Frequently Asked Questions

About Growth Hacking &

Growth Marketing

Marketers are quick to devise new jargon to delineate the subtle differences between seemingly similar marketing activities. To complicate matters, many marketers are quick to adopt the marketing moniker-du-jour without adopting or applying any new marketing activities. Deviate Labs is known for being at the forefront of the industry, in fact, we were the first dedicated growth hacking agency when we founded Deviate Labs in 2014, and we are trusted as an authority to define and transcribe the subtle shifts in the marketing industry, for example, we authored the book Growth Hacking in 2017. As a continuation of our work, below are responses to some of the more frequent questions about growth hacking and growth marketing we receive.


What is growth hacking?

Growth hacking is a means of highly resourceful and creative marketing singularly focused on high-leverage growth with an emphasis on high ROI in a compressed timeframe. We elaborate more on the definition and it’s entails in our book, Growth Hacking.

What is growth marketing?

Growth marketing is a methodical pursuit of sustainable, ROI-centric growth via a variety of means including programmatic advertising, partnerships, influencer marketing, social media marketing, search engine marketing, conversion optimization, among others.

What are the differences between growth hacking, growth marketing, and digital marketing?

Growth hacking often utilizes the product to drive growth via referrals and increasing retention, something not generally within the purview of digital marketing. Growth hacking often connotes a series of one-off incremental improvements, that are less likely to persist for a long duration. One distinct characteristic of digital marketing is that it includes brand marketing activities, unlike growth hacking. Growth marketing strikes a balance between growth hacking and digital marketing, while growth marketing is typically more ROI-focused than traditional digital marketing, brand building activities are necessarily off-the-table. And while growth marketing may still include product enhancements to achieve marketing goals, there is a stronger emphasis on long-term sustainability.

Is growth hacking / growth marketing only for technology startups?

Growth hacking / growth marketing is not just for technology startups, it is a toolset and growth philosophy designed for resource-constrained environments. Whether you are making digital products, physical products, or providing services at an organization that is large are small, it is probable that that resources, at least initially, will be constrained. The process of growth hacking and growth marketing will help you identify the most resource efficient marketing initiatives that will maximize ROI in the shortest amount of time.

Is growth hacking and growth marketing viable for
local businesses?

Absolutely. Local businesses often have a physical presence which unlocks geo-location growth hacking opportunities. As GPS-enabled devices increase, so does the opportunity to influence the likelihood of being found on map. Growth marketing agencies like Deviate Labs have specific consulting services suited for local small businesses.

Can large organizations benefit from growth hacking marketing?

Yes, with a few caveats. If your desire is to adopt growth hacking methodologies and tactics internally, it will require organizational and cultural changes. Because growth hacking often incorporates product-level marketing modifications, you will need individuals in the product development part of the org chart to champion growth hacks. Certain organizations prefer to empower existing resources with growth hacking training to create a growth hacking culture within the organization. Oftentimes, retaining a growth hacking agency for a particular project can catalyze the growth hacking cultural shift. Deviate Labs has both advisory services, to advance organizational and cultural changes, in addition to the execution services for specific projects.

What should I look for in a growth hacking marketing firm?

When looking to hire a growth hacking marketing firm, there are three primary evaluation criteria:. 1. Methodology - do they offer the services you are looking for? 2. Experience - have they had success with similar companies? 3. Fit - do you get a good feeling when corresponding?

When should I hire a growth hacking / growth marketing agency?

For entities tight on resources, we generally advise hiring a growth hacking marketing agency after you have a product or service that has demonstrated traction in the market and you are ready to scale. The benefit of hiring a growth hacking / growth marketing agency like Deviate Labs after you have product-market-fit is we can help you achieve what we refer to as “product-market-marketing” fit to help you scale quickly. Certain corporations that are well-funded will hire a growth marketing agency pre product-market-fit as a means of compressing the time-to-market. This approach is common when there is a “land-grab” strategic opportunity in a highly competitive market with other well-funded participants.

Would my business benefit from growth hacking?

Creative and cost-effective approach to growth will benefit the vast majority of businesses. However, if you have not established product-market-fit, and resources are tight, we advise investing your resources to iterate the product or service until you start to receive some word-of-mouth organic growth. In certain situations, Deviate Labs will help iterate target markets in parallel with product iterations, but this requires some degree of financial resources to do both in parallel.

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