Growth Marketing vs Traditional Marketing: Pros and Cons

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Marketing is a multifaceted discipline that defies being defined by a single set of principles or best practices.

This makes sense since selling products and services requires different approaches depending on the industry, the target market, the current conditions, and the unique circumstances of individual businesses.

That said, it is possible to draw a line between traditional marketing techniques and newer growth marketing tactics. 

So what are the ins and outs of each, and how can growth marketing work well for modern businesses?

Pro – Decisions are data-driven

The main advantage of growth marketing is that it is heavily tied to cold, hard data. The purpose is to extract value from information so that marketing efforts can be far more targeted, rather than taking the broader approach of traditional platforms like TV and radio.

With the right tools and automated solutions in place, it’s simply a better way to do mobile marketing, social media marketing, and digital marketing as a whole.

That way, every decision you make about your campaigns going forward is underpinned by stats, not based on little more than intuition and wishful thinking.

Con – Costs can be steep

While the world is awash with experts in traditional marketing, the same cannot be said of growth marketing. This is still a fresh and emerging area, which means there’s something of a skills gap to contend with, and a shortage of talented people available to fill roles.

In turn, this means that the upfront costs of recruiting the right talent or retraining existing team members will be daunting for those with limited marketing budgets to work with.

Pro – Experimentation is encouraged

Growth marketing sets out to secure the biggest uptick in business growth over the shortest possible time frame.

This means it doesn’t use a paint by numbers route to customer engagement and retention, but instead encourages companies to experiment and think outside the box. If you’re sick of being constrained by traditional marketing, this can feel like a breath of fresh air.

Con – Evolution is constant

Experimentation and innovation are all well and good, but unless you’re in a position to keep pace with the rapid rate of change in growth marketing, it’s easy to get left by the wayside.

This is less of a concern with traditional marketing, as many of the principles of what works and what doesn’t have been in place for decades, so your skills and solutions won’t be rendered obsolete any time soon.

Pro – It’s about more than just the initial sale

Selling to customers is all well and good, but growth marketing explores the idea of nurturing and retaining people in the long term, rather than pushing them through the sales funnel once and then discarding them altogether.

This means that while rapid growth is one objective of this technique, it also outdoes traditional marketing in terms of looking at the bigger picture and ensuring that businesses are viable further down the line.

Con – It’s complex

You can’t expect to become an expert in growth marketing overnight. It’s a specialism that takes time to adjust to, and one which requires a keen, flexible mind which is just as excited by innovation as the best traditional marketing movers and shakers.

The last word

Growth marketing and traditional marketing are of course not mutually exclusive, so you don’t have to side with one or the other but can pick and choose from each to get the results you want for your business. It’s a symbol of how established and new strategies can coexist and influence one another, for the betterment of all involved.

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