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Is Growth Hacker Marketing set to replace Traditional Marketing?


After the release of Ryan Holiday’s book “Growth Hacker Marketing” this September, a new debate has surfaced- Is growth hacker marketing better than traditional marketing? Is traditional marketing being replaced by the former?

Growth Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing

Traditional Marketing did not have social media platforms to back it up. When companies like Google or product-based companies like Dove entered the market, marketing meant an unique brand message. Marketeers were given the task of reaching out to customers in order to increase awareness and thereby pull in purchase. Their marketing technique relied mostly on product multiplication and/or re-framing the brand message.Then, the face of business changed.

Internet based startups started to stream in. The problem with traditional marketing was it incurred a lot of cost and startups came with little or no budget at all. To meet the marketing needs of these startups, growth hacker marketing technique came into play. Startups need quick growth, and thus, they essentially need to learn growth hacker marketing. Growth hackers are technical people who know how to develop a product, improve the product by understanding the market needs and reach out via social media platforms as well.

Etymology of Growth Hacker

The birth of this term goes back to 2010. It was coined by Sean Ellis in his article “Where are all the growth hackers?” published in July 26, 2010. This term is now making a strong foothold in the Silicon Valley’s culture. There is no second thought that coders and technical geeks are proving to be the most efficient marketers. They can be called an hybrid of coding and marketing.

Is growth hacker a replacement for traditional marketing?

In the recent years, growth hacking techniques have been responsible for the success of companies like Twitter, Airbnb, Dropbox and many more. These companies have paved way to success from the scratch. They present a story of making it big with little or no budget at all. Although Ryan Holiday was heard quoting that traditional marketing techniques are somewhat “your funeral” if you are not adapting growth hacker techniques, it still makes us think if he is absolutely right in choosing one over the other!


If Growth hacker has fueled the success of names like Twitter and Airbnb, it would be wrong to say Traditional marketing has no examples to support it. If we look at the success stories of Google, Dove, Ikea, we can say these brands did make big with an unique brand message.

Marketing techniques varies according to company needs

It is lame to say one is replacing the other. Established brands still opt for traditional marketing strategies, while low budget companies go for the alternative. When Twitter streamed into television ads, it seemed growth hacker marketing overlapped with traditional one. The advent of growth hacker marketing does not mean traditional ways are no longer sought after. Few traditional tactics will always be in the market. Instead of saying one has replaced the other, we can put it as- growth hacker works for few companies while for others traditional carves the way to success. It depends on the brands and products, and their financial status whether they will invest money in campaigns or will they pick up an integration of coding brain and marketing insight in their team!

Let us know what are your views on growth hacker techniques and traditional marketing. You can also go through our fabulously designed growth hacking course, only at Venturesity.


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