Growth marketing is absolutely one of the top emerging trends in the business world. There is a very thin line between an online marketer and a growth marketer. Even many marketing pros overlook this difference and get confused about the difference. This is why top startup growth marketing influencers often try very hard to present the difference through their work.
To define the difference, online marketing is promoting a brand, whereas growth marketing is a collective effort to push an organization’s growth metrics to an enormous extent. This is what Sean Ellis, CEO of Growth Hackers.com, has to say about an entirely different and broader niche of growth marketing.
“Growth marketing is an experiment-driven marketing”.
For many startup enthusiasts, the natural question at this point is this: who are those startup influencers who can be your growth marketing inspiration?
Keeping this question in mind, I have curated the following list of growth marketing influencers who are actively working in this niche.
P.S. The enlistment doesn’t carry any order in terms of experience or professionalism, and all of these influencers are equally placed.
Talk about growth hacking, and the very first name to pop into our minds is Sean Ellis. The man is popularly referred as the godfather of growth hacking. Currently, he is the CEO of GrowthHackers.com, which is a global platform for all growth marketers.
In August 2008, Sean started his growth marketing career as an executive, and there was no looking back ever after. He was one of the persons behind Dropbox’s growth marketing strategy that fetched immense appreciation.
Sean was the founder and CEO of Qualroo, a marketing software company. He also writes on his blog, and his articles are featured on The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, TechCrunch, Fast Company, Wired, etc.
Facebook is a modern example of how rapidly a brand can grow when it is injected with the right growth marketing strategies. All hail to Alex Schultz, who has been the VP of Growth at Facebook since
Before Facebook, Alex managed affiliate marketing for eBay in the UK, and the immense growth of Facebook proves why he is on this list of top growth marketing influencers.
Over the past years, Facebook grew from a simple social media network to a diversified advertising, networking, and entertaining platform. This immense growth with absolute marketing strategies proves how Alex manages to be a top global influencer in the growth marketing niche.
“Content is king,” and who knows this better than Neil Patel, the co-founder of CrazyEgg, KISSmetrics, and HelloBar. Neil is an ideal influencer when it comes to content marketing strategy. He helps in creating growth marketing strategies for global blue chip organizations such as HP, General Motors, Amazon, etc.
Neil is one of the most popular bloggers on the internet and is considered to be the jack of all trades. Be it content marketing or growth hacking, he explains the niche in a way that can be understood by a person who isn’t even familiar with the niche.
Brian Balfour is undoubtedly one of the most popular growth marketers of modern times and is often associated with successful startups. He was the co-founder of Viximo and Boundless Learning. He also worked in the Venture Capital (VC).
Brian previously worked as a VP of growth at HubSpot. This prestigious position laid the path for his new startup Reforge, a platform for creating growth hacking strategies. He is the founder and CEO of Reforge. He also owns a blog named Coelevate, where he writes his heart out on growth marketing and several other niches.
Sujan Patel is a renowned name in the growth marketing industry and is known for his unique growth strategies. He is an entrepreneur and the co-founder of several successful projects, such as Quuu, Mailshake, Narrow, and ContentMarketer.io.
Sujan recently co-founded a growth marketing agency, Web Profits, and has a concrete reputation with his clientele, including some of the industry giants like Sony, Sales Force, Mint, etc.
He is a regular contributor to Forbes and writes on his personal blog too. Sujan is the author of several popular books, including 100 Days of Growth and Content Marketing Playbook.
In the highly competitive industry of ride-hailing services, Uber stands out as the pioneer and the most popular hailing service. Andrew Chen is the head of rider growth at Uber. This man surely knows well how to grow a brand that is in its early stages. He has also worked on successful startups such as Tinder, ProductHunt, AngelList, etc.
Andrew has been in the growth marketing industry for more than a decade, and his experience is what all of the people talk about. Apart from being a growth marketer, he is also an entrepreneur and is considered a genius when it comes to making successful tech startups.
Brianne plays a key role in handling the growth marketing strategies of Zendesk, a SaaS company that always exceeds expectations. This continuous spree of success is undoubtedly due to the effective growth strategy and persistent approach towards the rapidly changing global business environment.
Brianne has been in the field of growth marketing for quite some time. She previously worked for HotelClub and HotWire and contributed to their growth with well-planned marketing strategies. Apart from these organizations, she lent her part of growth strategies to industry-leading companies such as Expedia, Nikon, Orbitz, etc.
