Marketing is dynamic and constantly evolving as technology and tools are being invented to support it. This evolution won't stop, is there a way a company can grow without spending excessively? The answer is: Yes! Sean Ellis coined the term "Growth Hacking" in the year 2010 when he couldn't find a marketer with a growth mindset, one who could replace him. Growth hacking is not fancy term for marketing, it's an art of getting results (completely different from traditional marketing). Books like "Art of War" are great examples of growth hacking, which shows growth hacking isn't just a marketing instrument, it's a unique style of thinking.
Growth Hacking: The Mindset
Growth Hackers are very different from traditional marketers, traditional marketers focus on achieving and creating brand awareness among other marketing objectives through their campaigns, but a growth hacker has one plan A that is: "growth". Sean Ellis defines growth hacker as " A person whose true north is growth".In his book "Hacking Growth", Sean described growth hackers as people who's marketing mindset is solely focused on measuring growth through metrics which he identifies through experiments. AirBNB is probably the most famous example when it comes to growth hacking, having leveraged Craigslist to grow their customer base. David vs Goliath example:
The marketing world is competitive, how do small companies compete with large ones? Growth Hacking is a term, in simple terms means "Hack the path to grow". The term describes a flexible mindset of achieving the best possible results while spending as less resources as possible and keeping the customers best interest in mind while doing so.
Growth hackers generally have three traits: Observe, experiment and analyse. They conceptualize ideas and execute, test it and analyse the outcomes, do it till they get the right results. To be a growth hacker, one must be comfortable with experimentation, testing A and B, analyzing what produces the best outcome, seeing whether you have reached a product/market fit. In his book, Sean expresses that there is no point in scaling a product if you have not reached the correct fit (understanding the core perceived value of the users who are disappointed with the product). Important to note: For a Growth Hacker, it's all about ROI, different from the traditional "Brand awareness" strategy. They don't rely on the David McClure funnel, they ideate and execute, experiment and measure, and SCALE! The process of Growth hacking: 1. Ideate: - Identify the ideas and prioritize the possible ideas - Check the business environment - Out of the box thinking 2. Define: - What makes the end user happy (User experience)
- Identify what brings the highest VALUE! 3. Experiment: - Experiment ideas, learn from the outcomes. 4. Measure: - Identify and measure what brings the best value.
- when you achieve a product/market mix, SCALE. - Note down the outcome, record the outcomes!
Growth Hack: Popular examples
Growth hacking can be more than just simple creativity, it's about obtaining the one metric that could drive the idea, and provide the best results. Hubspot is a great example of growing through simplicity of growth hacks. They created a free tool named "Website Grader tool" which helped users evaluate their website (including SEO and mobile friendliness). In 2015, HubSpot co-founder Dharmesh Shah attributed the tool to be one of main contributors to the company's growth especially when it comes to acquiring new customers.
This example is a proof to the fact that growth hacking doesn't mean using fancy techniques to get massive results. Growth hacking as a technique can be simple but the outcome should be "growth", one that could be measured.
Growth Hacking: The future? Maybe! If growth really is the spine of an organization, then there is no reason why growth as an final outcome shouldn't be woven into every level of the company. Even customer service should be done by people who think about growth because unsatisfied customers churn and growth can be affected by bad customer service. And web/product designers should design with one eye on growth because experience is slowly becoming the number one priority to acquire new users. The future of companies who live on the magic of the internet, must focus their efforts on spinning their compasses north. If companies can grow without resources, it's not hard to imagine a world not growing with resources. Growth hacking is an upcoming and far from traditional trend that provides us an insight into the future of internet and internet based companies. There has always been a barrier between the product developers, and those responsible for customer acquisition. "The coders code and build. The marketers target and sell" It seemed to work for a while that way. Now, those in charge of growth are having to learn what an API is, and those in charge of programming have to about the customer experience. Growth hacking is on the rise, innovation can come in any form, traditional marketers better watch out! Worlds are colliding...and evolving.