Ever since Sean Ellis coined the term “growth hacking” in 2010, people outside the digital marketing world have been asking the same question…What exactly is it? Well, it’s tough to explain because it encompasses a whole library of skills. Rapid experimentation, Facebook ads, data analysis, technical SEO – these can all be part of a successful growth marketing strategy. At the end of the day, growth marketing refers to digital marketing that’s focused on a process of data-driven testing and optimization, often referred to as growth hacking. Famous growth hacking success stories have taken relatively obscure startups, like Airbnb and Dropbox, and launched them into an unprecedented success. And as the field grows, growth hacking agencies have become as varied as the products and services they’re supporting.
So if you’re looking to become a growth marketer, you’ll have a lot of options. It’s important to choose the right growth hacking courses and training that fit your end goal. Are you already working in digital marketing, or looking to begin a new career? Are you the founder of a product you’d like to promote, or are you looking for general knowledge? We’ve rounded up 17 of the best growth marketing courses out there to discuss the pros and cons of each, and help you find a growth marketing course that works for you.
1.General Assembly, Digital Marketing
Location: Online or in Los Angeles
What it Covers: Everything you need to know about digital marketing. Offered as a part-time 10 week course, or a 1 week intensive, General Assembly is known for it’s quality technical instruction. Their Digital Marketing course will give you the skills to expertly handle most social channels, as well as Google Analytics and Ads. It also covers enough high-level strategy to teach students how to create growth-driven campaigns.
Who It’s Best for: Beginners who want to graduate with a career in digital marketing or founders who need in-depth marketing knowledge.
What People Are Saying: In-depth instruction that breaks down complicated topics with real-world examples.
2.Bell Curve, Demand Curve
Demand Curve will train you to become a marketer then help you get hired as one. Pay nothing upfront. Only pay if they get you a job. Bell Curve is a renowned growth agency that now offers hands-on training as a Demand Curve. It’s run by Julian Shapiro, a well-known growth expert in silicon valley and beyond. Bell Curve has grown dozens of companies from zero to millions in revenue. They work with the likes of Envoy, Streak, Clearbit, Service, Tovala, Perfect Keto, and many others. They have also written a popular guide on growth and give growth talks at Google and Y Combinator.
Demand Curve’s training is done through a mix of written guides and Slack conversations. Nothing is pre-recorded. You will spend 1.5 to 3 hours per day—depending on your availability.
3.Reforge, Growth Series
Location: Online and in San Francisco
What it Covers: Advanced Growth Marketing. In this 8 week series, you’ll cover everything from user psychology to creating effective growth models. This course isn’t for the general public – you’ll have to apply to gain access, and are expected to have 3+ years of experience. If accepted, you’ll be able to complete the course modules between September and November in sync with your cohort. That means direct access to the instructors and fellow students for maximum collaboration. The course can be completed completely online, but in-person events are held in San Francisco for bay area students.
Who It’s Best for: Mid-level marketers and professionals.
What People Are Saying: Reforge has trained professionals at some of Silicon Valley’s top companies, like Facebook, SquareSpace and Salesforce. It’s bar-none for product-focused growth marketing.
What it Covers: Everything you need to know to get started. Growth Hacking guru Mattan Griffel created this package of video tutorials and touches all the basics, providing the templates and resources to get you started. And unlike other video lecture based series, One Month gives you access to their team, so you’ll have support for any lingering questions. Upon completion of the course, students will receive a certificate of completion.
Who It’s Best for Beginning growth hackers looking to build a solid foundation, or startup founders looking to gain a following quickly.
What People Are Saying: One of the best intro-to-growth hacking courses out there. Very approachable and easy to follow.
What it Covers: The full scope of digital marketing. Endorsed by professionals at some of the top tech companies like Google and Oracle, the Digital Marketing Institute offers a full comprehensive curriculum on digital marketing. That means practice exercises, access to an extensive content library, and a Professional Certificate upon completion. All video lectures come with downloadable course material, and course modules are taught by industry experts.
Who It’s Best for: Anyone looking to jumpstart a career in digital marketing, but not specifically growth hacking.
What People Are Saying: Great option for anyone who wants a Professional Certificate with industry recognition.
