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Lead Generation vs Growth Marketing: What’s the Difference?

Growth marketing and lead generation are two different marketing strategies. Growth marketing is a strategy used to increase the number of users or customers of a product or service, while lead generation is the process of generating leads for a business.

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Growth marketing and lead generation are marketing strategies which are necessary for business growth. While they work together, each serves a different purpose.

Lead generation focuses on attracting potential customers and collecting their information, and growth marketing uses this data to experiment and refine strategies that increase customer engagement and retention.

What is Lead Generation?

Suppose that you’re running a local gym and want to increase its membership. You launch a campaign offering a free one-week pass for new visitors who sign up on your website. This attracts people interested in fitness, collecting their contact information for future marketing efforts. This is lead generation.

Lead generation is finding and qualifying customers for particular products and services. It involves identifying potential customers and collecting their contact information, such as their name, email address, or phone number.

Lead generation is targeted marketing, reaching specific groups of potential customers, which makes marketing efforts more effective and precise. This process also boosts brand awareness as more people discover your business. Focusing on targeted leads generally results in better conversion rates since the potential customers are more likely to be interested in the products or services you offer.

Lead generation can be more cost-efficient compared to broader advertising strategies because it focuses resources on individuals more likely to make a purchase. Also, collecting leads allows businesses to gather valuable data about customer preferences and behaviors, aiding in the refinement of future marketing strategies.

What is Growth Marketing?

After collecting data from your gym’s sign-up campaign, you analyze the demographics and preferences of those who used the free pass. You then send personalized follow-up emails with membership discounts tailored to their favorite activities, like yoga or weight training. You also A/B test different email headlines to see which leads to higher open rates and, ultimately, more memberships. In A/B testing, you compare two different versions of something, like an ad or a webpage, to see which one works better. You show version A to one group and version B to another. Then you check which one gets more clicks or sales. This is growth marketing.

Growth marketing is a data-driven and structured process of increasing the number of users or customers for a product or service. It is a combination of marketing, product development, and analytics, and it focuses on acquiring and retaining users using the scientific method, e.g., Hypothesis, Experiment, Report, and Analyze. (H.E.R.A)

Growth marketing uses a comprehensive approach and data to make smart decisions about acquiring customers.

Growth marketing starts with a marketing hypothesis and then uses data to test that hypothesis. It assumes nothing and uses a data-driven approach to experimentation. The lessons learned from experimentation in growth marketing will inform future campaigns.

Growth marketing looks at the whole customer journey across different marketing strategies. In many respect, growth marketing wraps disparate marketing functions such as email marketing, marketing automation, paid advertising, lead generation, content marketing, social media, and offline media in a structured approach that rewards experimentation and learning.

Lead Generation vs. Growth Marketing: Which is More Effective?

Lead generation is a one-way street, where you capture information from potential customers, but you don’t actively engage with them beyond that initial interaction.

With traditional lead generation, you are not engaging with your customers or providing them with any value.

Often times lead generation uses a lead magnet with low-value content to get the customer to complete a form fill.

Lead generation is also based on cold outreach, which means you are sending out messages to people who may not be interested in what you have to offer.

The main focus of lead generation is capturing a form fill, usually a name, email, and phone number, but it doesn’t focus on building trust, authority, or value.

On the other hand, with growth marketing, you engage with your customers and provide them with valuable information.

Growth marketing, on the other hand, is based on providing value to potential customers.

This can help you build relationships and encourage them to do business with you.

Growth marketing is also based on warm outreach. You are reaching out to people who are already interested in what you have to offer. This can lead to a lot of success in terms of conversions and sales.

What are Some Growth Marketing Tactics?

Creating and publishing engaging content regularly

It all starts with content. Start by creating a blog section on your website and stacking useful content. You can brainstorm ideas in Evernote or OneNote and then use a tool like ClickUp to build your calendar of topics you want to post.

Once you have your topic, I highly recommend learning to use AI generation tools to help outline and develop the content. Make sure you understand though, that they are tools and not a replacement for a well written and informative material.

When your content is created and published, you can re-use this across multiple channels, including email and short reels on TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram.

You can also create podcasts and YouTube videos around your content.

Growth Marketing vs Lead Generation Blog Post - Click Up

Growth Marketing vs Lead Generation Blog Post - Evernote
Growth Marketing vs Lead Generation: OneNote
Growth Marketing vs Lead Generation: GrowthBar

Generating user reviews and testimonials

To generate user reviews and testimonials, ask users to submit a review or testimonial after they have had a positive experience with your product or service.

You can also incentivize users to submit a review by offering a discount or other incentives for doing so. This can be automated from your CRM to send your customer an email and text message to ask for a testimonial or review.

There are also tools such as Trustpilot that can handle this process for you. You can expose those reviews real time on your website if you are using WordPress by using this review plugin.

Conducting keyword research and using the right keywords in your content

Start by identifying the tools required for researching keywords and competitors.

Here are a few SEO and Keyword tools to get started.

SEO and keyword research Tools

1. Yoast SEO: Yoast SEO is a plugin for WordPress that provides you with tips on how to improve your SEO, and it also analyzes your content to see how well it is optimized.