Ehsan Jahandarpour made it to the list of Forbes’s top 20 growth hackers in 2016. This immensely talented professional is known as a startup coach and is the brainchild behind the Advanced Growth Hacking Program.
He has helped industry giants like Microsoft, Petronas, BBDO, and many more startups to boost their growth and brand presence.
Apart from the growth hacking niche, Ehsan is a writer too, and his articles are published by Forbes, Fox News Inc., Lifehacker, Huffington Post etc.
Fareed is probably one of the oldest in the hub of growth marketing and is the Senior Product Manager of Growth at Slack. Fareed is surely a data genius and knows well how to play with the information to extract attention and results for a product.
He previously worked in RunKeeper and Instacart. However, while onboarding with Slack, he expressed his likeness for a creative working environment that enables a person to have the freedom of experimentation.
Noah Kagan is one of the most experienced people in the field of growth marketing. He is the chief sumo in Sumo Group, a marketing software-making company that helps organizations build and increase their online presence and web traffic.
Noah has contributed to the marketing and product launch campaigns of world-renowned organizations such as Facebook, Mint, etc. He is a blogger, and his blog OkDork is known to be a platform to express their views and exchange ideas about online marketing.
Angie is in the online marketing industry for the last 17 years. She was listed in the Forbes and Entrepreneur’s top list of online marketers and is known as a conversion optimist. This lady is a prominent international speaker who regularly participates in conferences related to growth marketing.
Apart from being a growth hacker and a keynote speaker, Angie is an author and wrote the curriculum of an online marketing major of The Art Institutes.
William is currently one of the most popular emerging growth hackers. The guy is mentioned by some of the industry giants such as Sujan Patel, Daniel Scalco, Zuzana Kudelova, etc. William is the founder of Elumynt, a growth marketing agency that has a prominent reputation in online marketing.
William likes to write about strategies, tips, and tricks of growth hacking and is a regular contributor to the most authentic websites, such as Fastcompany.com, Entrepreneur.com, and TheNextWeb.com. Despite of being a busy bee, William is a speaker at IRCE and likes to participate in conferences.
Justin Wu is the founder of Growth.ly, a growth agency. He has vast experience of working with top-notch brands globally, including Samsung, New Balance, Intel, Wall Street Journal, etc. He believes effective growth marketing is the result of collectively using internet marketing, software engineering, and data collection.
Justin has been in the internet marketing industry for more than a decade, and his previous ventures were quite successful, such: as Vytmn.com, which achieved $1M in revenue in its first year, and Sidevision, which was contracted and invested by Warner Brothers.
Andy is one of the most experienced growth marketers on this list. He has an extensive experience of over 20 years in the field. He is the founder of Growth Startups, a growth marketing agency designed to boost marketing campaigns for startups and entrepreneurs.
Andy bagged the title of Endeavor Entrepreneur in 2010. His past is full of achievements as he served in leading positions, such as co-founder, director, and CEO in various multinational companies. He is known as a problem solver, an early adapter, and a successful entrepreneur.
Vin Clancy is a young growth hacker, entrepreneur, and author. This young lad has a strong social media following. His first book on growth hacking raised over $100,000 in pre-orders. Vin is a proficient blogger, and his articles are often published on prestigious websites, such as Fortune, Wired, Vice, and TechCrunch, Inc.
Vin is an inspiring young growth hacker featured on the covers of Disrupts UK 2016 and on Millennial Magazine 2016. He had a tour of a hundred days in eight countries, where he spoke about growth hacking and other online niches that he follows.
Harsh Agrawal is the Founder of the award-winning blog ShoutMeLoud, which boasts more than 832K subscribers and 1 million page views a month. His goal with the platform is to help people turn their passion for blogging and online marketing into a full-time business.
He has more than a decade of hands-on experience in blogging, SEO, WordPress, affiliate marketing, and social media. On ShoutMeLoud, he loves to provide transparent tactics and case studies on how he grew his blog to such impressive heights. You can also find up-to-date and actionable guides on all things WordPress, business blogging, and marketing.
Harsh is also a regular conference speaker and has spoken at numerous prestigious events like Affiliate Summit West (Las Vegas), WordCamp (India), inOrbit (Slovenia), and MB Summit (Milan), to name a few.
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Josh Fechter is a growth hacker, author, and an avid blogger. He currently works at BAMF. He has been awarded as the top growth hacker of 2017 by T&C. Moreover, he was a top writer for Quora in 2017.
