Growth Marketing vs. Digital Marketing

Growth Marketing vs. Digital Marketing – What is best for ROI?

Ashkar Gomez
11min read
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Online marketing has been gaining popularity in the past few decades. In this fast-paced digital world, most businesses have trouble targeting customers and generating leads for their websites.

Marketers frequently come up with new and innovative marketing techniques to help with the growth of a business. 

If you own a business and are looking to invest in marketing, you are sure to have heard about the two terms that are in trend right now – growth marketing and digital marketing. 

These two terms are often used interchangeably. But are there any differences between the two?

Which one gives you the best ROI? Read this article to learn about the key differences between growth marketing and digital marketing. 

Glance of Growth Marketing and Digital Marketing

Growth marketing is a data-driven marketing strategy that focuses on the growth of a business. It aims to acquire and retain customers and aims for full-funnel growth.

Digital marketing is the umbrella term for many types of marketing that are done online. If you strategize and implement your marketing efforts on a digital platform, it comes under digital marketing.

Growth Marketing vs. Digital Marketing: What’s the Difference?


One of the main differences between growth marketing and digital marketing is their methodology, i.e., the way they create strategies to approach their customers.

Growth marketers create effective marketing strategies by conducting various experiments and selecting the one that gives the best results. They collect data from previous experiments, analyze them, and aim for substantial growth.

Digital marketers create marketing strategies to create brand awareness among potential customers and bring them to their landing pages or websites. They use tools like Google Adwords, e-mails, or ad copies to reach their customers.

Pirate funnel 

A pirate funnel measures how a customer travels through every stage of his/her journey. The stages of the pirate funnel are

  • Awareness
  • Acquisition
  • Activation
  • Retention
  • Revenue 
  • Referral
Growth Marketing vs Digital marketing - Pirate Funnel

Growth marketing focuses on full-funnel growth. It aims to acquire, engage, and retain customers, ultimately turning them into advocates for the brand.

A digital marketer only focuses on the top-of-the-funnel activity. They make customers aware of the brand and bring them to the desired site or page. 


When it comes to growth marketing, you don’t need a big budget to get things started. You can first experiment and find the best strategy to implement. Then you can just spend your money to promote that strategy.

For digital marketing, you need to spend a large amount of money on paid promotions and can’t be certain whether your efforts will be successful or not. 

Key Factors

The key factors of growth marketing are data and experimentation. Growth marketers do various experiments based on the data collected and implement the one that gives them the best results. 

Growth marketing is the future of any company that aims for long-term business growth. They benefit a business in several ways:

  1. Data-driven

Growth marketers can adopt data-driven marketing strategies that are experimented with and proven to grow their business. 

  1. Cost-efficient

Growth marketers can save money by only implementing strategies that are sure to succeed. 

  1. Focuses on full-funnel growth

Right from the awareness stage to the referral stage, growth marketing goes through all the stages of the Pirate Funnel.

Growth marketers think of creative, out-of-the-box ideas that can help with the growth of a business. 

On the other hand, key factors of Digital marketing are targeted audience and decision-making, It is a term for all online marketing strategies, Some types of digital marketing are

Like Growth Marketing, digital marketing is also a marketing strategy. While growth marketing aims for full-funnel growth, digital marketing only focuses on the three stages of the sales Funnel (it differs from the pirate funnel), i.e., Awareness, Acquisition, and Conversion. 

A digital marketer is responsible for making people aware of a brand and acquiring new customers. They work to get new customers on their landing pages, website, etc., and make them take a particular action (make a purchase, provide their contact details, etc.)

Which Gives You the Best ROI?

Be it growth marketing or digital marketing, your ROI is what determines the success of your campaign. So which delivers the highest ROI? 

While it is true that a brand’s ROI depends upon how it markets and implements its strategies, you can know without a doubt that growth marketing gives you the highest ROI.

While digital marketing uses several marketing techniques to get high ROI, you can see a rise in your ROI when you use those same techniques with a specific goal in mind.

The numerous experiments and data collected through growth marketing let you understand what you are looking for. You can create clear, goal-specific marketing strategies that you can measure constantly. In case a marketing tactic fails, i.e., doesn’t give you the desired results, you can immediately change your tactic and work on one that helps you reach your goals.

Which is best for your business: Growth marketing or digital marketing?

Growth marketing or digital marketing? The answer depends upon the goals you wish to achieve for your business.

If you wish to only create brand awareness and generate leads for your business, you can choose digital marketing. Just remember that digital marketing needs a larger budget for paid ads.

If your goal is to not only acquire customers but also to retain and ultimately turn them into your advocates, then you might want to choose growth marketing. It helps you grow your business and gives you a higher ROI.

Growth Marketing vs. Digital Marketing- Comparison Table

Growth Marketing Digital Marketing
Focuses on Full-Funnel Growth
Focuses on Top-of-the-Funnel Growth
Helps in achieving specific business objectives
Helps to increase online visibility and engagement
Growth-oriented marketing strategy
Goal-oriented marketing strategy
Measures customer acquisition cost (CAC), customer lifetime value (CLV), retention rate, and revenue growth
Measures digital metrics like website traffic, click-through rates (CTR) and conversion rates
Relies on marketing automation tools, analytics platforms, and data-driven technologies to execute strategies and measure results
Relies on digital advertising platforms, social media management tools, email marketing software, and SEO tool to measure results

Key Takeaways

  • You should know that when you choose to adopt growth marketing for your business, you are not entirely letting go of digital marketing.
  • Growth marketing is also a form of digital marketing. Only, you use data-driven and proven marketing strategies for running your campaigns.
  • When you choose growth marketing, you can effectively save time and money and get your desired results quickly.
  • Growth marketing and digital marketing work hand in hand. Though they are different in their approach, you need them both to succeed in your marketing campaigns.
  • Hire a Growth marketing agency, this can help your revenue, and CLV (customer lifetime value) growth by a minimum of 10x

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do people prefer growth marketing?

Creating highly personalized content for marketing has been shown to lower acquisition costs, lift revenue, and increase the efficiency of marketing. Growth marketing also generates greater rates of customer retention and satisfaction.

How can growth marketing benefit your business?

Growth marketing helps grow a quality customer base through data-driven and highly creative campaigns. It helps create brand awareness. Companies often use growth hacks to market their brands and helping position them in specific markets.

What are the types of digital marketing?

Some types of digital marketing are

  • Email marketing,
  • PPC (pay-per-click) Advertising,
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization),
  • Content marketing, and
  • SMM (Social Media Marketing).
Picture of Ashkar Gomez

Ashkar Gomez

Ashkar Gomez is the Founder of 7 Eagles (a Growth Marketing & SEO Company). Ashkar started his career as a Sales Rep in 2013 and later shifted his career to SEO in 2014. He is one of the leading SEO experts in the industry with 8+ years of experience. He has worked on 200+ projects across 20+ industries in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, UAE, Australia, South Africa, and India. Besides SEO and Digital Marketing, he is passionate about Data Analytics, Personal Financial Planning, and Content Writing.

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