Growth Marketing vs Lead Generation: Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO

2. Moz: Moz is a tool that helps you track your SEO progress and performance. It analyzes your website, tells you how well you are doing in terms of SEO, and provides tips on improving your SEO.

Growth Marketing vs Lead Generation: Moz

3. SEM Rush: SEM Rush is a popular SEO tool that allows you to track your website’s performance and your competitor’s. You can use SEM Rush to research keywords, track your organic and paid search results, and more.

Growth Marketing vs Lead Generation: Semrush

4. Ahref: Ahref is a tool used for backlink analysis and is one of the most popular tools in this category. It has a huge database of backlinks and is updated regularly. It also has a rank tracker, which is useful for keeping track of your website’s ranking in search engines

Growth Marketing vs Lead Generation: Ahref

5. Growth Bar is an all-in-one tool that will handle keyword planning and content outlines and includes OpenAI for content creation.

Growth Marketing vs Lead Generation: GrowthBar

Growing Your Email List

If you are looking for ways to grow your email list, here are a few ideas:

1. Offer a free trial or a free product.

2. Add a sign-up form to your website.

3. Run a contest or giveaway.

4. Provide valuable content or tips.

5. Send out a monthly newsletter.

6. Offer a discount for signing up.

7. Join Forbes Business Council and HARO and get published

8. Run ads on social media or online.

9. Create free tools (calculators, guides, and templates)

10. Create a community or tribe on Facebook Groups, Slack, Discord etc.

Using Landing Pages to Convert Traffic from Your Blog

When you create a landing page, you must ensure that it is designed to convert traffic from your blog.

1. Keep it simple.

2. Use clear and concise headlines.

3. Use strong calls to action with bright colors. #ff9800 is my favorite for a CTA.

4. Make sure all of your retargeting scripts are working.

5. A/B Test everything

6. Add social proof, testimonials, and reviews.

7. Remove unnecessary fields.

Paid Advertising Channels

Paid advertising is very important for growth marketing strategy. It is additive to your overall strategy. Paid digital channels allow for real-time reporting and measurement of key indicators such as Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC) and Return on Ad Spend (ROAS).

Below are some paid advertising channels that can be used in your growth marketing strategy.

1. Google AdWords

2. Facebook Ads

3. LinkedIn Ads

4. Twitter Ads

5. Microsoft Ads

6. Tiktok Ads

Which platforms to use will depend on who your ideal customer is.

When combined with a larger growth marketing strategy, paid channels can be extremely powerful both in remarketing/retargeting and in prospecting for new clients.

Growth Marketing Tools

Below is a list of some of our favorite growth marketing tools.

1. ZapierZapier is a web automation tool that allows you to connect various online services to automate tasks for various platforms.

2. ManyChatManyChat is a chatbot platform that allows you to create and manage chatbots for your Facebook page. You can use ManyChat to send automated messages to your followers, collect leads, and sell products and services.

3. is a task management tool allowing team members to collaborate. It is a great tool for managing projects and for tracking progress.

4. HootsuiteHootsuite is a social media management tool allowing users to track all their social media accounts in one place. It also provides users with analytics to help them track the success of their social media campaigns.

5. BuzzSumoBuzzSumo is a tool that allows users to see the most popular content across all social media platforms. It’s a helpful tool for seeing what content connects with audiences and generating new ideas.

4. FolderlyFolderly is an AI platform to increase email delivery. If you are going to spam or promotions, you need this!

5. Canva – If you don’t know what Canva is, let me welcome you back from under your rock.

More Growth Marketing Tools

6. CapCut and Captions – If you are doing any type of TikTok, Reels, etc. You need CapCut and Captions. Thank me later.

7. OneNote or Evernote – Use this to jot down ideas anywhere, even on the go. Install the app on your phone for quick access and syncing with your computers.

8. SubstackSubstack is a platform for creating and distributing newsletters.

9. Kajabi – Even if you are not in the “course” business, this can be a very powerful tool to create trust and authority. Kajabi is a great tool to capture all that knowledge quickly and put it to use.

10. Trends – Few tools here Google Trends. Warning I lost 30 minutes of my life watching trending searches. Exploding Topics is a great tool, and for deep market research, check out Trend Hunter.

11. ClickUpClickUp is a great project management and collaboration tool including creating marketing calendars.

12. GrowthBar – I mentioned GrowthBar earlier; sign up now, you’ll thank me later.

Top Growth Marketing Resources

Here are some of my favorite growth marketing blogs, podcasts, and youtube channels.

1. Growth Marketing Pros – Practical growth marketing strategies and lots of content.

2. Andrew Chen – These essays are incredible. Go deep down the rabbit hole.

3. Reforge – Startup and growth marketing topics.

4. Neil Patel – I have followed Neil Patel for almost a decade. You should too!

5. Noah Kagan – Wealth of information on his OKDork blog.

6. Gary Vee – A ton of great videos and content.

7. Growth Tribe – Great YouTube channel.

8. Seth Godin – If you don’t know who he is, Google him.

9. Ryan Stewman – Unfiltered and direct-to-the-point. Everything is sales and marketing related.



Founder & Executive with a Background in Marketing and Technology | Director of Growth Marketing.