I learned a lot about historic growth in businesses when I was a young kid by reading about the people who founded the businesses or 'biographies' on the business itself. Go look for some books on amazon about businesses that interest you, I'm sure that most popular brands have books written about them. Don't worry about the tactics when reading the books, just focus on the mindsets the people had.
As for chasing the latest tactics, I think that's a bit misconstrued. Growth is not about chasing tactics, growth is about understanding where consumer attention is and building awareness using the proper channels. Growth is a science as well as an art. And incorporating different strategies together is what excites and sparks growth for a business - as long as your business doesn't suck, but that's a whole nother topic.
Hope that helps,