6.Quick Sprout, Quick Sprout University
What it Covers: Technical growth marketing skills across many different areas, like SEO, Link Building and Paid Advertising. Courses are boiled down to a video and transcript – there’s no coursework, or option for a paid certificate (Note, the option to complete a $97 certificate has been removed from the site). Quick Sprout is the brainchild of growth marketing guru Neil Patel, and the courses are built in his familiar style; quick, buzzy and packed with technical detail. Video courses are broken down by level, from beginner to advanced so there’s something for everyone.
Who It’s Best for: Marketers who want to brush up on their technical knowledge without making a commitment. Those looking for help generating traffic.
What People Are Saying: The videos contain a lot of helpful information, but can be hard to navigate for the beginning growth marketer.
7.Coursera, Digital Media and Marketing Strategies
Price: $79/mo (after a 7-day free trial)
What it Covers: How to plan and execute a digital media campaign. It’s taught by Mike Yoa, a professor of Digital Media at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and focuses on the process behind developing a data-driven campaign. Some course material is available for free but the entire module can only be accessed with purchase. The course is self-paced and includes four graded assignments. Upon completing the course and successfully passing all assignments, you’ll receive a certificate of completion.
Who It’s Best for: Anyone looking to learn about the process of developing a campaign and a broad overview of digital marketing channels.
What People Are Saying: Great at teaching the principles of digital marketing, and offers very up-to-date information. However some assignments required working with others in the course, with varying success depending on who you get partnered with.
8.Udacity, Digital Marketing NanoDegree
What it Covers: Everything you need to know to become a digital marketer. The curriculum was developed with a marketing professor at UCLA, and students can complete the course and related coursework in 3-6 months, at their own pace. You’ll receive access to student slack channels with moderators who can answer questions, and you’ll run campaigns in cooperation with Facebook using their live test environment. You’ll graduate with a certificate and an understanding of digital marketing strategy as well as technical ability.
Who It’s Best for: Those looking to become full-time growth marketers, or marketers looking to brush up on the most up-to date skills.
What People Are Saying: Great mix of quality instruction and real-world practice. The lower price point relative to the length and quality of the program is a bonus.
9.BrainStation, Digital Marketing Course Package
Location: New York City
What it Covers: Digital marketing from A to Z. This is a comprehensive, in-person course offered over 10 weeks. You’ll learn how to create an overarching growth marketing strategy, and gain the technical skills to expertly utilize Google Ads and Analytics, as well as multiple social channels.
Who It’s Best for: Those looking to launch a full-time growth marketing career.
What People Are Saying: The courses are informative, but BrainStation really shines with it’s in-person support and instruction. Past students overwhelmingly gave it 5 stars.
10.eCornell, Data-Driven Marketing Certificate
What it Covers: Data-driven decision making and strategy. Dubbed an “Ivy League Certificate”, eCornell is the online arm of Cornell University itself. The curriculum was developed by Cornell faculty, and each course is administered by a professor over the course of 3 months. Learning modules are high-level, and focus on gathering and understanding consumer data, then creating an action plan around those insights.
Who It’s Best for: Managers, mid-level marketers, and those who already have technical skills but need to improve their strategic abilities.
What People Are Saying: The quality of instruction is great and the course adds real value for those looking to take the next step in their career. But, as one of the most expensive growth marketing courses out there, ROI is largely subjective.
11.HubSpot Academy Courses
What is Covers: Just about everything. They’ve got courses for everything from Facebook Advertising and Conversion Strategy to Growth-Driven Design. Students can chose a quick course module, or opt for a multi-step certificate. Courses are designed by HubSpot experts and are self-paced. Students gain access to a simulated version of HubSpot’s inbound marketing platform to design test campaigns.
Who It’s Best for: Beginning to Mid-Level growth marketers. Anyone looking to brush up on the basics, or learn the ins and outs of HubSpot’s CMS.
What People Are Saying: The courses are well produced and methodical. The only drawback? Certifications are only valid for one year.
12.ConversionXL institute, Advanced Organic Acquisition
What it Covers: Optimizing the customer journey with a strong focus on SEO. Throughout the eight part series, you’ll learn the details of traffic acquisition through referral sources, assets, and by identifying content gaps. You’ll also gain an understanding of how to keep your existing traffic through algorithm updates, which really sets this course apart.