Josh has served in leading positions in reputable organizations as head and mentor for growth. He is known to be a geek in the growth marketing industry; in fact, his work has already received millions of views till now.
Raffaele has a lot of associations with his name. He is a growth marketer, digital and startup mentor, blogger, etc. He currently works as a growth hacking consultant and a partner in yourDIGITAL, a group of digital transformation managers.
His blog is popular among young growth hackers, and his articles have been featured on all the top-notch websites, including Mashable, TechCrunch, Wired, Product Hunt, Medium, VentureBeat, The Next Web, etc. He is a public speaker and often conducts conferences and events.
Savvas is a young growth hacker, entrepreneur, speaker, and blogger who was featured in Forbes and Product Hunt. He is a co-founder of two ventures: Viral Loops, a viral marketing platform, and GrowthRocks, a growth hacking marketing agency.
Savvas is proficient in marketing automation, product development, and project management and likes to play on Scrum. This guy has interest in life-learning blogs and often tweets about them.
Stephen is a geek of growth marketing. He works as an editor and curator for Growth Hacking Digest. He is also a senior content strategist at CanlRank, an SEO software.
Stephen has been in key positions in reputable companies and served as IT director, editor, and outreach specialist. He is considered the jack of all trades when it comes to online marketing.
Marta is not just a growth hacker but a blogger, business strategist, and branding expert too. She mainly works for engineering companies and entrepreneurs. She is the creator of the business attitude program.
Marta currently works as a managing director at Movabo Ltd. Previously, she was the project director of Attitudewebsites.com. She also writes on her blog, which is truly a treat to read for growth hacking.
Mike van Hoenselaar
Mike hails from the Netherlands and is a highly skilled growth hacker, speaker, entrepreneur, and growth marketer. He is the founder of Online Boswachters, an online marketing and growth platform, and Escape Rooms Nederland.
Mike is also a mentor at Startup Bootcamp and is an avid fan of experimentation in his field. The guy has over 6 years of experience and is an addict of information.
Ryan is an American author, marketer, and entrepreneur. He has a diverse growth marketing experience ranging from heading the marketing and growth of American Apparel to being a media marketer for Robert Greene’s book 50th Law of Power.
Ryan calls himself a ‘media manipulator’, and his first book was ‘Trust me I am lying – Confessions of a media manipulator.’ He is a proponent of Growth hacking and thinks it is a far better strategy to get customers than banner advertisements.
He is also a contributor for Forbes, Fast Company, The Huffington Post, The Columbia Journalism Review, and the New York Observer, where he is a resident editor.
Gustaf is a full-time growth geek. He is currently working as a partner at Y-Combinator. But he has tons of growth hacking titles under his belt, including serving as a product lead at AirBnB and heading growth at Voxer in the previous few years.
He also co-founded Heysan, a mobile messaging app that was later acquired by Good Technology in 2009.
James Carbary is the founder and owner of B2B brands and content producer for B2B growth show. He interviews renowned celebrities for his show on a regular basis and provides insights and marketing direction to digital businesses. He is also a contributor to the Huffington Post, where he shares tips on growth hacking, digital strategy, and content marketing.
Lincoln Murphy is a customer success consultant and keynote speaker focused on generating leads. He currently works as a consultant for Sixteen Ventures, responsible for growth, acquisition, and customer lifecycle.
According to him, a growth engine that doesn’t take customer success and retention into consideration is not an efficient growth engine. He helps build growth engines for his clients by optimizing their websites and improving their growth funnels.
Lincoln is also the author of ‘Customer Success’ book, which focuses on acquisition-based growth strategies.
Growth marketing is associated with some of the biggest tech organizations worldwide, and the list goes on with some of the top emerging growth marketers. This list has all the flavors related to growth marketing for startups, be it content marketing, growth agency founders, or entrepreneurs that provide growth hacking services. All of these startup influencers are experts in growth marketing, and each of them has expertise in their respective genre of growth marketing.
P.S. If you know any other influencer who is also a growth marketing geek, it would be a pleasure to hear from you via comments on this article. Don’t forget to share your feedback regarding how this article is helpful for you.
Arsalan, a Digital Marketer by profession, works as a Startups and Digital Agencies Community Manager at Cloudways. He loves all things entrepreneurial and wakes up every day with the desire to enable the dreams of aspiring entrepreneurs through his work!