digital marketer (2024 Guide)

Brand Marketing vs Growth Marketing

BrainStation’s Digital Marketing career guide can help start a career in marketing, including content creation, social media marketing, email marketing, and more. Read on for an overview of the differences between growth marketing and brand marketing.

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The modern marketer has to understand how to employ both growth marketing and brand marketing techniques in tandem to bring the best possible return.

In fact, growth marketing to some degree depends on brand marketing. As opposed to growth hacking, which is purely driven by tactical performance marketing, a goal of growth marketing is to create brand awareness and affinity among customers who should perhaps buy your product even if they aren’t ready to do so yet. In other words, the results of your marketing efforts must be sustainable.

That leads us to something both brand and growth marketing strategies have in common, and one reason it makes sense to use both strategies together: their success is measured in the long term. And to that end, successful growth and brand marketing strategies both require and reward commitment.

As interest in both marketing strategies has been on a steep upswing in recent years, it’s worth taking a look at both brand and growth marketing on their own merits before exploring the differences and relative advantages of both. In the following articles, we’ll explore both brand and growth marketing.

What Is Brand Marketing?

Brand marketing is focused on boosting and establishing a company’s brand. Brand Marketers would start by identifying your brand and asking yourself questions such as these:

  • Who is our target audience? What do they need?
  • How is our company different from the competition?
  • What is our brand’s identity and personality?
  • What is our brand statement?
  • How is our brand recognition?
  • Do we have a complete set up of brand guidelines?

The ultimate goal of brand marketing is to boost awareness, visibility, and recognition of your brand while creating clearly defined – and positive! – emotional associations between your brand and your consumers. Consider how we associate Apple with innovation, ease of use, and clean design, or how Nike will always be linked to sweat, hard work, and determination.

In other words, brand marketing is less about pushing a specific product or promotion and more about telling your story in a way that resonates.

Establishing a brand as rock-solid as those mentioned won’t happen unless Digital Marketers stick to several principles:

  • Consistency. To really hammer home the story of your brand, your marketing efforts need to be consistent – in terms of messaging, voice, and visual aesthetics – across all platforms
  • Emotion. We aren’t just loyal to certain companies or brands because we like their products – often, our buying decisions are tied to our sense of identity and the perceived values of the companies making those products.
  • Delivery. Trust is an essential element in building a powerful brand, so be sure that your marketing aligns with what you’re actually giving your customers. For example, consider Volkswagen, who built up decades of brand equity as a manufacturer of reliable and practical cars before an emissions-cheating scandal badly hurt the company’s reputation in 2015.

With brand marketing, measurable objectives could include friendly media coverage, attention or endorsements from influencers, or heightened social media engagement.

Brand Marketing Manager Salary

The average Brand Marketing Manager Salary in the United States can range from around $70,000 all the way up to $170,000. There is such a wide degree of variance because Brand Marketing Manager can in many companies be a very senior position, but the median base salary for a Brand Marketing Manager is around $120,000.

What Is Growth Marketing?

Growth marketing is concerned with the entire funnel, where the goal is revenue growth not merely through bringing in new customers but also through the activation, retention, referral, and monetization of the customers you already have. Growth marketing is removing the boundaries of marketing to enable every aspect of the customer experience to focus on attracting more engaged customers,” said Mike Volpe, CEO of

Where traditionally, marketing departments might have been their own separate entity within a corporate structure, Growth Marketers are often more integrated within product development.

Following agile development principles, growth marketing focuses on a data-driven process that operates on a cyclical sprint model where performance is constantly tracked, tweaked and optimized.

Largely borne out of need – since startups rarely have massive marketing budgets – growth marketing is an evidence-based process that leans heavily on strategy. A Growth Marketer should be experimental, iterative and – most importantly of all – user-focused, since growth marketing efforts are are more about increasing customer lifetime value and customer retention than simple customer acquisition.

A/B testing, analytics, engagement measurement, and user-testing are all crucial parts of the growth marketing process, whether working for a marketing team on one company or a growth marketing agency. It is also the job of Growth Marketers to define measurable goals and stay current and agile with growth marketing campaigns-in-progress.

Examples of Growth Marketing

Successful Growth Marketers are often very creative, and so are the best examples of growth marketing. Perhaps most famously, when Airbnb was just getting off the ground, the startup cleverly tapped into a much larger user base than its own by offering users who listed their properties on Airbnb the option to post them to Craigslist as well (it wasn’t as simple as it sounds, as a bot had to be built to create the Craigslist posting before forwarding to the user for publishing).

Other examples include Pinterest creating an air of exclusivity by requiring members to request an invitation to join, or Dropbox turning its users into mobile marketers by incentivizing referrals with free storage.

Another feature of growth marketing? Expect a more reactive planning cycle, where new tactics and strategies are expedited and executed regularly.

Growth Marketing Manager Salary

The average Growth Marketing Manager salary in the United States is just under $110,000 annually, but it can range anywhere from $65,000 at the entry level to well over $150,000 for more senior level Growth Marketing Managers.

What Is Growth Hacking?

Growth hacking is a digital marketing strategy or group of strategies focused on rapidly growing a company. A subfield of growth marketing, growth hacking generally involves a data-driven approach that promises to help companies very quickly grow and maintain a customer base, boost market share and exposure, and ultimately build revenue.

Typically, growth hacking describes an attempt to successfully execute growth marketing strategy in a very short period of time without many resources or a large advertising budget. As a result, growth hacking is often associated with startups or small businesses that need to accomplish many of the same goals as traditional marketing without the resources or money.


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