth marketing?

Digital marketing has always been around acquisition and just getting people in the door. Growth marketing, on the other hand, is the entire user journey. A growth marketers role is to try and nurture people through the entire funnel.

I see growth marketing as more encompassing of a lead. Once you get them in, you still have to worry about them forever. You have to think about how you’re going to nurture them into becoming revenue, how you’re going to solve their problem, how you will keep them as active users and how you will encourage them to talk to their friends.

Q. How do growth marketers contribute to a company’s overall growth?

They’re best at joining all the different parts of the business together to find a way to expand the funnel at different points. I think having the ability to understand how a user progresses through the funnel is really important. If you have someone who understands the quality of leads passing through, it means the company is more engaged in the success of that person because they’re not just letting them go.

Q. How do you get started as a growth marketer?

I started as a digital marketer, working agency side for a long time. Then I started doing digital marketing for startups and I saw what it was like on the other side of the fence.

From a business perspective, you can’t just look at the top of the funnel, that alone doesn’t tell you if you’re product is actually working. To quantify the users you’re bringing in and to see if they’re of value, you have to look further down the funnel. That’s how I got into growth marketing, by seeing how I could increase the quality of people that I’m bringing in.

Q. What’s an example of a growth marketing success story in Australia?

Canva are probably one of the biggest success stories. They’re famous for not using any paid advertising, and they’re really big on hiring growth people there.

Their design school is probably one of their bigger wins. It’s a resource for designers or people wanting to learn design to educate them on how to become better designers and how they can do that via Canva.

There may be over a million people reading their blog per month and that’s a great way to cross-sell that into their business. They educate people to become better designers and therefore more people want to become designers and want to use their product.

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