Who It’s Best for: Intermediate marketers looking to take their technical skills to the next level.
What People Are Saying: Great for learning technical skills, but not for beginners.
13.Ninja Outreach Academy
What it Covers: Influencer Marketing and Outreach. Ninja Outreach uses it’s own growth as an example of what’s possible through their growth philosophy. You’ll have access to their four part series over 12 weeks, which – as their name suggests – is heavy on direct outreach strategies. Think email marketing, influencer marketing, and podcast marketing. Past students note success for bloggers and those who want to become experts at Ninja Outreach’s CRM.
Who It’s Best for: Those looking to build a personal brand.
What People Are Saying: Very helpful if you plan to use Ninja Outreach’s CRM, or are looking to learn about influencer marketing.
What it Covers: Growth for startups. GimmeGrowth was founded by Sean Ellis, the growth hacking pioneer himself. One payment gives you forever access to the course curriculum created and presented by Dom, an Ellis-approved entrepreneur in San Francisco. Modules focus on business strategy as much as growth marketing, like customer validation and finding the right social channels for your audience. It doesn’t offer a certificate or deep technical knowledge, but touches on growth hacking-specific topics, like virality.
Who It’s Best for: Startup founders or marketers in the early stages.
What People Are Saying: Super helpful to focus a startup’s energy on effectively building growth marketing systems.
15.Udemy, Growth Hacking with Digital Marketing
What it Covers: Growth Hacking basics. Touted as one of Udemy’s best selling courses, you’ll have access to a full series of 88 short lectures covering growth hacking basics. The videos feature Davis Jones, who founded the tech education platform Eazl. Upon completing the course, students can request a certificate for an extra fee. Course modules follow a typical customer journey, and guide students through the process of optimization.
Who It’s Best for: Growth hacking beginners and weekend warriors on a budget
What People Are Saying: A great introduction to the technical aspects of growth marketing.
16.NYU Stern Executive Education, Digital Marketing and Social Media Strategy
Location: New York City
What it Covers: Digital growth strategy for professionals. This two day intensive is designed to give mid-level executives the tools to create digital marketing strategies. It’s focused on data analytics and how businesses can leverage social media to drive growth. It’s big data meets social media from a business management perspective.
Who It’s Best for: Executives who need a crash course in growth marketing.
What People Are Saying: Great for a high-level understanding, with quality instruction.
17.Google, Digital Marketing Course
Price: Free for selected student teams
What it Covers: Digital marketing basics from Google’s perspective. That means free training in Google Ads and Google Analytics. But this program is pretty unique; only teams of 2-5 undergraduate or graduate students are eligible to apply. After completing the free course modules and passing the Academy for Google Ads Fundamentals Exam, selected teams will be matched with a non-profit and given a $10,000 monthly marketing budget to spend, courtesy of Google.
Who It’s Best for: Students looking to do some good and beef up their resume with significant real-world experience.
What People Are Saying: Getting Google-backed experience is awesome. But, the program comes with a lot of restrictions about how the monthly budget can be spent, and what kind of nonprofits are eligible to participate. Great for experience building, but expect to be babysat.
18.Growth Tribe, Growth Hacking Crash Course
Location: Amsterdam, London and various locations around Europe
What it Covers: A detailed understanding of Growth Hacking. Growth Tribe is famous for it’s 2-day Growth Hacking bootcamps, where you’ll learn a data-driven approach to Growth Marketing and practice a formula of rapid testing and experimentation. The weekend sessions are highly structured and intense, and students walk away with the technical skills to execute their own data campaigns. And their accelerated approach seems to be a success; they’ve trained people at companies like Google, Unilever and Spotify.
Who It’s Best for: Anyone looking for a deep, technical understanding of growth hacking. Especially for those looking to become career growth hackers.
What People Are Saying: It’s a big investment with a big payoff. Some even estimate that 95% of graduates were placed at full-time positions within a month of completing a Growth Tribe program.
Jumping into the growth marketing game might seem daunting at first. But, with quality instruction and a clear understanding of your objectives, you’ll become an expert in no time and reap the rewards of real growth.